Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G3
Two similarly great cameras with fast focus systems and OIS
Like in previous years, Apple has yet again refused to jump onto the megapixel bandwagon and start an arms race with the Android world. To that end, the shooter found on board is an 8-megapixel iSight camera complemented by a five-element, f/2.2 lens, a two-tone LED flash, and optical image stabilization. Focus speed is improved thanks to a phase-detection system – special focus pixels in the sensor. At the front, we're looking at a 1.2-megapixel selfie snapper, which should suffice for your occasional video calls.
Looking at the LG G3 next, we've got a 13-megapixel sensor with a narrower, f/2.4 lens and a dual tone LED flash. The G3's rear camera is also optically-stabilized, and features the company's second-gen OIS+ tech that, in our experience, is pretty good at compensating for shake during video recording. Focus is aided by the laser beam on the back. Turning the G3 around, we're met with a 2.1-megapixel shooter at the front, which, again, should serve your selfie and video call needs well.
In terms of their interfaces, you'll find that both devices offer a pretty simple one, even when you venture into the settings menus. This translates into a hassle-free operation in landscape and portrait modes, and the overall experience is focused on getting a shot fast and easy. Both devices also have support for automatic HDR and panoramas, though the G3 stands out with extras like Magic focus (allows you to change the focus point post-capture or set it to infinite) and Dual mode (fires a shot with both the front and rear cameras simultaneously). Where the iPhone 6 Plus wins out is the ability to lock focus and manually adjust exposure right from the viewfinder – two options that are not available with the LG G3.
When shooting outdoors during the day, the two cameras are a somewhat alike in their behavior – both introduce a slightly warm tint, but not one that is overpowering enough to warrant a serious critique. Where they differ is the relative saturation of the colors they produce – the LG G3 is prone to overstating those, though – again – we're talking about small deviations. That said, the iPhone 6 Plus does provide the slightly more realistic results, and we especially like the dynamics of its shots on the whole.
As for snaps inside, when light is not as abundant, we're starting to notice a more clear split in the performance of the two. On the whole, when not making use of its flash, the LG G3 produces shots that are noticeably brighter, which helps with discerning details even in darker corners of the composition, but the shots are, overall, very warm – enough to skew color reproduction in the iPhone 6 Plus' favor. A reversal is seen when the flash does go off, however – the LG G3's dual tone flash causes snaps that are not as pleasantly-warm as with the iPhone 6. On the other hand, the iPhone 6 Plus' flash isn't as powerful, so scenes end up a tad darker than with the LG G3.
Moving onto video capture, both devices can shoot 1080p clips at 30 framers per seconds (FPS), though the iPhone 6 Plus can also do 1080p at 60 FPS and even capture 720p clips at 120 and 240 FPS. There's also an extra Time Lapse mode, which condenses lengthy footage into a short clip for an artistic effect. Where the iPhone 6 Plus falls short, though, is the lack of extremely-high-resolution, 4K UHD video – a saving grace for the G3's camcorder.
On the whole, clips with both devices are above average, though the G3 does produce a tad too contrasty clips with overstated colors. Footage is also, on the whole, quite warm, regardless of whether you're shooting at 1080p or 4K. As for the iPhone 6 Plus – its footage is also on the warm side, but the effect is not as visible, and it tends to produce more natural tones. The optical image stabilization works great on both, so panning during capture is silky-smooth.
These 5.5-inch screens are made for watching video, but the G3 comes with the better player
With both devices featuring large, 5.5-inch screens, there's no questioning their role as an on-the-go multimedia hub. Also helpful with that are the high resolutions of both panels, though the LG G3's is obviously more detailed, even though content for such insane pixel counts is extremely rare.
Lastly, opening up the galleries side-by-side, the two are down to the point. The iPhone 6's, this time around, however, is more flexible, and allows you to split photos by the date and place they were taken – a neat feature if you want to organize them into albums.