Interface


One thing that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G2 have in common is that their user interfaces have been heavily modified. And we don't see that as bad thing, of course, since these UIs add a great dose of much-appreciated functionality.

Android 4.3Jelly Bean – the latest version of the platform to date – comes onto the Galaxy Note 3, and layered on top of it is the company's TouchWiz user interface. Some might find it a bit more cartoony than it should be, yet that aside, there's actually quite a lot to like about this popular UI. For starters, it runs fluidly, it is customizable, and the bunch of pre-loaded widgets can come in handy. Naturally, Samsung has sprinkled its minor and major features all over, thus improving the overall user experience. Extras borrowed right from the Galaxy S4, such as Smart Scroll, Smart Stay, Air View, and Air Gestures, are on board. While they aren't anything mind-blowing, they do enable users to interact in a different, and in some cases, more convenient, way with their device. A feature much more practical than these, however, is Multi Window, which lets us have two apps, or two windows of the same app, running side by side. Yup, that's real multitasking right there, taking advantage of the Note 3's giant screen. My Magazine is also among the features we're happy with. Powered by Flipboard, it serves as a personalized news reader with an eye-pleasing interface.


The LG G2 comes running Android 4.2.2 out of the box, so it is a step behind when it comes to OS software versions, but that's not really a deal breaking issue in this case. What's great about the custom user interface loaded onto the device is just how customizable it is. You're even free to set a UI theme, to change the size of your icons, or to reorganize the toggle buttons in the notification panel. Visually, using the LG G2 is kind of like watching a light show. There's color everywhere, the lock screen animation feels as if a firework is exploding before our eyes, and the screen transitions (which you can also modify, by the way) bring every home screen to life. Feature-wise, there's a ton of goodies pre-loaded, one of the most useful among them being Slide Aside, allowing one to multitask by saving up to three apps in their current state for later use. We also appreciate having the QSlide companion apps, hovering in a window above the UI, as they give quick and instant access to the phone book, to our web browser and messaging apps, and more.



Processor and Memory


Snapdragon 800 is the chip powering the LG G2 and the LTE model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. That little piece of silicon it is quite a beast, actually, crushing all previous benchmark records with its quad-core Krait 400 based CPU that can sprint at speeds of near 2.3GHz. Sure enough, the performance of these two handsets is outstanding and no matter which one you pick, their UI smoothness and responsiveness is not going to disappoint. They can run anything from demanding applications to today's visually intensive 3D video games.

If you're a heavy multitasker, then the Note 3 might be right for you. It has 3GB of RAM at its disposal, so switching between apps always happens in an instant. The LG G2 has 2GB of RAM, which is considerably less, yet still enough to meet the needs of the great majority of users.

On board storage on the LG G2 is limited to 16 or 32 gigabytes, depending on which model you pick. Unfortunately, there's no microSD card slot, so the phone's storage space cannot be expanded. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, on the other hand, has one and can take up to 64GB extra to go along with its 32 or 64GB of native storage. Plus, Samsung is throwing in 50GB of Dropbox storage at no cost – a deal which lasts for 2 years after enabling the service.

Quadrant Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 22270
LG G2 20654
AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 31543
LG G2 35376
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 54
LG G2 50
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 1214
LG G2 1229
Vellamo HTML 5 Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2766
LG G2 2951


Phonebook and Dialer


Fundamentally, these apps, as executed on the Note 3 and the G2, are very similar and straightforward to use. There are separate tabs for the dialer, the user's contacts, favorites, and call logs. Several neat additions are present, however, in both applications. Samsung's solution allows us to pick between a bunch of vibration patterns that can be assigned to contacts. LG, on the other hand, lets us set LED to blink in a specific color whenever a specific someone is calling.

Here is also where LG's VuTalk service is accessed from. It is a feature present on some recent LG phones, allowing users to share images, video, notes and map data in real time during calls. Note, however, that VuTalk requires an internet connection on order to work. Samsung, on the other hand, offers a built-in video call feature to and from compatible Samsung phones.



Messaging


The messaging apps on both smartphones allow us to attach not only images and video to our texts, but also map locations, contact data, and calendar entries, just like any app of this kind should. Their keyboards can be condensed on the left or right side of the screen for easier single-handed typing – not that we find this more comfortable than entering text using both thumbs, but it is good to have options. Overall, we can shoot messages back and forth pretty swiftly as our fingers can easily hit the right button. The Note 3's keyboard, being wider, is more convenient, but the one on the G2 is easy to use as well.



Organizer apps


Samsung has not forgotten to load the Note 3 with an arsenal of organizer and productivity apps, including its S Planner app. It serves as a versatile calendar with the option to create To Do lists as well. Managing your agenda on the LG G2 is done via its Calendar and Tasks apps, which are also pretty nice and work in a similar fashion.

Both smartphones come with very capable translation apps, capable of interpreting foreign languages. S Translator, pre-loaded on the Galaxy Note 3, uses a speech-to-text engine to convert whole sentences from one language into another and then speaks out the result. However, one huge downside to this is that the app requires a data connection in order to work, and data usage while abroad can be ridiculously expensive. The Quick Translator app on the LG G2, on the other hand, can download whole dictionaries for offline use. The camera of the device is utilized to “see” words and phrases, which are then translated instantly into a language selected by the user.

Taking down notes on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is not only easy, but it can be quite fun, actually. The S Note app can be used for the purpose and, of course, it works well with the S Pen. You can write or type in text, and add clip art graphics or images that you have stored onto the handset. The LG G2 has its own Notebook application, which offers an identical set of features, but instead of a stylus, you use your fingers to doodle stuff with. Need something simpler? Well, there's a basic Memo app at your disposal.



