South Korean conglomerate Samsung took the wraps off its two latest flagship smartphones at an Unpacked event last month. The Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ boast significant improvements over their predecessors in many areas, along with a completely redesigned front. In addition to all the hardware upgrades, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are also much bigger than their predecessors when it comes to display sizes. While the Galaxy S8 now sports a 5.8-inch display, the Galaxy S8+ features an even bigger 6.2-inch sized display. Even though the Galaxy S8+ isn’t anywhere near as big as other phablets with a 6+ inch display, it is still probably a bit too big for most users out there. Which is why we think the Galaxy S8 could be the more popular of the two smartphones.

In our versus comparison today, we will be pitting the smaller Galaxy S8 against the LG G6, which is roughly similar to it in terms of display size. Announced at a pre-MWC 2017 event in Barcelona, the G6 is one of the most convincing flagship smartphones LG has produced yet as far as the design and build are concerned. However, in a few areas, it doesn’t seem all that convincing to us. In our previous comparison, the G6 took on its sibling the V20 and managed to come out on top quite easily. This time, it will need to take a much stronger rival in the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Just like our previous versus battles, we will be putting the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 head-to-head in ten different categories – Design, Display, Dimensions, Processor, Memory, Battery Life, Price, Operating System, Camera, and Connectivity. The smartphone that manages to win the most number of categories will be picked as the winner of our versus comparison today. So let’s get started.

Dimensions

Both LG and Samsung are actively marketing the lack of bezels on their latest flagship smartphones. But which one has the edge?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 happens to be 148.9mm tall, 68.1mm wide, and 8mm thin. It tips the scales at 155 grams, which is on the lower side for a smartphone with a 5.8-inch sized display. The LG G6 in comparison is 148.9mm tall, 71.9mm wide, and 7.9mm thin. It weighs in at 163 grams, making it slightly heavier than the Galaxy S8.

The numbers above make it quite clear that the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a slight edge over the LG G6 when it comes to physical dimensions. Even though the Galaxy S8 features a 0.1-inch larger display, it is more compact and happens to be lighter as well. The dimensions round then goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Battery Life

LG flagship smartphones in the past haven’t been as impressive as Samsung flagships in this area. Is the G6 any different?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is sadly not an improvement over its predecessor when it comes to battery capacity. You get the same 3000mAh capacity battery as the Galaxy S7, which is definitely a disappointment. However, it isn’t completely unexpected either. After the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, Samsung has decided not to cram in huge batteries in slim profiles. Even though the Galaxy S8 isn’t the thinnest smartphone around at 8mm, the 3000mAh capacity battery ensures that there is no added pressure on the battery, eliminating any risks of the battery catching fire like in the Galaxy Note 7. Similar to the Galaxy S7, the 3000mAh capacity battery inside the Galaxy S8 does support Samsung’s Adaptive Fast charging tech, giving you a few hours of usage from just 15 minutes of charging. Fast charging is supported via wireless charging as well, over the WPC and WMA standards.

LG G6 on the other hand, is a serious improvement over the G5 when it comes to the battery capacity. While the G5 packed a rather small 2800mAh capacity unit, LG has equipped the latest G6 with a 3300mAh capacity battery. Quite obviously, this allows the G6 to deliver improved battery life when compared to the G5 as well as the LG V20. When it comes to fast charging, the G6 supports the Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 standard, allowing the 3300mAh battery to be fully charged in 96 minutes. Wireless charging unfortunately, is only available in the US variants of the G6. The international variants of the smartphone do not support wireless charging. Fast wireless charging isn’t supported either, so you will need to be very patient if you wish to use wireless charging.
Even though the Galaxy S8 features a smaller battery than the LG G6, it is the Samsung Galaxy S8 that boasts better battery life, thanks to better optimization. It also offers the advantage of fast wireless charging which the G6 lacks. This means the battery life round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Display

The displays on both the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 bring notable improvements when compared to last year’s models.

