LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Inside and outside, the LG G3 is nothing short of a truly impressive, and quite intriguing, device. In fact, it's the first device to claim that it's both global and has an extremely detailed, 1440 x 2560 (QHD) resolution display. And that's not even half of it – the hardware configuration of the phone is just monstrous.
But so is the one on the Galaxy S5. The latest Samsung juggernaut has reaped major success with both consumers and critics alike, and that's not surprising in the least. So while the S5 display's pixel count falls short of that on the G3, the phone certainly has a ton to offer, including (but not limited to) an outstanding, 16-megapixel camera, a dust- and water-resistant body, and a vast array of software features.
Today, in an attempt to at least partially defuse this seeming stalemate, we'll explore the depths of either phones, jotting down scores all the while. Let's take a look.
UPDATE (Jun 25, 2014): This comparison was originally based on our experience with the Korean version of the LG G3. After testing the International (European) version of the phone, we've updated the story with our new findings, affecting the display, camera and battery performance.
Attractive design? The LG G3 has it. But the more pedestrian-looking Galaxy S5 is utilitarians' pick of choice.
To say that LG and Samsung each have their own way of doing things when it comes to design would be a medium-sized understatement.
Both devices are made out of plastic, but both companies have given it their best shot, and the body of neither of the two handsets can be considered cheap. For its part, LG is using high-quality polycarbonate for its rear (with traces of metal within), completed with a matte finish that reminds a whole lot of brushed metal and battles greasy fingerprints. In the same vein, Samsung's Galaxy S5 also sports a plastic chassis, but the back comes with a dotted pattern that looks and feels a bit like leather, and is also excellent at repelling smudges. In this stand-off between faux metal and faux leather, the G3 has a hand over the more pedestrian-looking S5.
Despite its 5.5-inch screen, the LG flagship is not overly uncomfortable to hold, thanks to its extremely thin bezels and overall compact dimensions (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm / 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 in). Still, if you have small hands, you may prefer operating it with both hands, just to be on the safe side. Put next to it, the smaller GS5 is definitely easier to manage. But though it is smaller, its dust- and water-resistant, IP67-certified body is not quite as good at squeezing screen real estate at little expense in terms of overall dimensions (which sit at 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm / 5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 in). Lastly, both devices are not exactly lightweight, but neither feels too heavy in the hand – the G3 weighs 149 g (5.26 oz) vs 145 g (5.11 oz) for the S5.
The two companies also differ on their approach towards button layout and design – the G3 is cementing its investment into rear-placed keys, which have gone through a major redesign from the G2's implementation, while the S5 continues Samsung's signature, physical home button legacy.
Looking at the G3, both the power button and volume rocker are noticeably more pronounced than before, and their design and shape have also been changed. Both provide a more profound tactile feedback, with the latter even sporting a new, mesh-textured pattern on top. Travel has also been improved, but the power key is making the better showing in this regard. But neither of the two keys proves as good as what the GS5 has on board - a more conventional, power-and-volume-keys-on-the-sides setup. Indeed, both of these are placed conveniently, and provide great, clicky feedback and travel.
Superior detail, and more accurate colors -- the G3 scores the win here.
One of the very unique points of the LG G3 is its extremely sharp, 1440 x 2560 (QHD) pixel resolution display. This 5.5-inch panel offers the industry-leading 538 pixels per inch, and, according to LG, true-to-life image.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is outclassed in this regard as it features a standard resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels (FHD), which works out to 'just' 432 pixels per inch. Frankly, however, you're unlikely to perceive this inferiority in detail, especially when looking at the two displays from a normal viewing distance.
As for color-accuracy, we can't say we feel LG delivered on its promise of a color-accurate image. Color temperature, for example, sits at the good, but not excellent, 7100 K (6500 K is the reference value), though that's much closer than the Galaxy S5's temperature of 8183K (in the default 'Standard' screen mode), which causes a significantly blue tint. Thankfully, while on the slightly over-saturated side, the G3 colors are mostly acceptable. In comparison, the Galaxy S5's display has a larger color error and produces more saturated, even gaudy, colors.
