LG G3 vs HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

LG G3 vs HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 edit

Earlier today we watched as LG finally took the wraps off their worst kept secret: the LG G3. In an effort to stay competitive with the likes of the Samsungs and HTCs, LG broke away from their usual end of the year release timing, moving up their flagship launch a good couple of months. Hot on the heels of some of the biggest smartphone releases of the year, some of you might be wondering how the LG G3 stacks up in comparison to Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. Well, let’s find out.

Build and Design

LG G3 IMG_5371

If you’ve been following the mobile scene, you’d know LG is no stranger to the all-plastic design philosophy that made Samsung rich. But that doesn’t mean LG hasn’t dabbled in their use of more premium materials like glass for the LG Optimus G from 2 generations ago. While glass on the back of a smartphone may not have been the wisest choice for a smartphone (they have a tendency to drop), industrial materials like aluminum seem to hold up well. Just ask any HTC fanboy what they love about the Taiwanese OEM’s recent flagships and they’re sure to wax poetic about the premium feeling aluminum build quality.

Taking this idea and running with it, the LG G3 features a polished “metallic” skin on the its removable battery cover. The result is something that can only be described as the love child of the One M8 and Galaxy S5 melding together into one. There’s no question the HTC One M8 will still feel more solid in the hand thanks to a unibody construction, but for those that never took to Samsung’s gratuitous use of chrome and “band-aid” battery cover should feel right at home on the LG G3.

Display

LG G3 IMG_5361 edit

The LG G3 features LG’s latest Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution IPS display with an insane 538ppi. Word from our own Kevin Krause is that the display is something that will need to be seen in person to believe, with pixels that are indiscernible to the human eye. Of course for many, they get a similar result from the now standard 1920 x 1080 found on all current flagships. This means no matter the quality — which appears to have excellent viewing angles — the display on the LG G3 could be one of the device’s more superfluous features, one that could have an impact on battery life.

LG did mention that they’ve taken steps to minimize the impact on battery life, but we can’t help but wonder if that could have been put to better use on a 1080p display. No matter how many pixels LG throws into their phones, there’s just no beating Samsung at their own game. While both the LG G3 and HTC One M8 displays look fantastic make no mistake — the SAMOLED display on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is still the one to beat.

Processor, Performance, and Battery

Snapdragon 801 processor

We know it’s easy for some to simply look at the raw hardware specs on a smartphone and declare a winner, but that would be foolish. As we discovered with the Galaxy S5, a beefy processor doesn’t always equate to above average performance (quite the contrary). With the LG G3, the phone features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor as the HTC One M8, but like on the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG has managed to crank up the clock speed to 2.5GHz. The result should be an overall zippy Android experience, but we’ll reserve judgment until we get our hands on a review unit.

When it comes to battery, LG doesn’t appear to be messing around, outfitting the LG G3 with a higher-than usual 3,000mAh battery (the One M8 only has 2,600mAh, while the Galaxy S5 features 2,800mAh). As we saw with last year’s model, this should help the LG G3 last more than a full day with average use. But let’s not forget. Both HTC and Samsung have gotten creative with battery life, squeezing out every last drop through the use of software features like HTC’s Extreme Power Saving, or Samsung’s similar feature that also enables a black and white display.

We’ll have to wait and see what kind of battery saving options LG’s new software introduces in the G3, but given the phone already has a removable battery for quick battery swaps, this alone gives it the advantage.

Custom User Interfaces

lg-g3-android-screenshots-970x646-c

When it comes to custom Android “skins” you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. But sometimes Android OEM’s can do a lot to help you hate them less, even to the point where you grow to love them over time. We’ve always felt strongly that HTC Sense offered the most refined custom user interface and that Samsung — while packed to the brim with customizable features — was more or less an eye sore. Even further behind the pack was LG, who made little effort to update their UI for the new generation of smartphones, recycling it over and over again.

Thankfully for the LG G3, LG has finally gone back to the drawing board, dreaming up something that’s familiar to LG fans, only much more modern. This new “flat UI” is much more minimal in appearance and while colorful, seems to favor the use of more muted colors for a professional look. We’ll need to have a little more time to play around with all the new software features therein but as it stands, LG has just placed itself ahead of Samsung — and right behind HTC — in the race for best looking custom UI. It’s about damn time.

Camera

lg g3 0520

Like most other hardware features, you can’t always judge a camera by the amount of MP it has. When it comes to mobile photography, there’s so many other smaller hardware features — like the LG G3′s optical image stabilization — it’s tough to declare a winner. As we mentioned, the LG G3 introduces LG’s new OIS+ camera hardware, said to bring a 20% increase in stabilization vs last year’s G2 (which only had regular OIS). This means whether you’re recording video or taking a snap shot, the G3′s camera will be more stable, resulting in clear shots for the most part.

