LG G4 vs Sony Xperia Z3: first look

Well, folks – it's here – LG's new ceramic-finished or leather-clad flagship. Toting the same thin bezel that the company has been famous for since the release of the G2, combined with the arched build that's been borrowed from the G Flex and G Flex 2, and, of course, the rather unique materials used in its build – surely enough, the LG G4 is, if nothing else, one of the more unique smartphones that we've seen so far in 2015. So, how does it stack up against the competition? In this issue of First look – let's pit it against the slightly aged, but still classy, Sony Xperia Z3.


The Xperia Z3 sports the very materials in its design that LG refers to as cliché and cold – a metal frame, sandwiched between two glass panels to form a body with a non-removable battery. Even so, we still appreciate Sony's minimalistic rectangular Omni-Balance design, softened with its rounded-off edges, which feel good in the hand and still look premium. The G4, however brings a few unique touches to the table – an arched body, which should fit better in the user's hand, a very generous screen-to-body ratio, and, of course, a back made of either ceramic finish or stylish leather. The G4 also retains the tradition of having a removable and user-replaceable battery.


Sony is yet firm in its decision to not cross over to QHD land with its flagships, keeping the maximum resolution it would go to pinned at 1080 x 1920 pixels. Still, with the Xperia's 5.2” display, this results in a 424 PPI density, which is rather crisp and users should not be able to discern individual pixels, even from up close.

LG, on the other hand, was first to sell a QHD (1440 x 2560) display-equipped smartphone worldwide (the LG G3), and, naturally, stays true to the cause it helped pioneer – the G4 still rocks the super-crisp resolution, stretched across a 5.5” screen, which results in the sharp 538 PPI density. LG says the G4 is equipped with a new tech, dubbed Quantum Display, which should bring better, life-like colors to the user.

While it's a bit early to cast final judgment, we'd say that the G4 wins out by numbers.


Sony was never too heavy on features, keeping its interface simple and snappy – something that a lot of users can appreciate. The Xperia Z3 has been updated to Android 5 Lollipop, but Sony is in no hurry to go “flat” with its aesthetics it seems, as it has largely kept the skeumorphic looks if the Xperia interface.

LG, on the other hand, was among the first to go “flat” – some would even say that the LG UI did it “before it was cool”. It was also one of the heavier interfaces – in league with Samsung's TouchWiz, even. Well, the company calls its interface for the G4 “human-centric”, removing clutter and unneeded steps in various processes, and adding a few improvements to better organize events, notifications, photos, together with a camera quick-snap function.

Feature-wise – you can be sure that the G4 is more packed.

Processor and Memory

The Xperia Z3 rocks the somewhat aging, but still quite potent Snapdragon 801 – the SoC of choice for most of last year's flagships, and with good reason. Sporting 4 cores, clocked at 2,5 GHz, and coupled with the generous 3 GB of RAM, the Xperia Z3 still performs without a hitch.

The LG G4 will come with the Snapdragon 808 – a hexacore SoC, which some speculate is an alternative to the Snapdragon 810, needed due to heating issues with the latter. The 808 is still a young and unknown breed, though, Qualcomm says it's the perfect choice for the G4, with a X10 LTE modem, Adreno 418 GPU (which Qualcomm says it has designed specifically for the G4's demanding QHD display), and energy-saving capabilities, which can keep the lights on 20% longer than the LG G3 can. Memory-wise, the phone also has 3 GB of RAM.


Sony's Xperias, naturally, rock homemade sensors, and the one on the Xperia Z3 is no exception. Sporting a 20.7 MP snapper with an F2.0 aperture on its back, and a 2.2 MP shooter on the front, the Z3 looks like it has a potent camera on paper. However, experience with the phone has shown us that it's not as stellar as we might expect – while the Xperia Z3 makes good photos, it is easily outdone by a lot of competitors' flagships.

