In the week that just ended, new smartphone flagships were unveiled. As expected, Samsung stepped in with Samsung Galaxy S7 while LG came in with LG G5.
To many people’s surprise, Xiaomi made its MWC debut with a seemingly more than expected device – Xiaomi Mi5. On the other hand, Sony also surprised many of its enthusiasts by hinting that the Xperia Z series is no more, instead, coming in with Xperia X Performance as the flagship device among the new line of Xperia X series of smartphones it just debuted.
There is no doubt that each company has worked hard to see that the best smartphone is availed to the world. However, you can’t possibly have all four flagships, which leads to our great comparison of the four flagships – Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, Xiaomi Mi5 and Xperia X Performance.
Samsung did not change much of its 2015’s design language. However, you’ll notice slightly rounded edges for this year’s Galaxy S7 and the camera is almost flush with the rear. Nonetheless, it almost looks identical to last year’s Galaxy S6.
Many experts saw the S6’s design as the best in 2015, something that still stands as far as the Galaxy S7 is concerned. There is no doubt that Xiaomi’s debut was one to reckon. The Chinese OEM came in with a unique design; however, the design almost takes after the S7.
However, the phone has some slim sections right above and below the display screen and a front-facing fingerprint scanner located on the power button. You’ll find a 3D glass on the back of the phone (64GB model), but it has no protection against picking your fingerprints. For the 128GB model, Xiaomi went for a ceramic rear, which according to the company, makes the Mi5 damage-resistant as well as makes it feel like more of marble than glass. At usually affordable prices, the Xiaomi Mi5 is easily more than what was expected from the company.
Even though shifting to a modular design, the G5 seems to have lost it this year. The removable battery is held in place by plastic components on the inside, which don’t see durable. On the contrary, the metal edges on the sides and close to the battery look appealing, but on touching them, they seem a little rough.
Despite changing the name, Sony kind of maintained its trademark design. This year’s Xperia X Performance has the same design language as last year’s Xperia Z5. The design looks premium with the rear featuring an excellent metallic finish. The fingerprint scanner’s placement makes it looks a lot cooler than the three other gadgets.
If you are a power user, this is the year for you to upgrade to a newer smartphone. All four smartphones – Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, Xiaomi Mi5 and Xperia X Performance – come with the latest Snapdragon 820 CPU as well as support microSD cards.
However, it is only Samsung and LG that are equipped with QHD Always On displays where you can always check the time and see other notifications with no need to wake the phone. On the contrary, Xiaomi and Sony are stuck behind with Full HD screens on their flagships, which might be an advantage on their side as far as battery life is concerned. On the same matter, Samsung claims that the Always On feature will only consume 1% of your phone’s battery life per hour.
Another thing to note is that Samsung Galaxy S7 and Xperia X Performance come with an IP68 rating.
When it comes to photography, the devices are more than just superb. They are equipped with high-performance snappers, with both Samsung and Xiaomi offering OIS with wide-aperture lenses. This means focusing is improved and capturing images in poor lighting conditions is much better.
LG G5 has double cameras. One offers a standard 16MP lens while the other has an 8MP wide-angle lens that work in tandem to capture the best shots possible. LG also allows users to add modules, for instance, an ergonomic camera grip that has dedicated buttons for shooting photos as well as an extra battery. Further still, the LG G5 can also work with a round-shaped camera that can be guided around the house to monitor things and even remotely turn on air conditioning, a 360-dehree camera for shooting 2K videos and so forth. Sony, on the other hand, stuck with the 23MP snapper, but this time the X Performance can easily track identity as well as follow objects in motion in order to get you the best action shots.
Price and availability
Of the four unveiled devices, it is only the Xiaomi Mi5 that was made available for purchase with pricing details also revealed. The Mi5 will exchange hands from $305 for the base model, which is a very affordable price for a device that runs on the latest smartphone flagship hardware.
Samsung Galaxy S7 will probably be priced in the $700 regions, which is the same as LG G5 and Sony’s Xperia X Performance.