Samsung Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch dual-curved Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2960 Quad HD+ resolution, resulting in a high pixel density of 570 pixels per inch. The display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. As we discussed in the previous round, Samsung has cut down on the bezels significantly with the Galaxy S8, maximizing the display area on the front. This is being referred to by Samsung as an “Infinity Display”. The marketing name basically highlights the fact that the display now covers almost the entire front, which means the bezels aren’t going to distract you from getting completely immersed into whatever content you might be viewing on the Galaxy S8 display. The almost non-existent bezels also make the Galaxy S8 quite easy to hold in the hand, despite the fact that it features a very large 5.8-inch sized display. In addition to SDR content, you can watch HDR content as well on the smartphone. Similar to the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy S8 display supports HDR videos available via streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video. Similar to Samsung’s premium 4K sets, the Galaxy S8 display supports the HDR10 standard and comes with Mobile HDR Premium certification by the UHD Alliance, promising fantastic HDR performance. To fit the most amount of content on the screen, the Galaxy S8 uses a unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which might seem a little weird to some of you, especially when viewing videos on the display. Samsung has retained the Always-on Display feature with the Galaxy S8, allowing you to view the clock, remaining battery percentage, and missed notifications without having to unlock your phone first. As far as the key parameters go, the Galaxy S8 display is a notable improvement over the Galaxy S7 from last year. Samsung has expanded the color gamut to accurately reproduce HDR content, while the maximum brightness is now over 1000 nits. The high brightness helps with HDR playback as well as improving the sunlight legibility even further. In short, the Samsung Galaxy S8 display is the finest that Samsung has produced yet and is undoubtedly the best display on a 2017 flagship smartphone.

Just like Samsung, LG too has worked on improving the display on its new G6. The smartphone features a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 1440 x 2880 Quad HD+ resolution and a rather unique 18:9 aspect ratio. In a clear cost-cutting move, LG has opted to use a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top of the display, instead of the latest Gorilla Glass 5. While the LG G6 sports a slightly smaller display than the Galaxy S8, it has a lower 564 PPI pixel density, mainly due to the slightly lower display resolution. The smartphone retains the Always-on Display feature from its predecessor, offering somewhat similar functionality to the Galaxy S8. However, we don’t recommend using the feature on the G6, mainly because an IPS LCD panel isn’t as efficient as a Super AMOLED panel. Even though LG has included some hardware-level tweaks to ensure battery drain remains minimal, it still does leave a visible impact on the battery life. The fancy bezel-less display is being referred to as a “FullVision” display by the company, claimed to enhance viewer immersion. LG has managed to achieve a screen-to-body ratio of 80.7% on the G6, which is slightly lower than the 83% screen-to-body ratio of the Samsung Galaxy S8. Both smartphones are however well below the Xiaomi Mi MIX in this department, which boasts a 91.3 % screen-to-body ratio. The LG G6 display, similar to the company’s Super UHD and OLED televisions, comes with HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR support. Since both the HDR formats are supported, you can stream HDR content from services such as Amazon Prime Video as well as Netflix. In most areas, the G6 panel is an improvement over the LG G5 display. It offers improved contrast ratio, higher peak brightness, and better color accuracy. Sunlight legibility has been improved as well, although it still isn’t as good as AMOLED displays. As far as color accuracy goes, the G6 panel is among the better LCD panels on a flagship handset, but isn’t on the same level as the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus displays.

There is no denying the fact that the LG G6’s “FullVision” display is a major improvement over the previous LG flagships. However, the Samsung Galaxy S8 display is definitely better, with superior brightness, color accuracy, sunlight legibility, and much higher contrast. That means the winner of the display round is the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Processor

Unlike all the previous rounds, the two smartphones aren’t exactly comparable in the processor department. Some of you may have already guessed what we’re talking about.

The LG G6 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core chipset, the same chipset that powers quite a few flagship smartphones released in the second half of 2016. While the Snapdragon 821 is no doubt a powerful SoC, it is definitely disappointing that LG’s latest flagship smartphone doesn’t run on the latest flagship mobile SoC from Qualcomm. The reason behind that is that LG wanted to launch the G6 before Samsung launched the Galaxy S8. And LG couldn’t get its hands on the Snapdragon 835 in time for the G6, as Samsung had secured the entire initial batch of Snapdragon 835 chips for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones. The Snapdragon 821, as you might have heard, is a relatively minor refresh over the Snapdragon 820 chip that powers the LG G5 and the V20. In the G6, the SoC is clocked slightly higher than usual, in a bid to extract maximum performance out of it. The high-performance Kryo cores are clocked at 2.34 GHz while the two energy-efficiency oriented cores are also clocked quite high at 2.19 GHz. In addition to the CPU cores, the Adreno 530 GPU too is clocked higher at 653 MHz. However, despite the higher clocks, the G6 does not perform significantly higher than other Snapdragon 821 or even Snapdragon 820-powered smartphones in most benchmarks. That obviously means the Snapdragon 821 SoC inside the G6 cannot compete against newer chips such as the Samsung Exynos 9 8895 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.

