Samsung, LG wage new smartphone battle

LG G4 (left), Galaxy S6 Edge (right).

South Korea's leading tech giants are set for fierce competition in the global smartphone sector, as LG Electronics is set to unveil its new flagship smartphone the G4 in six global markets on Wednesday, just weeks after Samsung released the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Both Samsung and LG have been pinning high hopes on their latest smartphone models, each equipped with unique cutting-edge features and all-new designs.

The upcoming LG G4 is expected to be equipped with the industry's most advanced technologies including vastly upgraded cameras unparalleled by its competition ― the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge as well as US-based Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The G4 features a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera boasting the industry's widest aperture setting at F1.8 ― which equals that of a DSLR camera ― that enables users to take clear pictures in any light conditions.

The 8 MP front camera ― the first of its kind in the domestic market ― will allow users to take high-resolution selfies, potentially appealing to the rising generation of "selfie lovers" around the world

Moreover, the G4 is equipped with a 528-pixel-per-inch IPS quantum display, which is 25 per cent brighter and has 20 per cent wider colour range than the G3, LG's previous smartphone model.

A replaceable, real-leather cover can also be found on the back of the G4, together with a replaceable battery and removable microSD card slot, unlike the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Though equipped with many standout features, it remains to be seen whether the G4 will be able to successfully compete against Samsung's two S6 models.

Samsung Electronics is brimming with confidence about its latest products, vowing to set a new sales record among the Galaxy models, with analysts predicting that shipments could reach up to 55 million units this year.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, unveiled worldwide on April 10, boast the industry's first built-in wireless-charging batteries, the industry's fastest mobile processor and a new payment system called Samsung Pay.

The S6 Edge in particular has been enjoying high popularity with the industry's first dual-curved display that wraps around both sides of the screen.

Demand for the S6 Edge has been so high that Samsung Display has more than doubled its monthly output to 5 million screens, up from the original 2 million, according to industry sources.

Though perhaps less eye-catching than the S6 Edge, the S6 has also undergone significant changes in its design, shedding all traces of plastic to feature an exterior made of only glass and aluminium rims.

Equipped with an Exynos Octacore processor alongside 3GM of RAM and 32GB UFS 2.0 flash storage, the S6 models are faster than any other smartphones in the market. The F1.9 aperture front and rear cameras are considered among the best in the industry, reportedly able to launch within 0.7 seconds upon clicking.

Though Samsung's new products are strong, LG may have room for increasing sales given that the S6 and S6 Edge have not been drawing as much attention from consumers as expected, according to industry data.

Despite favourable market forecasts, the data suggests that Samsung had sold around 200,000 units of the two S6 models as of Sunday, falling short of the 300,000 preordered units.

LG is expecting to set a new sales record with the G4, with analysts forecasting sales of around 8.4 million to 15 million units.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 is priced at 858,000 won (S$1000) while the S6 Edge is priced at 979,000 won. Though final prices have yet to be posted, the LG G4 is expected to go on sale for roughly 890,000 won in Korea.

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