LG G6 vs iPhone 7: We take a look at how LG’s new flagship compares to the iPhone 7 in our in-depth comparison. Has LG done enough to stand out?
LG has just unveiled its new flagship smartphone, and there’s not a module in sight. Instead, the company has opted to keep things decidedly slick this time around, with what is easily its best looking phone yet. The LG G6 also comes with a load of impressive hardware, and a new screen that almost does away with the bezels on the front of the handset.
But is it enough to outdo Apple’s most recent offering? Comparisons might well be a tad unfair, seeing as Apple is yet to debut its 2017 handset. But there’s no doubt the iPhone 7 is one of the most prominent smartphones on the market, and LG will be competing directly with apple for the high-end section of that market.
In this guide, I’ll answer the following questions:
- How are the designs different?
- How do the LG G6 and iPhone 7 specs compare?
- What’s new with the phone software?
- Which phone is better value for money?
- Is the LG G6 the phone for you?
If you don’t care about all the in-depth stuff, you can skip to the end where you’ll find a concise conclusion that will tell you all you need to know. It’s also worth bearing in mind that we’ve only had short time with the LG G6, so this is still very much an early comparison. That said, we’ve got all the spec info we need, so let’s get to it.
Related: MWC 2017
LG G6 vs iPhone 7 Design: What’s the difference?
As mentioned, LG has outdone itself when it comes to design this time around. The modular design of last year’s LG G5 failed to make the G5 the breakout hit LG was hoping for, so this year the company’s scrapped that whole idea entirely (so long, LG Friends).
Instead, we’re getting a seriously sleek-looking handset with the G6, which is available in Black, White, and Platinum. Perhaps the most striking new design feature is the 5.7-inch screen that takes up almost the entire front of the phone. Yes, the bezels are slowly being edged out, with both Apple and Samsung said to be following a similar design path with the upcoming Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8.
We’ll have more on the screen specs in later sections, but design-wise, this new display makes for an 80% screen to body ratio. It looks undeniably modern, and is backed up by a strong metal rim that maintains a sense of rigidity for the phone.
That said, the new design doesn’t do much to help the G6 stand out in comparison with other smartphones on the market. It’s a tidy design, no doubt, but feels a bit standard, especially when looking at the phone from the back or sides.
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But Apple’s design prowess is well-known, so does the G6 look good enough to outdo the iPhone 7? Well, in a word, yes. Apple neglected to introduce any major design changes with its latest handset, which overall looks almost identical to the iPhone 6S. That’s not to say the 6S was a bad-looking phone – far from it. But that particular form is almost two years old at this point, giving LG an immediate advantage, even if it’s design isn’t the most individual we’ve seen.
We’re sure Apple will catch up with this year’s device, but for now, the G6’s almost bezel-less display and sleek profile give it the edge.
Related: LG G6 vs LG G5
Adding to the G6’s sleekness is the lack of a camera bump on the rear, which aside from meaning the phone sits flat when you lay it on a table, makes for a more compact profile than the iPhone 7’s. That’s not to say Apple’s handset is without its charms. The Jet Black version in particular looks suitably polished (you can also get the phone in Matte Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold), even if it does attract fingerprints like no other device in existence.
Unfortunately, the chunky bezels at the top and bottom of the screen take away somewhat from the overall polish, but the newly curved antenna bands which now follow the top and bottom of the device definitely make things look a little tidier.
Of course, one of the main design changes Apple made with the iPhone 7 was the removal of the headphone jack. LG has decided to go its own way and retain the 3.5mm port on the G6, which will be welcomed by many who are yet to be won over by the whole wireless headphone thing.
Alongside the headphone jack, you’ll also find a microSD card slot and the USB-C charging port. Apple notoriously locks down its phones, so there’s no expandable memory here, and in terms of charging, it is, of course, Apple’s proprietary offering here.
Here’s our Mobile Editor Max Parker’s take on the new LG G6 design:
“The G6 is undoubtedly a lot nicer to look at than the G5. It’s metal and glass for one, rather than a weird fake metal and plastic combo. But, it feels a bit same-y – it looks like any number of other phones from the sides and back. Screen aside, it lacks a really interesting design trait and that could harm it when the Samsung Galaxy S8 comes out.”
LG G6 vs iPhone 7 Specs: Which phone is more powerful?
