Do we have a good one for you today – the popular LG G3 goes up against the new Samsung Galaxy S6. Yes, we know that a new LG G4 will be out in April or May and we will certainly compare that model as well, but right now we have to take LG's flagship and see what kind of job Samsung has done in creating a competing device.
Both of these devices were highly anticipated – the LG G3 because it was to have the first mass-produced QHD display and we were all expecting a full-metal backing in the LG G3 to match up against the popular HTC One M8…one out of two ain't bad. And after the poor sales of the Samsung Galaxy S5 in 2014, Samsung was looking to do a complete makeover…and it looks as though they have succeeded.
The LG G3 and Galaxy S6 do share a few things in common – for one, they both use the QHD display resolution, although the G3 uses the LCD technology and the Galaxy S6 uses Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. Both devices use 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although the G3 has external expansion capabilities, whereas the Galaxy S6 has the option to purchase either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, but no external expansion capability. The main cameras are also very close in specifications and they both have extra sound circuitry for better sound, especially out if the headphones jack. They also both share built-in wireless charging, but the G3 is only Qi enabled while the Galaxy S6 has both Qi and PMA standards. They share the usual dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 with G3 and 4.1 with S6), GPS, NFC capabilities, active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic, a built-in IR Blaster and a microUSB v2.0 port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a look at the detailed specifications comparison found below – expand it by clicking on the "View Full Comparison" at the bottom and you will get a real sense of how these two devices match up against one another. After that, we will look at each individual device, talk about it, and weigh out some of the pros and cons in an effort to pick a winner for this comparison.
The LG G3 was one of the most anticipated devices of the year – mostly because of its QHD display – I remember how anxious we all were to see exactly what 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI) looked like. From the pictures we had seen and the rumors floating around we were also expecting a metal back, similar to the HTC One M8. After all of that hype, it ended up being a plastic shell with a metallic-like finish. Critics of the plastic back on Samsung seemed to forgive LG because it looked like metal – go figure. The LG G3 was still a well-built, solid device with some of the smallest bezels we have seen on any smartphone. The curve back was comfortable to hold, if not somewhat slippery.
The LG G3 comes with a 5.5-inch IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and it comes packing a whopping 538 PPI. The 5.1-inch main display of the Galaxy S6 is slightly smaller with the same QHD display and boasting 577 PPI, although the Super AMOLED display blows away the LCD with its brilliant contrasts. Another big difference is in the processor department. The LG G3's Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, which was a great processor when the G3 came out, but is no match for the 64-bit Exynos octa-core found in the Galaxy S6. Both devices pack 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, but the Galaxy S6 uses DDR4 RAM and Samsung's new and faster UFS 2.0 Flash memory. The LG G3 does offer external expansion of the 32GB of storage and the Galaxy S6 does not.
The camera areas differ just slightly – the LG G3 packs a 13MP sensor, dual-toned LED flash, OIS+ and their newest Laser Autofocus for quick and precise focusing. The Galaxy S6 bumps up the sensor to 16MP, with a single LED Flash, standard Autofocus, and OIS but does pack in the ability to take live HDR shots and has a wider f/1.9 aperture for better low-light pictures. The LG G3 has the 'normal' sized 2.1MP front-facing camera (FFC) compared to the 5MP wide-angle lens on the Galaxy S6, the wider f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR shots and 120 wide-angle lens for group selfies and video chatting.
The LG G3 has an FM Stereo Radio, and is being upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop as we speak. You can find the G3 for as little as $0 on a two-year contract and all the way up to $199 or it will run you about $600 off-contract. It is available on all four major US carriers
Samsung Galaxy S6
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 is a completely new device – a solid metal frame and Gorilla Glass 4 for both the display and the back of the device. It is solid, well-built and premium looking from any angle, as well as comfortable to hold in your hand. Samsung really was looking to quiet past criticisms and it looks as though their new flagship will be a hit.
It sports a 5.1-inch Quad HD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 577 pixels-per-inch (PPI) compared to QHD display on the LG G3 with 538 PPI. Samsung even dropped the Qualcomm processor completely this time around and chose to go with their 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. It has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four cores clocked at 2.1GHz. It is packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM and it comes with Samsung's new, faster, UFS 2.0 Flash memory offering 32GB/64GB/128GB models with no room for expansion – a first for Samsung's Galaxy S series. The LG G3 uses the slower RAM and flash memory, but does have room for 128GB of expansion.
The main camera uses a 16MP Sony sensor, autofocus, LED flash, wider f/1.9 aperture, Live HDR shots and OIS. The speed of operation was dramatically increased – taking less than a second to open the camera app to be ready to shoot. The FFC is a full 5MP with a wide-angle lens and they added the f/1.9 aperture and Live HDR shooting for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The 2550mAh battery is smaller than the 3000mAh in the G3, but it should easily get you through the entire day – the new Samsung non-removable battery can charge up to 4 hours of usage in only 10 minutes and they added built-in wireless charging (both Qi/PMA) for the first time.
The Galaxy S6 has a large speaker on the bottom of the device and it comes with a fingerprint sensor (PayPal approved), Samsung Pay, heart rate sensor and oxygen saturation sensor. It also has a convenient IR Blaster (as does the LG G3). It is available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Blue Topaz. It will be running Android 5.0 Lollipop, and is releasing worldwide on April 10. Pricing on a two-year contract will be about $199, and $600 full-price.
…And The Winner Is…
The winner of this comparison is a very easy decision to make – the Samsung Galaxy S6. The LG G3 is a great device and it has a very loyal following – which I am sure that we will hear from – but you just cannot deny the 64-bit octa-core processor, the faster DDR4 RAM and the much faster UFS 2.0 Flash memory. The camera upgrades – wider f/1.9 aperture and Real-Time HDR shots, the larger 5MP FFC also comes with the f/1.9 aperture, 120 wide-angle lens and live HDR shots. The Galaxy S6 has a much better loudspeaker mounted on the bottom of the device, which is a better placement than on the back of the LG G3.
Like them or not, the Galaxy S6 also has a much improved fingerprint sensor (PayPal approved), built-in Samsung Pay, heart rate sensor, oxygen saturation sensor, and the wireless charging for BOTH standards. The Galaxy S6's battery is only 2550mAh, but test have shown it to be excellent and this new Samsung battery will give you up to four hours of usage with only a 10-minute charge. Then, when you take into account that it costs the same as any flagship – $199 on a two-year contract or $600 off-contract for the 32GB model, it makes it even more appealing.
Final Word on the LG G3 – Because the new LG G4 is only a month or two away from being released, you can find the G3 ranging anywhere from $0 to $149 on a two-year contract and as low as $500 off contract, so if you want a great device at a great price, and do not mind having lower specs, the LG G3 might be for you.