In terms of brightness, the G3's panel manages the very decent 455 nits. This means that outdoor use is feasible, even under direct sunlight. The same holds for the S5, too – its screen peaks at the good 442 nits, and it's just as easy to make out outside.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||442
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||62.7%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. Sauce (unregistered)
G3 > S5
3. hipnotika (Posts: 329; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)
but g3's screen is too cold :S it's contrast is too low :(
4. Sauce (unregistered)
Overall it's better. No phone is perfect.
5. alaw.14 (Posts: 200; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)
I still think the note 3 is an overall better phone.
7. Sauce (unregistered)
Dang, I must have read the title of this article wrong.
34. wilsong17 (unregistered)
41. CoastCity (Posts: 170; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)
Please see this first:http://postimg.org/image/udx5p
I'd like to ask you, why the color and grayscale charts' TARGET specimens
between G3 and S5 differ that much?
Why the target colors for the S5 are so de-saturaed?
Is it the extra luminosity of the S5?
Wouldn't be better to compaire their color on the maximum luminosity the G3 can
achive? I mean throttle down S5's luminosity so the comparison to be fair.
And if you say we mesure on phone's max lum., I'd ask, did you also use the S5's
color mode that gives more natural colors (pro photo or cinema, Idk)?
45. Chris.P (Posts: 337; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
The measurements you see there for the S5 are for the default, 'Standard' mode. You can see measurements for the rest of the color modes here:http://www.phonearena.com/news
Coincidentally, Ray answered a very similar question in the comment section there. Instead of paraphrasing, I'll just quote him:
"Why using a different target colors for the S5 and the nexus 5?"
"Good question. The target color charts are designed to show the amount of difference there is between target and actual colors. They do not represent the actual, real-world colors. This is so because the maximum amount of red (the reddest red) can be represented by 255 bits max. Since AMOLED colors go beyond that, the program actually can't show it. This is so these charts don't aim to show real-life colors, but rather just how much of a difference there is between what's exhibited by the display, and what's considered the reference color."
51. salaal (Posts: 109; Member since: 08 Dec 2013)
What is the release date of mt6595 do you have any info about that sir? And what price category would it be In?
57. sonic03 (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Jun 2014)
shouldn't you have included the cinema mode setting in the review and in the display measurement chart. It would be great to know how you'll rate the phone (numbers and real world observation) in cinema mode compared to the g3 and other phones instead of just saying that its over saturated and has a larger color error in general when there is a setting that could put the display closer to actual colors.
13. 8800-Arte (banned) (Posts: 50; Member since: 05 Jun 2014)
I want a much smaller G3 with a 4.7" 1080p screen and the same thin bezels and the same really good design.
20. Sauce (unregistered)
That sir, would be perfect
36. sipha (Posts: 353; Member since: 12 May 2012)
Lol. Dude, what happen?? You got banned again??
59. Milli74 (Posts: 11; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
I recently in June the 3rd got early Father's Day gift Nexus 5 Brand New with 4.4.3 on board and being this my first Android phone after having iPhones of all generations including my iPhone 5S 32GB I can only say good things about android I knew that this phone Nexus has all specs of high end phone I'll be using this phone for a while it has 491 ppi display which I believe is higher then iPhones and the way everything works on it so damn quick and after Rooting it last night now I'm in total control of this GREAT and I believe average priced device, not like pure Android-Google experience wasn't enough for me but now customization of it is just awesome, I always knew Android was good OS but never thought that it could be this good, for other Android devices like my daughters 2 year old Samsung S3 that is now priced very decent still at around $350 new she loves it and wants the new S5 or note 4 which I will buy for her as soon as note 4 will be released. Having said that I now a android believer as I always thought they were just phone good enough for teens.
