LG G3 vs LG G2: should you upgrade?

Chances are that if you're reading this post, then you're a proud owner of an LG G2. We're also willing to bet that you're at least somewhat familiar with the LG G3, which the company just announced at its media event. In a nutshell, the new model build up on all that made its predecessor worthy of picking up, all the while improving on features that could have been executed better. Should you bother with upgrading to an LG G3, however? Well, allow us to clear up that matter for you.

A welcome makeover

Last year's LG G2 was a great phone overall, but it was a bit short on appeal with its plasticky construction. It needed something to make it stand out better visually. Thankfully, LG has rectified this in the G3. While the new model is still essentially a phone in a plastic shell, the brushed metallic finish is a lot more catchy than the G2's rather uninspiring plastic back. Be warned, however, that the LG G3 is physically larger than its predecessor, albeit not all that much.

A record-breaking QHD display

If you're wondering what QHD stands for, that's Quad High Definition. In other words, the super-awesome screen on the LG G3 packs four times as many pixels as a 720p display does, and about 1.7 times more than there are on a 1080p display. Thanks to this impressive pixel density, the LG G3 is capable of delivering a level of details never before seen on a smartphone screen. Of course, the G2 is far from obsolete with its 1080p screen, and when put together side by side, the difference in detail on the two phones' screens is barely noticeable. But for perfectionists demanding the very best, a boost to QHD seems be justified.

A flatter interface with extra features

Not only the outside of the LG G3 has a fresh feel to it. The phone's UI has been treated to an overhaul and now sports a flatter and modern look. But the true beauty may lie in the phone's feature set. LG has thrown in a number of software enhancements, among which is an intelligent keyboard that improves accuracy by learning from the user's typing habits. Also, it can be resized vertically for a more comfortable fit. Furthermore, LG has developed a new feature called Smart Notice. It serves as a personal assistant providing notifications at the right times. To augment the phone's set of security functions, LG has added a kill switch for remotely wiping the phone's data if it gets stolen. All in all, it is up to each and every buyer to decide whether or not upgrading because of G3's richer feature arsenal is worth it. 

Faster Snapdragon SoC, microSD card slot in tow 

As a true flagship smartphone should, the LG G3 comes with a very capable system-on-a-chip under its hood – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801. The SoC's quad-core Krait 400 CPU sprints at speeds of up to 2.5GHz, while an Adreno 330 GPU takes care of pushing all those pixels around. Yet the Snapdragon 800 SoC inside the LG G2 is not a slow chip by any means. Once our real-life tests are out, we'll know whether there's any noticeable increase in performance with the new model.

LG has been kind enough to add a microSD card slot on the G3. Residing behind the removable cover, it can accommodate microSD cards of up to 128GB. With the LG G2, you're only stuck with whatever storage space is available internally.

Enhanced image stabilization and laser auto-focus

While the LG G3 sticks to a 13MP resolution for its main camera, it improves on the optical image stabilization system that was found in the LG G2. Dubbed OIS+, it should prove up to 20% more effective in the new model, which is great news. Furthermore, the camera's focusing abilities have been taken to the next level with the help of a laser beam, which allows focusing time to be brought down to as little as 0.276 seconds. This should allow the G3 to capture moments in time quicker than its predecessor. And for taking better videos, LG has added 4K and slow-motion video modes, which weren't present on the G2.

Upgraded speaker and microphones

The built-in speaker on the LG G2 produced poor quality sound at a relatively low volume. This has been taken care of in the LG G3 as the new model packs an upgraded, 1 watt speaker with its own amplifier. We're not expecting miracles out of it, of course, but we're confident that it should sound better than the G2. And speaking of audio, the LG G3 comes with upgraded microphones that can capture sound clearly even at a high volume.  