Samsung Galaxy S8 is powered by the company’s in-house developed Exynos 9 8895 octa-core SoC in most international markets, while in North America and China it will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core chipset. Both the Exynos 9 8895 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 are manufactured by Samsung on its 10nm process node, which means they bring significant performance as well efficiency gains when compared to last year’s flagship mobile SoCs. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC uses eight custom Kryo 280 64-bit CPU cores, which are an improvement over the Kryo cores used in the Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 SoCs released last year. The four performance Kryo 280 cores are clocked at 2.35 GHz while the four efficiency-oriented Kryo 280 cores are clocked at 1.9 GHz. The graphics are taken care of by the Adreno 540 GPU, which brings significant performance improvements when compared to the Adreno 530 GPU found inside the Snapdragon 821 and 820 SoCs. In addition to offering improved performance, the Snapdragon 835 chipset integrates a host of new connectivity features, which we will discuss in the connectivity round. It also adds support for UFS 2.1 storage and SD 3.0 (UHS-I) cards. The Exynos 9 8895 on the other hand features four custom Exynos M2 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. Taking care of the graphics is the ARM Mali-G71MP20 GPU, a slightly more powerful variant than the one used in Huawei’s Kirin 960 SoC. In terms of performance, both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and the Exynos 9 8895 SoCs are definitely superior to the Snapdragon 821 as well as other 2016 mobile SoCs. However, it is graphics performance that has seen a greater improvement than CPU performance.

The LG G6 is unfortunately not in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy S8 in the processor department. It runs on an older SoC that does not deliver the same level of performance as the latest mobile SoCs released this year. It is a clear win for the Samsung Galaxy S8 in the processor round. However, it doesn’t mean that the G6 is a slouch. While the Snapdragon 821 may not be able to match the snapdragon 835 and Exynos 9 8895 SoCs when it comes to benchmark performance, it does deliver flawless performance and most consumers will not have any complaints whatsoever.

Connectivity

Just like the previous round, the LG G6 is at a disadvantage in the connectivity round as well.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, VHT80 MU-MIMO, 1024QAM, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy, ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, MST, and LTE Cat.16 with support for maximum download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. In addition to being the world’s first smartphone to support 1Gbps download speeds over LTE, the Galaxy S8 is also gigabit Wi-Fi ready with speeds of up to 1Gbps. The fingerprint scanner on the handset is positioned at the back, right next to the rear camera lens. In addition to a fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy S8 uses an iris scanner as well as a facial recognition tech to allow users to easily unlock the device.

LG G6 comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, USB 3.1 Type-C port, DLNA, USB OTG, and Cat.12 LTE with maximum supported download speeds of up to 600 Mbps. Similar to its predecessor, the G6 comes with a fingerprint scanner placed at the back.

Thanks to being powered by a newer SoC under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy S8 offers updated connectivity features that the G6 doesn’t support. That means the connectivity round goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Camera

While Samsung has made significant hardware upgrades in many areas with the new Galaxy S8, the main camera at the back has largely been left unchanged. You get the same 12MP resolution primary camera with Dual Pixel autofocus tech that we saw on the Galaxy S7 last year. However, Samsung is using a different sensor this year. While some units use the new Sony IMX333 sensor, others utilize the S5K2L1 ISOCELL sensor sourced from Samsung’s System LSI division. Both sensors are very slightly bigger than the sensors used in last year’s models, which is definitely welcome. The 12MP snapper is paired with the same f/1.7 aperture lens, allowing more light to enter the sensor. There is optical image stabilization as well, which not only helps shoot shake-free video but also allows the sensor to deliver great results in low-light situations. When it comes to video, the Galaxy S8 camera can shoot videos at up to 4K resolution. Samsung is still offering a Pro Mode feature in the camera app, which lets advanced users manually tinker with options such as ISO, Shutter speed, Exposure, Color tone, Manual focus, and White Balance. There are quite a few new filters as well as modes such as the Food mode for taking fantastic food shots. To make sure you don’t miss an important moment, you can use the camera’s Quick Launch feature which can be activated by quickly pressing the power button twice in quick succession. The image processing has been enhanced as well, boosting overall camera performance. For selfies, the Galaxy S8 is definitely a better smartphone than its predecessor. While the Galaxy S7 features a 5MP front-facing camera, the Galaxy S8 is equipped with an 8MP autofocus unit on the front, paired with a bright f/1.7 aperture lens. With Smart autofocus tech, you will be able to take great selfies in almost all lighting conditions. When it gets really dark, you can use the screen as flash, just like the Galaxy S7.

