Earlier this week, Android’s creator Andy Rubin unveiled his first smartphone, the Essential Phone. The smartphone was much-talked about since last year and created waves in the smartphone market with its official announcement.
There is no doubt that the Essential Phone boasts an eye-pleasing design and high-end specifications along with modularity approach but where does it stand in competition against other Android flagships. We have seen the Samsung Galaxy S8+, LG G6, and HTC U11 being unveiled in the market so far which have impressed tech enthusiasts one way or other. So without further ado, let’s get started with the comparison.
All of these Android flagships come with Quad HD resolution display which seems like have become the go to resolution for flagships in the modern time. But they do differ in sizes where the Galaxy S8+ is 6.2-inch, Essential Phone is 5.71-inch, LG G6 is 5.7-inch, and HTC U11 is 5.5-inch. This results in a pixel density of 529ppi, 504ppi, 564ppi, and 534ppi respectively. And Samsung’s flagship is the only smartphone to sport a Super AMOLED display panel while all others come have LCD panels.
It is worth mentioning all of these flagships come with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 glass protection except for the LG G6 which has Gorilla Glass 3 which is now almost four years old. As for other features, the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 also feature Always on Display feature which allows users to check time, date, and app notifications without waking up the device itself. They simply need to pick up the phone and have a glance to get relevant information instantly.
Build and Design:
It goes without saying that the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is one of the best-looking smartphones that we have ever seen. The whole Infinity Display on the front and with dual curves gives it a look which looks straight from the future. It looks as good in real as it appears in promo materials but with Rubin’s Essential Phone, we have a slightly different approach to the edge-to-edge design approach. While you will still find that there are almost no side bezels, you will notice that Essential has gone for the glass even on the top bezel except for the bottom one. On the top, you will find glass everywhere except for a small space left for the front-facing camera which surely makes it slightly odd to look at but definitely makes it unique as well.
On another hand, both HTC U11 and LG G6 do not come with bezel-less display design. While the HTC U11 has continued with the traditional front-panel design with significant bezels, the LG G6 looks way better, especially when you look at it in real. It is worth noticing that HTC’s offering has one of the most reflective and slippery back panels but it does look a lot amazing to look at from the back as compared to the front.
As for the material used, the Essential Phone is clearly different from others as it is made up of Titanium while the rest feature aluminum. Other than this, the Galaxy S8+ and LG G6 also boast IP68 dust and water resistance rating (up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes) while the HTC U11 has an IP67 rating (up to 1 meters for 30 minutes).
Each of these Android flagships is powered by the Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor except for the LG G6 which has last year’s Snapdragon 821. Samsung’s offering also has a variant with Exynos 8895 chipset which is available worldwide except the United States and China. You will also get 4GB of RAM on each of the devices except the 6GB of RAM model with HTC U11 internationally excluding the United States and the Galaxy S8+ in China, South Korea, and India.
In terms of storage, the Essential Phone comes only with 128GB model with no microSD card slot. With Galaxy S8+, you can choose from 64GB and 128GB but the latter one comes with 6GB RAM model. As for the LG G6 and HTC U11, these have been made available in 32GB/64GB and only 64GB model respectively. All three of these smartphone support microSD card expansion for those who might want more.
In this comparison, the Essential Phone and LG G6 are the only two smartphones with dual rear camera setup. Starting with the Essential Phone, it has 13-megapixel dual cameras on the back with f/1.9 aperture, phase detection and laser autofocus along with LED flash. One of these two lenses is RGB sensor while the other one is a monochromatic one. On the front, it has an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture.
With the LG G6, you will get 13-megapixel dual rear cameras with f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, and dual-tone dual-LED flash. One of the lenses is a 120-degree wide-angle lens which helps in taking better group photos and anything which needs a wider frame. As for taking selfies, it has a 5-megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture.
Talking about the Samsung Galaxy S8+, it comes with a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel rear shooter with f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, and LED flash. It has an 8-megapixel camera on the front with f/1.7 aperture and Auto HDR mode. It has been regarded as one of the best smartphone cameras out there.
Lastly, for the HTC U11, there is a 12-megapixel camera with f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus, OIS, dual-tone and dual-LED flash along with a 16-megapixel front camera. It was recently rated as the highest-ever DxOMark rated smartphone camera beating last year’s Google Pixel.
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is powered by a 3500mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 fast charging. As for the Essential Phone and LG G6, you will get 3040mAh and 3300mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 fast charging respectively. At last with the HTC U11, it has a 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support.
Both Samsung Galaxy S8+ and LG G6 come with Android Nougat 7.0 while the HTC U11 comes with Android Nougat 7.1 with each having their own custom UI layered over it. As for the Essential Phone, it is confirmed to run Android but the exact version has not been revealed. However, one can expect it to run Android O 8.0 if it becomes available in the market after Google releases the public version. If it comes earlier, then our best bet is on Android Nougat 7.1.
Other than this, Samsung’s flagship comes with both Bixby AI and Google Assistant while all other flagships feature only Google Assistant. Additionally, the HTC Sense features Edge Sense feature which allows users to perform different tasks by simply “squeezing” the sides of the flagship.
It goes without saying that the Samsung Galaxy S8+, HTC U11, Essential Phone, and LG G6 are great Android flagships with nothing much to differentiate them from each other. While each user has its own preference, we would suggest picking up the Galaxy S8+ if you have no budget constraints because it not only packs high-end specs but also stunning design and a way better software experience than the past.
If you don’t want to spend that much money or are little restricted on the budget, you can look at HTC U11 and LG G6 but we would recommend the latter because of it being a better overall package. As for the Essential Phone, it is still to become available in the market and is only available in the United States for the time being which means you will not only have to wait but also be in the U.S. to get your hands on one.