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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3

Introduction


It is big, it is powerful, and it is destined to end up in the pockets of millions. There's no more fitting way to describe the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which we just had the chance to take through the in-depth review treatment. Simply put, it is a great phone – one we would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a no-compromise, feature-rich Android device. But it is our job and obligation to consider the alternatives when dealing with a phone of this rank. And one of the smartphones worthy of being stacked up against the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the LG G3. Right off the bat, the odds are against the latter – it is looking weaker on a hardware level and cannot quite match the feature set of the Note 4. But the LG G3 can be had for considerably less. Is the compromise worth it?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3
Design

While not perfect, the Note 4 and G3 have a lot to stand out with. The former has a more premium feel and a richer feature set, while the latter is more compact and fits better in the hand.

Looking at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G3 side by side, we're finding it hard to decide which one we like better. Both exhibit qualities that score them big points as far as design is concerned, yet leave room for improvement in other areas.

The Note 4, in particular, builds on top of the design principles instilled by the Note 3 by adopting the faux leather texture found on the back plate. The finish is still as resistant to fingerprints as before, which is great, but at the same time, it has lost some of its grip and feels more plasticky to the touch.
We must say that the handset's solid metal frame does a good job at spicing up the phone's design. It contributes to the phone's sophisticated appearance, while its beveled edge makes it easier to get a good hold on the handset. The curved edges of that scratch-resistant glass display make it a pleasure to slide your fingers across its surface.

We can't deny that the LG G3 is also a looker. The finish of its surface is smooth to the touch, but not too slippery. It retains no fingerprints, and its resemblance of brushed metal is very pleasing to the eye. As for the material the phone's outer shell is made of, things are a bit complicated. LG has made it clear that one of the back plate's layers is actual metal, but the top-most one is a polycarbonate one, so that's what your fingers will be actually touching. Nevertheless, although the LG G3 feels about as plasticky as the Note 4, it is also a handset worthy of attention.

So as we already said, the solid frame on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 makes the phone easy to grasp, and so do the tapered sides of its back. Still, we find the LG G3 more comfortable to hold. The latter's back side is curvier, and that improves the phone's ergonomics factor quite a bit. Given the sheer sizes of both devices, it goes without saying that single-handed use and carrying either in a tight pocket are challenging, if not impossible tasks. In that respect, the LG G3 has an advantage with its lesser height and smaller screen as there's less to reach for with your thumb. By the way, both phones have UI features that improve single-handed use by a considerable margin, but more on that later.

Speaking of ergonomics and ease of use, we have to highlight the excellent power and volume keys found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Located on the phone's right and left sides respectively, they are exposed really well, and pressing any of them produces a satisfying click. In contrast, the power and volume keys on the LG G3 are placed on its back side, below the camera lens. The goal of this design solution is to place these keys under the user's index finger, where they'll be easy to press, all the while reducing the amount of components on the phone's left and sides. To be honest, the buttons' design isn't bad, but it takes some getting used to.

Below the screen of the Galaxy Note 4 we find Samsung's trademark button layout, with a hardware “Home” key in the middle and capacitive buttons for the “Recent apps” and “Back” functions. It is a tried and tested design feature that gets the job done. The LG G3 uses on-screen buttons instead of physical ones. On one hand, this has allowed the phone to be less tall as there's nothing occupying the area below its screen, but on the other hand, some might find it annoying that these virtual buttons hide automatically in certain apps and have to be brought back with a pull-up gesture if needed.

Before we can proceed further, we have to highlight all of the Galaxy Note 4's stand-out perks – perks that the LG G3 does not have in its feature arsenal. For starters, there's the S Pen stylus, tucked in its dedicated slot. The accessory is there for those times when you need to take down a note, but can also be used for sketching, for navigating through the UI, for selecting multiple items on the screen, and much more. There's also the fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button, which is used to lock the phone, to secure personal data, and to authorize payments. The scanner isn't the most convenient one ever placed on a phone, but it is better to have the feature in some form than not having it at all. On the phone's back, right below the camera lens, reside a heart-rate monitor, the use for which is self explanatory, and a UV sensor designed to measure the sun's intensity. There's no denying that the Note 4's abundance of extras is an advantage over the LG G3, but at the same time, we're pretty sure that some people would never actually need any of these features. At the end of the day, it is up to the user to decide whether they'd go with the G3's simplified solution or Samsung's “everything but the kitchen sink” approach.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
6.21 oz (176 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

LG G3
5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
5.26 oz (149 g)

LG G3


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

With their high-resolution, QHD displays, both phones deliver an amazing amount of details. Still, the Galaxy Note 4 stands a few steps ahead with its more accurate color reproduction in Basic mode.

If there's one thing that both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G3 have to offer, that's screen space. There's a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED panel on the former, while the latter packs a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display. And having all this real estate is a major advantage – it makes it easier and more convenient to watch photos and videos, browse the web, play games, and use the on-screen keyboard with two thumbs. While the Note 4 offers a slightly more spacious screen, we don't think that a difference of 0.2 inches is significant given the two phones' large caliber.

