LG G3 vs Sony Xperia Z2 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 vs iPhone 5S


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The arrival of the LG G3 surprised nobody as we all knew it was in the works thanks to a volley of leaks and even LG itself confirming the handset on numerous occasions.
There's fierce competition at the top of the mobile market, with the G3 joining the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8 in the 2014 flagship enclosure.

Don't forget about Apple's iPhone 5S either. It may not have the specs of its Android rivals, but it's still an incredibly popular device.
Here's our lowdown on all five handsets to see if the LG G3 is enough of an upgrade on last year's offering for it succeed in the busy flagship market.


When it comes to design it is clear that the flagships are trying to push themselves away from the traditional black slabs of old, whilst all trying to pack in some of the highest end features.


Thanks to the biggest screen of the lot, the LG G3 measures in with the largest frame at 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm meaning despite the largest screen, it sits comfortably alongside the other Android handsets although comes with the least amount of bezel.
A brushed metal-effect plastic back saves a little on weight, with the LG G3 coming in at 149g.

Despite its metal body, only the iPhone 5S is lighter at 112g but is by far the smallest flagship at only 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm.
The two heaviest handsets on offer are the 160g HTC One M8 and the 163g Sony Xperia Z2 that both leave similar footprints with 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm and 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm frames respectively.


Like their predecessors, the One M8 comes with a metal unibody whilst theXperia Z2 comes built of metal and glass, although the Galaxy S5 and G3 have a removable battery and back.

On the G3 LG has popped in microSD support, leaving only the iPhone 5S without an expandable storage option. If it's a waterproof and dust resistant phone you're after then you're limited to the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2.
Those moving between handsets might also want to know that the LG G3, Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2 all share microSIM ports whilst the HTC One M8 and iPhone 5S both pack nanoSIMs.
Each handset also comes with its own special design feature. LG's choice of putting the volume buttons on the back has made its way from the LG G2, although is now much flatter and pocket friendly.
Apple has opted for its TouchID although Samsung soon followed suit with a fingerprint scanner of its own. HTC has kept and improved the dual-speaker design of the original HTC one, whilst Sony prides itself on its omni-balance design.



The key talking point that surrounded the LG G3's launch was the screen being used. Whilst the S5, M8 and Z2 flagships of this year have launched with Full HD 1080 x 1920 screens, the LG G3 comes packing a QHD 1440 x 2560 display.
There is a lot of talk surrounding what this means for consumers, from whether or not the extra pixels are noticeable to just how much of an effect this will place on the battery life.
At 5.5 inches the LG G3 not only has the most pixels, it is also the largest screen on offer dwarfing the already large 5-inch plus Android flagships. The One M8 comes in the smallest at 5 inches, with the Galaxy S5 at 5.1 inches and the Xperia Z2 with a 5.2 inch offering.


Much further down the scale is the iPhone 5S with its almost diminutive 4-inch screen that also comes with a much lower resolution at only 640 x 1136 pixels. With the lowest resolution its unsurprising that the iPhone has the lowest ppi at 326.
The LG G3 also bests it's Android rivals with a whopping 538ppi. The same resolution stretched over differing screens means that the 441ppi HTC comes out on top of the 432ppi Samsung and the 424ppi Sony.
Screen resolution only tells part of the story though as each manufacturer has opted for a different screen technology. The Galaxy S5 has a Super AMOLED panel, the HTC has a Super LCD3, the Sony comes with an IPS LCD and Apple has chosen an LED IPS LCD screen.


The other big talking point of modern flagships is the amount of power that is found behind those massive screens, from the amount of cores that keep the handset running to the level of RAM that backs it up. Increased use of video and mobile gaming also means the GPU needs to be up to scratch.
All the Android handsets on offer here come with one of Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdraon 801 SoC and Adreno 300 GPU although vary on clock speed. Both Korean firms have opted for 2.5GHz versions whilst the One M8 and Xperia Z2 are clocked at 2.3GHz.
In terms of RAM, 2GB is the most common choice sat inside the LG, Samsung and HTC although Sony has put 3GB inside its Xperia Z2.
There is a 3GB version of the LG G3 though, although it only finds it way into the 32GB model. If you plump for 16GB you'll be suck with 2GB of RAM.


