Interface and Functionality

The LG G3 brings a simpler UI with less clutter and modern, flat looks than before. Sony, in turn, builds up on the successful legacy of its earlier skins, and delivers a consistently good-looking UI.

Both the LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z2 come with the newest version of Android, 4.4.2 KitKat, on board, but they feature two very different custom skins that make the user experience differ as well.

The G3’s skin is a departure from the cartoon-y LG UI of before, coming with temperate colors and a mellow vibe, modern, flat and sharp-looking icons, and much less clutter in an orchestrated effort towards simplicity. Sony’s Xperia Z2’s UI, on the other hand, has not joined the ‘flat’ trends of modern design, but still looks very modern and stylish, plus it has had simplicity as a driving force from the onset. In the Z2, in particular, Sony’s UI has evolved just slightly, getting more polished looks and smoother animations.

Despite its crusade towards simplicity, the LG G3 custom skin is still much more packed with all sorts of features and apps. On the home screen - LG pounds large, nearly screen-wide widgets and a separate panel with information from its Health app and some tips, while Sony’s widgets are less intrusive.

Some of the new additions in the G3 - features like the Smart Notice assistant that is meant to remind you to take your umbrella before you go out on a rainy day, or prompt you to return a missed call - feel more subtly embedded, so that they don’t get in your face too much, but not all. Other neat features like the Knock Code sequence that you can tap on the lock screen to go securely and directly into the home screen are unique to the LG user experience. You also have Guest Mode on the G3 that you can access via a separate knock code - and that’s convenient for the times when people ask you to see something on your phone, but you don’t want them to see anything private.

Switching to apps, LG has joined the fitness craze with its Health hub that tracks your exercises and daily activity. Sony is also well equipped on the health front with its Lifelog application that does even more - it collects your fitness stats along with your phone usage stats, to create a fuller picture of your day, plus it even maps it all.

In terms of basic functionality, the phonebooks are similarly rich on both, but Sony’s simpler UI feels zippier in the core apps, while on the G3, just opening the dialer often happens with a hard-to-explain slowdown. For messaging, the G3 has a redesigned keyboard, matching the new flat UI, but it’s also very flexible and you can adjust its size. While such fancy options are not present on the Z2, typing is about equally quick on the two as keys on both are large and well-spaced.

Processor and Memory

The two have just slightly different flavors of the quad-core Snapdragon 801 on board: the G3 is a bit more powerful, but the sharper screen drags its performance below the Z2.

The LG G3 and Xperia Z2 are both new devices, a part of the wave of Snapdragon 801 flagships, and while there are some minor differences in their processors, they have roughly the same silicon muscle. The G3, however, has a heavier load with the extra heft from the higher-res display, and while it does not lag, some apps load a bit slower on it. The Xperia Z2, on the other hand, feels zippier in daily use, plus it also crunches benchmarks better thanks to its lower-res 1080p display.

Digging into the details, we see that the G3 runs on a Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AC, while the Z2 has the Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AB. Both are quad-core chips, with the most notable difference being the clock speed - the G3 gets to as high as 2.5GHz, while the Z2 can run at up to 2.3GHz. In terms of graphics, both are powered by an Adreno 330 GPU running at up to 578MHz. We did not see any lag in games that could have been caused by the added strain of the higher resolution on the G3, and both handled most titles with ease.

Interestingly, the G3 comes in two versions - a 16GB one with 2GB of RAM, and a 32GB one with 3 gigs, while the Z2 features 3GB of RAM even in the basic 16GB model. Both support expandable storage via microSD cards of up to 128GB.

Quadrant Higher is better
LG G3 23551
Sony Xperia Z2 18584
AnTuTu Higher is better
LG G3 30634
Sony Xperia Z2 34088
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
LG G3 1322
Sony Xperia Z2 1177
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
LG G3 1626
Sony Xperia Z2 1584
Sunspider Lower is better
LG G3 947.2
Sony Xperia Z2 925.4
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
LG G3 7.5
Sony Xperia Z2 12.4
Basemark OS II Higher is better
LG G3 951
Sony Xperia Z2 1207

Internet and Connectivity

Both feature 4G LTE connectivity and surfing the web is zippy and enjoyable.

LG bundles both its custom browser and Google’s Chrome to surf the web on the G3, while Sony has gone just with Chrome on board. Both LG’s custom browser and Chrome are zippy, but Chrome is the one that has cross-device syncing and the slightly better optimized card-based interface. Pages load and render quickly on both devices, though, and scrolling around and zooming in and out is practically free of lag.

In terms of connectivity, both the G3 and Z2 come with 4G LTE support, with download speeds of up to 150Mbps. Other connectivity options include dual-channel Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC on both. The LG G3 also has an infra-red (IR) blaster located on the top that you can use as a remote control for your TV, or other electronics. It’s a neat addition for those times when you can’t find your regular remote, and it’s a feature that’s missing on the Z2.



51. bespredelshik

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 28, 2014

Another good overview of the comparison here

44. Finest

Posts: 90; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

i'd go for Z2 anyday man why? - Its japanese we all know how great japanese technology is. - its a water resistant phone life will never be the same after having a water resistant phone. - the DESIGN very sleek and Elegant, well its a matter of taste - Speakers man, Loud and clear and the location where it placed is so perfect. - Live LED technology do some research youll know what i mean. - CAMERA far better than G3 - the Solid feeling holding something premium is very remarkable and lastly the PRICE its far more cheaper than G3 VALUE FOR THE MONEY MAN !

42. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Still take the G3 over the Z2. The Z2 doesnt seem 'perfect' just yet. And its a bit too overestimated by a lot of people sometimes...G3 seems really good though

43. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Go home, you're drunk. What is imperfect is your logic.

45. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

G3 won in the blind camera test, that's made him say that, may be.

