“To be simple is to be great,” or so LG teased in a trailer several weeks before the company’s recent press events in London and New York City. As evident from the LG G3 unveiling, the newest edition to LG’s smartphone lineup seemingly lives up to the claim, looking to be a step forward in hardware and step backward in complexity. Dubbed the LG G3, the smartphone sports a quicker processor and an incredible 2560 × 1440 pixel display, along with expanded storage capacity and a curved design intended to rest easily in your hands.
Though its camera resolution may not have received an overhaul, the smartphone now boasts improved optical image stabilization and laser autofocus, the latter of which is intended for measuring the distance to the subject and capturing better image quality in low-light situations. The device is poised to become one of LG’s flagship devices regardless if it lives up to the aforementioned tagline, but how does it compare with last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet? Take a look at our quick side-by-side comparison below to find out.
Also, check out our likeminded LG G3 and iPhone 5S comparison, our LG G3 vs. LG G2 comparison, or our LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5, and HTC One M8 comparison to see how LG’s new device stacks up against similar market competition.
Galaxy Note 3
|Size||146.3 x 74.7 x 8.9 (mm)||151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 (mm)|
|Screen||5.5-inch Quad HD IPS||5.7-inch Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||2560×1440 pixels||1080×1920 pixels|
|OS||Android 4.4.2 KitKat||Android 4.4.2 (TouchWiz UI)|
|Storage||16GB or 32GB||32GB or 64GB|
|SD Card Slot||Yes, microSD slot (up to 128GB)||Yes, microSD slot (up to 64GB)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801||Qualcomm Snapdragon 800|
|RAM||2GB or 3GB DDR3||3GB DDR3|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE, HSPA+, NFC||Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC|
|Camera||Front 2.1MP, Rear 13MP||Front 2MP, Rear 13MP|
|Bundled Stylus||None||Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S Pen|
|Bluetooth||Yes, version 4.0||Yes, version 4.0|
|Battery||3000mAh, removable||3200mAh, removable|
|Charger||Micro USB, wireless||Micro USB|
|Marketplace||Google Play Store||Google Play Store|
|Availability||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile||AT&T, Sprint, T-Mob, Verizon, U.S. Cell|
|DT Review||4.5 out of 5||4.5 out of 5|
Power and productivity
Equipped with a quad-core, 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, the LG G3 features a modest hardware upgrade over the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Though the G3 does have the upper hand, the difference between the two devices in terms of real-world performance is fairly negligible. Other internal components — storage capacity, RAM, and connectivity — are identical between the two devices, but the G3 does offer more storage capacity via the equipped MicroSD card slot whereas the Note 3 offers up to 64GB of internal memory. The G3’s processing power isn’t any more rigorous or capable than other smartphones on the market, but it is on par with the best of them, especially when combined with the 3GB of RAM. However, the Note 3 also boasts a larger battery.
It’s rare that a mobile devices trumps another in sheer processing power these days. However, though the processing power of the G3 slightly exceeds that of the Note 3, it’s the design and display of the G3 really worth noting. Though the Quad HD IPS display is slightly smaller than that adorning the Note 3, it has a gorgeous pixel resolution of 2560 x 1440, easily surpassing every smartphone display on the market. Comparing the devices’ exterior dimensions is too close to call, but the G3 is slightly thinner and weighs less than Samsung’s counterpart, with a curved polycarbonate design aimed to alleviate the awkwardness often associated with bulky electronics. Both are also available in a bevy of colors, from white to red, and the G3 even showcases a dearth of exterior buttons aside from the lone sleep-wake button on the rear of the device.
When it comes to camera specs, the G3 isn’t a far-flung departure from its predecessor or the Note 3. Both devices tout a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera, though the G3 offers a variety of developments design to refine the way you capture photos. The smartphone features a new technology referred to as Laser Auto Focus, one designed to better measure the distance between the camera and the subject while subsequently increasing focus speed and eliminating blurry shots.
The Touch and Shoot UI also allows you to focus and shoot with one simple touch, while the improves Optical Image Stabilization ensures your photos remain clear even in situations where you’re experiencing high levels of unexpected motion. Plus, the device showcases a dual-LED flash, 4K video recording, a wider aperture on the front-facing camera, and compatibility with gesture controls. Simply clench your fist in front of the camera and allow the timer countdown to ensue. The Note 3 also captures photos and 4K video, but it lacks the intuitive features and capabilities of LG’s next offering.
It’s tough to see the merits in purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 over the LG G3. The Note 3 is a phenomenal device, sure, but the newly-accounted G3 trumps it in nearly every aspect. The process is quicker, the display offers unprecedented pixel resolution — and though the screen is slightly smaller — the device is thinner and weighs less than Samsung’s offering. That, combined with near identical storage and more robust camera capabilities, and you have a surprisingly compact device worthy of succeeding the LG G2 and surpassing the Note 3. However, price and real-world application of the high-resolution display still remains to be seen in the long run.
The LG G3 has been confirmed by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The smartphone is slated to go on sale Wednesday, May 28, in South Korea, with an expected global launch in June 2014.