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LG G4 vs HTC One M9

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Introduction


The LG G4 is currently the newest member on the Android flagship block, and with it come plenty of smartphone "firsts," mainly in the camera area, like a unique color spectrum sensor, or a tri-axis optical image stabilization. The internals are not the only thing lifted out of the ordinary, though, as the LG G4 also offers variants with unorthodox stitched leather backs, and we are talking genuine tanned calf skin here.

With this comparison, we will be pitting the G4 against HTC's finest for the season, the One M9, which offers a smaller, lower-res display, but a premium metal body, 20 MP camera, stereo speakers, and is running on Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 810 system chip, while the G4 chugs along on Snapdragon 808. Will the faster chipset and premium chassis of the M9 be enough to offset the next link in the G line evolution? Let's find out...

Design

Premium vs flexible design – it's your choice of a more compact M9 with a metal body, or the G4 with swappable battery pack.

LG is the only major flagship maker this season that offers a removable back cover, replaceable battery and expandable storage at the same time. This combo allows for the ultimate flexibility when you want to change the look of the phone with an optional leather rear, or swap the battery on the go. Granted, the compromise is that it is not as exquisitely stylish as the aluminum casing of the One M9, but to each their own.

Needless to say, the LG G4 is harder to hold and operate with one hand, due to the considerably larger screen size. The One M9 is taller than average for its screen size, but decently narrow, so holding it in your palm and operating the display interface with your thumb only is pretty easy. LG sticks with the position of the power and volume keys on the rear, which is mostly a love-it-or-hate-it decision. The One M9 has a more orthodox button placement on the right side, and the buttons are easy to feel and press, though their feedback is a tad shallow.


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

Display

Since both screens exhibit cold, somewhat inaccurate color presentation, the only tangible advantage of the LG G4 screen before the One M9's is its larger size.

Another obvious difference between the One M9 and the LG G4, besides the exterior design, are their displays. The M9 features a 5” Super-LCD 3 display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, while the G4 comes out swinging with a larger, 5.5” LCD panel with 1440 x 2560 pixels. Despite the G4's higher pixel density of 538ppi against the 441ppi of the M9, both screens deliver sharp imagery, with no noticeable icon or text jaggies, even at closer examination.

LG might tout the “Quantum Display” technology used for the G4 screen, but when it comes to color quality and presentation, both the G4 and M9 deliver rather cold colors, above the 8000 Kelvin mark, with 6500K being the reference white point. The primary and secondary colors are mostly off the reference targets, too, especially the reds on the M9, and the greens on the G4, which on top of that are rather saturated there.

The HTC One M9 has a tad brighter display, which can be expected considering that the backlighting of the G4 has to seep through much more pixels, but its contrast and minimum brightness are worse than on LG's phone, which would be an issue at night. Overall, the only tangible advantage of the LG G4 screen before the One M9's is its larger size, which would appeal to media junkies.

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