Furthermore, the Note 4 and G3 are on the same page when it comes to resolution. Their display panels pack a whopping 1440 by 2560 pixels, producing jaw-dropping pixel densities of 515 and 538 PPI respectively. This extreme resolution makes it virtually impossible for the naked eye to spot any pixelation without looking at the screen under a magnifying glass. That's why high-resolution graphics displayed on either screen look nice and detailed. There's one thing that bothers us, however. The LG G3 is set to boost the sharpness of its screen by a notch, which increases the legibility of small text, but produces visible distortion around the edges of words and graphics. That's no deal-breaker by any means, but perfectionists might find it annoying.

As far as color reproduction goes, we are happy to report that the Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 produces extremely accurate colors. There's a catch, however. You see, there are several display modes on the Note 4, accessible from the phone's settings menu, and by default, a mode called “Adaptive display” is applied. This particular mode tweaks image reproduction based on what content is being viewed, and the actual result is a an increase in color saturation. There's nothing terribly wrong with that – in fact, many would be impressed by the colors' vibrancy and won't even think about tinkering with the display modes. Still, if you demand having a screen that's as color-accurate as possible, you can totally have it by switching to Basic mode. When it is enabled, the screen produces a color temperature of about 6650 K, as shown by our measurements, which is extremely close to the reference value of 6500 kelvins. In plain words, colors are neither warm, nor cold, and great balance between red and blue has been achieved, producing accurate whites.

The IPS LCD display on the LG G3 produces colors with slightly pumped-up saturation, but thankfully, the boost is within moderate margins. Our measurements returned a color temperature of around 7100K, and that's very close to the ideal 6500K value. Accuracy is lower than that of the Note 4's screen in Basic mode, but the deviation is not bothering at all.

For a smartphone to be usable outdoors, it is important for its screen to have a high brightness output. Thankfully, both phones do a good job in that respect – the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 maxes out at 468 nits, and the LG G3 peaks at 455 nits. Another factor that's not to be overlooked is screen reflectance – how much of the sun's light bounces off of the screen's surface – and to the naked eye, the Note 4 has the less reflective screen. If you're of the folks who enjoy using their smartphone under the bed sheets, you should be glad to know that the Note 4 has a minimum brightness of around 1 nit, so its screen goes very easy on your eyes in dark environments. The LG G3 goes down to about 9 nits, which is sufficiently low.

Glove Mode on the Galaxy Note 4 is a feature that allows its display to be used, you guessed it, even when the user is wearing gloves. This should come in handy in the winter-time as you won't have to take those mittens off in order to make a call. The LG G3, however, does not offer the option for its screen to be used with gloves on.

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 Note 4 468
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6667
(Excellent)
1.97
1.56
(Excellent)
3.1
(Good)
LG G3 455
(Good)
9
(Average)
1:997
(Average)
7099
(Good)
2.26
2.10
(Good)
2.86
(Good)
View all


24 Comments
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posted on 10 Oct 2014, 04:53 3

1. i.cent90 (Posts: 26; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


P.A will never like samsung but sammy dont really care about how much u downgrade thier product to the eyes of the world so suprised u manage to give them few credits in dis one

posted on 13 Oct 2014, 08:04 1

24. steodoreben (Posts: 228; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)


If I had a chance to place the Note 4 in my hand, I will use it to slap the face of PhoneArena. I must say some parts are biased, you can sense it.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 04:54 3

2. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


I think lg made a mistake with using 2k display ( actually its 2.5k). if they had used 1080p phone's performance and battery life would have been great. as far as multitasking goes note 4 is the no 1 in smartphone market.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 06:22 3

7. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


But if they went 1080p it would have gotten lost with the S5 and M8. LG needed something to make it a better buy on paper.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 05:07 2

3. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Excellent smartphone vs. best smartphone of 2014 (G3 vs. Note 4 respectively)

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 05:31 8

4. platformwars (Posts: 86; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


Note 4 is a better product without a doubt with the latest hardware and the stylus.. but if i had to buy a phone i would go for the G3 simply because it looks way better than the N4. Samsung really have to do something about their design and the UI.. Both look borrowed from 2011.

I have seen alot of people with samsung phones and you can never distinguish one from the other unless you look closely.. a phone today is a status symbol as well.. samsung.. please change your design philosophy.. and your UI has to change..

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:12 1

10. shuaibhere (Posts: 1983; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Lol..still in 2010???
Phones are no more status symbols as everyone has high end phones now....
on design it's your preference...i like note 4's design over g3...

posted on 11 Oct 2014, 00:54

20. platformwars (Posts: 86; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


Everyone has their own preference.. I was just stating mine.. I just love the G3 Gold version.. will get it pretty soon.. waiting for some good Diwali discounts.

