LG G3 vs LG G2
LG has a long history of making Android phones, but it was only last year when the company really started seeing its flagships succeed on the market with two big launches - first, its LG G2 focused on bringing the largest display of any flagship smartphone in a very compact for its screen size body, and then, Google picked LG to make the Nexus 5 out of that G2 blueprint.
Less than a year after the G2, the time has come for a refresh - the new LG G3 is here, building on the tradition of the G2. The LG G3 not only has a large, 5.5” display, but it is also the first smartphone to sport a Quad HD (1440 x 2560-pixel) resolution, bringing a nearly 80% boost in pixel count and sharpness.
LG’s new flagship also packs the latest Snapdragon 801 quad-core chip, a refreshed, 13-megapixel camera with better optical image stabilization (OIS+), and a brand new, flat and sharp user interface.
Is this all a good enough reason to upgrade over the LG G2? Let’s look at the features in-depth to find 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.
The LG G3 is ‘metallic’, but not made out of metal - its polycarbonate body nonetheless feels well put together and its outwards appearance is sleek. It’s noticeably bigger than the G2, though.
The LG G3 is made out of plastic and you feel that the very instant you pick the phone up. What about LG’s claims that the G3 has a ‘metallic’ skin, though? It indeed looks ‘metallic’, and in fact, the finish appears very similar to the looks of the HTC One (M8), but - don’t get confused - it’s not real metal like in HTC’s flagship, it’s just disguised polycarbonate.
In terms of construction, while last year’s G2 features a bit hollow build and a glossy plastic body that acts like a magnet for fingerprints, the G3 takes note and switches the glossy finish for a matte one that won’t smudge, plus its body is much more solidly put together. It’s admirable that LG managed to achieve this solid build, while also giving users the option to easily remove the back cover, swap batteries, and have access to a microSD card slot, along with the traditional microSIM.
The elephant in the LG G3 vs G2 comparison room, however, is the size difference. The LG G2 is compact-for-its-size, and so is the LG G3, but this isn’t telling much, since size itself has grown. In reality, the G3 feels much less wieldy and just harder to operate single-handedly. In exact numbers, the G3 is 0.15” wider (2.94” vs 2.79” on the G2) and 0.21” taller (5.76” vs 5.45”) than the G2. The difference in weight is negligible as both phones are not too heavy - the G3 tips the scales at 5.26oz (149g), while the G2 weighs 5.04oz (143g), and the two are equally thin at 0.35” (8.9mm), but it’s the more phablet-y feel of the G3 that one should really take into consideration.
The 5.5” Quad HD display on the LG G3 is very sharp, but you’d need to stare at it from way up close to notice that.
There are two notable things about the 5.5-inch IPS LCD display of the LG G3 - it has extremely narrow bezel, and it is the first to sport a Quad HD (1440 x 2560-pixel) resolution with a pixel density of the whopping 538ppi.
As with any improvement in screen resolution, Quad HD makes smartphone screens clearer, “sharper”, and on the G3 this clarity is stunning. A Quad HD display has nearly 78% more pixels than a 1080p Full HD screen, a huge difference on paper. In reality, though, the perceived improvement is not all that big. While earlier jumps in smartphone resolution provided very noticeable improvement in the experience, getting us rid of jagged icons and pixelization, the higher resolution in the G3 does not provide any huge benefit when you look at the phone from a regular viewing distance (around 12”). A phone is used differently, though, and if you stare at the G3 from very close, you’d start noticing that it is indeed sharper.
With sharpness on smartphones reaching this level when the eye just cannot see further improvements, we can - thankfully - switch our attention more to the quality of color reproduction. The LG G2 does not have a particularly accurate display - its whites look a bit bluish, and colors are oversaturated, a look that might impress at first, but is far from accurate.
The LG G3, in comparison, is an improvement - it no longer looks all that noticeably blueish as the G2, with a color temperature of 7100K, close to the 6500K reference point. The G3, however, is not a complete fix in terms of display color accuracy, as the screen is still slightly oversaturated, but still more accurate than the G2.
Outdoors, both handsets are a bit too reflective for convenient viewing, but the G3 is a slight step forward as it has the slightly higher peak brightness.