LG G4 vs LG G3

LG G4 vs LG G3
LG G4 vs LG G3
LG G4 vs LG G3
LG G4 vs LG G3
LG G4 vs LG G3
LG G4 vs LG G3
Introduction


Launched in May 2014, the LG G3 was LG's strongest effort against Samsung's Android dominance at the time. An impressive upgrade over its predecessor, the LG G2, it was a competent device with a bustling specs sheet and clever, understated design. Perhaps most notably, it was the first globally sold smartphone by a major brand to ship with a Quad-HD resolution display, several months before ultra-high res screens became an industry trend. The G3 also incorporated an innovative laser auto-focus system, which made for a really fast-focusing camera, and a cool conversation piece. Lasers!

For all the great things going on about it, the LG G3 was not without its flaws, as it could not match what it delivered in display sharpness with screaming performance. But there was little LG could do at the time, other than taking advantage of the room for improvement and coming up with a better product next year. Thus, the LG G4 was born – a smartphone that's considerably closer to accomplishing the company's true ambitions.

The LG G4 does contain all the innovation necessary to keep LG in business, but it couldn't address each of its predecessor's shortcomings. Thus, choosing between the two — especially since the LG G3 is being discounted nowadays — might prove a little harder for some. We'll try to make it easier for you by comparing LG's finest, reviewing all the important places where the LG G4 delivers a better experience than its predecessor, or doesn't quite justify the upgrade toll.

Design

The LG G4 doesn't look much different than the LG G3, unless you get it with a leather back. It's also taller, wider, thicker, and heavier.

If, for some reason, you weren't happy with how the LG G3 looked and felt, you probably won't be thrilled with the LG G4 either. It boasts the same general design characteristics, although with a few changes. Sharper lines substitute for the LG G3's rounded curves. There's also subtle arch to the LG G4's body, which LG added to shake up the design in its own peculiar way, and possibly make the smartphone fit more naturally in one's hand. However, the LG G3 is still a little more comfortable to hold and operate with one hand, because it has a smaller footprint.

If premium looks are what you're after, you can buy the LG G4 with a genuine leather back. Vegetable-tanned genuine leather certainly feels more exquisite than the diamond-patterned plastic back cover, which the LG G4's regular version wears to dinner. Still, both the LG G4 and its predecessor are predominantly plastic, and this holds true for the former's premium genuine leather variant, as in the end, the leather is merely glued to its removable plastic back panel. And as other similarities between the two go, they have their volume and power keys on their back panels, and also feature removable batteries & microSD card slots.

Other than that, the LG G4 is actually a small step back from the LG G3, as it has a worse screen-to-body ratio (72.46%), it's bigger (5.86 x 3.00 x 0.39in / 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8mm), heavier (5.47oz / 155g), and thicker (0.30in / 9.8mm). Comparatively, the LG G3 has a 75.22% screen-to-body ratio, measures 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35in (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm), and weighs 5.26oz (149g). Obviously, both smartphones are really big, and neither lends itself to truly seamless one-handed usage. However, the LG G3 will cause a little less finger stretching, as the G4 is ever so slightly bigger.

Overall, LG did try to make the LG G4 its best-designed smartphone to date. But unless you really fall for the genuine leather look, it's difficult to discern the G4 as decidedly more attractive than the LG G3. Moreover, LG's design language looks dated nowadays, compared to the competition's sleek aluminum and glass builds. If you are looking for a "pragmatic" smartphone, rather than one you'll be emotionally attached to because of its lavish looks, LG has what you're after. But if you prefer the feel of metal, or if you're after water and dust protection too, you should cross LG off your list, and possibly head to Sony's Xperia flagships for their resistance against the elements.


LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

LG G3

LG G3

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

LG G3

LG G3

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches

146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

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



Display

The LG G4's Quantum Display is no quantum leap over the LG G3.