Also, in India the price difference will also be an issue.. the N4 and the iPhone 6 will be insanely priced.. and with Samsungs decision to not sell phones online anymore.. we dont expect the price to come down soon.. Online retailers like flipkart, amazon, snapdeal give huge discounts to lure customers to their websites.. but not the brick stores..

posted on 12 Oct 2014, 00:01

23. rnagic (Posts: 148; Member since: 13 Jul 2014)


I agree with platform. Their design is flat out lazy, which is odd if you compare our to their appliances. Their refrigerators look down right sexy AND they are practical at the same time. Their phones are just boring and old.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 05:33 3

5. twens (Posts: 955; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Note 4 is not just number one in multitasking.
It's the only phone that can multitask the way it does without breaking a sweat.
It's the only phone with the most closest number to accurate screen.
It's the phones with the sharpest yet less energy using screen.
It's the only phone that truly proves more mega pixels equals outstanding images and video.
It's the only phablets with a QHD screen that has long battery life.
It's the only phablets that charges faster.
It's the only phablets with the most feature rich skin.
What comes close to this????????
The choice is yours

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:22

11. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


its no1 your argument is invalid

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 08:50 1

15. Anonn (Posts: 230; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


It's the only phone with a digitized styles (S-Pen).
It's the only phone with minimum storage 32GB.
It's the world's first phone with 3GB RAM.
It's the only phone with the world's Best super-AMOLED display
It's the world's first phone that put the word 'Phablet' in the dictionary
It's the only phone that made apple bow to immitate
..etc..etc

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 09:22

16. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


oh sorry I missunderstood you.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 06:10 4

6. Bogdan86 (Posts: 48; Member since: 06 Oct 2014)


Message to Phonearena, in the display measurements and quality, the 468 nits is Excelent not "good" there is a huge difference between a 400 nits LCD vs a 400 nits AMOLED display, viewing angles and outdoor visibilty is way better on the amoled. at 468 the visibility is at least as good as a 568 nits for example, because of the technology used to manufacture this display, requiring less filters and glass substrates. if you take the G3 and Note 4 outdoor, you will see a huge difference, and yet they both have almost the same brightness. people who don't know this would think that it's the same.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 06:23

8. quangvu (Posts: 12; Member since: 13 Jan 2014)


Yes. In the bright sunlight, Note 4 will show a big difference and it isn't a few nit above G3 on the paper.
You won't want to use your G3 under the sun for sure :)

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:06

9. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


Yah i know it really boils down to personal preference. But I still couldnt get why G3 looks better than note 4 accdg to some, yah in front G3 looks really good because of smaller bezels, but more often than not the display of d phone will be dominating your everyday use. And speaking of the back, note4 will just kick g3's ass! :) metal frame is also a big plus

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:32

12. zachki17 (Posts: 261; Member since: 14 Sep 2014)


We all know that LG G3 is better then GS5. But here we should compare the upcaming LG G PRO 3 VS GALAXY NOTE 4

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:52

13. pslee (Posts: 40; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


been using LG g3 for about 2-3 months now. fantastic phone. about the same screen size as my previous phone note 2, but feels much much smaller in hand. the screen is fantastic. battery life isn't amazing but much better than note 2. not sure how much note 4 can offer but LG definitely brought their A game with this phone. i will have fun for the next 17-18 months!

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 08:28

14. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1989; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


been waiting for these two to go head 2 head,now just undecided which one to get for my next flagship.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 09:37 1

17. toastofchaos (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


I hate to be critical but please consider ceasing your usage of "latter and former" when you're writing articles. It distracts from the point and makes the reader do extra work he/she shouldn't have to be doing.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 11:00 2

18. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1836; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Both phones are sexy beasts but I prefer the G3. I've really become a fan of LG of late. They've really stepped their game up. Still, my Holiday purchase is a toss up between the G3, Nexus X and Ascend Mate 7.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 23:11

19. Toadsurfer (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Oct 2014)


I don't have a G3 so can't comment on that, but I think more needs to be said about the awful colour shift that takes place in the note 4 when viewing the screen at anything other than directly head on. A strong blue/green tint occurs as soon as you move the viewing angle, even shallow angles. It may have perfect colour but the window to see those colours is very narrow and quickly degenerates into very inaccurate, green tinted colours. Compared to the s5, despite the resolution, this screen is in my view a step backwards.

posted on 11 Oct 2014, 02:04

21. kevkyle (Posts: 97; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)


I have the AwesOme G3!!!

....but am gettin' this FanTaStiC Phone too...N4

....i'll just slap on a new launcher...not really diggin' touchwiz ", )

posted on 11 Oct 2014, 09:54

22. jubytmathew (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Oct 2014)


Samsung note4 is way ahead of lg g3 in specifications.In real life most of these specifications
are of very less impact.But if you have enough money to spend,its good to take a chance.its your personal decision whether to spend double the money for some additional attractions.The only problem with note 4 is that it being a mammoth phone which cannot hold in your hands unless you are a huge personality.lg g3 in spite of its huge display its so easy to hold in your hands and so easy to handle as it's light weight.

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