Camera Comparison: LG G2 vs Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, HTC One

Introduction


LG is a brand name that has been absent from our routine smartphone camera comparisons for quite some time. That's because even though its recent high-end handsets have been pretty great overall, their cameras have always been a few steps behind the competition – Samsung, Apple, Nokia, and even Sony. The case with the recently announced LG G2, however, is quite a bit different. We just gave it the review treatment only to discover that its 13MP main snapper, equipped with all kinds of goodies including optical image stabilization, was actually well worthy of competing with the big boys. But how exactly does the G2's cam stack up against them? Well, that's what we're about to find out. For this smartphone camera comparison, we've chosen to pit the LG G2 against the Samsung Galaxy S4, the iPhone 5, and the HTC One, all of which are known to be very potent in the camera department. Yeah, the battle will be tough, but at the end, only one of these four handsets will stand victorious.

Note: the Panasonic Lumix GH2 is used as a reference camera.

Details


The outdoor weather conditions weren't optimal during our shoot-out, but nevertheless, all four smartphones lived up to the challenge. Some of them, of course, did noticeably better than the rest. The photos from the LG G2 are slightly sharper than normal, but overall, they are extremely detailed. At 100% zoom, you can easily explore the image from up close and, for example, read the cars' license plates or examine the ornaments on the façades of buildings. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is only a tad behind as its photos are a bit hazier. The iPhone 5 produces detailed photos, but with more digital noise visible in them. As for the HTC One, its images are definitely usable for posting online or for making small prints, but its rivals are a step ahead when it comes to capturing details.






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54 Comments

55. djvtech

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 26, 2013

I got an s4 and the focusing distance is 7cm. Pretty lame compared to my 3 year old HTC raider that focused as close as 3cm and takes nicer photos (color, contrast, white balance, sharpness) than the s4! The lens i wide also. What a disspointment s4.

52. MOTU000

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 06, 2013

Is the author reviewing phones or cameras??? I could give a rats butt about taking high quality pictures with a phone. It's a tool - mostly a communications tool. How about focusing on something relevant to the fact that it's a PHONE - reception, voice quality, battery life, user interface, etc. I have a Razr Maxx HD for a personal phone and a S4 as a work phone. When it comes to communications, the Maxx HD kicks the S4's butt. When I want to take good quality pictures or video, I use something called a CAMERA.

54. djvtech

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 26, 2013

They're smart phones. "multi tools". Ones that cost several hundred dollars. A normal home 'phone' only costs like 30$, so these 'phones' have no excuse to not have a decent camera.

50. note2guy11

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 15, 2013

Does any one know where I can see a comparison of actual angular field of view of each phone camera? Knowing the actual focal length isn't usually enough. Actual verified angular field of view would be a great addition to any smartphone website's list of specs.

49. webvigour

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

my vote is with HTC One as I am a big fac of HTC brand

48. webvigour

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Its a perfect match of style and technology I think..

44. Trex95

Posts: 2402; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Phone arena how come S4 better in night shots i don't get it! IPhone 5 looks better even with zoom?!

43. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

G2 almost matches with GH2.

38. Trex95

Posts: 2402; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Why all pics does have different colors production!

35. SonyCraperiaSucks

Posts: 25; Member since: Aug 30, 2013

S4 looks better, and people who say that there is no XZ is because it sucks.

36. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Your comment is telling us who really Sucks!

33. sunnyfpy

Posts: 297; Member since: May 12, 2013

G2 is top camera phone.