While Apple underwhelmed fans with the lack of a significant design overhaul last year, the iPhone 7 was no slouch when it came to performance. In fact, the A10 chip combined with 2GB RAM made for what we called “the most powerful phone [we’ve] ever used.” It’s a bold claim, but the benchmarking results yielded by the iPhone 7 back it up. This is an incredibly fast phone that offers the speediest performance you’re likely to get from any current handset.
So, has LG managed to match its rival with the G6? Well, at this point, we’re yet to test the G6 fully, so can’t say for sure how fluid a user experience you should expect. However, we do know what the phone comes packing in terms of hardware, so have a good idea of how well the phone will perform. With a Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM, you’re not going to be experiencing much in the way of lag. The G6 promises to provide speedy performance, even if the Snapdragon 821 isn’t quite as powerful as Apple’s A10 chip.
Interestingly, LG has worked with Qualcomm to bring technology from the superior upcoming Snapdragon 835 to the G6, despite the phone running on the 821 processor. This extra tech works with the phone’s dual cameras to make for smoother integration of shots. Just how this will work remains to be seen, but it bodes well for some great photo performance from LG’s next handset. With the iPhone 7 providing one of the best cameras on the market, it’s certainly got its work cut out.
Apple has provided a new six-optic 12-megapixel lens with OIS (optical image stabilisation) and a wider f/1.8 aperture than its predecessor. It makes for top low-light performance, and means the iPhone 7 almost matches the pre-eminent camera on the Galaxy S7.
But LG has upped it’s game this year, beyond adding the fancy Snapdragon 835 tech to aid with dual lens stuff. And the dual lens setup is what potentially puts the G6 ahead of the iPhone 7 when it comes to the camera, though, the larger iPhone 7 Plus does come with dual shooters. In the case of LG’s handset, you’ll be getting two 13-megapixel sensors, meaning both can be used as the main camera, and there’s OIS on the main lens. Will it top the iPhone 7’s dual 12-megapixel lens setup? It’s impossible to say at this point, as we’re yet to take the G6’s camera for a spin. But things are certainly looking promising.
Another area where the G6 has the upper hand on the iPhone is the storage. While the phone only matches the base level iPhone 7 for internal storage at 32GB, you have the ability to add an SD card, which means you’ll be able to expand the memory far beyond the standard offering for a fairly cheap price. Of course, you can pay extra for the 128 or 256GB iPhone 7, but it’ll cost you a hefty sum.
It seems LG has the edge on Apple in a couple of areas then, even if the Snapdragon 821 doesn’t quite reach the same performance levels as Apple’s A10 chip. But what about similarities? Well neither phone comes with any VR capabilities, which is a bit of a disappointment considering Google’s Nougat operating system allows for compatibility with the company’s new Daydream VR platform. Alas, the South Korean firm has neglected to include VR support with its latest phone – which it claims is down to the lack of an AMOLED screen. And when it comes to Apple, the whole VR thing is still a bit of a mystery.
The iPhone 7 doesn’t use an AMOLED screen either, though that could all change with the upcoming iPhone 8. Instead, you’ll find a 4.7-inch LCD display with a 750 x 1,334 resolution on the standard model, and a 5.5-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 on the Plus version. The LG handset, on the other hand, comes with that unorthodox 5.7-inch display with an 18:9 ratio and a 1,440 x 2,880 resolution.
Again, we’re yet to fully test out the LG handset, but the iPhone offers one of the best screens available, and we’re betting LG has something to rival Apple’s top display. And with a much better resolution, which LG is calling Quad HD+, we’re very intrigued to see how sharp images look on the G6. LG may just have Apple beat on this one.
One thing that might irritate a few LG adherents, however, is the company’s decision to leave out some features in some markets. Only those in the US, for instance, will be getting wireless charging, while neither the US or EU will be getting the HIFi Quad DAC. It’s all a bit strange really, but LG says it’s looking to target specific markets with specific features. Not sure how that results in removing useful features in some regions, but there you go.
On the plus side, the G6 comes with a capacious 3,300mAh battery, which puts it ahead of the iPhone 7, with its comparatively miniscule 1,960mAh offering. That shortcoming is compounded by the fact the iPhone’s battery life left much to be desired when we tested it out. The Plus model does pack a 2,900mAh cell, though. Still, LG’s out in front when it comes to power, plus you should be able to take advantage of Quick Charge tech.
