Sony Xperia Z3 vs LG G3: first look

The Sony Xperia Z3 comes a mere six months after its predecessor made waves with its powerful internals and refined design. And it's almost exactly what the Sony Xperia Z2 was to the Xperia Z1 – a subtle, but significant update that takes the Xperia series in no direction other than forward. On the other side of the ring, we have the still fresh LG G3, which is one of the best smartphones to have come this year. Both the Xperia Z3 and the G3 will be competing for attention for some time to come, so let's let them wrestle each other and see what happens!


Sony did a great job with the looks, but LG G3 wins the ergonomic challenge.

Different as they are, the Sony Xperia Z3 and LG G3 share a common design trait – efficiency! Sony's engineers strive for symmetry and precision, which is why the company's flagship phones keep to simple shapes and always feel so remarkably balanced in the hand. LG's concept for efficiency led to remarkably thin bezels and a terrifically sculpted back panel, all to make the 5.5-inch behemoth fit as best as it possibly could inside your hand. Build quality is another matter, however. The Xperia Z3 is all about aluminum and tempered glass, while the LG G3 is an interesting exercise in giving plastic an expensive look. Both phones are quite sturdy, but the Xperia Z3 has the metal edge.

It's very interesting to note how the two phones size up to each other. Sony's new flagship measures an imposing 5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches (146 x 72 x 7.3 mm), 5.36 oz (152 g), while the LG G3, with its bigger 5.5-inch display, is a close 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm), 5.26 oz (149 g). Hands down, Sony did an excellent job with slimming the Xperia Z3's sides from the Z2's 0.32 inches (8.2mm) down to just 0.28 inches (7.3mm). But with its reasonable dimensions and well thought-out back panel button placement, the LG G3 wins the ergonomics challenge.

The Sony Xperia Z3 comes in Black, White, Copper, and Silver Green, while the LG G3 is available in Black, White, and Gold. But which phone is the one to take a shower with? The Xperia Z3 is tightly sealed against water and dust, and should be able to survive half-hour underwater dips of 1.5 meters. The LG G3 has no ingress protection, but water torture tests have shown that the phone survives water accidents. Sensors-wise, the Xperia Z3 is notable for its step counter and detector to aid your walking consciousness, while the LG G3 doesn't have any sensors beyond the usual set – light, gyro, GPS, and the like.


Both phones have displays that are extremely pleasant to look at, but the LG G3's has the wow-factor.

The Xperia Z3 boasts with a clear and bright 5.2-inch 1080p LCD screen with a pixel density of 442ppi and Sony's TRILUMINOS Display, Live Color LED, and X-Reality technologies caring for the best possible view. On the other hand, the LG G3's 5.5-inch QHD display with a pixel density of 538 ppi is a flawed masterpiece. While the increase in resolution is noticeable, the G3's display is dim and over-sharpened when put next to the Z3's. Still, both phones are pleasant to look at. If you are looking to future-proof yourself and enjoy catching microscopic details, consider the LG G3 – otherwise the Xperia Z3 is a winner.


Sony is decidedly multimedia-centric, while the LG G3 aims to please the everyman.

The Sony Xperia UI and the LG Optimus UI have distinct visual languages and software features. Visually, both are modern and have the relative advantage of functioning pretty much like "stock" Android, while still having an identity. Sony and LG's user interfaces are clean, sharp, and devoid of confusing menus and visual clutter. Sony is decidedly multimedia-centric with its music and video apps and widgets, while the LG G3 aims to please the everyman by keeping its interface simple, colorful, light on factory apps, and embracing personalization.

Processor and memory

Both the Xperia Z3 and LG G3 will comfortably hold their own for another year or two.

Sony's flagship presents a conservative approach. Instead of overloading on cutting-edge specs, the vendor decided on the proven combination of a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core CPU and 3GB of RAM. This is exactly what a high-end smartphone with a 1080p display needs to operate smoothly and have great battery life! But what about a QHD phone? Well, LG pulled off quite a bit of magic to make the LG G3 keep pace on the exact same hardware platform, but a high working temperature, diminished battery life, and occasionally sluggish performance show the phone is struggling for breath.


Both smartphones are terrific cameraphones!

Sony went all-in on the Xperia Z3's camera. It sports a mighty 20.7MP sensor with 8x digital zoom, and 3x "Clear Image" zoom, while the front cam is a handy 2.2MP unit with 1080p video chat and recording support. The LG G3 also sources camera technology from Sony, but it's quite modest in comparison – it has a 13MP rear camera and a 2.1MP mugshot maker. The secret sauce to the G3's brilliant photography is the Laser Focus. Who knew a vacuum cleaner laser could make for such a fast and efficient focus system? Both phones offer 1080p and 4K video recording, along with their Snapdragon chipsets' built-in photo re-focusing and editing trickery.


The Xperia Z3 and LG G3 are very compelling devices, but they attract a different crowd each. If you want a slim smartphone that's great at just about everything – except handling it with ease - you might end up satisfied with the Xperia Z3 As for the G3, it's still the most compact 5.5-inch smartphone in the Western market, and is an excellent smartphone despite its flaws. No matter which one you choose, you will gain the privilege of calling yourself a power-user!

Related phones

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)
  • 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)



1. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

I think it's apples and oranges. An did you already test the Z3's camera? I mean wow!, that was fast...

2. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Hopefully in another month or two, PA will be able to test all the new phones. Looking forward to seeing whether or not Sony improved the headphone output of the Z3/Z3C. They do list some buzzword-type stuff on paper, but not the output voltage/current.

3. caesantos

Posts: 90; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

I am not a LG fan, but G3 is better than Sony Z3.

4. f35hunter

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

PA just made a review without actually test both phones just trying to bash the z3

5. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Um, no, both phones are pretty un-bashable :)

6. f35hunter

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

but i think it is early to assume that g3 is better before the full test of the z3 ;)

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