LG G4 vs Apple iPhone 6: first look
LG has finally lifted the cover off its brand new flagship phone: the LG G4. A 5.5-inch phone that retains the design language of the LG G3 with LG's signature rear-positioned buttons, it now adds a focus on style with a new option for the build materials: in addition to the regular plastic version, the LG G4 comes in a model featuring genuine leather back cover.
Naturally, the first device that the LG G4 will fight for attention in the crowded smartphone space is the Apple iPhone 6. The two devices are different in size: the iPhone 6 is a smaller, 4.7" device with aluminum finish and it runs on iOS 8 rather than Android, but that is the decision that many consumers will face.
We've taken a quick first look at the two devices, comparing them both in terms of physical appearance and underlying specs and performance. Let's see how they differ.
The new LG G4 comes in two versions that differ in the materials used to make their back cover: the first one features a genuine leather back cover with a signature stitch that goes right along the center, while the second model comes with a regular, plastic back with a not-so-mundane diamond pattern. The Apple iPhone 6, on the other hand, is an all-metal creation.
The two also differ vastly in size: the 5.5-inch LG G4 is a large phone, while the iPhone 6 has a much more pocket-friendly size, and it’s also the one that’s noticeably thinner and lighter: thickness is 0.27” (6.9mm) on the iPhone and 0.25” to the whopping 0.39” (9.8mm) on the G4. In fact, the G4 is the thickest, chubbiest flagship of the year.
The interesting thing about the LG G4, though, is its Slim Arc curvature that is a subtle touch (much subtler than the curved back of, say, the LG G Flex 2), but that slight design quirk allows the phone to handle itself much better when dropped, as there is reduced chance of the phone landing flat on the screen, hence the chances to break that display are lower.
The color options on the LG G4 include: Ceramic white, metallic gray and gold for the plastic model, and red, brown, and black genuine leather. The iPhone 6, on the other hand, has a silver, gold, and dark grey color finishes.
The LG G4 is equipped with a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, and it’s using an IPS LCD panel that LG claims has improved qualities over the G3 predecessor. The Apple iPhone 6, on the other hand, features a 4.7-inch screen with a resolution of 750 × 1334 pixels and also uses IPS LCD technology. LG has earlier said that the screen will have a 120% color gamut, a 50% higher contrast ratio (compared to the G3) and it's 30% brighter than most other displays.
We don’t have the full screen measurements of the LG G4, but initial impressions do seem to confirm that the phone performs well under direct sunlight with its high brightness, while we’d have to test more to give a conclusion on the color accuracy. The iPhone 6, on the other hand, is one of the flagship phones with best color accuracy, and it’s a beauty to behold.
LG has officially unveiled the new UX 4.0 before the announcement of the LG G4 and it retains the flat style of the G3 interface remains, but it has added a splash of color. LG promises some big changes, and the one we're most excited about is the improvement to speed: UX 4.0 is said to run smoother. The Apple iPhone 6, on the other hand, comes with the familiar iOS 8 platform that grants access to the rich App Store ecosystem, takes pride in its user-friendliness, and runs smoothly.
LG also brings new features like Quick Shot that allows you to double-tap on the rear home key to start the camera swiftly from any app and even when your display is off.
As a whole, UX 4.0 learns more from your routines, making the Smart Notice smarter, and the information is far more relevant. So, if you are a runner, the notification will offer the weather forecast as well as additional tid bits like, “Perfect time to go for a run.” Unique customizations continue from there where the UX 4.0 will also assign a unique ringtone ID for every caller that is in your favorites list.
In order to make full use of the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 that it features, the LG G4 runs on the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop with LG’s updated UX 4.0 custom skin on top. The iPhone 6, on its part, features Apple’s custom creation, the Apple A8 with second-gen Cyclone CPU cores.
The reason why LG uses the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 chip rather than the more powerful Snapdragon 810 seems to lie in the better power optimization (so that it can avoid issues with overheating). The Snapdragon 808 (MSM8992) is a 20nm hexa-core chip with 2 high-performance Cortex A57 cores and four battery-savvy Cortex A53 cores, combined in a big.LITTLE setup. The Apple A8, on the other hand, features a dual-core CPU setup with two larger cores that have outstanding single-core performance. RAM is 3GB on the G4, and 1GB on the iPhone 6.
In terms of GPU, the LG G4 with Snapdragon 808 uses the Adreno 418 chip, while Apple traditionally relies on an ImgTec GPU, in the iPhone 6 case, it’s the PowerVR GX6450 (more on its performance here).
The base LG G4 model features 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via microSD cards of up to 128 gigs. The iPhone 6, on the other hand, does not supports expandable storage (it has no microSD card slot), and the base model comes with half the storage - 16GB.
The LG G4 sports a brand new 16-megapixel 1/2.6” sensor with a fast f/1.8 six-element aperture lens, laser auto-focus assist, optical image stabilization, and a dual-LED flash. The f/1.8 lens in particular is an exciting first in the mainstream smartphone world (some phones from China, though, have already featured such a lens). Such a wide-aperture lens comes with advantages for low-light shooting, as wider aperture allows for more light to hit the sensor, and in theory, this results in better noise management. The Apple iPhone 6, on the other hand, features an 8-megapixel main camera that comes with larger, 1.5-micron pixels, and the lens used on the iPhone 6 has f/2.2 aperture and a six-element construction.
After going full-auto with the camera app on the G3, LG goes back to the drawing board with camera inteface in the G4 and brings different shooting modes, including a rich, full-manual mode. The Apple iPhone 6, on the other hand, has a simplistic camera app that offers a toggle for HDR, as well as manual exposure control.
What about the camera samples, though? We managed to snap the first sample images with the LG G4 to give you a rough idea about what pictures from the 16MP shooter actually look like. Notice that this phone comes with second-generation optical stabilization (OIS 2) for a boost in shooting in low light.
The LG G4 boasts a 3000mAh battery, which is the same size as its predecessor, the LG G3 had. The Apple iPhone 6, in comparison, features a much more modest 1810mAh battery cell.
Having a larger battery might be the reason why the LG G4 is not among the thinnest phones out there, but users who prefer longer battery life will appreciate this. How do the LG G4 and iPhone 6 compare in battery life? It’s a bit too early to tell - we’re yet to run our detailed battery life tests, but those results should be coming in the near future, so stay tuned.
In conclusion, it's clear that the LG G4 has added some improvements over its predecessor with the option for a more premium quality leather back, something that fashion-conscious users will appreciate, the new 16MP camera with OIS 2, as well as the boosted performance coming courtesy of the Snapdragon 808. Admittedly, though, it's a chubby device. On the other side of the fence stands the iPhone 6 that is just a very different phone: first, it's smaller, then, it's extremely slim and made out of metal, and it runs iOS rather than Android. Also, it does not offer the option to swap batteries or expand storage via microSD cards. Check your own priorities to make the best decision between these two, based on these key differences.