Internet Browser and Connectivity


Thanks to their large, high-res displays, both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G2 are ideal for surfing the web. But if we had to pick a favorite, that would be the former. The stock Internet app on the Galaxy Note 3 loads pages fast and increases the size of text where that is appropriate, thus making it easier to read. Articles can be viewed in the very convenient Reader mode, which clears the entire page, leaving only the body of the post. On the LG G2 we find a browser that is just as fast, but not as enjoyable to use. Text isn't automatically inflated so it can still be hard to read without zooming in.



Connectivity-wise, there's nothing missing on either of these handsets. Both the note 3 and the LG G2 support those super-fast LTE networks, but can rely on HSPA+ as well if that is required. As you might guess, essentials like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC are also on board. We cannot omit mentioning that the Galaxy Note 3 supports the USB 3.0 standard for faster data transfers between it and a computer, but you'll need a USB 3.0 compatible PC in order to take advantage of that. Also, while the LG G2 comes with FM radio support, the Note 3 lacks that feature.

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38 Comments

1. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I think either one is a great choice if size isn't a problem

2. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

note 3 clearly wins this battle, but if you are looking for a smartphone that's just as good as the Note 3 but with smaller screen then you should deinitely go for the G2 both very awesome, please don't start a fan battle, and if there is a troll jut ignore it...

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You literally wrote what I was going to type. +1

21. barondebxl

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Youre so right.

3. mottykels

Posts: 387; Member since: May 15, 2013

Jb4.3, 3200mah, large display, cardslot, removable battery, 3gb ram! GNote3 win!

4. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Between two great phones, the Note 3 offers better bang for your buck. In a Nexus form LG should win though...

5. drdaly

Posts: 78; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

Both are great and almost identical inside but, Lg G2 wins for the perfect size that fits my pocket

10. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Please buy the LG G2 and update us 6 months from now what a cool phone G2 going to be.. I can practically hear the G2 singing,, honey! I am still free, take a chance on me! Yup the erasure cover version.

11. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

16. doejon

Posts: 411; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

no sdcard no removable battery older android version smaler screen if lg had the same size of screen i bet the batterylife would not as good as note 3!

20. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

No to forgot there no point saying it's a 5.2 inch display when the 0.2 is reserved for on screen home and back buttons. I like the Samsung physical buttons hand down.

30. ArcWoolf

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

when watching videos and movies where that size really matters, they go away.

6. sudbury78

Posts: 136; Member since: Jul 12, 2012

I've owned both and now using the note 3 . The battery was definitely better on the g2 and I loved the screen rotation options. Made it look sweet.

7. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Not sure I like the way LG handles its smartphones so I would opt for the Note 3 more. But I am waiting for the Note 4.

25. ArcWoolf

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

The g2 is absolutely a top notch phone.

9. Darth_Muffin

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 06, 2013

Respect for both LG and Samsung for creating amazing phones. Please take notice that LG is stepping up in the game, which gives us consumers more viable choices. (hmmm.. Maybe LG has even given us headaches in selecting a phone cause the G2 is so good that it went head on and toe to toe with the Galaxy Note 3 without giving in)

12. bnick25

Posts: 38; Member since: May 05, 2013

The last lg g2x phone battery sucked so bad what a step up in the last two years,gotta give lg credit for bringing the game

13. cult67

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 15, 2013

I spent an hour in the store playing with both phones side by side. Coming from GNEX both were very impressive in speed, battery size and have great displays. I liked the location of the buttons on the G2 and found them easy to use. Both UI’s are new to me and mostly what I was comparing. In the end I went with the Note 3. The added features and bigger display won me over.

14. poping unregistered

they are both good phones... but imho note3 wins by a million astronomical units... also, note3 is sure to get kk 4.4 update quickly...

26. ArcWoolf

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

That's not true, the Updates are dependent on the manufacturers as well as the phone company you are with. They may very well get it at the same time or a couple days apart.

15. nnjerzy

Posts: 126; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

i prefer the G2

17. papss unregistered

Had the back of the LG G2 not been so glossy I would have chose it over the note 3 but it wasn't so I chose the note 3.

18. twens

Posts: 1180; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

The best Phones money can buy. These guys are just abnormal phones. Hail G2 and note 3

19. lyle012809

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 17, 2013

At first i was confused on which to buy, note 3 or g2 coz both phones are excellent..but i chose g2 over note 3 since it is more pockettable and less expensive..i did not regret my choice..g2 is so amazing..very responsive..the ui is okay and is better than twiz..also the battery life is superb..100% charge at 7am and 30% at 7am the next day with normal use and 3g is always on..and i heard a rumor that g2 will skip 4.3 and will be updated to kitkat by december or january..

22. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Both of them are almost just the same except for the screen size

23. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Well phonearena, this comparison proves that the Note 3 is comparable, if not better (I think it is) than the G2. Then why is it 9 and the G2 9.4. Isn't that just stupid?

27. ArcWoolf

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

I think the Note 3 is more niche.

57. julaiele

Posts: 12; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

It;s because G2 is better than Note 3 as perceived by the author.

24. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Both are superb. So 2 GB RAM is enough as all benchmarks are almost same for both.

28. ArcWoolf

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 18, 2013

ram is not for benchmarks. The the graphics processor and the GPU are the one's that are tested.

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