Rather than outgun the competition with an even higher-res display, LG chose to stick with the 1440x2560 Quad-HD resolution and spend its time and money on improving its IPS LCD technology. The result is what LG calls a Quantum Display, and although it's not perfect, it is still better to look at than the LG G3's in some ways. For better or worse, though, color accuracy and brightness output aren't among them, as the LG G4 favors a cold, 8000K color temperature (bluish whites being a symptom), and its extended color gamut leads to purposefully overblown colors. Some folks actually like it this way, as saturated tones tend to catch the eye better than perfectly accurate ones. Still, with a color temperature of 7099K, the LG G3 provides a more natural look at reality, as it is closer to the reference value of 6500K and exhibits much lower Delta E color errors.

As for their brightness properties, the LG G3 & G4 reach, essentially, the same maximum brightness level (455 nits). That's still a fine achievement, but not only did LG fail to best itself over the course of a year, it also ranked below Samsung's excellent results with the Galaxy S6 & S6 edge, which reach 550 nits and above. At least the G4 is easier on the eyes in dark settings than the LG G3, thanks to its excellent minimum brightness output of 2 nits, whereas the LG G3 goes down to 9 nits. Although 9 nits can suffice, it's not better than the average minimum brightness level of smartphones today.

Finally, taking a look at the viewing angles chart shows the LG G4's improved display exhibits a fair bit less minimum brightness, color temperature, gamma, and Delta E deviations while being held at a 45-degree angle. This is good news for indoor, outdoor, and all kinds of general usage scenarios, as you don't have to hold the smartphone in a particular way to get consistent image quality. Although this isn't a major problem with the LG G3, its screen does get dimmer and more distorted when viewed at an angle.

In summation, the main thing the LG G4's screen has going over the LG G3's are the abundant color saturation and better viewing angles. Viewing the two phones together, it's only natural to be more attracted to the LG G4's screen, as it massages your retinas with vibrant, artificially sweetened colors. The LG G3 looks ever so slightly dim and restrained in comparison, but crank its brightness meter and you'll coax a pretty picture out of it too. Since both screens are generally quite nice to look at, and output equally sharp images with their pixel density of 538 pixels per inch, our advice is to go for the one your eyes like better.



FEATURED VIDEO

22 Comments

1. HarysViewty

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 04, 2015

On my country, Indonesia, it costs $654, it's 3000mAh version, with dual sim lte (which usually costs $15 more), with free 64gb class10 premium microSD (worth $40), leather plastic case (cost $38 and $15 each), vr plasticboard (worth $20, available later), quadbeat 3 headphone (worth $15), additional 2900mAh battery external charger (worth $35, can charge 100% in an hour), free 2years google drive 100gb, usb OTG cable (worth $3), line (chat app) doll (they sell phone with free really big doll, worth $5), new curved gorilla glass 4 (yeah, not 3, available later) replacement for a year including user damage, and $153 cashback for those who preorder this month. Don't forget calibrated screen profile of DCI standard, which is worth more than $6000 While galaxy s6 costs more than $770, single sim, no headset, no case, no free glass replacement, no microsoft cloud memory, no VR, no online service (music, book, movie). Is it fair to compare them side by side? :D it's cheaper than note4 in fact

14. UglyFrank

Posts: 2188; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The Note 4 is a much better phone than the G4.

15. alouden unregistered

If you want to go by features, processor, battery life, functionality, and screen size, sure. Be one of THOSE people.... :-)

16. chenski

Posts: 738; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Go away troll, note 4 is overrated and has nothing to do with this review

2. nedooo

Posts: 71; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Please turn off that quantum display it could burn my eyes LOL

3. zachki17

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 14, 2014

Its only Phonearena who talk negativly about the LG G4 .. Only iphonearena f**kk you

7. g2a5b0e unregistered

Boohoo. PhoneArena doesn't agree with my opinion, so now I'm going to whine about it. You sound like a big baby. We all have differing opinions. It' called being human. Suck it up & live with it.

8. alouden unregistered

Well, I wouldn't go as far as saying "f**kk PA," but, objectively, PA's review raises some concerns.

10. fonelover123

Posts: 153; Member since: May 04, 2015

phonearena doesn't want G4 to be looked superior than s6.

18. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I have an LG G3, this phone is mediocre at best, my note 3 and 4 were light years better than this damn phone

13. alouden unregistered

I could have phrased that better. There are some concerns with PA's review. Not that the G4 is a perfect phone. It's not. But the PA review IS flawed.

