When the LG G6 was released in February this year, it was widely accredited with being the best-looking smartphone in the world. It was also popularly theorized, however, that it would hold onto this title for a short time only with the new Galaxy phones coming out the next month. And sure enough. That’s exactly what happened. The new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are almost unanimously accepted to be the best-looking smartphones to ever grace humanity.
And I agree. They are beautiful. And that’s not to say the G6 doesn’t look good—it still looks great next to an S8, but the S8 just beats it with a more appealing and revolutionary look.
But when you go beyond looks into actual practical day-to-day use, the G6 has got to be the better device. And I’m not getting into the software. That’s an entirely different discussion. This article is just about which of the two biggest phones launched so far this year has the better hardware design overall.
Between the two S8 devices, the regular S8 is a much better choice for the majority of users than the S8+, purely based on screen and body dimensions. Also, as for some background info, the G6 has nearly the exact same dimensions as the regular S8.
Comfort and Durability
Right from when you place the two devices side by side and try holding them, you can tell the G6 feels better overall. More comfortable grip with the edges more defined. It feels more solid in the hand with a larger metal frame around the glass screen supporting it.
The S8, on the other hand, with all its curved glass glory feels less comfortable and much more delicate and fragile. It’s basically an all glass-front and back design with only a thin metal frame joining them in between. And glass cracks (yes, even this Gorilla Glass 5). With the S8, you’ve got to be extremely careful as the glass curves from the front and back well into the edges.
So with its durability seeming so questionable, what do tests reveal? It’s bad. Based on the results, you could officially declare the S8 to be one of the most fragile flagships ever.
SquareTrade, a popular drop testing group and insurance company, could be biased by agenda, yes, but their test is also one of the few done most systematically and scientifically.
They declared, the “S8 [as] the first phone [they]’ve tested that’s cracked on the first drop on all sides.”
Below are the results and the full video:
To quote IBN’s article on it—“face down front, face down back and side drops resulted in cracks and shattering on all sides for both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which is a first for a smartphone.”
And continued, “typically, devices will have some sort of metal frame, that will prevent such all-inclusive damage. However, Samsung opted for an all-glass design on the Galaxy S8 for aesthetic purposes, as well as to usher in its thin-bezel infinity display.”
So bottom line, unless you’re really rich, there’s no way you should use this phone without a thick protective case on it. You’d just be foolish not to. And, as always is the case (no pun intended), that just defeats the primary purpose of buying an S8 for most people to a large extent. A good trick successfully employed by a lot of people in this situation is to substitute for a tempered glass screen protector which protects your screen from drops quite well and thus freeing you of the need to put a case on. However, that won’t work quite as well on the S8 thanks to its curved glass screen. Try finding a decently reviewed glass screen protector for the S8 on Amazon for me. I’ll wait.
Of course, you could still make do with a plastic screen protector, but still to this day, I don’t see the purpose of them since they don’t protect from cracks—just scratches. And the Gorilla Glass is already scratch proof.
Sure, your favorite tech YouTubers adore the S8. Face the fact, but they have the luxury of getting to use every latest flagship device naked and pristine in all their metal and glass glory. And never has that experience been more enjoyable than with the new S8 devices.
For the sake of comparison, the G6 can actually be used bare if you want without it being such a risk—better grip, so lesser chances of dropping it and lesser chances of screen damage in case you still do, owing to the more durable body. Additionally, usable glass screen protectors do exist if you want to use it without a case and still be safe.
Fingerprint sensor placement
This is quite accepted to be one of the biggest problems by anyone who’s used or tried an S8. The fingerprint sensor location is just absolutely poor placement by Samsung at its peak. One, it’s right next to the camera sensor so you’re bound to accidentally end up smudging that with your finger. Second, it’s way too high to reach, only making matters worse if you’ve got the S8+. You do have iris scanning and facial recognition (though not as secure) options for unlocking but they’re still no match for the convenience of a fingerprint scanner.
The G6 uses its fingerprint scanner for unlocking and as a power button, and it’s located in a perfectly suitable position on the rear and functions great. Refer to the header-image for a better look.
Curved screen issues
If there’s one other thing that I dislike most on the S8 that’s not a problem on the G6 (and this could be more of a personal thing because some don’t seem to have a problem with it—not yet at least), is its curved display.
It’s fine when the display is off, but when it’s on, I just don’t like how the picture distorts slightly on the curved parts. It’s more apparent when viewing full-screen pictures and videos. It’s not too bad and you tend to not notice it later, but it just makes it feel unruly and unfinished to me. This section’s a maybe for me, as it’s not full tested/commented on.
In spite of everything I’ve said, the two S8 phones are still excellent devices. Their design sets a bar all flagships released henceforth will be weighed against in terms of aesthetics. That to me is their best part. Every phone has its flaws, and I think people have just not been talking about the S8’s enough (really trying not to get into software right now ) and are just dismissing the G6 as the inferior design upfront. Add to this that the G6 is a whole $100 cheaper than the S8, and you’ve got to seriously consider things before you declare the S8 as the better buy. On the inside though the S8 has the newer more powerful Snapdragon 835 compared to the older Snapdragon 821 on the G6. Although I don’t think that would make a noticeable difference for most people as the performance on both are top-notch.
The G6 and the S8 have ushered in the bezel-less hype into the mainstream with a very similar form factor and the best-looking smartphones ever. The issues I talked about make the G6 the better hardware pick for me overall, and thus automatically becoming my favorite smartphone build ever.
Featured-image: Digital Trends