Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3: in-depth specs comparison

Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3: in-depth specs comparison
Did you hear? There's a new Nexus phone in town, and it is the biggest Nexus phone to date. We mean that literally – for one reason or another, Google has chosen to go with a massive, 5.9-inch display for its Nexus 6 handset. This puts the device right into phablet category, where it will run against the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3, iPhone 6 Plus, and other smartphones of extra-large size. Does it stand a chance? You betcha! Inside the Google Nexus 6 you'll find nothing but cutting-edge hardware, while on the software side of things, Android 5.0 is running the parade. Still, it is our duty to compare Google's latest handset against its rivals and give you our expectations of the outcome. Here's how the Nexus 6 stacks up against the LG G3.

Design


If big phones are not your cup of tea, you might want to look away now as the Google Nexus 6 is quite the monolith. With its width of 3.27 inches (8.3 cm) and height of 6.27 inches (15.9 cm), it overshadows even the LG G3 by a considerable margin. The latter is 2.94 inches wide and 5.76 inches tall (7.5 by 14.6 cm) – while smaller than the Nexus 6, it is still a pretty large-sized phone. Unsurprisingly, Google's phone is the heavier among the two, tipping the scales at 6.49 oz (184 g), while the G3 has a relatively bearable weight of 5.26 oz (149 g). So yeah, there's just no other way around it, folks – if you want a giant screen, you'll have to live with a giant phone.

In terms of looks, the Google Nexus 6 draws inspiration from this year's Motorola Moto X smartphone. It has an identical speaker design, he same button and port layout, even the metallic trim around the sides has been borrowed, giving the phone a more sophisticated look. The LG G3 steps things up a notch with a broader spectrum of colors and a great-looking brushed metal finish applied to its otherwise all-plastic housing. 

Google Nexus 6 and LG G3
Google Nexus 6 and LG G3

Google Nexus 6 and LG G3


While neither of the two phones is water-tight, the Nexus 6 is durable enough to withstand a few light water splashes without sustaining any damage. Doing the same to the LG G3 might result in irreversible damage. Plus, you get a pair of front-facing speakers with Google's new phone, while the G3 has just one placed on its back. On the other hand, a perk offered by LG's flagship is a built-in infra-red blaster, which is used to control TVs and other electronics remotely. 

We must highlight LG's unorthodox button placement – turn it around and you'll find its power and volume keys placed on its back. It is a solution that might not appeal to anyone – sure, it gets the job done, but it takes some getting used to. The Nexus 6 is keeping things simple with its power and volume keys placed on the right side. 

Display


If there's one thing that both phones have plenty of, that would be pixels. The screens on the Nexus 6 and LG G3 have a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels (the highest on a phone so far) producing pixel densities of 493 and 538 pixels per inch respectively. Needless to say, your eyes will have a hard time distinguishing individual pixels on either screens. Size-wise, the panel on the Nexus 6 measures 5.9 inches in diagonal, while the G3 sports a 5.5-inch display – both are sufficiently large for playing games and watching movies, but tricky to operate single-handedly. 

A key difference between the two phones' displays is that the Google Nexus 6 sports an AMOLED panel, while for the G3, LG sticks to its tradition of using IPS LCD displays. Both technologies have their pros and cons. For example, AMOLEDs are known to be less power hungry, while IPS panels could provide superior viewing angles and color accuracy. Whether that's the case will become known once we get to take a Nexus 6 for a spin.

Interface


Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3: in-depth specs comparison
Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3: in-depth specs comparison
Another factor setting the Nexus 6 and LG G3 apart is the software running on them. Yes, they're both Android-powered, but on the former, we have Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, while the LG G3 will be stuck on Android 4.4 until an update is pushed out eventually. 

What's the big deal with Lollipop, you ask? Well, Android's latest flavor brings an interface redesigned from the ground up in accordance to the Material Design principles. The platform's new look aims to deliver a smooth and intuitive experience across screens of all sizes. Under the hood is the new ART runtime replacing Dalvik, thus improving app performance. And that's just the tip of the sweet iceberg. Android 5.0 brings improved notifications, enhanced multitasking, a built-in Do Not Disturb feature, battery life improvements. 

But the LG G3 has a few tricks up its sleeve as well. You see, LG has done its homework and has loaded a feature-rich custom UI on its G3 flagship. It is a mature, well-designed interface with far more goodies than we can go over right now. But if you'd like a few examples, you have the option to customize the entire UI thanks to the built-in support for downloadable themes. Also, you may run certain apps in a window or a couple of apps side by side, whereas stock Android won't let you do any of that. On the other hand, anyone who's into Android's stock, plain look and feel might be put off by the bells and whistles thrown in by the manufacturer.