What I was going to say is that there is a good Android devices especially new ones or something good like S3 and probably S4 it just on S4 things like air gesture and some other never usable things including a bloatware from Samsung and that Wiz crap unlike Nexus 5 is all great
Android is a great platform that is reliable for any ages.
Way to Go Android! And please allow root the devices like thru a person name George Hotz and all you have to do is go to a website towelroot.com and with in 5 minutes your devices will be rooted and it's not only for Samsung S5 it also goes for S4, Note 2 and 3 and few other phones including Nexus 5 and tablet Nexus 7 just go to the towelroot.com and all the information is there it took me about under 5 minutes to complete with a single download but before you doit make sure in your settings your device will allow you to install third party's apps so just put a check mark there it's very easy!
Here is the site where it tells you step by step how to doit as well as all available devices that it will work on:
62. Milli74 (Posts: 11; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
For what? You advertising Prada, and I'm telling about my experience with my new Nexus 5
21. CyberFalcon (Posts: 176; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)
hey where is the low light camera comparision PA???
We know that G3 will kick S5's b*tt in that dept...
Then y dont u post it too????
31. maherk (Posts: 1637; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Try focusing more while reading, because you clearly missed the part your nagging about.
48. refillable (Posts: 738; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)
Yep they clearly stated; 'the G3 proves ahead. Indeed, in low-light and complete darkness'. However I am sure he asked for a real photo comparison, not just words.
25. Synack (Posts: 669; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
How's the speaker comparison between these two phones?
49. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
Why you dont say about bad dark areas on the sun (less dynamic range) at shots of g3's bsi? Detailing worse, and it is noticeable, worse color (accuracy and separation).
"while the S5 manufactures overly-cold, bluish shots"
Because of yellowness in the pictures of G3, seems that pictures of s5 slightly bluish, but actually it is not so, because there are (on photos) perfectly white, perfect red, perfect green (they not blue, orange and blue-green, which should have been obtained if had the camera would be bluish)
50. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
53. Chris.P (Posts: 337; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
That's the indoor section ("overly-cold, bluish shots"), and specifically in very low light or complete darkness. Check the shots again.
Outdoors, we had a reference DSLR, and I can confirm that the S5 produces truly realistic colors overall, much more so than the G3, which produces more attractive, but decidedly yellow snaps (much alike to the Apple iPhone 5s, by the way).
64. Milli74 (Posts: 11; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
And please allow root the devices like thru a person name George Hotz and all you have to do is go to a website towelroot.com and with in 5 minutes your devices will be rooted and it's not only for Samsung S5 it also goes for S4, Note 2 and 3 and few other phones including Nexus 5 and tablet Nexus 7 just go to the towelroot.com and all the information is there
9. alumoyo (Posts: 257; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)
Hahahaha - I don't know, G3 seems to have everyone on one page for once - its AWESOME!
11. chunky1x (Posts: 264; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)
I admit that G3 is one of the best LG smartphone to date. I've tried the S5 and it is not as bad as everyone said. Still, I don't feel these two represent the next gen units but more like the filler to upcoming 64 bit generation.
6. amiaq (Posts: 503; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)
I might have to test this G3 on my wife first. I bought her iPhone 4, I hate it, then I replaced that abomination iphone with note2 which I love that I bought one for my self. Now her contract almost over, I'll convince her to get the LG G3 to compliment her LG ultra PC.
10. Alain1990 (Posts: 13; Member since: 10 Jun 2014)
s5 is so ugly.. back is good. but when u look at the front.. its like galaxy grand..
47. DONUT (Posts: 323; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
i just realised that when you look at picture 1 one the slideshow and focus on the bottom part of both phones (bottom bezels), the S5 kinda has a sad look to it whereas the G3 has a more happy look to it haha.
just a lil something i noticed
12. maherk (Posts: 1637; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
It just amazes me how phonearena insist on calling the polycarbonate on Samsung phones plastic when they call the one on the G3 polycarbonate. So much hypocrisy imo.
