Camera comparison: LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, iPhone 5s, LG G2, Sony Xperia Z2, HTC One (M8)
Knowing that the LG G2 had an outstanding camera, we expected nothing short of great results from its successor. And sure enough, the LG G3 did not leave us disappointed with its 13MP camera. The snapper is about as capable as those on the current leaders on the market, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2, and the iPhone 5s. But at the same time, we can't say that the LG G3 is a leader in the pack. Sure, it is a worthy performer, but it is not superior to its Samsung-made rival. Color accuracy is one of the key areas where the G3 could have performed better, and honestly, we were expecting more from it in the video department. On the other hand, we're very pleased with the details in the G3's photos. Its night-time images, panoramas, and HDR shots are also worthy of admiration.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 once again showed us that it is an all-aroung great cameraphone. Its 16MP camera has its flaws, but at the same time, it excelled in most of the scenes that we shot with it. Given enough light, the Galaxy S5 outruns the competition – not by much, but its advantage is still a fact. Just don't expect it to beat the G3 in a night-time shoot-out.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is still standing strong even though it is a model form last year. With its detailed images and videos, it can give even the LG G3 some heated competition. What's more, the Note 3 is an ideal phone for taking 1080p video.
Then we have the iPhone 5s, which demonstrates that 8MP of resolution should be enough for the average consumer's needs. Apple's smartphone is extremely easy to use, all the while enabling us to capture beautiful photos and videos. Color accuracy, however, isn't its strength.
As for the Sony Xperia Z2, it is also a cameraphone that should not be underestimated. Thanks to its 20.7MP camera, it can capture beautiful, detailed photos in a variety of conditions. But stacked up against the LG G3, Sony's flagship phone is a step behind despite its advantage in megapixel count.
The HTC One (M8) ended up last in our comparison for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the UltraPixel approach hurts image detail dramatically, and that's clear to see once you take a look at photos from the M8 and its rivals side by side. Color accuracy also leaves a lot to be desired. At least its videos look presentable.
Oh, and about the LG G2, it may have lost its flagship status, but it is still a capable cameraphone. With 13MP of resolution and optical image stabilization at its disposal, it produces very likeable photos, at least in most cases. Yet its results aren't as consistent as those from the G3. Some images turn out great, while others have their flaws. And at night, don't even bother trying to record a video.
The final score for each phone represents its average rating, but note that we're only taking into account the Details, Color representation and Indoor categories in the final score. We're factoring all the others (such as Night and Panorama) out, since those represent situations where users are less likely to take images in. Video recording isn't included either, since we consider it a separate thing from photo-taking. We've done this in order to end up with a final rating that is representative of a camera's performance in those areas, which we think are most important to users.
Software versions of the smartphone units used in the comparison:
LG G3: Android 4.4.2, build number KVT49L.F400S10e
Samsung Galaxy S5: Android 4.4.2, build number KOT49H.G900FXXU1ANE2
Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Android 4.3, build number JSS15J.N9005XXUBMI7
Apple iPhone 5s: iOS 7.1.1 (11D201)
LG G2: Android 4.2.2, Build number JDQ39B
Sony Xperia Z2: Android 4.4.2, build number 17.1.A.2.55
HTC One (M8): Android 4.4.2, software number 1.54.401.10