Appearing to fall behind is the 64-bit iPhone 5S, with its 1.3GHz dual-core A7, 1GB RAM and PowerVR G6430 GPU.

Storage wise, all handsets come in 16GB options with 32GB versions available on the G3, Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, although only the iPhone 5S offers 64GB storage. On the flip side it is the only handset without expandable microSD storage.

Operating system

Another key area that all the flagships differ on is the software. The most different of all here is the iPhone 5S as it runs iOS 7 rather than a version of Android.
Being the latest models, all the Android handsets ship unsurprisingly with Android 4.4.2 KitKat. This is where the similarities end though, as each manufacturer has made use of the open source nature of Google's OS.
This means each handset looks almost nothing like its brother despite having similar DNA. LG has dressed the G3 with its own simple and bright UI coming complete with the KnockON feature that allows you to double tap to wake the screen or even set a tap pattern to unlock the device. Also included is a 'Smart Notice' feature, offering context sensitive information and reminders.
Perhaps due to pressure from Google, Samsung has the latest TouchWiz UI with its rounder icons on the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2 has the Sony UI, each complete with their own nuances that give them a different feel from stock Android.
With Sense 6.0 on board, the HTC One M8 is perhaps the most different from the standard Google OS with its Blinkfeed screen that pushes a custom list of news and social updates to the fore.


Mobile cameras are also coming under increasing scrutiny as they attempt to squeeze traditional compact camera's out of the market. Part of this can be attributed to the amount of pixels that are able to be squeezed into the sensors, but other advancements are also being pushed in.
One of these is Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). This made an appearance in last year's LG G2 and is unsurprisingly included in the 13MP LG G3, although it's been upgraded to OIS+. Beating the Samsung, LG has put in a 2.1MP front camera for all those selfies.
Samsung has taken a slightly different tack popping in a 16MP ISOCELL camera which is capable of recording 4K video, backed up by an LED flash. At 2MP, the front sensor isn't the largest but is still able to take decent selfies.


Packing in even more pixels than the 16MP of the Samsung is the 20.7MP rear sensor of the Sony Xperia Z2. It is also capable of recording 4K video and also comes with an LED flash. In terms of front sensors, the Sony also beats the Korean firms with a 2.2MP sensor.
With all these mega pixels flying about it seems a little odd that theiPhone 5S only comes with an 8MP camera, but it also packs in a dual LED flash allowing for more natural colouring in lower light situation.
Also packing a dual LED flash is the HTC One M8, although is perhaps the most controversial of all handsets on offer thanks to its dual Ultrapixel camera.
This means that whilst only including a 4MP sensor, each pixel is slightly larger accommodating more light whilst a second camera captures other data including depth-of field.



With the screen tech being the biggest talking point of the LG G3, there is undoubtedly a lot of talk surrounding the power pack that sits behind both it and the other flagship handsets. The massive screens of the Androids mean that they unsurprisingly come with the largest power packs.
Surprisingly the LG G3 doesn't come with the biggest battery of them all, a title that is won by the 3200mAh juice box that sits behind the Sony Xperia Z2. Instead LG has popped a removable 3000mAh battery inside making it the second largest on offer here.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in third place with its 2800mAh battery which can be removed and swapped out meaning that intense users can carry around a second (or more) battery packs to help get them between charges.


Locked inside the aluminium unibody of the HTC One M8 is a 2600mAh battery, making it the smallest of the Android handsets but still manages to offer a very impressive life.
Finally is the smallest battery sat inside the smallest handset, the 1560mAh that is found tucked away inside Apple's iPhone 5S.

Finally comes price, perhaps the most important statistic of all as an overpriced handset won't sell well despite a plethora of features on offer.
In order to obtain the LG G3, you'll probably need to hand over around £550 of your hard earned cash, or sign up to a two year contract that we expect to cost around £30 per month.


Early verdict

Building upon the critically acclaimed LG G2, the LG G3 is shaping up to be one of the stand out handsets of 2014. Launching later than the Samsung, HTC and Sony flagships may have put the LG G3 at a bit of a disadvantage, although the Korean firm will be the first major QHD handset to market.
All the talk surrounding the LG G3 launch has centred around the QHD screen, building upon the work done by the LG G2 which had arguably the best screen of 2013. Assuming LG can balance the battery life with the massive screen, we could be on to a real winner.

Source: techradar