LG G2 vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Here is where the battle gets really heated. The Samsung Galaxy S4 proved to have one of the best cameras on an Android smartphone (if not the best), and now the LG G2 comes with huge ambitions to offer even better picture quality. While both handsets feature 13-megapixel main cameras, the LG G2 brings optical image stabilization (OIS), multiple focus points (9), and manual focus.
First, let’s take a look at the camera interfaces on the LG G2 and the Galaxy S4. At first look they are very similar - both are very quick to start and have similarly focused on introducing a lot of clearly explained shooting modes.
What’s great is that all of that translates into some amazing images. The LG G2 captures very detailed pictures - sharp and clear - almost always better than the Galaxy S4. The difference in color reproduction is negligible (the G2 picks more true to life tones while the SGS4 prefers warmer than real colors), but the big difference in image quality comes from the Galaxy S4 washing out darker parts of the image. This results in less dynamic images on the Galaxy S4. The G2 on the other hand handles has none of these issues, and captures images that are rich in dynamics and pleasing to the eye.
Indoors where light gets scarce the G2 does extremely well. Again, we liked its images better than the S4 - they were less noisy (noise becomes a real issue in the S4) and colors looked livelier on it. The presence of OIS allows the G2 to abstain from firing the LED flash. Without the flash, images even in lower light have pleasantly warm tonality whereas in the same conditions, the Galaxy S4 automatically fires the flash that makes the whole image blueish. The LED flash on the G2 however is not as strong as the one on the Galaxy S4 that contributes to more evenly lit scenes.
Video recording is good on the Galaxy S4, but it’s simply great on the LG G2. Both support 1080p for extremely sharp footage. There is a skipped frame here and there, but overall we prefer the recordings from the G2. The Galaxy S4 again tends to wash out darker areas of the footage and the recordings do not look that lively. Transitions are more or less smooth on both, but moving the camera faster introduces a rolling shutter jello-like effect.
The G2 ups the stakes with support for 60 frames per second while the SGS4 maxes out at 30fps. This comes with one huge benefit - you can get smooth 2.5x slow motion effect at full 1080p if you convert LG’s footage to 24fps. Both devices record video using the MPEG codec.
A neat new feature on the G2 is Audio Zooming, which lets you tap on an object while recording video so the device will try to focus on sounds coming from its direction.
1. LG G2
2. Samsung Galaxy S4
3. LG G2
4. Samsung Galaxy S4
5. LG G2
6. Samsung Galaxy S4
Both handsets are great for enjoying media. You’d be able to watch movies, check out images and listen to music on both indoors, but the LG G2’s brighter display makes it more suitable for outdoor use.
For video, both devices come with a pre-loaded video player that plays all formats we threw at it, at even 1080p without a hitch.
Sound output is very loud and sufficiently good for casual use on both devices, but it does not even come close to the stereo sound of say the HTC One.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
49. LG_is_the_best (unregistered)
LG takes what works and boosts it to the next level.
51. the_matchless (Posts: 64; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
LG G2's release has brought some serious new worries for the team Samsung "how to differentiate S5 from it"
In fact they are investigating to find the culprit who has sold their next Gen design to the rivals...
7. ianbbaa (Posts: 305; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)
...winner only because of a bit bigger screen - which i find nice as a previous NOTE user, now with S4 i am happy to handle smaller phone in one hand and i could manage those 5,2 thin bezels comfortably...
...BUT - those back buttons is FAIL!!!!
I dont care what maker, but samsung only (and iphone) have physical button which is the most comfortable thing to unlock your phone with one hand. Everything else, if on the back or on the top needs tricky fingerplay to unlock....
Using Samsung, or Iphone is pretty straightforward - just pick your phone and thumb does it in one shot...
So for me, "iphonish" button is a must!
Overall, i am happy to see LG jumping into high-end segment at this way, probably after back buttons they will bring something better that they invent on their own.
37. eli577 (Posts: 84; Member since: 29 Jun 2010)
You are forgetting double tap screen wake on the LG. I think it's more comfortable to tap the screen, than pushing a physical button (and I'm a GS4 user right now). The trick is that you don't need to search for the button with your finger, you can double tap the screen anywhere you want to.
38. eli577 (Posts: 84; Member since: 29 Jun 2010)
Oh yeah, another thing.
Phonearena!!!! Please update your benchmark results when you get a retail unit. I think your numbers are not useable, because in other benchmark comparisons (gsmarena to be precise) the G2 wipes the floor with the competition, it even beats the Z Ultra.
45. Trex95 (Posts: 877; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)
I agree with you. I still prefer the LG optmius G Pro over the G2 cause of physical button and i hope the next LG G2 Pro comes with physical button with the same design as LG G2.
50. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)
i don understand whether ths bigger screen is that much a big difference ? Since G2 has onscreen buttons which will take up some more space and pixels. Other than while watching movies, I don think the screen diff really matters
3. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1293; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)
I'll choose G2. LG managed to score a home run with this beast. S4 no way a bad phone though.
8. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
What half a year does. Up to this point the S4 was The Flagship, now the G2 is the new champion, then will come the S5 and the G3 etc... LG learnt the best from Samsung (even if a little too obviously, G variants of S-beam, S-view cover, multitasking, camera interface and sensor, phone looks and materials, colorful UI etc.), and that's good news for us cause we have a choice.
12. sergiobr (Posts: 690; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)
Sammy is coming with Note III. Better photos etc. What I don´t like is the size. I´ll go to LG.
11. maherk (Posts: 3350; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Anyone else saw the difference between the full review of the G2 and the comparison in here? In the review the writer admitted that the LG's back was poorly manufactured, mainly when he noted that the creaking sounds made by the back were extremely irritating. Then he went to say how the G2's screen needs improvement and it has cold colors compared to competitors. I chose not to continue reading this review because something smells fishy, maybe LG forgot to dorp them their paychecks.
22. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Agree something doesn't seem right here.. Review complains about build, call quality, screen and in the comparison there's issues intact build and call quality is now excellent.
41. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Nothing fishy about it. NEVER underestimate how varied human error can get. I like to call it human stupidity. My second major is psychology and you would be amazed by the results of some of the human perception tests we did. Long story short, people are retarded.
One of the major ones I notice is this IMAGINARY creaking metal lovers like to place on plastic phones that are solid as a rock. Actually, it doesn't even have to do with plastic, it more has to do if they hate the company or the type of plastic. For example, the Lumia 920 actually does have creaking near the ffc camera where test gets in but you'll never hear a single complaint because retards like matte plastic. But solidly built phone with very low clearance between parts and the shell like the G2 and GS4 get imaginary creaking because their plastic is glossy.
The GS4 literally has no room to creak, that is how tightly packed it is yet it somehow does to HTC and Nokia fan boys. lol
I think the same thing applies here. Although their might be some clearance on this step rounded battery LG made. You would still have to push really damn hard for any give.
13. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2067; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
And the winner is............ The LG G2.
14. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
If the bootloader is unlockable on the G2 when it comes out on Verizon I would considered it. Otherwise I'm looking at the Note 3 if it comes with 3gigs of ram, removable battery and SD card slot. My only drawback on the Note 3 is if the screen is darker than the G2 and price.
35. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 459; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Unlockable bootloader? On Verizon??!???!! Don't hold your breath. Seriously.
15. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4270; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I love LG's UI, except for the notification shade. Over half of it is just filled with toggles, sliders, and QSlide apps. There's barely any room for notifications! Otherwise, it's a very nice skin.
LG's been bringing the heat lately. Better watch out Samsung, if LG keeps this up, you'll be in trouble within a couple years.
17. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3699; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
You can probably remove some or all of that stuff from the notification shade like you can on the S4.
18. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4270; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I've dug through all the settings on my L9, you can't remove anything from it. You can delete all the app options for QSlide, but then you're just left with an empty grey space in the notification shade. No option to remove the brightness slider or quick toggles at all (which I actually don't mind). Maybe they added it in the newer version on the G2, but I doubt it.
19. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3699; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I gotcha. I just figured with LG trying so hard to be like Samsung lately that they would have included that functionality also. But like you said, it could still be in there.
20. bodzio1809 (Posts: 356; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)
You can remove QSlide apps window with no empty space. I saw this on video in youtube.
27. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4270; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Mind linking me to the video? I've searched everywhere for a solution, but the only ones I've found requires rooting
29. bodzio1809 (Posts: 356; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)
I don't remember the name of it :( I watched plenty of videos about G2 and saw that.
16. dancorcal (Posts: 39; Member since: 23 Jan 2013)
Great job LG now make a mini and fit a 4.5 or 4.7 display into same size as s4 mini and better specs.
42. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
The S4 mini is TINY. It's like literally the size of an iphone 5. Sure their are still some bezels to shrink still but I think the Moto X is as small 4.7 inch can get and the GS4 mini is much smaller still.
25. rdemon (Posts: 48; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
LG G2 is not a bad phone, for now. Lets wait for Note 3. Then we'll have a real battle in ours hands.
30. mottykels (Posts: 379; Member since: 15 May 2013)
Specs of g2 is better but ilove the Touchwiz UI,
ill go with s4 :P
*Design ( i hate g2 rear button)
*Physical home, back, and menu button(g2 button is too large :/)
31. mottykels (Posts: 379; Member since: 15 May 2013)
One more thing Expandable memory up to 64gb ;)
32. iushnt (Posts: 1482; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)
In terms of Software updates, can G2 match S4?
33. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
Have to handle a G2 but believe it the be clear winner if my choice was just betwen the two .
34. szaboagoston (Posts: 43; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)
Thanks Victor, this was a great comparison, one of the bests I've seen on Phonearena. Your English is also really good. I would have liked to see more low-light shots from the G2, but I'm sure that you will write about that more extensively in a coming article.
40. rodkurt (Posts: 128; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)
try considering that s4 came out earlier than g2.
43. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I hope the Nexus 5 is based on this but I hope the short cuts to make it cheaper are less this time.
My Optimus G for example had superb quality control and My Nexus 4 had slight light bleed in the corner among other things. Basically the Optimus G felt more solid in many ways. Especially the screen software/firmware, same screen but a HUGE difference in quality.
44. Tech_Junkie1996 (Posts: 43; Member since: 29 Aug 2013)
The funny thing is, LG did the same thing with the Optimus G. Sadly, it was easily over-looked by the S3 and One X. Hopefully, LG will finally get the recognition it deserves. Optimus G sales were terrible and sprint even had it marked down to $100 a few months after its release. If people recognize this as a true power house and get it rather than the GS4, then maybe next year Samsung will actually be innovative.
46. rockers123 (Posts: 132; Member since: 08 Sep 2013)
G2 is a complete copycat of Samsung. Check their Camera UI, Smart Screen, Smart Video, etc..
Howe come they are exactly using the term 'Smart Screen'?
48. LG_is_the_best (unregistered)
Boom! Bow to the king S4... bow to the king
52. Killertech2099 (Posts: 148; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)
I rather keep my s4 till the s5 comes out. I can make more storage and more battery life than the g2. Plus the g2 ui is so ugly!! It looked like baby fingers created the skin, dont get me wrong its a beast but i love my s4. its not worth the money though.
53. cnwwyo (Posts: 126; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Why don't u guys compare the ability to get signal anymore?