LG G5 vs HTC 10 – The Ultimate Flagship showdown

There were rumors that the HTC may not launch the SD 820 version of HTC 10 in India. But finally HTC launched the HTC 10 in India yesterday and it is the version with Snapdragon 820. I literally stood up my chair and passed on the cheers to everyone in the office and ignored all the “who-is-that-weirdo” look. Interestingly last week LG also announced the availability of its 2016 flagship device in India, via its pre-order listing in Flipkart. These two mobiles are the ultimate flagship devices of this year and lets pit them against each other and see who is the best or better option. But before we get into the analysis, let see what my twitter followers voted for.

screenshot-twitter.com 2016-05-27 09-51-31

Hold on and lets not decide the winner yet. Check out the spec sheet comparison of both the flagship stalwarts. LG G5 scores more green points based purely on the feature list.

LG G5 HTC 10
Dimensions 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm  145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm
Weight 159 g 161 g
Display 5.3 inch IPS LCD 1440 x 2560 pixels (~554 ppi) 5.2″ Super LCD5 1440 x 2560 pixels (~565 ppi)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4 Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Android OS version Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow) Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
Processor Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo
GPU Adreno 530 Adreno 530
RAM 4 GB 4 GB
Card slot Dedicated microSD up to 200 GB Dedicated microSD up to 200 GB
Internal Memory 32 GB 32 / 64 GB
Rear Camera 16 MP (f/1.8) + 8 MP (f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS (3-axis), LED flash 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, OIS, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
Secondary 8 MP, f/2.0 5 MP, f/1.8, 23mm, OIS, autofocus
NFC Yes Yes
Infrared port Yes No
FM Radio Yes No
USB v3.0, Type-C v3.1, Type-C
Sensors Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, color spectrum Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Battery Removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery

Design

HTC 10 and LG G5 have completely different design. The HTC has a sleek unibody chassis made of aluminium alloy. The machined metal back and the beautifully chamfered edges makes me scream like a 80’s teen in a Beetle concert. LG G5 is made of metal as well, but the design feels a bit weird. It sometimes looks like plastic body and not real metal. It looks like a funny droid. In terms of physical weight and dimension, the LG G5 is thinner and lighter. Though it deserves a few brownie points for the innovative modular design, the HTC 10 is a better looking device, aesthetically.

HTC 10

Performance

Disclaimer: I have not used or experienced either of the devices. This is purely based on the specification sheet and my personal educated guess. Both the devices have identical internal hardware specifications. They are powered by the latest and greatest Qualcomm’s MSM8996 chipset. The processor is a Snapdragon 820 with 2.15GHz Kryo and dual core 1.6GHz Kryo central processor. It is assisted by Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. Both the mobiles have 4GB if RAM. The devices have an internal memory of 32 GB and expandable upto 200GB with dedicated SD card slot. In terms of performance, these devices would be identical.

Also both the devices come with QHD resolution display, however the 5.2″ screen in HTC 10 would have a marginally better pixel density. LG G5 has always on-feature which could drain the battery while the HTC 10 has Super LCD5 screen which could be brighter. But again, we cannot conclude without experiencing them. So we leave it undecided, for the moment.

Camera

The LG G5 and HTC 10 have different philosophies when it comes to camera. The LG G5 has a dual 16 MP camera on the rear and a 8MP on the front. HTC 10 has a 12 MP ultrapixel camera on the rear and 5MP on the front. Both the camera have optical image stabilization at the rear. HTC 10 goes a step ahead and comes with OIS on the front camera as well. Both the mobiles have identical video capturing capabily. Overall in terms of picture quality, the LG G5 would be a better bet with its dual camera setup and 3 axis OIS.

Software

Both the mobiles run on Android 6.0.1 out of the box. HTC and LG have learnt a lot from the past and have toned down the skinning. The experience on both the mobiles are close to stock and they have very less pre-loaded apps. In terms of customization, the HTC has a theme store. LG UI is not bad either, I have used the G4 and can say that, if the skinning has been toned down, it would be a better experience. The Sense UI has a lot of tweaking beneath the skin and I hope it has done away with the laggy animations. There is no winner now, but the one that would offer frequent updates and sensible features, would come out as winner. I place my bet with HTC, for the moment.

Modular vs Unibody

The LG G5 is the first step towards modular mobile, that we have been raving about. With the G5’s module, you can add a better camera, hi-fi audio or beefier battery depending on the need of the hour. But HTC 10 claims to offer all these features, even without the modules. It has a 24 bit hi-fi BoomSound speaker, but placed on the bottom. It has ultra-pixel camera, and now with 12 MP ultra pixels. It has a 3000 mAh batter, which is larger than the 2650 mAh battery in LG G5. Though the modular design looks interesting, it is not practical. Each module adds to the cost of the device and also adds up to the already odd design of G5. Until the modular phone technology mature, I am going to prefer a clean unibody experience. So my vote is for HTC 10.

LG G5

Battery

The HTC 10 has a 3000mAh battery which is slighly larger than the LG G5’s 2800mAh battery. Both the devices have Quick Charge 3.0 feature with the type C USB port. To counter for its smaller batter, the LG G5 has removable battery module which could be an advantage for a few. A verdict can be reached only on using these mobiles, because software optimization plays a major part in the battery life.

Price

Both these devices are priced at Rs 53k and LG offers you the camera module for free while HTC is giving a cover free for first 500 buyers. If you argue that I get a better phone for half the price and bring up a device which calls itself flagship killer, you can move on to the next table. This is the table where we are discussing about true flagship from high valued brands. So if you are looking for a flagship device you can flaunt, place a safe bet on quality or get reliable service, you can choose either of these devices. My personal prefernece would be the HTC 10 for its robust construction and aesthetic appeal. But HTC does not have a reliable presence in India. They keep doing the disappearing act quite often. Someone on my timeline mentioned HTC = Help This Company. Well, I am not in a charity mood, but still going by my past experiences with HTC devices, HTC 10 would be my choice.

Official sites | LG G5 | HTC 10

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