LG G3 vs Sony Xperia Z2
LG has started gaining steam in the Android flagship world with its last year's LG G2 and Nexus 5, and this year it tries to keep up the pace with the brand new LG G3. The G3 is the first phone from a first-tier brand to come with a Quad HD (1440 x 2560-pixel) display and it ups the screen size for a flagship phone to a large 5.5 inches. The Sony Xperia Z2, on the other hand, is one of the many flagship phones that compete directly against the G3, and it’s time we compared these two devices in-depth.
The two are different after all: LG’s G3, on one hand, has a plastic body, while the Xperia Z2 is made of glass; LG’s phone has got a 13-megapixel OIS+ camera, while the Z2 sports a 20-megapixel one with larger sensor; and while both run on Android 4.4 KitKat, their custom skins differ a lot.
Is one better than the other on the whole? Let’s 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.
Both the LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z2 are large, but the Sony feels more premium, with a glass body, while the G3 has a ‘metallic’, but not metal body that’s made of polycarbonate.
In terms of design, the LG G3 is a refinement, but not a huge departure from its predecessor - it features those signature rear buttons, and very minimal bezel up front, but it has also grown larger, packing a 5.5-inch display that makes it nearly phablet-sized. While LG claims that the G3 is ‘metallic’, the phone actually has a polycarbonate shell with a brushed metal-like finish that might fool you into thinking this is metal from afar, but once you hold the phone, it becomes clear that you’re holding a plastic device.
The Xperia Z2 also builds up on a legacy of gradual improvements, perfecting further the stylish glass design it started with the original Z. With the Z2, Sony has refashioned the sturdy metal frame and added elegant edges on the side on the Z2, and the phone looks very stylish and well-built.
The size difference between the two is not that big, but it is there: the G3 is wider (2.94” on the G3 vs 2.89” on the Z2), and thicker (0.35” vs 0.32”). Still,both are very large flagship, not all that great for those wearing tight clothes with smaller pockets. The Z2 is not that easier to handle - even though it’s a bit thinner than the G3, it’s a blocky phone with sharp edges that are not all that ergonomic and comfortable to hold. To easen operations, the back of the G3 is curved, a more ergonomic shape that fits better in the hand. In addition, the Z2 is a bit on the heavy side, weighing 5.75oz (163g), heavier than the otherwise larger G3 (5.26oz, or 149g).
The 5.5” Quad HD display on the LG G3 is technically sharper than the Z2, but it’s hard to tell the difference in real life.
The 5.5” Quad HD (1440 x 2560-pixel) display is probably the biggest highlight of the G3, and it’s indeed a super sharp, high-res screen with minimal bezel. In contrast, the Xperia Z2 has got a 5.2” display with a more traditional, 1080 x 1920-pixel resolution that still looks very sharp.
A Quad HD display has nearly 80% more pixels than a 1080p Full HD screen, and pixel density comes in at 533ppi on the G3, against 424ppi on the Z2. All those numbers might sound like a convincing argument in the superiority in sharpness of the G3 screen, but what they don’t tell, is that you’d hardly see any difference unless you have perfect 20/20 vision and stare at the screen from close. Looking at the two displays from a regular viewing distance (of around 10” to 12”), it’s hard to see much of a difference in sharpness at all.
Looking at colors, you’d notice that both the G3 and Z2 do very well in terms of color temperature: the G3 has a color temp valuation of 7100K and the Z2 – of 6900K, both very close to our reference value of 6500K, which means they both appear well-balanced and not too cold. Color accuracy, however, is not perfect on either one: the LG G3 fits in the sRGB color gamut, but it is slightly oversaturated, while the Xperia Z2 has a larger gamut and again - blown out colors. Color deviation (Delta E), though, sits at the fairly reasonable 2.86 for grayscale and 4.59 for rgbcmy on the G3.
Outdoors, the Xperia Z2 does a bit better, even though the two phones are nearly equally bright. The Z2, however, is less reflective, and this makes it slightly easier to read under the bright sunlight. In terms of viewing angles, the IPS LCD displays on both are fine (although not great), but the G3 is a bit better, preserving more fully its color at an angle.