The G4 has a homebrew 16 MP camera with the impressive aperture of F1.8, assisted by OIS 2.0 (stabilization that works in the x, y, and z planes), and a Color Spectrum Sensor – a build on the G3's laser autofocus sensor, which should now help the camera discern between light and objects in a scene, allowing for faster focus and better luminance.

The selife shooter if the G4 is nothing to smirk at, too, sporting an 8 MP sensor, with an F2.0 aperture – sounds promising!


In closing – the G4 definitely looks like a contender in the 2015 flagship playing field – while its processor may be a bit dodgy, we'll wait to put it through its paces, before casting judgment. However, in terms of camera, display, and design – LG is in the game. The Xperia Z3 is not too far behind it, though, so owners of Sony's flagship need not hurry to upgrade – it still has a lot of juice left in it.

Related phones

  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18.5h talk time)
Xperia Z3
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(14h talk time)



1. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Beautiful G4! Still Z3 has thicker bezels "TOP BEZELS"

3. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Z3 also has dual front speakers also

9. josephnero

Posts: 781; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

And is waterproof and thinner

7. sunjay140

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

How are those front facing speakers working out for the G4? Oh yeah, it doesn't have any.

10. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Now that I am using the Galaxy S4, I realized that the bezels are needed. Okay LG has at least on screen buttons, but on Samsung it is impossible to comoftably rest my thumb on the bottom bezel, because the buttons get oressed all the time! Super annoying lol.

2. waddup121 unregistered

LG G4 vs the world


Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

Amazing design and materials Keep up the great works LG FIGHTING

11. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Great camera but everything else is the same.

5. josephnero

Posts: 781; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

You should do your homework Phonearena.Even Z2 has Quantum dot Display technology.it's not really new.

6. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

the question is which one is better? maybe there is something special characteristic on LG's Quantum display its QHD not just FHD.

8. josephnero

Posts: 781; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Resolution doesn't change the point i'm talking about

12. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Judging from the pictures in this comparison, the G4 screen looks leagues better. Still, the wallpapers are too different and it doesn't seem like the Z3 is on full brightness because the Z3 gets BRIGHT.

13. progosu

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 21, 2015

Z3 is big but this thing is just enormous does it come with a backpack or what? How am I possibly supposed to carry it?

14. coopstar6

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 29, 2015

Xperia is the coolest phone there is, all i wanted was a better processor and gpu and they delivered, now its the perfect device for remote play and android games with the dualshock 4. Its almost stock android which is best and AMOLED 2K screens are cool but i can settle for lcd and its benefits of a slimmer/lighter device and better battery life. Sony aims perfectly at its target demographic which is people with a ps4, that love gaming and going to the pool, jacoozi or taking a bath everyday. As far as people complaining about the design? Dont fix what is not broken, Sonys name is awesome and so is the design from an artistic point of view, the sleek subtle designs, logo and accessories to accent the phones qualities (gaming mount, magnetic charger for maintaining ip68). It sells great in Japan but not here...marketing is bad out here, i sell phones for verizon and my manager gets mad when i sell the phone because it doesnt gain good gross profit for retailers and other employees dont sell it because sony offers no incentives. samsung goes out the door like crazy because the employee pay checks go up with cash spiffs and better gross profit. we hate selling apple because theres no gross profit and no cash spiffs but at least there is crazy accessories all over the store to help our pay checks. SONY I LOVE YOUR PHONES AND I SELL THEM FOR PERSONAL REASONS BUT PLEASE FIX YOUR MARKETING IN AMERICA, OFFER MORE GP TO STORES AND INCENTIVES TO EMPLOYEES TO SELL THEM AND YOU WILL SEE THE CHANGE!!! ps when its slow i play on my game mount and show off the ds4 with modern combat 5 and it sells its self, too bad i have to defill the phone cause theres never any in stock!

15. Modest_Moze

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 23, 2015

somehow G4 looks like a brick lol

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