Apple iPhone 7 full review
The iPhone 7 was announced back in September 2016 to claps and cheers, boasting an updated design, waterproof capabilities and an enhanced camera, but with the LG G6 on its way, Apple's flagship might not have the top spot for much longer. Now that the LG G6 has been officially announced at MWC 2017 (Mobile World Congress), we've compared the iPhone 7 and LG G6 to see which is going to conquer the smartphone market. Read next: iOS vs Android
iPhone 7 vs LG G6 preview: UK pricing and availability
Let's first talk about pricing and availability for both the iPhone 7 and upcoming LG G6. The iPhone 7 was announced in September 2016 at an event alongside the larger iPhone 7 Plus and Apple's wireless earphones, the AirPods. While Apple strives to keep the pricing of the iPhone the same year after year, due to the weak pound following the Brexit referendum result in 2016, the price of the iPhone 7 went up to £599 for the base model, up from the £529 iPhone 6s. (Read more about Apple's UK price rises.)
The LG G6 came along far later: the makers announced it at MWC 2017 (Mobile World Congress), where the company historically has announced its flagship smartphone for the year, in February 2017. At time of writing the UK release hasn't been revealed.
LG has confirmed the G6 will be available in Korea on 9 March, with the US to get the device in the first week of April. We expect it to arrive in Europe in April as well, but stay tuned for an update when we get firm information.
Although there's no word yet on UK pricing, going by the price of LG's 2016 flagship, the LG G6 will cost somewhere around the £529 mark the G5 started at last year - it's unlikely to cost less. That's likely to translate to approximately £42 a month on a 24-month contract.
Read next: iPhone 7 review
iPhone 7 vs LG G6 preview: Design and build
The iPhone 7 is crafted from Series 7000 aluminium following the Bendgate saga of the iPhone 6 Plus, and sports a rather sleek design - although it's getting somewhat tired now, with only minor tweaks to the overall look over three iterations of the iPhone (iPhone 6, 6s and 7). Within the aluminium chassis is a 4.7in IPS LCD display which takes up roughly 65 percent of the front of the smartphone, with rather chunky (when compared to the likes of the Huawei Mate 9) bezels surrounding the display.
Let's get this clear: the iPhone 7 isn't a bad-looking phone, with an antenna-less rear and curved edges along the aluminium chassis, but with gorgeous phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on the market, we think it's time that Apple switched it up a bit.
The design of the LG G6 is rather lovely and a bit more adventurous than the iPhone, whose general chassis design has remained essentially unchanged for three generations now. The G6's tasteful aluminium rim holds together Gorilla Glass front and rear panels, and its 5.7in display has rounded corners that follow the lines of the design. This subtle change gives the handset a virtually unique feeling upon first use - something very hard to achieve in these days of peak smartphone and near market saturation.
The LG G6 comes in three colours: Ice Platinum (a silvery blue), Astro Black and Mystic White. The iPhone range has a few more to choose from: Jet Black (which has a high gloss) and a more mundane-looking black; silver, gold and Rose Gold.
The other big difference between the smartphones is a rather obvious one: the LG G6 has a headphone port, while Apple made the decision to remove the headphone port on the iPhone 7. It comes with a Lightning-to-3.5mm port adapter in the box, but it's not an ideal solution: it's one more thing to lose. You can always go for Lightning headphones, of course.
Read next: iPhone 8 rumours
iPhone 7 vs LG G6 preview: Features and spec
Let's dig a little deeper into the two flagship smartphones. The iPhone 7 features Apple's own A10 Fusion chipset, comprising a Quad-core 2.34GHz CPU and, per GSM Arena, a PowerVR Series7XT Plus six-core GPU, alongside 2GB of RAM. (The iPhone 7 Plus, incidentally, has 3GB of RAM.)
While that may seem slightly underwhelming on paper when compared to Android flagships, it's worth noting that as Apple develops both the hardware and software for the iPhone, it can get more out of the tech. For example, the iPhone 7 scored incredibly highly in our graphics benchmarks, beating many rivals including the Galaxy S7.
The iPhone 7 is available with 32GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage.
Controversially, the LG G6 comes with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, and not the latest top-of-the-range 835 chip that we expect to see in the Samsung Galaxy S8.
In the UK, the LG G6 comes with 32GB of internal storage (with micro SD support up to 2TB) and 4GB RAM, USB-C connectivity and that beautiful headphone jack. The 3,300mAh battery should hopefully see you well through an intense day of use, but it's a shame that wireless charging is only available on the US model. All models will however have Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 tech for speedy cable charging - LG claims it will give a 50% charge in 32 minutes.
The headline specs for the LG G6 are:
- Android Nougat 7.0
- 7in 18:9 2880x1440 Quad HD display, 565ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
- Adreno 530 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 32/64GB storage (region dependent)
- 13Mp dual rear cameras, Wide (F2.4, 125°) / 13MP Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8, 71°) LED flash
- 5Mp front camera, Wide (F2.2 / 100°)
- 11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 4G LTE
- Nano SIM (Dual SIM in some regions)
- Hi-Fi Quad DAC (Korea only)
- 3,300mAh non removable battery
- Wireless charging (US only)
- Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
- IP68 water-resistant
- 9mm x 71.9mm x 7.9mm
Security-wise, both the iPhone 7 and LG G6 boast a fingerprint scanner; the iPhone 7 fingerprint scanner is embedded within the Home button, while the scanner of the LG G6 is on the rear of the smartphone, like many other Android flagships.
In terms of storage, it seems like the iPhone 7 is the clear winner here, offering not only a 32GB variant but also 128- and even 256GB storage options too; the G6 is stuck with 32GB or a relatively paltry 64GB. But LG strikes back with that micro SD slot which lets you expand storage by up to 2TB.
Read next: Best iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases
iPhone 7 vs LG G6 preview: Software
Of course, one of the biggest differences between the iPhone 7 and the LG G6 is software; the iPhone 7 comes with iOS 10, the latest iteration of Apple's iOS, while the LG G6 features Android 7.0, aka Nougat. While iOS features Siri, Apple's virtual assistant across iOS and macOS, the LG G6 also features a virtual assistant - and it's not Google Now.
In fact, the LG G6 is the first non-Google smartphone to feature Google Assistant. While some may be quick to point out that a Google Assistant-enabled Huawei Mate 9 was announced at CES 2017, the update is yet to roll out to users. Google Assistant looks to compete with the likes of Siri and Cortana on Windows 10, and much in the way that Siri can control HomeKit devices, Google Assistant can be used to control your smart home, amongst other things.