Adding to the camera’s performance is the use of LG’s laser auto focus sensor which helps the phone focus quicker than the blink of an eye (.276 seconds). It’s interesting because we’ve seen both HTC and Samsung attempt to tackle this problem using their own hardware methods — the One M8 with its Duo Focus system, and Galaxy S5 with phase detection.

While every single one of these phones are quick to focus in optimal lighting situations, the LG G3′s laser focus is said to be lightning quick even in low light. Keep in mind we’ll need to see some comparison shots before declaring a real winner, but pound for pound, it seems the LG G3 is the smartphone camera to beat.

What say ye?

lg g3 color range

Now, we know many of you haven’t gotten a chance to play with all these phones and we’re reserving final judgement until we receive an LG G3 for review. But you’ve seen spec match up and if you frequent the site, we’re sure you’ve seen our reviews (HTC One M8 review here, Samsung Galaxy S5 review here). After considering all of this, which smartphone do you think wins the crown of most impressive Android device? The LG G3, HTC One M8, or Samsung Galaxy S5? Vote in our poll below.

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  • barondebxl

    I think the G3 is the clear winner here. It has the best balance of build, features and specs. Phone of the year so far.

    • No_Nickname90

      This is true. What I would like to see is a front facing blind camera test. The M8 takes oddly good front facing pictures.

      The LG G3 has something special going on with it’s FFC. I’d love to see how good the pictures are.

  • noneofthem

    Oppo Find 7 for me. Well. I actually went for the 7a but super fast charging, Oppo’s ColorOS with its many actually useful features and the stunning camera did the trick for me. I couldn’t resist and I love it already. If I had to pick between the 3 devices mentioned above, it would certainly be LG though! Best of those three devices by far from what I can say at this stage.

    • Daniel Walsh

      I love my Oppo Find 7a too

      • barondebxl

        its a nice device but i hear battery drain issues and it still runs android 4.3

  • No_Nickname90

    I voted for the LG G3. It does look really nice. I think the HTC One M7 looks better than the M8.

    However, the LG G3 won’t sway me from the M8.

  • Tojen1981

    I think LG is the company that could unthrone Samsung in the next 3-4 years if they can keep doing what their doing. They’re finally getting it together on the update front and the hardware design is starting to look original instead of like a Samsung knock-off.

    • Durin123

      *dethrone*

    • barondebxl

      Dethrone. But yes, LG is the only android OEM that could pose a threat to samsung.

    • Arnold Hider

      That’s a bold statement right there. Are you going by sells?

      • Tojen1981

        Well, for the first time ever I actually hear people who aren’t techies talking about getting the G3 when it comes out. Lg devices are also surprisingly affordable compared to Samsung/HTC. LG is also turning a small profit now in their mobile division. I’d say they are the best shot at the moment. Unless Xiomi makes a big push into NA.

  • TheJunkie

    G3 is the most impressive phone on the list….newest too…
    The the end of the day, I’m pretty sure I’d still go for M8.

    • phinn

      The newest by what a month? Not really a selling point. I agree with your M8 preference if was one or the other but I do find the M8′s megabezel to be offensive.

  • jfelts

    Waiting for Note 4. Hoping it has a better processor (805?) and at least USB 3.0 unlike LG G3. That should be the new standard.

    • Devin Pearson

      Since the Note 3 has USB 3.0 then I am sure the Note 4 will.

      • malcmilli

        USB 3.1 will probably be the new standard USB 3.0 is too clumsy looking

        • Major Suave

          The Note 4 will likely use an Exynos CPU like the Note 3.

          We have one at work and it eats away the other phones in Unity based games.

          • malcmilli

            If i’m not mistaken didn’t the note 3 also use the snapdragon 800 processor for US version?

          • Major Suave

            Perhaps some carriers. I am not sure

          • PoisonApple31

            Yes, I have a Verizon Note 3 with a Snapdragon 800.

          • Arnold Hider

            Yes note 3 use snapdragon 800

  • Paul Guy

    I’d get this if I can’t get a new Nexus phone, but I’m really interested in Project Ara.

  • james macy

    One Plus One, the price sets it apart plus the 64gb version with Cyanogenmod onboard is killer

    • T_Dizzle

      It’s the only phone that did anything daring so far this year.

      • Steve

        It’s also the only phone you can’t openly buy…….

        • T_Dizzle

          Yet but June is fast upon us.

  • CGS

    That G3 is a beautiful, sexy beast, and if I didn’t already have the M8 already I’d consider it. But I really, really love my M8 and have not been so creepily attached to my phone in a long time, so I’m happy.

  • blest

    I’m still loving my M8. Speed, style and smoothness.

