LG seriously beefed up the performance of its flagship phone compared to last year.
With a Snapdragon 808 inside, last year’s LG G4 was a tad lackluster in its performance benchmarks. Our numbers showed that the G4 hardly exhibited the same raw processing power as its competitors, and even its battery rundown benchmarks were somewhat disappointing.
That’s why we couldn’t wait to run the numbers on our own pre-production unit of LG’s newest flagship, the G5. The pearly-pink Android device comes with the same hardware as its biggest rivals, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, and it performed impressively alongside them. Granted, the numbers featured below aren’t the final scores, as we’re still waiting on finished hardware, but it’s a promising prospect for LG. If you’re stuck waiting to decide between the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 as your daily driver, these numbers could make it hard for you to choose.
A better Snapdragon
As I mentioned, last year’s LG G4 ran on a six-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 processor instead of the eight-core Snapdragon 810 that came with the G Flex 2. The first-generation Snapdragon 810 suffered from overheating issues, so LG swapped it out for a part with fewer cores to avoid being a part of that whole fiasco.
This year, LG’s sticking with the same components as its competitors. The G5 is powered by a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It offers all new faster “Kryo” CPU cores and better image and graphics processing. Like the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which boast the same specs, the G5’s hardware supports the Vulkan API, though there hasn’t been a specific indication that LG’s software is optimized for it.
The G5’s processor beat out all of the recent flagship devices in PCMark, which tests the device’s ability to handle day-to-day activities, like editing photos and browsing the web. It basically performs right on par with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
I followed up the PCMark benchmark test with Vellamo, Geekbench, and 3DMark. Again, the G5 was a stellar performer and ranked well above a few percent of the Galaxy S7’s numbers. In particular, 3D graphics performance is much better. The Snapdragon 808's GPU was quite far behind the Snapdragon 810, and the new 820 is faster still.
The G5 soared high above the clouds in the Antutu benchmark, beating out the Galaxy S7 by about 35 percent. That could be an inconsistency with the Galaxy S7 number—the Galaxy S7 Edge, with the same hardware, scored over 120,000 in the same test, putting it much closer to the G5. We’ll run these benchmarks again once we receive our actual review units to verify whether this is just a fluke, or if the G5 is indeed knocking out this kind of performance.
Plenty of on-screen time
If I only have time to run one battery test, I typically start out with PCMark, since it runs down the battery by cycling through common smartphone activities. Unfortunately, the app wouldn’t let me run that particular test for some unknown reason.
I ran Geekbench’s battery benchmark instead. It basically measures screen-on time while cycling through processor benchmarks, and for the LG G5’s removable 2,800 mAh battery pack, that was about six hours and 56 minutes. Interestingly, this is almost exactly how long the Galaxy S7’s 3,000 mAh battery pack lasted—the difference was a mere 10 seconds. The G5’s Geekbench battery score (which measures work done before the battery dies) was also within a point of the Galaxy S7’s. It looks like Samsung and LG might be neck-and-neck for battery life, at least where the smaller-sized Galaxy S7 is concerned.
More to come
We’re not done with the LG G5. We still have to use it as a daily driver, take it for a jaunt around the Bay Area to see how it shoots photos in various environments, and get a feel for what life is like without the application drawer (Hint: it’s slightly agonizing, but I’m managing). And this is pre-production hardware and software. We’re also waiting on the G5’s Friends to arrive and we’ll be testing to see what life is like with swappable smartphone modules. Stay tuned.
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