LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Inside and outside, the LG G3 is nothing short of a truly impressive, and quite intriguing, device. In fact, it's the first device to claim that it's both global and has an extremely detailed, 1440 x 2560 (QHD) resolution display. And that's not even half of it – the hardware configuration of the phone is just monstrous.
But so is the one on the Galaxy S5. The latest Samsung juggernaut has reaped major success with both consumers and critics alike, and that's not surprising in the least. So while the S5 display's pixel count falls short of that on the G3, the phone certainly has a ton to offer, including (but not limited to) an outstanding, 16-megapixel camera, a dust- and water-resistant body, and a vast array of software features.
Today, in an attempt to at least partially defuse this seeming stalemate, we'll explore the depths of either phones, jotting down scores all the while. Let's take a look.
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.
Attractive design? The LG G3 has it. But the more pedestrian-looking Galaxy S5 is utilitarians' pick of choice.
To say that LG and Samsung each have their own way of doing things when it comes to design would be a medium-sized understatement.
Both devices are made out of plastic, but both companies have given it their best shot, and the body of neither of the two handsets can be considered cheap. For its part, LG is using high-quality polycarbonate for its rear (with traces of metal within), completed with a matte finish that reminds a whole lot of brushed metal and battles greasy fingerprints. In the same vein, Samsung's Galaxy S5 also sports a plastic chassis, but the back comes with a dotted pattern that looks and feels a bit like leather, and is also excellent at repelling smudges. In this stand-off between faux metal and faux leather, the G3 has a hand over the more pedestrian-looking S5.
Despite its 5.5-inch screen, the LG flagship is not overly uncomfortable to hold, thanks to its extremely thin bezels and overall compact dimensions (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm / 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 in). Still, if you have small hands, you may prefer operating it with both hands, just to be on the safe side. Put next to it, the smaller GS5 is definitely easier to manage. But though it is smaller, its dust- and water-resistant, IP67-certified body is not quite as good at squeezing screen real estate at little expense in terms of overall dimensions (which sit at 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm / 5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 in). Lastly, both devices are not exactly lightweight, but neither feels too heavy in the hand – the G3 weighs 149 g (5.26 oz) vs 145 g (5.11 oz) for the S5.
The two companies also differ on their approach towards button layout and design – the G3 is cementing its investment into rear-placed keys, which have gone through a major redesign from the G2's implementation, while the S5 continues Samsung's signature, physical home button legacy.
Looking at the G3, both the power button and volume rocker are noticeably more pronounced than before, and their design and shape have also been changed. Both provide a more profound tactile feedback, with the latter even sporting a new, mesh-textured pattern on top. Travel has also been improved, but the power key is making the better showing in this regard. But neither of the two keys proves as good as what the GS5 has on board - a more conventional, power-and-volume-keys-on-the-sides setup. Indeed, both of these are placed conveniently, and provide great, clicky feedback and travel.
Superior detail, and more accurate colors -- the G3 scores the win here.
One of the very unique points of the LG G3 is its extremely sharp, 1440 x 2560 (QHD) pixel resolution display. This 5.5-inch panel offers the industry-leading 538 pixels per inch, and, according to LG, true-to-life image.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is outclassed in this regard as it features a standard resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels (FHD), which works out to 'just' 432 pixels per inch. Frankly, however, you're unlikely to perceive this inferiority in detail, especially when looking at the two displays from a normal viewing distance.
As for color-accuracy, we can't say we feel LG delivered on its promise of a color-accurate image. Color temperature, for example, sits at the good, but not excellent, 7100 K (6500 K is the reference value), though that's much closer than the Galaxy S5's temperature of 8183K (in the default 'Standard' screen mode), which causes a significantly blue tint. Thankfully, while on the slightly over-saturated side, the G3 colors are mostly acceptable. In comparison, the Galaxy S5's display has a larger color error and produces more saturated, even gaudy, colors.
In terms of brightness, the G3's panel manages the very decent 455 nits. This means that outdoor use is feasible, even under direct sunlight. The same holds for the S5, too – its screen peaks at the good 442 nits, and it's just as easy to make out outside.