Here’s a full comparison of specs:
|iPhone 7||LG G6|
|Display Resolution||750 x 1334 (326ppi)||1,440 x 2,880 (564ppi)|
|Dimensions||138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm||148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm|
|Chipset||Apple A10 Fusion||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|Storage||32,128, 256GB||32GB + MicroSD|
|Rear Camera||12MP OIS f/1.8||Dual Camera (13MP OIS + 13MP) f/1.8|
|Front Camera||Single Camera (7MP) f/2.2||Wide Angle (5MP 100-degree) f/2.4|
|Charging||Quick Charge 3.0, Wireless (in some countries)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE||Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE, USB-C|
|Colours||Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold||Black, White, Platinum|
LG G6 vs iPhone 7: What’s new with the phone software?
LG’s using Google’s new Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, but has decided to provide the G6 with a modified version of its LG UX software. That means the new OS has been modified to support that new 18:9 aspect ratio. The main benefit of this new ratio is that the screen can show two apps at once, both of which will be perfect squares.
There’s also support for HDR 10 and Dolby Vision on the G6, which means images will appear more detailed with lighter whites and deeper blacks. Does a phone need HDR or Dolby Vision support? We’d argue it’s not all that important. But it’s nice to see it here.
If you want to find out more about Google’s OS in general, check out our Android 7.0 Nougat guide.
On the Apple side of things, you’ll be getting good old iOS 10. Whether you prefer iOS to Android will likely depend on what you’re used to. It’s a great OS, that’s been designed to work with the iPhone’s hardware, so you can guarantee speedy performance. There’s no newfangled aspect ratio here, either, so the OS hasn’t been adapted like the G6’s modified version of Nougat.
LG G6 vs iPhone 7: Which phone is better value for money?
Unfortunately, LG G6 pricing details are yet to be confirmed, so we’re unable to say for sure which phone is better value for money. However, we’re probably going to get this information shortly, so stay tuned.
We do know the LG G5 launched at £529 originally, and now retails on Amazon for around £450-460. A year on, and in the wake of Brexit, we’d expect the G6 to be more expensive, though by how much remains a mystery at this point.
The iPhone is currently available starting at £599. It’s a pricey phone, but so are all top-end handsets these days.
Should you buy the LG G6?
Thinking about picking up an LG G6 over the iPhone 7? Here’s our advice based on some possible scenarios:
Don’t upgrade if you own an iPhone 7. Unless you’re incredibly sick of iOS and tempted to try out Android, you’ve already got one of the most powerful phones available, and you’ve probably paid a hefty price for it, too. Which means shelling out for the LG G6, even if it does come with some hardware features you won’t find on the iPhone 7, isn’t really necessary.
If you have an older Android phone, wait and see before upgrading. There’s plenty of new smartphones coming within the next few months, including Samsung’s new Galaxy S8. There’s also a load of 2016 smartphones, such as the Google Pixel, that are able to compete with forthcoming 2016 phones. It’s also worth remembering there’s a whole array of mid-range and low-end smartphones such as the Motorola Moto G, or the impressive OnePlus 3T. These lower end offerings are getting increasingly capable, especially the OnePlus, so you may want to consider a step down before shelling out for an LG flagship phone.
Related: Best LG G6 deals
LG G6 vs iPhone 7: What’s the difference?
Here’s a quick overview of the differences between the LG G6 and iPhone 7.
Design: The LG G6 comes with a refined metallic chassis with a high screen-to-body ratio and IP68 waterproofing. The iPhone 7 still looks great, but retains a design that’s almost two years old. It also has the slightly less comprehensive IP67 waterproofing.
Specs: The Snapdragon 821 processor in the G6 will undoubtedly deliver fast performance, but Apple’s A10 fusion chip makes for what is probably the fasted smartphone currently available. The G6 has a dual camera setup, as opposed to the iPhone’s single offering, while the display on LG’s phone is a pixel-dense offering that outdoes the smaller screen on the iPhone in terms of resolution.
Price: The price of the G6 isn’t confirmed yet, unfortunately. The iPhone starts at £599.
Value: The LG G6 will be more expensive than the LG G5, which started at £529 when it arrived last year, but we don’t know by how much. It’s likely to start around the same £600 mark as the iPhone, but with the latter you’ll have to pay out more if you want more memory.
Related: Best iPhone 7 deals
Do you think LG has done enough to see off Apple? Let us know in the comments.