9. fonelover123

Posts: 153; Member since: May 04, 2015

and ONLY Phonearena placed G4's battery performance lower to the G3.

12. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Yeah only LG G4 lol

4. Simona unregistered

No they say truth.. Don't understand why samsung and lg has such crappy screens.. dark yellowy ..

5. Cheezwiz

Posts: 496; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

can't really argue with the appeal of the G3 at $399. That's an increadible deal: last year's flagship for a midrange price. No wonder we don't see any compelling midrange phones out this year. Zenfone 2 being the main exception at an amazing $299

21. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

I can get an LG G3 refurbished for $299 and yet I still choose to pass the deal. Nobody around my area even uses LG phones anymore.

6. firstviji

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 28, 2013

Here in india LG G3 still costs Rs. 42,990/- (674.94 $). And that's too much for a year old phone.

11. dparsons

Posts: 1; Member since: May 19, 2015

You mean pee pee yellow whites is one of the signs of a good display? The worst thing about moving from the G2 to the G3 was the yellow display. I think warm displays look horrible. That is the first thing I look at now when buying any item with a display. Yellow whites = No purchase. Simple as that.

17. chenski

Posts: 738; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

The only major improvement imo is the camera, and that is not enough to tempt me from upg my g3, but cant wait to see how it fares in thw blind camera comparisons

19. alouden unregistered

No, the display is a significant improvement as well. Do not go by this review. Check elsewhere. It is also a smoother experience than the G3 was. I am not saying you should upgrade. I am just saying there are other significant improvements.

20. nottolate

Posts: 52; Member since: Jun 01, 2014

G2 running G3 or Pardus ROM still trumps both of em. I wanted this G4 so bad but am thoroughly disappointed. Way too big and ugly. Why "upgrade" when my current G2 can stil match both of them in performance? Waiting on the next Nexus now.

22. name1234

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 18, 2015

You seriously have to be a complete moron to buy a G4. The improvements are marginal. You would never notice a difference. Almost all phone reviews on popular tech websites are written by complete morons who have no understanding how the devices they are reviewing work. Phone Arena is a big step above those idiots, but even they are missing the point. As a developer, I can assure you, the limiting factor on these devices is RAM, period. You can benchmark the CPU and GPU all you want, but I guarantee they are far faster than necessary. The thing is the G4 barely improves on those components anyway, yet it costs more than twice as much, so why bother even considering it? As long as you are getting enough RAM, you will be fine. The market has a blind obsession with processing power and ignores RAM, so only the higher end devices have enough RAM, and by the time you get up to enough RAM, you can rest assured the CPU is insanely powerful. You can downclock your CPU by a factor of 10 and it will hardly affect performance. I've tested this on several devices (I am not only a developer but a seller of used phones on amazon, so I go through quite a few devices), and the results are universal. With a modern Android system (ie. KitKat or Lollipop), 1 GB of RAM is simply not enough under any circumstances. Your device will barely function. 2 GB of RAM is just barely enough as long as you are careful. No matter what your CPU clock speed is, 2 GB should run very smoothly as long as you limit your running applications and don't use a stock ROM. At 3 GB, on any phone, at any clock speed, you will not have any issues unless you are a moron (eg. you actually use the stock ROM). Also, megapixel ratings on cameras are useless. As long as you have 8 mpx, your image will be identical to any higher mpx image on any device. Megapixels are purely resolution (1080p is 2mpx). The real things that matter are sensor size (how big each pixel is) and the lens. Every phone has a terrible lens, and only HTC makes decent sensors. On any other phone you buy, the camera is virtually identical. The only other thing that matters (where most of the new G4 camera features are) is your camera app, which you can put on any phone. The same applies to screen resolution. If you think you can tell the difference between two million dots versus three million dots on a five inch screen, you are delusional. With these screens the difference is color accuracy, which you won't notice unless you are editing photos on your cell phone (come on, seriously?). When it comes down to it, the only comparison that matters is RAM. Both phones have 3 GB of RAM, so if you buy the more expensive one, you are a moron. If you think you noticed a difference between these phones, it's probably because you are confused by the difference between hardware and software and are using the stock ROM. Install either Blisspop (most features) or Cyanogenmod (lightweight) on both devices and get back to me.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.