“Which of these three loaded Android flagships deserves your hard-earned money? Let’s find out”
With the HTC 10 finally becoming official, we’re almost through with the first round of major flagships to be announced this year. The Taiwanese brand seems to be slightly late to the party since Samsung and LG have already showcased their prowess in the form of the Galaxy S7 (review) and G5 (first impressions), unveiled at MWC, earlier this year.
All three brands have their own take on Android and have brought in an array of new features. But which one is worth your hard-earned money? We pit these three latest Android flagships against each other to tell you that.
Design and Display
Being flagships, it isn’t surprising that all three smartphones sport contrasting designs, but none of them fails to impress. With the G5, LG has made a breakthrough in smartphone design, by giving it a metal unibody but still offering a removable battery. The modular design of the LG G5 speaks of pure innovation, bundled with added functionality. Samsung, on the other hand, has opted to build on the glass design introduced with the S6. With curved edges at the back, the Galaxy S7 is a perfect amalgamation of the Galaxy S6 and Note 5’s design. And finally, we come to the HTC 10, which is the successor to the One M9 from the Taiwanese giant. It extreme chamfered edges complement its beautiful metal unibody design which is inspired from the HTC One A9. In a nutshell, while it might be matter of personal preference, you can hardly go wrong with either of the three devices when it comes to design aesthetics.
All three smartphones feature very sharp screens with 2K resolution. But that’s where the similarities end. While Samsung utilizes a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display in the Galaxy S7, LG has opted for a 5.3-inch IPS LCD panel. On the other hand, the HTC 10 sports a Super-LCD 5 display. Though it can be expected that the display on the Galaxy S7 should offer deeper blacks, it’ll be the LG G5 and HTC 10 that might triumph when it comes to more natural colours.
All three smartphones are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. Although, it’s worth noting that the Indian version of the Galaxy S7 features an octa-core Exynos 8890 processor under the hood. With such firepower, all three smartphones should offer a smooth and seamless experience to the end user.
It must be noted that HTC might only be bringing the Lifestyle edition of its flagship smartphone to India. The HTC 10 Lifestyle edition is a toned-down version of the original HTC 10 and comes powered by the Snapdragon 652 processor along with 3GB of RAM. This edition sure looks underpowered when compared with the likes of the Galaxy S7 and LG G5, and doesn’t even fall into flagship category.
The Galaxy S7 comes equipped with a 12MP rear shooter. And while the resolution is less than the 16MP camera of the S6, it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. The camera is equipped with larger pixels, and takes some stunning shots, to say the very least. The HTC 10 takes it ahead with even larger pixels in its 12MP Ultrapixel 2.0 rear camera. This rear shooter is expected to finally put an end to the company’s camera woes. Finally, the G5 comes with two cameras – a 16MP rear camera along with an 8MP sensor to capture wider scenes. It also features optical image stabilisation, much like the other two.
The LG G5 gets an 8MP camera for selfies, while the Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 settle for a 5MP sensor in the front. A welcome addition in the HTC 10 is optical image stabilisation for the front camera, something selfie enthusiasts will eagerly look forward to.
All in all, it seems we’ve entered that era where carrying a separate camera to capture good quality pictures might be unnecessary.
Storage and Battery
On the storage front, all devices come with a 32GB variant, with the HTC 10 and Galaxy S7 getting a 64GB variant as well. The Lifestyle edition of the HTC 10 comes with 32GB of onboard storage as well. What’s interesting though is that all three smartphones come with the option to expand storage with the help of a microSD card.
Powering all the hardware in all three devices is a Li-ion battery. The Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 sport a 3,000mAh battery compared to the 2,800mAh battery of the LG G5. While all three smartphones come with Quick Charging technology, the Galaxy S7 uses a micro-USB port to charge and data transfers, unlike the other two, which feature a USB Type-C port.
Let’s explore some distinguished standout features in each of the flagships. The Galaxy S7 marks the return of IP68-certification for resistance against dust and water. It’s remarkable how the company has been able to achieve this feat without the need for any external flaps on any of the ports. The S7 also supports wireless charging out of the box.
On the other hand, LG has gone one step ahead with the modular design of the G5. It’ll be offering certain accessories dubbed as “Friends” which aim to add functionality to your smartphone.
HTC 10’s BoomSound Hi-Fi speakers are miles ahead of its competition when it comes to sound quality. And this time, there’s a front firing speaker along with a subwoofer at the bottom of the device.
Software and Connectivity
As expected, all three smartphones run on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow with custom UIs on top. Samsung and LG have added an “always on” display to their devices to make important information available at a glance. Unfortunately, the HTC 10 misses out on this feature.
The HTC 10 and the Galaxy S7 get a fingerprint scanner on the front home button, whereas, the LG G5 gets one at the back of the device.
On the connectivity front, all phones feature 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, mobile hotspot, Bluetooth, GPS, and NFC.
Pricing and Availability
There’s no information about the price and availability of the HTC 10 in India as of now. The announcement of the LG G5 shouldn’t also be that far, with the company already confirming a Q2 2016 launch. Whereas, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is the only device out of the three to be available in India presently. You can pick one up for Rs 48,900.
All three companies seem to have hit the sweet spot this year with the launch of their flagship smartphones. However we do think that LG has missed a trick by not launching the G5 in India earlier. It’ll also be interesting to see if the standard edition of the HTC 10 makes its way to India. Apart from this, it is a cracker of a contest between three of the biggest Android flagships of 2016. Until then, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 remains unchallenged.