41. Brosepower

Posts: 35; Member since: Apr 21, 2014

Two great phones, too bad the Z2 isnt coming to any of the US carriers any time soon. That means the G3 is the only option for us here in the US and IMO it is a significantly better device than either the S5 or M8. Especially the large screen size vs body. Multitasking is something that LG has been excelling at lately, both multi-window AND quick slide are going to be epic.

38. DerryAhmad

Posts: 296; Member since: May 05, 2012

Seems like an evenly match. You can't go wrong with any devices I think. The G3 seems to take oversaturated pictures, it's a bit unnatural but more pleasing to the eyes. But the review is kinda disappointment for me for omitting the indoor-low light-non flash photo samples.

33. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

G3 for me. What's impressive is the battery backup & charging time. Damn,g3 charges in 120mins that's insanely good :D . also it has ergonomics while z2 is just flat .

32. salouri

Posts: 4; Member since: May 28, 2014

for the record, the battery test done on phonearena few days ago, that included LG G3, is not scientific. And I don't even think its realistic. Much more sophisticated and detailed battery tests are coming soon and I am sure Z2 won't even come behind G3 in this area too. Z2 is ahead of G3 in many other areas already: design and build quality, audio experience(headsets & speakers), waterproofing, and Camera!

37. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

I think G3 design was better, it's curvy and more ergonomic compared to Z2 and even it's made of plastic it's not a fingerprint magnet like Z2 glass cover. Audio? some review said the Z2 volume level was very quiet, higher noise & distortion although only a few audiophiles are able to notice. G3 camera was good and it's evenly match with Z2, very nice detail, warmer tone and equiped with OIS.

39. DerryAhmad

Posts: 296; Member since: May 05, 2012

PhoneArena battery test is for scenario when you're using the phone non-stop until the battery dies, That doesn't seem too realistic for me in real life since it ignored the standby usage. However the charging time is excellent, second only to Oppo 7/7a

28. xperian

Posts: 421; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Both are great but I prefer Z2 because of glass and metal body and better display

25. AnukulVcool unregistered

pretending I said this to sony : just shove off those up/down bezels sony, you are turning quite a few down. and about your surround sound speakers on z2 : no , don't mimic surround sound on small magnets, its sounds so fake. just give a proper stereo speakers on z3 just like m8. I really expect an optically stabilized lens on z3 with no hassle 4k video recording. sony, you are quite close to offer the best android flagship, quite close. don't care about 2k screen , just don't go above 5.2" inch

24. buba05

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

I don't understand those guys from phonearena. They can't see the differences between FULL HD and QHD on such a small display but they say it's better altough QHD brings notihing more than a bigger load on a CPU-u and GPU-u. But apparently it's ok because only thing we need is just to brag about specs! And they mention it like 100 times that the LG G3 has the upper hand because of the resolution but it doesn't. WE DON'T NEED QHD BECAUSE NOBODY CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE!! I agree LG G3 is a monster of device, the thin bezels and screen to size ratio but because of that QHD it's like they are going to be like samsug with theyr "innovatons"

26. josephnero

Posts: 795; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

and for me Z2 has better screen overall because of much higher brightness and contrast

48. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

Z2's white looks reddish. Check yours if you're getting one.

23. FarmerStyle

Posts: 37; Member since: May 17, 2014

Z2 still better than G3

16. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

Wow the z2 is one sex phone. I would love to get my hands on one

14. josephnero

Posts: 795; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Xperia Z2 for me

13. Android4EveryOne

Posts: 20; Member since: Apr 19, 2014

I'll take a galaxy S5 or a note 3 any day of the week over these phones. They are very nice phones but just not for me...

20. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

I don't know about the S5 but I kinda miss my Note3. I'll definitely switch to the Note 4 later this year.

8. antonioli

Posts: 200; Member since: Sep 08, 2013

Two good options. I expect people can choice them instead of only thinking about Galaxy.

7. amiroomg

Posts: 19; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

1) m8 2) g3 .......

6. mistertimi

Posts: 77; Member since: May 28, 2014

Z2 for me. Every category is pretty much a draw, but after having an Xperia Z there's no way I can go back to a non-waterproof phone. Showers just wouldn't be the same lol

17. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

I agree. After having my s5 in the shower I'll never go back to a non waterproof phone

34. lallolu

Posts: 734; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Why do you guys like having your phones in the shower? Watching dirty films to simulate things not there?

35. mistertimi

Posts: 77; Member since: May 28, 2014

Haha not gonna lie, I've knocked one out with my phone in the shower ;). But the ability to put it on loudspeaker while talking to someone, or just listening to music/being able to switch tracks etc or just watch tv is epic

47. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

This is not necessary you made it as your necessity.

49. mistertimi

Posts: 77; Member since: May 28, 2014

It's necessary because I shower everyday, and like doing so with my phone. Sure it's not a necessity like the ability to make phone calls or send texts.. but then again, barely any features are. I'm sure many people wouldnt leave the iPhone 5s because of the fingerprint scanner. Couldn't they just use a pin or password instead? Sure, but it's a necessity for them. It's what they need from a phone in order to make the purchase. I NEED a coffee in the morning. Of course, if I don't have it I won't die lol, but you can bet that I'll be in a worse mood. Same as if I couldn't watch stuff in the shower, or the i5s people couldn't unlock their phones with their fingerprint. Please don't nitpick Gaara. We all know Naruto schooled your ass in full-blown one-tailed form, don't make me go Sage on you ;)

50. gaara6775

Posts: 738; Member since: May 20, 2014

OK so you mean only water resistant phones are good because you take shower with them? That can only happen in my Infinite Tsukuyomi :p (I'm no gaara fanboy :p) I wish what would be everyone's reaction when phones become fire resistant ,lolz .

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