Introduction


The LG G3 is all the rage right now, and that's not surprising in the least. Boasting latest generation hardware, including a Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) resolution display, there's a lot about the G3 that causes a drool to form at the end of the lips of fans. And while the G3 has already proved itself fit to compete with top shelf devices from rival manufacturers, how does it handle a device from its own camp?

Indeed, the LG-made Google Nexus 5 is a very different device from the LG G3 in a very major way: its price tag typically reads less than $350 nowadays. That's about half the asking price of the G3. As importantly, this massive discount doesn't entail as massive a sacrifice in overall performance, as the Nexus line is all about great hardware at affordable pricing.

So how do they compare? Let's check them out.

UPDATE (Jun 25, 2014): This comparison was originally based on our experience with the Korean version of the LG G3. After testing the International (European) version of the phone, we've updated the story with our new findings, affecting the display, camera and battery performance.

Design

The Nexus 5's gravitas is undermined by its relatively humble looks. The G3 is definitely the more stylish, but less practical choice.

While the Nexus 5 is far from a bad-looking device, it has no choice but to concede at the face of the G3. Indeed, the G3's metallic back makes short work of the rubberized rear on the Nexus 5, which feels decidedly less high end and is characterized by its oversized camera unit. And though there's no arguing that, it should be noted that, from a purely utilitarian point of view, the Nexus 5 is the better pick, as it's more grippy and comfortable to hold. And that's despite the more aggressively-rounded back of the G3, which is nevertheless a bit slippery.

But the N5's win in terms of ergonomics isn't simply a byproduct of a comfier rear shell – the affordable flagships' dimensions also come in play. Indeed, while the LG G3 has super-slim bezels all around, the Nexus 5 is not far behind, and its much smaller, 5-inch display means a more manageable footprint: 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm (5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches) versus 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm (5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches) for the G3.

The Nexus 5 also has the more rigid, uncompromising build of the two, and we especially like the use of ceramic for the power and volume rocker, both of which are conveniently placed on the sides of the phone. In comparison, the G3 makes use of rear-placed keys, and these will take some getting used to before you feel right at home. In terms of clickiness and overall feedback these provide, we tend to prefer the Nexus 5, though that's definitely not a con for the G3 – it's just that the N5 is in a league of its own when it comes to tactile feedback and travel.


LG G3

LG G3

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5

Dimensions

5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches

137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

LG G3

LG G3

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5

Dimensions

5.43 x 2.72 x 0.34 inches

137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

For all the extra pixels and inches the G3 has over the Nexus 5, the reality is that it produces a less color-accurate image.

The LG G3's extraordinarily pixel-dense, 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 (QHD) resolution display is by far its most standout feature. In reality, however, this super-crisp IPS panel falls short in certain regards when compared with the more standard, 5-inch 1080 x 1920 (FHD) resolution IPS display on the Nexus 5.

For example, the G3's color temperature of 7100 K (6500 K is the reference value here) is good, but not impressive, especially compared with the excellent 6800 K of the Nexus 5. This results in image reproduction with a slight bluish tint (noticeable with whites and grays) – an issue the N5 suffers to a smaller degree from. What's more, the average error in color reproduction with the G3 is greater than that of the Nexus 5 -- colors are over-saturated, compared with the very color-accurate N5. As for gamma, the G3's measurement reads 2.26, while the Nexus 5's reads 2.05. With 2.2 being the reference value, these discrepancies in practice mean that the G3's screen is just a tad more contrasty than it should be, while the Nexus 5 looks slightly washed out.

Moving on, outdoor visibility is an area of stalemate. Put in numbers, the maximum achievable brightness of the G3's panel clocks in at the decent 455 nits versus the even healthier, 485 nits for the N5. Speaking from experience, this makes the Nexus 5 a slightly better-suited device for use outside, but that certainly doesn't disqualify the G3, either.



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27 Comments

1. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

This is gonna get ugly but i prefer g3

2. adwienc

Posts: 136; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

N5 all the way, G3 is too big, but it's battery is tempting

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Update Nexus dalvik/art libraries, Google doesn't do that, but OEM do.

4. Xperia_droid

Posts: 42; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

i still prefer Nexus 5 Comfortable to operate still very good camera. one of the most beautiful display out there. nexus branding .

5. jinwons

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 24, 2010

I think PA should tell how they tested G3 battery life. Many other reviewers are saying it's worse than S5, M8 under heavy usage though not bad. Especially when GPU is put under stress, G3 will take hit on battery and brightness due to massive resolution.

6. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Beauty is in the eye of beholder Crispy, I love Nexus 5's design more.

7. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

why the icons on the n5 looks so pixelated

8. PootisMan

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Well for starters they zoomed in on both displays to compare the difference in pixel density. The Nexus 5 had a 1080p display compared to the G3 which has a QHD display.

15. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It's a custom launcher / icon pack...

16. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Blame Victor H. True story. You can write something nasty under his latest storyhttp://www.phonearena.com/news/LG-G-Watch-leaks-out-in-another-live-image_id57314 :)

27. lilrob05

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

It's a icon pack homie. I use it still. Pretty dope

9. ryan5609

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

In terms of smoothness, I would put the Nexus 5 running ART against any phone in the world. Android has never been as clean and polished as it is with the Nexus 5. That is why I am not switching my phone to anything other than something running stock Android, or a very lightly modified version like the Moto X.

10. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1246; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Nexus 5 wins. Just offers a better experience with future proof specs. The G3 is nice but overkill.

11. Phoenity

Posts: 16; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

Would the conclusion change much if the G3 being compared was running a GPE or stock rom (ART) with an app installed to have a better calibrated screen? I know getting used to the size difference and the screen in daylight wouldn't really change, but i can't help but think with better, tweaked software, the G3 is the clear winner (size/comfort aside).

17. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Well, it really depends on what you're looking at. I mean, sure, a GPE/stock ROM would definitely help performance, but you'll be missing out on quite some extras, which you'll either have to mod back in separately, or skip on altogether. As for the screen, I probably wouldn't bother. It really depends on your point of view of course -- if you can't tolerate even small color inaccuracies, it's your prerogative.

12. SanderBelaen

Posts: 12; Member since: May 06, 2014

What wallpaper does the Nexus5 have here?

19. SanderBelaen

Posts: 12; Member since: May 06, 2014

Oh, I didn't knew.. Thanks man!

14. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

What? The G3's cheapo plastic back feels more high end than the Nexus 5's matte plastic? I beg to differ. Matte plastic is better than any other plastic on a phone...

18. E34V8

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 16, 2011

Nice VS, PA. But I think you need to measure the HDR+ pic time one Nexus 5 again. With last camera update, it's become quite faster.

20. baldilocks

Posts: 1540; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Yeah, the Quadrant scores don't really mean anything. Like one comment stated, if you update the dalvik binaries, you will score well over 21,000 on Quadrant.

22. RAVEN23

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

plz can someone help me in choosing nexus 5 vs HTC 816 which is better

23. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Nexus 5 bro, You can install Android L on it now (and google has it as top priority for future updates)

24. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

100% Nexus 5 IMO! Clean stock Android. 1080p display. Better one-handed use. Better build quality. Better processor and more RAM. The list goes on...

25. paschos76

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 05, 2014

Can someone please tell me what is the theme/launcher on Nexus 5?

26. RockChalkDylan

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2014

The nexus 5's design is just gorgeous and really gets to me, but the specs of the lg g3 beat it out. Google needs to refresh the nexus 5 becausr that would be a phone i would totally get.

28. susieannag

Posts: 1; Member since: May 27, 2016

Hi there peeps, I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advice, ive been looking into updating my phone HTC wildfire, as it's seen better days. I've been reading site after site at what to go for, first I was looking into motorola moto g family, then I came across lg g3, and then the nexus 5, im not a big user of a mobile, atm, it's just a phone that I use to call and receive texts, im looking to buy o the second hand market, and I have decent camera, and if it goes up to android 6.0 that how I came up with nexus5. Because it's powered by Android. I want a camera better than 5 mp front. And also like to start putting my music on. But I do like having a fb radio o my phone but the nexus doesn't have 1. Also I was thinking of getting a dual sim because I was wanting to go on to payg giff gaff because of the deals they do, ie data etc, not that I'm a big heavy user on the phone I'm lucky to use about 60 mins a month no joke billie no mates, ive an illness so I need to phone hospital Dr's etc and of course my mum Bro and my legs stevie, I top up £10 a month which I be grudge for 500 mins and only an hr tops of use, but if a didn't top up a month, if your using your normal credit ur money goes down so so quick so better to top up a month, But they are all on O2 so still have to keep my o2 number for them to phone me as they are all pay as you go users. I'm not wanting to spend a fortune, any one with any suggestions would be much appreciated as I'm fed up reading different sites on reviews of different phones, been at it for days and days, then it doned on my to just ask the people who would know best YOU'S TECH GEEKS.... LOL I appreciateit in advance for you taking time out to reply to me. Many thanks folks.......

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