Following the announcement of the new LG G2 in New York, we can now pit the company’s new flagship against the creation of its leading rival and fellow South Korean electronics giant, the Samsung Galaxy S4. At first glimpse, it looks as though LG has simply tried to out-do Samsung at the flagship game, but how do these two behemoths really compare?
LG G2 VS Samsung Galaxy S4: Design & Screen
LG spent a solid portion of the G2’s launch event expressing just how significant the handset’s design is. The biggest change to more conventional smartphone and tablet layouts is the placement of the power/lock key and volume rocker. In the G2’s case found inline with the centrally positioned camera on the phone’s back.
The claim is that the centrally positioned controls offer a more comfortable, more secure grip to the side mounted controls found on the likes of the Galaxy S4, which features a power/lock key on the right and volume rocker on the left. The S4 has more going on with a patterned finish (in black at least), hardware and capacitive keys below the display and a slightly raised rear-facing camera.
The G2’s 5.2-inch Full HD screen utilises IPS LCD technology up against the 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED of the Samsung Galaxy S4. As you’d expect from the AMOLED tech on offer there’s greater depth from the S4’s display, but colours still pop on the G2’s IPS panel which doesn’t suffer from the PenTile pixel arrangement of its rival, resulting in clearer, crisper images which in short look stunning.
LG G2 VS Samsung Galaxy S4: Operating system & performance
Underneath both phones offer Android 4.2.2 but each company has heavily customised the user interface and added a number of tweaks and changes to add greater flexibility to the basic Android experience. Side by side it looks as though LG might have taken heavy inspiration from Samsung with regards to the G2’s UI, the new weather widget which debuts on the handset being a prime example.
The biggest difference between the two UIs is the offering of themes from the LG. Samsung users are able to change wallpapers and fonts, but the G2 has a number of themes that can completely change the look of widgets, app icons, wallpapers, fonts and sounds in one fell swoop. The Marshmallow theme appears to be the only alternative right now, but when the G2 hits stores we’re expecting a few more options on offer too.
Both phones run heavy UIs but have powerful underlying hardware that should help combat any potential lag. Both devices use some of the latest silicone Qualcomm has to offer with the Samsung Galaxy S4 powered by a Snapdragon 600 quad-core chip clocked at 1.9GHz. Meanwhile the LG G2 is the first smartphone to offer up a Snapdragon 800 chip clocked at an impressively quick 2.26GHz, Qualcomm says this new chip is not only fast, but power efficient too. In addition both phones also offer 2GB of RAM a piece.
LG G2 VS Samsung Galaxy S4: Camera
From our initial encounter we were very impressed with the new imaging chops of the G2 and it shows promise at offering one of the best Android smartphone cameras on the market. Both S4 and G2 offer 13-megapixel sensors, however the G2’s camera totes a physical OIS system much like the latest Nokia Lumia flagships.
This ensures a far more stable, crisper shot than the software-stabilised photos taken on the Galaxy S4. Now all we want to find out is how the LG G2’s OIS will affect low-light photography too.
LG G2 VS Samsung Galaxy S4: Multimedia & storage
On paper it would appear that the LG G2’s superior specs will offer the better gaming experience, particularly when you pair it to the larger 5.2-inch screen, but if you want the more immersive colour depth of an AMOLED then you might be more comfortable with the Galaxy S4.
The reverse can be said for the storage side of things, with the Samsung Galaxy S4 available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB varieties while also having the option of expanding said memory by up to a further 64GB via a microSD slot concealed under the phone’s back plate. With the G2, users will be able to choose from 16GB or 32GB options, but internal memory will be the only storage on offer. There is word that the Korean LG G2 will have microSD expandability, but for the majority of markets that won’t be the case.
LG G2 VS Samsung Galaxy S4: Connections & battery
Both handsets are extremely well connected with 3G and 4G, the LG G2 being one of the company’s first world flagships to offer LTE support for multiple regions internationally. There’s also Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP support, IR blasters tied to remote applications to control a number of devices like TVs and set-top boxes (accessible via WatchON on the Galaxy S4 and Quick Remote on the G2), WiFi with hotspot and WiFi Direct/Miracast capability, DLNA and NFC. It’s a perfectly even playing field.
The larger 5.2-inch LCD panel on the LG G2 is undoubtedly the biggest cause of drain on the battery, but luckily LG has given its new flagship a sizable (and slim) 3000mAh battery to keep things going. The Samsung Galaxy S4 does have a smaller 2600mAh cell, but the smaller display with less power hungry screen technology should keep it alive for at least as long as its new competitor.
LG G2 VS Samsung Galaxy S4: Conclusion
The LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy S4 share some undeniable similarities – the plastic feel, the camera UI and even the weather widget. Inside though, these are two different phones. The Galaxy S4 is slimmer, better looking and sports microSD card support for any file horders. TouchWiz is also more refined than LG’s UI. The LG G2 in contrast is all about the hardware, more power, a better camera and a bigger screen.
With a late August / early September launch rumoured for the G2, watch this space for a more affirmative conclusion in the coming weeks.