32. yasir-921

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

I hope that the LG Officials are thoroughly reading the reviews and commentary on it! It can be helpful for you in future, officials! :)

30. yasir-921

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

PhoneArena: G2 camera is better than its competitor. GSMArena: G2 is the fastest smart phone to date (or as of 2013 perhaps)

51. mrjamesdean5

Posts: 10; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Now LG is on the top with the G2

29. yasir-921

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

SGS4 can be dumped for a G2. Reason being the OIS while allows better low light shots at which the SGS4 lags behind! I have taken over a thousand shots with my SGS4. From potraits to close ups of our family, cat to few wedding shoots and many landscapes. My SGS4 struggled in HDR Mode where the difference in shades between a normal shot and an HDR shot was minimal! Moreover, it captured only average low light indoor and outdoor shots. The panoramas were also Ok. One thing I noticed while capturing wedding shots in a hall is that there is different lighting in different parts of the hall. For instance, the stage is sufficiently lit, the section for guests to sit is adequately lit, while the corners may be lightly lit During the use of my SGS4 in this situation, what I conclude is that it took Ok shots, not good and not worse with digital noice and shakiness noticable! With the G2 in hand with its OIS, the aforementioned scenes will be greatly captured! So camera junkis like me ( who also don't carry Pro Cameras or DLSRs all the time or juat dont want to), the LG G2 is a Must-To-Have Smart phone.

24. FaisalWibowo11

Posts: 166; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

Good God, why in the blue hell do phonearena teams put HTC one in camera comparison again? it always comes as the worst performer for goodness' sake! They should put recent firmware updated Sony Xperia Z to make this camera comparison more fair and rounded (three 13MP cameras and 1 8MP camera) I remembered the last time xperia z was in a camera comparison, it finished third with a score of 6.7 behind iphone 5 (6.8) and galaxy s4 (7.6) and defeated galaxy s3 (6.4), lumia 920 (6.3) and HTC One (5.9) i'm sure with the recent firmware xperia z will at least beat iphone 5, don't know the chances of beating galaxy s4 and lg g2 though

22. yasir-921

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Oh My God Becky, Look at the phone! Its so fantastic (:P) The beating by the G2 in camera department specially shows that the G2 is really some thing outstanding! Great job done by LG. It's my next phone. Hey Nick T, I would like to add that the SG S4 performs not that great in low light and indoor shots! LG implementing the OIS in a 13MP Camera would really change such results!

14. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The G2 delivers around the S4 Octa, slightly less details and lower dynamic range, but slightly better low-light performance. It's perfectly acceptable and would choose the G2 over the S4 anyway. Let's just wait and see what the Note III has to say about that. And the Sony Honami. And the Oppo N1. And then we can throw in the 808 and the Lumia 1020 and have the ultimate camera showdown. Until then, well done LG (well, technically well done Sony!).

17. papss unregistered

I pretty much agree with you but the last part.. LG software is also the reason for great pics

39. Trex95

Posts: 2402; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Still this nothing wait for Xperia Z1 aka Honmai vs IPhone 5S 12 MP vs Note 3 13 MP OIS then will see which one the best.

10. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

LG now just say THANX to SONY for making such nice SENSORS

12. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

I think GS4 and Iphone5 also use Sony sensor

41. Trex95

Posts: 2402; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

All phones camera BSI sensor that made by Sony.

45. guruprasad

Posts: 33; Member since: Jul 13, 2011

who said all bsi sensors r made by sony... omni vision makes bsi sensors so does lg which manufactures their own. the one in optimus g was made by lg itself...

8. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

Why not using Lumia 1020 for reference

6. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Well done LG, G2 is truly a monster phone. and i hope HTC ditch ultra pixel thing because it's kinda under performing compared to its opponents in almost every comparison. HTC One looks great but camera kinda disappointing. impressed by iPhone 5. Last year phone still standing up to most of this years flagship phones. This is what i love about Apple, they may not be top in all department but still hold their ground. Decent premium looking phone

5. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

camera comparison without NOKIA ..Great!! the best company when it come to phone camera and it's not here .. #people will say it's not fair coz lumia 1020 is pure camera beast..but u can put lumia 920/925 !!

9. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

11. SonyXperiaNexus

Posts: 374; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

agreed. if u r gonna put htc one then also put 925

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