The LG G6 on the other hand comes with a dual-camera setup at the back. Unlike its predecessor however, both the sensors on the G6 offers the exact same resolution. Well, LG is actually using the exact same sensors as well – Sony IMX258. Does that sound familiar to you? Well, the Sony IMX258 sensor is the same sensor that we see on a number of Chinese mid-range smartphones, some being a lot more affordable than LG’s flagship G6. The sensor boasts a 1.12 micron pixel size, phase detection autofocus, and optical image stabilization. The primary 13MP sensor has been paired with a bright f/1.8 aperture lens while the secondary sensor has been coupled with an f/2.4 aperture lens offering a wide 125-degree Field-of-View. The wide-angle lens makes the secondary sensor ideal for capturing great landscape shots during the day. For everything else, we recommend sticking to the primary sensor, especially in low-light. Similar to the Galaxy S8 and pretty much every other flagship smartphone out there, the LG G6 shoots videos at up to 4K resolution with a 30fps frame rate. It also captures high-quality audio, thanks to two high AOP microphones. The camera app on the G6 offers a manual mode similar to what you get on the Galaxy S8, along with the ability to capture photos in the RAW format. Quite a few new features such as Grid Shot, Guide Shot, Match Shot, and more have also been added by LG. The front-facing camera on the G6 is a 5MP resolution unit that has been coupled with an f/2.2 aperture lens offering a 100-degree wide-angle FoV for group selfies.

Even though both the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 offer great camera performance, the winner here is the Galaxy S8 with its superior low-light performance and the better selfie camera on the front. That said, the LG G6 too will not disappoint you with its cameras. While the Sony IMX258 sensor may not exactly be high-end, LG has done a good job with the image processing, achieving fantastic image quality. It also offers the advantage of a wide-angle camera that the Galaxy S8 doesn’t.

Memory

In most markets, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will ship with 64GB of internal storage. Samsung has done away with the 32GB base variant this year, and a higher 128GB variant isn’t on offer either. The 128GB variant will only be offered in China and South Korea. Not only is the storage getting a bump this year, Samsung is using faster UFS 2.1 memory chips inside the Galaxy S8. While UFS 2.1 memory isn’t significantly faster than last year’s UFS 2.0 chips, they do offer slight increase in performance as well as efficiency. However, the Galaxy S8 isn’t the first smartphone to ship with UFS 2.1 memory. LG’s V20, released late last year, was the first smartphone to use UFS 2.1 storage, sourced from SK Hynix. If you want more storage, you can expand the storage further thanks to a microSD card slot for further expansion. The microSD card slot in the Galaxy S8 will accept up to 2TB microSD cards, whenever they become available. Disappointingly, Samsung hasn’t made any changes to the RAM this year. The Galaxy S8 continues to feature “just” 4GB of RAM in an age where most flagship handsets are rocking 6GB of RAM. The first smartphone with 8GB of RAM has also been announced already. Samsung will be selling a 6GB RAM variant of the Galaxy S8+ (not the Galaxy S8) in China and South Korea only. While we don’t think 6GB or 8GB of RAM on a smartphone is an absolute necessity, the Galaxy S8 would certainly have benefited from higher RAM as Samsung’s memory management isn’t the best out there, as a result of which Galaxy flagships don’t offer a fantastic multitasking experience. In a few months from now, we expect to see quite a few new flagship handsets with 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM.

The LG G6 packs 32GB of built-in storage in the US as well as most other markets. The 64GB variant of the G6 is only being offered in South Korea, Hong Kong, India, and Commonwealth of Independent States. For some odd reason, LG has switched back to UFS 2.0 storage with the G6. While it isn’t a big deal, we do wish LG had stuck to using UFS 2.1 storage on the G6 after using it in the V20. The relatively low 32GB onboard storage and the lack of higher storage options is a disappointment too. But of course, you do get a microSD card slot that lets you expand the storage further up to 2TB with a microSD card. When it comes to RAM, the G6 features 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, same as the Galaxy S8. Again, we do wish LG had equipped the G6 with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM as it would have given it a competitive edge against rivals from other popular Android OEMs.

The memory round will definitely have to go the Samsung Galaxy S8’s way. It offers higher onboard storage and uses newer UFS 2.1 memory.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is definitely quite a major upgrade over the Galaxy S7 in the design department. As we discussed earlier, Samsung has gone with a near bezel-less Infinity Display design, minimizing the top and bottom bezel. In a bid to achieve the high 83% screen-to-body ratio, Samsung had to remove all buttons from the bottom bezel. The signature Galaxy physical home button has been eliminated, as are the capacitive keys on either side. Instead, the Galaxy S8 uses on-screen keys similar to flagship smartphones Google and a few other Android OEMs. As far as the build is concerned, the Galaxy S8 is using the same glass sandwich concept with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back with a solid aluminum frame in the middle. The smartphone is protected against the elements with an IP68 certification, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about using the Galaxy S8 in the pool or outside when it is raining. The smartphone comes in various color options such as Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold.