16. vuyonc (Posts: 545; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)
Well, to be really specific a thermoplastic polymer
18. maherk (Posts: 1637; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
That's my point, why phonearena insist on calling the G3 material as polycarbonate and Samsung's as plastic? This is why I always say majority on tech sites are brainwashed.
23. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)
Especially on a bloggers site such as this one
55. TAMARETTE (Posts: 120; Member since: 15 Jun 2014)
Even more amazing is that Samsung produce the plastic for both phones. I'll take the s5 any day. I can go swimming and still take calls in the pool! If you want to define a copycat, LG copies almost everything from Samsung.
14. pego99 (Posts: 80; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)
The HTC M8 is the real winner instead of these 2 phones made from cheap junk plastic.
35. wilsong17 (unregistered)
Hey you want to do a dropping test and see which ones win
37. BattleBrat (Posts: 1216; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
The M8's monstrous bezels will protect the screen, and I own and love my M8
17. ydl08 (Posts: 23; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)
I agree that G3 is a great phone.
Since when was a phone from LG at the level of Galaxy?
If G3 beats the sales numbers of the S5 then we'll start talking.
Sammy competes against the iphone.
I'm sure there's still a lot of catching up to do.
Let the results do the talking and everyone will agree
19. Japultra (Posts: 41; Member since: 16 May 2014)
The S4 sucked. I went from the S4 to the G2 and enjoy the G2 so much more. It has a much better user experience - almost the point where I told myself I wouldn't get another Samsung.
22. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)
I disagree, since when do the quality of a phone hinge on sales numbers?
Personally between these two you can't go wrong. As I've stated before, I currently have a S5 due to the water resistant feature but may trade on Craigslist for a G3 at some point. neither are lookers but a good case can fix that ( I have a spigen neo hybrid case that makes the s5 look world's better but the front is still ugly)
Great job LG
46. DONUT (Posts: 323; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
it is pointless to expect the G3 to beat the S5 in terms of sales. and again, SALES =/= HOW GOOD A PHONE IS
this point cant seem to get into the thick skulls of samsung fanboys.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, LG doesn't have the marketing budget and branding as Samsung does. the G3 WON'T sell as many units as the S5 but that doesn't make it a poorer phone than the S5. and likewise, the big sales of the S5 DO NOT make it a better phone than the G3
24. district11 (Posts: 117; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)
Better display and better camera. Great job lg, but samsung is still ahead.
30. maherk (Posts: 1637; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
I guess you didn't read the review, the G3 fell short mainly in those 2 aspects.
26. aooep (Posts: 20; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Camera wise, the gs5 beat the g3? I was expecting the opposite with the laser auto focus and the OIS+.
32. Carlitos (Posts: 378; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
The G2 also had OIS, however, it took bad pictures still. The s5 proved to be a superior camera. Which seems to be the same case here. But tbh both phones are great you really can't go wrong.
27. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
In my opinion LG G3 is better than Samsung Galaxy S5.
29. .KRATOS. (Posts: 150; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)
In my opinion the 2 phones r gd, but still waiting for the next generation phones which will have the S805 or S810 than I'll decide.
33. Steven58 (Posts: 76; Member since: 25 Nov 2009)
Great comparison... no conclusion. The writing shrugs his shoulders and says, "I dunno." Helpful. :p
38. Edward_bly (Posts: 243; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)
Great, so when is the G4 and S6 coming out :D
39. Mowlamania (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Jun 2014)
Is there going to be one of these LG G3 vs... articles for the g3 vs the z2? I'm really torn on which one to buy.
43. Adithya7184 (Posts: 317; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)
for me S5=G3. both are great devices. every phone has their own pros and cons.
54. GoBears (Posts: 404; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
I'm using an S5 at the moment and it's really a great phone. I especially love the camera and the IP67 rating. Great for pool pictures on vacation. I will be tempted to get the Z2 or G3 if/when they hit Verizon and Craigslist.