Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
With only a few months left in the year, all the chips are on the table, as phone manufacturers are battling it out for your purchasing dollars. In this comparison review, we’re going to take a look at the Motorola DROID Ultra and the LG G2, both of which are available from Verizon Wireless for $200 with a 2-year contract, or $600 full retail. Since we’re already reviewed both devices separately, we’re going to take a look at some of the differences between them; what we like and don’t like.
As with most smartphones today, both the Motorola DROID Ultra and LG G2 look like two black slabs, though the DROID Ultra does also come in a red version for those looking to spice things up.
But each device has its own design characteristics. The DROID Ultra is the thinner of the two at only 0.28” and is more lightweight. We like that it is constructed out of Kevlar for added durability, while the LG G2 is using a plastic polymer. Even though the G2 is a bit thicker and heavier, this is because it packs a larger 3000mAh battery, over the 2130mAh battery on the DROID Ultra. One thing we don’t care for is the glossy finished used on the rear of the devices, as it shows fingerprints, smudges, and pretty much anything else.
For button placement, both phones couldn’t be more different. The DROID Ultra uses capacitive buttons under the front display for back, home and recent apps, and on the right edge are the physical power/lock key and volume rocker. Meanwhile, the LG G2 uses the standard Android on-screen softkeys, but has placed the remaining power and volume buttons on the rear of the device under the camera. Furthermore, the Verizon version of the G2 slightly modifies these buttons, making each one feel identical, and hard to distinguish from touch alone – while the G2 version from other carriers has more of a “hump” for the center power/lock key making it easier to find.
Ok, here we go. The Motorola DROID Ultra comes with a 5” Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720x1280, giving it a pixel-per-inch count of 294. Meanwhile, the LG G2 has a larger 5.2” IPS LCD display with a full HD resolution of 1080x1920, which gives it a higher pixel-per-inch count of 423. This not only translates into a slightly larger screen on the LG G2 by 0.2” but since it is higher resolution, text and images are crystal clear, sharp, and lack any jagged edges.
When using both phones next to each other, colors are highly saturated with more “pop” to them on the DROID Ultra and viewing angles are also excellent, which is normal for AMOLED displays. The LG G2 has more realistic colors, which we prefer, though the off-axis viewing angles aren’t that great. When using the phones outside in sunlight and turning their brightness up to maximum, the IPS LCD on the LG G2 is brighter and easier to view with its LED backlight, as the Super AMOLED display on the DROID Ultra as a bit darker and harder to view.
The DROID Ultra includes Motorola’s Active Display notification feature, which we also saw on the Moto X. Basically what it does is allows you to nudge the phone, and only the center of the display will turn on showing the date and time. Then if you get any notifications, such as a new message or a missed call, only that part of the display will turn on. This way, the device will conserve power since it does not have to turn on the entire display.
The LG G2 has something different called Knock On, that allows you to double-tap on the display to turn it back on, without having to pick up the phone and press the power/unlock key on the back. This is a useful feature, and you can also double-tap the screen anytime to turn it back off.
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1. papss (unregistered)
Not even close imo... g2 all the way.
3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5951; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
I would tend to agree with you except for one fairly important point for me - Bluetooth MAP support. The Droids have what appears to be full MAP support (MAP allows SMS and e-mails to display on my car ICE (BMW iDrive) screen).
Maybe I sell my HTC One and get a G2 to replace it?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
7. papss (unregistered)
I know.. I'm pretty smitten with the G2 right now. Seems to be a beast.
11. nnjerzy (Posts: 92; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
I totally agree i got mines 2 days ago,, and the name beast,, has no justice for this phone,, LG really did a good job and the screen rocks arlong with the battery life
27. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5951; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
G2? Or, the L929 (or whatever it is going to be called) that is headed to VZW?
Personally, I need to find a good case for the G2. The back is too much of a fingerprint magnet. And if I drop it, the case is there to protect the phone. So far, Otterbox hasn't decided to offer a case for the G2.
2. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Screw the Ultra. MAXX vs G2 would at least be a fair fight, with only price holding back the MAXX.
4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5951; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Check out the missing hump on the back of the VZW edition of the G2!
5. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
The whole redesigned back and smaller buttons are to accommodate wireless charging. Can't complain too much I guess, but reviewers have complained that the buttons are harder to feel out.
12. nnjerzy (Posts: 92; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
the verizon version doesnt have the big hump is because of the wireless charging it supports...
6. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I chose LG G2 instead of Motorola DROID Ultra even knowing that LG G2 has awkward buttons on the back.
8. Chris.P (Posts: 305; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
They're not so bad. You get used to them pretty quick.
9. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I guess this is the closest to the decision I need to make... do I want the amazing screen, camera, and future-proof S800 of the G2, or the near-stock UI, signal quality and call quality of the DROID?
23. RomeoJDR (Posts: 242; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)
Future proof S800? The A7 is already faster and you can bet Qualcomm will release their next processor within 6 months to retake the speed lead. "Future proof" is not a term that ever applies to tech, especially mobile tech.
13. nnjerzy (Posts: 92; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
I dont agree with that,, LG has always wowed more times than Motorola has
14. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)
I deal with both manufacturers on a daily basis, and the LG smartphone quality is horrible. Call quality is horrible, and there's a huge lack of exclusive features that Samsung HTC and Motorola bring to the table.
If we were talking TV or home appliances LGs a winner, but their smartphones need to come a long way to even remotely impress me.
15. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I was hoping that the G series would finally bring LG in line with Samsung, HTC, and Motorola smartphone quality. I still have a soft spot for LG, which built some of my favorite featurephones. Motorola's Droid line (2012-present) has been pretty high-quality and well-rounded, even if they don't have the fastest processors or best screens. LG has its excellent display division and their faster development cycle allowed them to use the S800.
Would it be fair to say if I want a phone, get the Droid, and if I want a multimedia device, get the G2?
26. SupermanayrB (Posts: 207; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
Pretty damn good point. Feature-wise, LG's definitely stepping their game up, but I've always preferred Moto's build quality.
16. Noble_One (Posts: 58; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
LG has been beating Motorola since last year, in both sales and quality of handsets. The G2 is getting a lot of press, but LG started coming up last year with the Optimus G and the Nexus 4. Though their new features bring a lot to the table, in some respects Motorola has been lagging behind. Their Droid line from last year released around the time of the Optimus G and N4, while using hardware comparable to the one x and gs3 but 6 months later. The new voice software optimizations are nice, but again they are way behind in every category besides build and call quality. Some reviewers even tested the G2's battery life and rated it higher than the new droid maxx's. Considering price point, neither of these Droids match up all that well to the G2, which has comparable battery life to the maxx, equal storage, a much better camera, much better screen, faster processor, and costs 100 bucks less...
17. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Pricing is a problem across the Motorola line this year. They need to cut all their models $50 across the board. I know it's only $50, but it would give the impression that they're equal or better values than the competition.
20. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)
You're comparing statistics. I'm talking about real world experience, over all performance of the phone, and realiability. I can go get service with Sprint for cheaper than what Verizon and at&t offers, but it doesn't serve me any purpose if it doesn't work when I need it to.
22. Noble_One (Posts: 58; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
No I'm talking real world too. Even this comparo says the G2 feels quicker. Comparing last year's models boils down to the droid hd line vs. the OG and N4. LG's offerings had the more future proof internals. The droids, again, had specs better suited for the beginning of the year...both phones consistently did better in reviews as well. Build and call quality is always good, but LG's offerings are winning virtually every other category.
24. Jillxz (Posts: 147; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
Nope. It is very good. Have had LG phones and have never had a problem. LG makes great phones. You just don't like the LG brand simply put.
28. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1877; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
See that's where it's subjective. You've had nothing but good luck, he's had nothing but bad. Ive never owned one myself but have had people on my share plan who have, with mixed results. I've always liked the LG brand, but that's been outside of mobile. So I'm a little leery of going with one, especially since I'd be paying full retail. So far it's between the Maxx or X, or the One for me. Got 3 Samsungs on our share plan currently and all are going to hell, each after a little over a year old. HTCs have been solid, but Moto's usually had better build and signal, plus a minimal skin. But once my local shop gets them all in I'll play with em all.
18. Noble_One (Posts: 58; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
I completely agree. The existence of the moto x doesn't help with the pricing either. It's essentially the same as the ultra internally, but is positioned as a premium device, hence the $200 tag. That makes the ultra impossible to be less than what it is. It would undercut the x. The maxx has added battery capacity and storage and would be the obvious choice spec wise over the x, so they had to drive the price up.
19. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
But they didn't even price the Moto X competitively. Or if they did, but they consider their competition to be only the iPhone and Galaxy S. The G2, Lumia 928 and One offer 32 GB for $100-200. I view Motorola phones as very good products, but they don't have the popularity or cachet to demand iPhone prices.
21. sgogeta4 (Posts: 392; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)
Motorola phones are all the same - above average build quality, screen, and telephone usage but subpar camera modules. Also, not sure if they have locked bootloaders still, which is a deal breaker for me. LG on the other hand seems to be the reverse, though they tend to compensate with higher spec devices. The back buttons aren't better than buttons on the side IMO. I hope Motorola will design the next Nexus phone and just get a good camera module already!
25. Jillxz (Posts: 147; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
Don't hold your breath. Google will never make a Motorola Nexus phone because Google know that Motorola won't be around for long.
29. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1877; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
So you're saying that google bought them to run them into the ground? Moto will be around for a while because, worst case, they are Google's plan B. If Samsung decides to try to use it's newly acquired dominance to start their own OS (Tiezen) and others fall away from android, they'll always have an oem to get their software to the masses. They may never have the dominance they had in the mobile sphere like they did in the 90s, but then there were only a handful of manufacturers then as well (Moto & Nokia are the only ones that spring to mind). But now both of those companies have been purchased by larger ones (Google and Microsoft respectively.
Plus, to my knowledge, the X is the only product that is a result of the merger (the new Droid line is simply fulfilling a contract with Verizon using internals from the X). Once Moto is past all of it's pre merger contracts, then I think we will actually see Google's influence more profoundly.
30. roldefol (Posts: 3178; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I tried out the Maxx, Ultra, and G2 at the Verizon store and I gotta say... G2 by a mile. For me, it's all about the screen. A 5" 720p AMOLED simply cannot compete with the gorgeous 1080 screens LG and HTC are fielding. Where the Droids look dim and pixelated, the G2 absolutely shines. The advances LG has made eliminating the gap between screen and glass make it look like the phone is all screen. The more I played with the G2, the more I wanted one.
I'm still wary of LG's skin and software "enhancements", and I know Motorola has better sound and voice quality, but looking solely at the physical hardware (screen and camera), LG crushes Moto.
31. dro159 (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)
Hey everyone. So I just received my Droid Maxx yesterday and I am having a hard time deciding if I should keep it or get it exchanged for the G2. I love the solid build quality, performance and battery life of the Droid but looking at the G2 in terms of hardware makes me think I made a bad move. Is the G2 really noticeably faster than the Droid Maxx?