Processor and memory


Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3: in-depth specs comparison
When it comes to raw processing power, the Google Nexus 6 has the upper hand. It is powered by the Snapdragon 805 quad-core system-on-chip solution featuring a quad-core Krait 450 CPU setup with a 2.7GHz top clock speed. Graphics are handled by the Krait 420 GPU, which is perfectly capable of pushing the display's millions of pixels, and thanks to its 3GB of RAM, the phone should be experiencing no multitasking issues whatsoever. 

Inside the LG G3 we find the slightly weaker Snapdragon 801 chip, with a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400-based CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU. If it wasn't for the screen's high resolution, this hardware combination would have been sufficient for the G3 to provide a smooth experience, but having 1440 by 2560 pixels to push around takes a toll on the phone's performance. The G3 is a fast phone overall, but slight lags are noticeable from time to time. Still, the 3GB of RAM should suffice for a heavy multitasker's needs. 

With a Nexus 6 you get 32 or 64 GB of storage, depending on which model you choose to buy. Storage expansion isn't an option. however, as Nexus phones have long ceased to ship with microSD card slots. The LG G3, in contrast, has one, and you're free to augment its native 32 gigs with up to 128GB extra. 

Camera


Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3: in-depth specs comparison

The Nexus 5 was the first Google phone with a camera that we could actually call "good". Now, the Nexus 6 is stepping its game up a notch with more pixels and what appears to be a better flash. On the phone's back resides a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization, F2.0 aperture, dual LED ring flash, and 4K video support. On paper, the camera on the LG G3 comes close to this configuration, offering 13MP of resolution, F2.4 aperture, a dual-tone LED flash, and 4K video support. The sensor size on both phones' cameras is identical – 1/3.06", with 1.12-micron pixels. So from the looks of it, the cameras should be in the same league when it comes to performance, but then again, we have yet to examine photo samples from the Nexus 6. 

Battery Life


Every phone of this caliber deserves a large battery, don't you agree? That's what we find behind the Nexus 6's non-removable back plate – a 3220mAh juicer capable of lasting through 24 hours of mixed usage, according to Google. Talk time is quoted as 24 hours. If you spend your time watching video or browsing the internet over LTE, the cell will be drained within 10 hours of usage. As an added bonus, Google has added rapid charging to the handset, although we're not yet sure how long it takes to go from zero to a full tank. Flip the G3's cover open and you'll find its 3000mAh removable battery. It is not small but any means, but compared against the Nexus 6's cell, it is undeniably smaller. Talk time on 3G is listed as 21 hours. A cool thing you can do is to recharge the G3 wirelessly, as long as you have a compatible charging dock.

Expectations


Without a doubt, the Google Nexus 6 is shaping up as a worthy rival to the LG G3. We wouldn't go as far as calling it a better phone – it is early for statements as bold as this – but we do consider it a potential winner in certain areas, performance being one of them. Given its hardware configuration, the Google Nexus 6 is better prepared for the future and should prove to be the faster phone overall. Of course, the LG G3 is not a phone to be underestimated. It is the more pocket-friendly phone among the two, with a nice-looking design and an ergonomic shape. 

There's also the price factor. From the looks of it, the times of dirt-cheap Nexus phone is gone as the sixth iteration will carry a $650 price tag (unlocked, without a contract). The LG G3, on the other hand, can be found for around $500 off contract at various retailers. This will make it more tempting of an offer for folks seeking the most value for their money. Still, upgrading to the best of Android could be well worth the expense, and we're looking forward to learning if that's the case.

Related phones

Nexus 6
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3220 mAh(24h talk time)
G3
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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30 Comments

1. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

The G3 offers high quality audio which hopefully the Moto Nexus 6 will match. There is also a removable battery and SD card on the G3. Those are both high value features. When it comes to "what do I do with my phone today?", the LG G3 is a mature phone and can easily be rooted and cleaned of its spyware, i.e. CarrierIQ. It remains to be seen what someone will get with a carrier version of a Moto Nexus 6. Moto has been locking their phones down like crazy and encrypting the bootloaders. It may be that the Nexus 6 is the first Nexus that really isn't a Nexus.

7. nathan.carter

Posts: 416; Member since: Aug 11, 2014

well said

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

I think the Nexus 6 will carry on the Nexus tradition just fine. Besides, your last statement is categorically incorrect. The Galaxy Nexus on Sprint & Verizon already have that title.