Improved battery and power efficiency

The G3's battery, which is now removable, by the way, has a capacity of 3000mAh – as much juice as an international LG G2 had. The new cell, however, features technology that is expected to prolong its longevity. In particular, LG's engineers have replaced the metal in the battery cathode with graphite. On top of that, LG has implemented technologies that reduce the screen's power drain while displaying still images – the frame rate and processor clock speed are reduced whenever that's possible in order to save power. Still, as similar tech was also found on the LG G2, we're assuming that the two phones should be in the same league when it comes to battery life. Our real-world tests will show if that's truly the case.


So there you have it. The LG G3 is in many ways better than last year's model, so an upgrade from the LG G2 makes sense. LG's new flagship brings a better screen, a more stylish design, an improved camera, and a more powerful processor to the table, all the while taking care of minor issues that have surely been bugging LG G2 owners all along. We just have to make something clear – one should not be expecting any radical improvements after making the jump to a G3. The new model is better just enough to justify an upgrade, not to bring us into a new era of smartphone evolution. Having this in mind, who is planning on getting the new LG G3 once it is released? Or would you rather stick to the LG G2 until the G4 comes along? Let us know down in the comments!

Related phones

  • 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)
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(21.3h 3G talk time)



1. Yubnub

Posts: 100; Member since: May 23, 2013

I love my g2 but I'm definitely upgrading.

14. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

I'll wait tell Anandtech reviews it. I trust those guys (plus, they do the whole screen testing thing of how much of the ARGB scale it gets).

2. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2264; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

ill pass,wait for G4..

3. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 2014

Mhmmmm this or the iphone 6 I have a note 3 now kinda want a reasonable size phone this phone is nice though.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Well considering the G3 has a 5.5" display, however it is physically around the size of a Galaxy S5, or Xperia Z2. The note 3 has a 5.7" display.

13. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

I wonder how the battery life will compare, my Note 3 gets godlike battery life. Right now I am at 80% with a little under 15 hours of use and I watched several videos on youtube, a couple of episodes of blu ray quality anime with flac audio and I browsed the web for like an hour.

4. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

I'm not sure if this thing will be faster than the G2 because of the QHD display (if Games and stuff like that are running at native QHD resolution). Other than that if LG got rid of (or just trimmed) their massive, inconsistant & ugly UI, the G3 has the goods.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The G3 is only 300ghz faster then the G3. The G2 is still an excellent smartphone. You talk about the UI being a problem. We are not talking about any other mobile OS here. This is Android which easily allows you to change the UI. You can still have the multi-window support as well.

20. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Hopefully there's a Google Play Edition...

5. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

I'm not sure if this thing will be faster than the G2 because of the QHD display (if Games and stuff like that are running at native QHD resolution). Other than that if LG got rid of (or just trimmed) their massive, inconsistant & ugly UI, the G3 has the goods.

6. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Wait for G4...I am not sold on the idea of QHD displays powered by S801...sure adreno330 can handle...but not at same performance level as FHD...this might have been very compelling upgrade if powered by S805!

7. alaw.14

Posts: 426; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

0.276s auto focus.......Damn!!!! Thats faster than the 0.3s autofocus from the s5 and m8 cameras

18. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

And not just in bright light either. The laser works all the way down to pitch darkness.

9. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

May be should wait for G3 6" version.

10. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

the laser autofocus seems nice but QHD is a no buy for me.. even if it sports a large battery i don't really think its good for the CPU or the battery.. and 1080 is enough..

11. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

Nope. It's not worth it. My G2 has everything I need. I don't play GTA, run benchmark tests or look at my screen through microscope. Display is also too big for my taste. It's an awesome device, but I think that only 2010. flagship users really need to upgrade.

19. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

So according to you someone with a Galaxy S2 wouldnt need to update? Hell a guy with S3 maybe even S4 would see a huge benefit.

22. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

He didn't mention s2.. he said g2. Smh

15. AtheK

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

sticking to G2 for now, 805 would have done the trick though

16. Sprissy

Posts: 193; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

Staying with the G2, 3 gig of ram and the 805 would have done it for me.

17. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Looks like flat is in.... Flat is modern..

21. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

And guess who started the trend? (Hint: it's not Apple)

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