The LG G6 too looks radically different compared to its predecessor. It features a near bezel-less front with the “Full Vision” display occupying majority of the area on the front. LG is also using drastically different build materials this year. Instead of the G5’s “metal unibody” build, the G6 uses a glass sandwich design with an aluminum frame in the middle, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the back, and Gorilla Glass 3 on the front. The glass back allows the US variants of the G6 to support wireless charging. However, the international variants of the smartphone do not offer wireless charging. In addition to a more premium design and build, the G6 also happens to be the manufacturer’s first flagship smartphone to be IP68 certified for dust and water resistance. The G6 can be submerged in fresh water up to 1.5 meters deep for a period of up to 30 minutes without any damage whatsoever. In terms of color options, the G6 comes in Black, Silver, and White colors.

There is no doubt that the LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 both offer a premium build and look fantastic thanks to their bezel-less front designs. This makes it very difficult to pick a clear winner between the two. Which is why we are going to go with a tie in the design round.

Operating System

The Samsung Galaxy S8 runs on the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system out of the box, with the latest version of the manufacturer’s Grace UX on top. Samsung has tweaked the UI design to make full use of the unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio of the Infinity Display. In addition to the UI tweaks, Samsung has reduced the bloatware further, which means you shouldn’t have any concerns regarding performance degradation a few months down the line. The main highlight though, is the new Samsung Bixby virtual assistant. To access Bixby, all you need to do is press the dedicated hardware key for it on the left side of the Galaxy S8. Samsung claims Bixby is the smartest virtual assistant yet and lets users perform a number of different tasks without having to use the touch input. Bixby has been integrated into native Samsung apps such as Contacts, Camera, Gallery, and Settings. In the near future, Samsung will be allowing developers to add Bixby support to their apps.

The LG G6 on the other hand runs on the newer Android 7.1 Nougat OS out of the box, with the manufacturer’s new UX 6.0 custom layer running on top. Like Samsung, LG too has optimized its latest Android skin to fit the 18:9 aspect ratio Full Vision display of the G6. While there is no fancy in-house developed virtual assistant on the G6, it does come with Google Assistant. In fact, at the time of its announcement, it was the only other smartphone apart from Google’s Pixel duo to be equipped with Google Assistant. That is no longer the case now, as Google has recently been rolling out the Google Assistant to quite a few devices. Samsung Galaxy S8 too comes with the new Google Assistant out of the box. Other key highlights of LG’s new UX 6.0 include improved multitasking, new fancy homescreen animations, a redesigned notifications bar, and more.

Even though Samsung’s ‘Grace UX’ offers a lot more functionality than LG’s UX 6.0, we cannot give the win to the Galaxy S8 as Samsung has recently been quite slow with rolling out major updates to its flagship handsets. LG on the other hand has a good track record with delivering software upgrades on time for its G-series flagship smartphones. But on the flipside, the UX 6.0 isn’t the most functional nor the most appealing in terms of design. We’re calling the operating system round a tie.

Price

The LG G6 can be purchased in the US from all the major carriers as well as leading retailers. Its full retail price in the US is around $650, varying depending on which carrier you buy it from. On a 24-month installment plan from carriers such as Verizon Wireless, you will need to pay roughly $28 every month. If you are an AT&T subscriber, you will need to shell out $24 for a period of 30 months.

Samsung Galaxy S8 will be available in stores from all the major carriers and retailers in the US from the 21st of this month. Most carriers will be selling the Galaxy S8 on a 24-month contract for a monthly payment of $30, while the full retail price of the handset is going to be $750 at most places. If you are on the AT&T network, you will need to pay $25 every month for 30 months. If you pre-order your Galaxy S8 now, you will be eligible to receive freebies such as a new Gear VR controller with Oculus content bundle.

As you can tell, the LG G6 is definitely the more affordable of the two handsets, which means it wins the price round.

Conclusion

It is now time for us to do a quick recap of our findings and pick the winner of our Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6 specs comparison. Out of the ten different categories that we compared the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 against each other, only two ended up in a tie – Design and Operating System. The LG G6 managed to win just one round – Price. All of the other categories saw the Samsung Galaxy S8 come out on top, making it the winner of our versus battle today.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a better flagship smartphone than the LG G6? Or do you think the LG G6 makes more sense? Let us know by leaving a comment down below.

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