2. netholio

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

for buton placement for the G3, you wrote ..."It is a solution that might not appeal to anyone – sure, it gets the job done, but it takes some getting used to." The button placement on the G3 was one of it's key features for me - no more accidentally pushing one of the side or top buttons in the morning when the alarm goes off or when getting the phone out of my pocket. It's been easy to get used to, so it "appealed" to me, as well as several other folks that I work with. Maybe you meant "might not appeal to everyone"? - and I think you'd be right.

4. CommentBoxEnforcer

Posts: 99; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

Would you recommend the g3??I know it been out for a few months now but I'm thinking about buying it this Friday when I get paid.

5. Awalker

Posts: 1962; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

You might want to save your money. I've heard people saying it lags a lot. It may be due to the underpowered chip set.

8. shayanaijaz

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 18, 2010

Yes, definitely buy it. I have been using the g3 for a month now and it has been phenomenal. I have experienced very slight lag for about a millisecond which is nothing to worry about. All day to day tasks are buttery smooth and don't even get me started on knock code. I have a person asking me what phone i have every time I unlock my phone by just tapping the screen when it's asleep. But do get the 32gb version though. the 16gb version has 2gb ram which might cause a little more lag.

9. CommentBoxEnforcer

Posts: 99; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I pretty much know the pros, any con's?

10. shayanaijaz

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 18, 2010

Let's see, the brightness is not high enough for outside use if the sun is shining directly on the phone. I have had a problem with the youtube app where it would say connection lost, and I basically have to restart the phone. I don't know whose fault that is. Another problem for me though is that when recording video with the stock camera app, the app will crash if you try to zoom while recording a video. This seems to be the problem with only t-mobile handsets though. My friend has a g3 on Verizon and he has no problems.

15. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Yea deff a tmobile thing when i had tmobile it sucked i could have full bars lte standing outside i try going on youtube no data coming tru try fb same thing had to restart phone . Had plenty phones from them same thing . Verizon and att dont have that problem just like your friend on verizon doesnt have problems att is the same ..

11. shayanaijaz

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 18, 2010

Another thing. I don't find the headphone output loud enough. My 3 year old ipod touch gives out louder volume. But i think it's just me.

19. jubytmathew

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

I reccommend u buying a lg g3.grt screen,grt camera,good perfomance,light weight,handy,value for money.negatives-battery drains so fast coz of its screen resolution,some lags here and there.screen heats up while uhd video recording.otherwise gem of a phone it is.

20. CruiseGuy

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 18, 2013

I have had the G3 for a couple months now. Its a very nice phone but the button placement is aweful. Horrible. Hideous. I thought I would like it but just can't get used to it. You have to guess where the buttons are unless you turn it around. When I put it in my car, I can't adjust the volume and have to take it out of its car holder. (they came up with a special screen icon to adjust volume but its horrible so I shut that off) so each time you want to adjust volume, you have to unclip the phone from your car holder. Pain in the arse. It lags like anything. And its getting slower and slower for me even after rebuilding. The bottom charge port seems to be sloppy/buggy too. Its still a beautiful phone, but the lagging is getting a little much. Many times it totally freezes for ten seconds. I have rebuilt the phone but its pretty standard. I had all the same software on my Note 3 and it didn't ever lag. Yet I love this phone. I would definitely wait though for the Nexus 6 to see what its like. I finally got to hold the Note 4 today and it felt cheap compared to the LG G3. I was shocked as I had owned the Note 3 and loved it. So I still like the feel of the LG G3 the best. Also, because the navigation buttons are at the bottom of the screen, its almost not a 5.5 inch screen. You can hide them in apps but then its tough to get to them.

3. DurTeeDee

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Wait what? Only when a carrier asks for a locked boot loader its locked, where as normally, you get the key in a manner similar to Sony or htc. Verizon makes them lock it down.

6. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

NEXUS wins for BATTERY LIFE Software experience 32gb-64gb. G3 REMOVEABLE BATTERY SD CARD expandable better OIS CAMERA. This is a tough choosing here. I prefer the NEXUS 6

12. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

Coming from the G2, I was almost certain I was getting the G3(even though that Huawei Mate 7 was giving me pause)but after seeing the Nexus 6, I'm certain this will be my Holiday(Black Friday)purchase.

13. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

Why people are hating on nexus for no sdcard & non-removable battery? This is nexus device. Wtf. Till yesterday everyone was saying nexus stock experience is so awesome, its so fast,only improvement we need is bigger battery & good camera. They gave you that in nexus 6. But now saying, no removable battery, no sdcard & no stylus makes this devices not worth to buy. Haters everywhere.

17. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"Why people are hating on nexus for no sdcard & non-removable battery?" $650. People want value for their money.

16. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

G3 FTW big time.. (for me) better design and much better ergonomics and even though both have same camera sensor size and MP amounts I believe the G3 will have a better camera coz the Nexus devices always had crappy software to mess up the capabilities of the sensor. (hoping for a change this time around) also The 5.9'' is too much (for me) and that alone makes the G3 much more appealing (for me) considering the fact that the S805 equipped version is also available (hard to get though).

18. manikumary unregistered

"The screens on the Nexus 6 and LG G3 have a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels (the highest on a phone so far) producing pixel densities of 493 and 538 pixels per inch respectively" Hello reviewer, we have lenovo vibe z2 pro also

21. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2348; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Niceeee.. Well done gooogle.. First phone that interested me

22. Bukatorade

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Very nice looking phone. I would have a hard time going back to side buttons on a big phone though. LG could work on the back buttons for sure (maybe put the power and volume side by side rather than on top of each other) but I prefer them to stay on the back. Knock On is also very important to me so I think I'm stuck with LG for now and hope Lollipop comes fast!

23. gerardb63

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

To start, I've always been a Nexus phone person. I've owned the 4 and am currently happily using the 5. The key to my choising Nexus was a competitive phone, at a very reasonable price off contract. I've always been very careful with using the memory that came with the phone. I was hoping the Nexus 6 would continue that way of thinking. But the Nexus 6 isn't that, at all. Sure, the guts to the phone are exceeding good, but it does NOT have the SD card, which would make it competitive. Then, even more importantly (due to the screen res and size), you know the 6 is going to be a battery hog, so having the ability to switch batteries late in the day if necessary really would be a valued feature. Yet the price, off contract, is more expensive (or equally expensive, depending on how this suss out) to a phone like the G3 that has those features. So I just don't understand why Google went in this direction?? And of course, the Note 4 will be out soon, though at a premium price, so that has to be thrown into consideration. And don't forget the applie 6+. Oh wait, I forgot, substandard specs at a higher price, without the battery or SD card. Oh yeah, and it's an apple, so it's not REMOTELY in consideration. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I'm sure the Google 6 will be amazing, but just not amazing enough considering its competition.

24. g2a5b0e unregistered

Google stated years ago that the Nexus series will not take SD cards, so I don't understand why that's even a concern. It's a non-starter like with the iPhone.

25. gerardb63

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

It's true that that's what the policy has been. And they didn't have an issue, as they were producing far less expensive phones that the major competitors. Now that they're playing in the same price ballfield, they need to be competitive and they simply aren't (vs the g3 or Note4). As I said at the beginning of my comment, I owned the 4 and I currently own the 5. I am an absolute google supporter. I will not buy the 6 though. Regarding apple, they do what they want and really don't care if their products are actually "competitive", because they know they're isheep will flock to buy not really caring that they're buying 2013 tech, in late 2014/15. They display their arrogance every chance they get.

26. g2a5b0e unregistered

Your comment still makes little sense to me. There are tons of flagship Androids in the same price range as the N6 that don't support micro SD.

27. gerardb63

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

It's your comment is the one that actually makes little sense to me. If, given the choice, for the same price, why wouldn't you take the phone with the option of adding significant memory to your phone, for little money?? (eg. 64gb for < $50) If we were discussing the iphone, to go from 16gb to 64gb would cost you over $100? (which, for the record, is a straight cash-grab by apple, big shock there) Again, value ADDED feature that is lacking in the Nexus 6.

28. g2a5b0e unregistered

First thing: try hitting reply when responding to me. It makes it easier for me to know who you're talking to. Secondly: I've never even come close to using 16GB on a phone. Memory is not a concern for me.

29. gerardb63

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 17, 2014

I'm happy for you. As I use my phone as a music player, I have many GB of music on my phone, so having the ability to add more would be a definite benefit to me. Same goes with movies Therefore I'd definitely go with a phone that had that ability. It would be foolish, on my part, not to purchase the phone that had that ability. And, by playing in the "big boys" price range, the Nexus 6 will obviously be compared (as it clearly is in this forum) and found lacking in both areas. (battery is also major, even though you might never have run out in any given day, I have been on the road with no opportunity to charge and run out. Having a 2nd battery in my pocket will also be a definite added benefit). That why I just don't understand why Google went this way in terms of pricing the 6??

30. g2a5b0e unregistered

I agree with one thing. the non-removable battery is a huge concern for me. I love this device, but that alone makes me not want to jump on it.

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