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Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2

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Camera


When it comes to the camera interface, the Motorola DROID Ultra is simplistic with only a few options for HDR, flash mode, tap-to-focus, slow motion, panorama, geo tag, shutter sound and quick capture. While the LG G2 has options for almost everything, including the type of picture you want to take (normal, HDR, panorama, burst, etc), six scene modes, flash, brightness, auto focus, image resolution (13MP, W10MP, 8MP, 1MP), ISO, white balance, color effects, and geo tag.

The DROID Ultra comes using the company's new 10MP Clear Pixel sensor, which adds a clear pixel to the standard RGB, which is said to allow up to 75% more light to enter in. Though the LG G2 is using a 13MP RGB sensor, they have incorporated OIS (optical image stabilization) to help reduce vibrations and movements that can blur images and video.


Camera interface of the Motorola DROID Ultra - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
Camera interface of the Motorola DROID Ultra - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
Camera interface of the Motorola DROID Ultra - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
Camera interface of the Motorola DROID Ultra - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2

Camera interface of the Motorola DROID Ultra


LG G2 camera UI - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
LG G2 camera UI - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2

LG G2 camera UI


For the week that we tested both units, everyday was cloudy and overcast, but you can still see the differences between the two cameras. When viewed on a PC, the outside images that were captured from the DROID Ultra looked dull and dreary, with poor color reproduction, and when zooming in, we could see more pixelation of loss of detail. By comparison, the LG G2 did better with more realistic colors, and images looked sharper and had more detail, even when zooming in. For indoor images, the LG G2 also fared the best, with more natural color and not looking as soft as the DROID Ultra, but in a dark environment when using the LED Flash, both produced about equal results.


Even though 1080p video recording has been around for a while now, the LG G2 allows the option of recording with the traditional 30fps or with the higher 60fps. Without a doubt, viewing the 60fps 1080p recorded video is a real treat, as movement is smooth and fluid, without trails and stuttering that is often the case with smartphone videos. The overall video also has good color reproduction and looks sharp, as the LG G2 has continuous auto-focus, and the optical image stabilization eliminates small vibrations from being picked up. Not only that, but the audio is also a treat, since it is recorded with a bit rate of 157 kbps and a sample rate of 48 kHz. With all that in mind, the video from the Motorola DROID Ultra looks like your average cameraphone video – not great but not horrible. Even though it’s full HD 1080p and 30fps, colors again look darker and there is more of an overall softness to the image. Audio quality also doesn’t sound as good, with it being recorded at a lower bit rate of 128 kbps.



One cool feature we’d like to mention is the Tracking Zoom on the LG G2. With this turned on, once you start to record a video, you can place the magnifier lens on any object, and it will continue to follow that object with it showing in a zoomed-in square on the video. We’re not sure how useful this is, but it is still fun to try out.


Multimedia


Out of the box, the Motorola DROID Ultra and LG G2 are preloaded with the Google Play Music app – meaning, they’re both on the same playing field. But an added bonus on the G2 is LG’s own music player app. Though it doesn’t really add anything visually, it does support playback of lossless 24 bit / 192 kHz FLAC and WAV audio files. But when using the built-in speaker, music was noticeably louder on the DROID Ultra and also sounded fuller. Naturally when using a good pair of quality earbuds, both devices produce better sounding audio playback, but again the DROID Ultra was capable of slightly higher volume.

The standard Google Play Music app - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
The standard Google Play Music app - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
The standard Google Play Music app - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2

The standard Google Play Music app


Music player of the LG G2 - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
Music player of the LG G2 - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
Music player of the LG G2 - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2

Music player of the LG G2


For watching your own videos, the advantage goes to the LG G2 for having the larger and higher resolution full HD display. Even though the Super AMOLED on the DROID Ultra is still pretty snazzy with super-saturated colors, its lower resolution is clearly visible, with videos not looking as sharp and crisp.

Motorola DROID Ultra - Video playback - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
Video playback - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2
LG G2 - Video playback - Motorola DROID Ultra vs LG G2

Motorola DROID Ultra

 

LG G2

Video playback

31 Comments
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posted on 20 Sep 2013, 07:18 4

1. papss (Posts: 3388; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


Not even close imo... g2 all the way.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 07:34

3. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5280; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 08:21 1

7. papss (Posts: 3388; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


I know.. I'm pretty smitten with the G2 right now. Seems to be a beast.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 09:40 1

11. nnjerzy (Posts: 70; 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

posted on 22 Sep 2013, 00:30

27. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5280; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 07:19 1

2. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 07:37

4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5280; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Check out the missing hump on the back of the VZW edition of the G2!

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 07:45

5. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 09:41

12. nnjerzy (Posts: 70; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


the verizon version doesnt have the big hump is because of the wireless charging it supports...

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 08:20

6. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 08:45 1

8. Chris.P (Posts: 199; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


They're not so bad. You get used to them pretty quick.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 08:46

9. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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?

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 10:12

23. RomeoJDR (Posts: 237; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 09:37 2

10. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)


Motorola over LG any day.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 09:43 1

13. nnjerzy (Posts: 70; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


I dont agree with that,, LG has always wowed more times than Motorola has

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 09:50 1

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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 10:11

15. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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?

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 19:23

26. SupermanayrB (Posts: 115; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 10:25 1

16. Noble_One (Posts: 44; 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...

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 11:38 1

17. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 13:09 1

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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 17:45 1

22. Noble_One (Posts: 44; 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.

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 16:00

24. Jillxz (Posts: 130; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2013, 13:33

28. VZWuser76 (Posts: 986; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:05

18. Noble_One (Posts: 44; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 12:26 1

19. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 13:58

21. sgogeta4 (Posts: 390; 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!

posted on 21 Sep 2013, 16:02

25. Jillxz (Posts: 130; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2013, 14:26 1

29. VZWuser76 (Posts: 986; 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.

posted on 25 Sep 2013, 09:17 1

30. roldefol (Posts: 2855; 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.

posted on 09 Nov 2013, 16:07

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?

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