    • worldclassflame

      And boomsound!

      • InfDaMarvel

        BEZEL!

  • shooter50

    I want the G3, but don’t believe anyone will beat the S5 screen this year. It is far and away the best, though I havent seen the G3 of course.

    • toomuchgame441

      Bullspit comment… M8 is superior

      • AJ

        @toomuchgame441:disqus @shooter50:disqus BOTH valid points.. However, both are merely just your own personal opinions & preference! That being said, when it comes down to it…. no matter the device, specs, etc., if someone loves one over the other, loves how it looks.. & the options fit both their needs AND their wants… to them… it’s gonna be the best device that exists, period. So, whatever works for that person… is the one they should go for, in the end. The S5, M8, G3, etc… they’re all so close- does it really matter?? There’s no need to say one is B/S or “superior” tho… esp when you’re just stating “your” opinion of whichever one “you” happen to like the looks of, or OS on… most. =) C’mon now …. ♫ can’t we all just get along? ;) wink.

        • toomuchgame441

          You are obviously an iOS troll. I won’t tolerate this from you!

      • Arnold Hider

        Gs5 has been rated as the best display so far. How is that Bullspit? Lol. I like that word

  • Major Suave

    I do not like Sense and I couldn’t get used to the buttons on the G2. That would make the S5 winner by default.

    I would still want some time with all three phones which might occur sooner than later.

    • malcmilli

      im the opposite, i’ve own htc phones and samsung tablets, i find sense to be much more appealing… that being said i havent tried the LG interface

  • steveb944

    I think it’s obvious G3 would win as it’s the last to join the party so it should have the most innovation thus far e.g. high res screen.

    But of course until there’s actual reviews it only wins on paper.

  • Dvrcowboy

    Fingers are crossed for M8 Prime. Nice looking phone though

    • roger’d

      I second that!

    • InfDaMarvel

      Itll be the biggest phone ever.

  • spicymeatball

    LG did a great job. 5.5 inch display and 3000 mha battery in that size of phone. They are the one’s to beat.

  • Wolf0491

    I would probably still buy the Z2 but I am just big on the water proof thing haha. Everything else honestly I wouldn’t see a difference. I’m using a phone with S4 processor and works fine and fast to me.

  • toomuchgame441

    I voted for the G3 but I can’t be swayed from my M8. It’s still a fantastic device

    • JosephLagalla

      Same over here. That and I have yet to be persuaded that the benefits outweigh the cost of the 2K display.

      • phinn

        that’s because there are no benefits.

    • Mike Keck

      I feel the same, it looks like a great phone, and as much as the M8 camera gets bashed, it takes beautiful pictures extremely fast. I don’t know last years G2 camera sensor takes pictures with the same pop. I actually take more pictures than normal just because of how good the M8 is. The second thing is the speaker, boomsound is awesome, if you listen to music on the phone speaker or not, you will miss boomsound once you’ve had it. If I can get around those 2 features I would jump for the G3…That white…Mmmmm

  • King_James_The_Wicked

    If verizon releases this beast with 32GB storage and 3GB of RAM and Wireless Charging… I am all over it. The G2 was a fine phone and the G3 seems to take it up a small notch as long as your getting the top specs.

  • Steve

    I am sceptical of that 5.5 inch 2560×1440 display and the beating its going to put on the battery. Also, it may cause some dropped frame rates pushing all those pixels , and as far as snappiness goes, the M8 is about the best so far. Before you bash for that last comment, just read/watch any reviews/comparisons .

    • InfDaMarvel

      Read and watch the Reviews for the G3 later then.

  • Sana Kaur

    just loving lg g3 features, design and color. i want to buy it
    http://priceoye.com/lg-g3-prices-reviews-features-mobile

  • technohead95

    I’m still dismayed by the amount of space LG have taken up with settings/toggles when you pull down the notification draw. Such a large screen and high resolution, yet there’s only a tiny amount of space for notifications. If this area can be customised by the user to turn off settings and reclaim the space then great. If not then boo to LG!

  • phinn

    First I gotta say what the _HELL_ is the point of 538ppi? This should have been a 1920x1080p display and it still would have have been an overwhelming 400ppi with noticeably better performance. This kind of ppi just proves nothing more than LG is trying to win a pissing contest and the loser is the end user. This resolution belongs in a tablet. I do like the clean look otherwise though.

    Secondly, to answer the poll, I’d rather have either a Nexus 5 or Moto X than any of these three phones. All three are too big and too bloated with custom software for my taste.

  • tq745

    note 4

  • Arnold Hider

    Sony need to promote their phones better

  • Harold Goldner

    It’s TOO big and I don’t like the rear buttons. Call me a fanboy, but I still prefer the HTC One M8.