Do we have a good one for you today – the old versus the new as we compare the LG G3 to the new LG G4. Just how much has LG updated the LG G3 – a fine device in its own right and the first device to come out with a mass produced Quad HD (QHD) display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a whopping 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Did LG do enough with the LG G4 to compete with the likes of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and the new HTC One M9?
The new LG G4 grew ever so slightly in size and weight while maintaining the same 5.5-inch display size and small bezels. They both have the same metallic looking plastic backing, although the LG G4 improves the texture a bit and now offers extra cost leather backs with stitching. Both the G3 and G4 feel solid in your hand and offer up that premium look. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, only different iterations. They both have 3GB of RAM and 32GB of Internal memory with a microSD card slot to increase the memory by 128GB.
The camera area was updated in the new LG G4 – 13MP to 16MP, 2.1MP FFC versus 8MP, and upgraded software. The battery remains the same 3000mAh and retains optional Qi wireless charging capabilities with an optional back. The usual parts are all there – dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0/4.1, NFC capability, microUSB v2.0 with Slimport, an IR Blaster and FM stereo radio.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
When the LG G3 was released in 2014, it was one of the most anticipated devices of the year – mostly because of the Quad HD display – everybody was anxious to see just what all the fuss was about. The other big anticipation was its metal-looking back, but that ended up being plastic with a metallic-like paint. What we got was a well-built, solid device with some of the smallest bezels we have seen on any smartphone.
The LG G3 has the same physical 5.5-inch display as the LG G4, it comes packing a QHD with an astonishing 538 PPI. It uses the IPS LCD technology, while the LG G4 uses a new and improved IPS Quantum display technology. The other big difference is in the Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz is now replaced by the newer Snapdragon 808, a 64-bit hexa-core processor. They both pack 3GBs of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and both have a microSD card to add an additional 128GB of storage. They both offer a 3000mAh removable battery and optional Qi wireless charging with an optional back.
The LG G3 uses a 13MP main camera sensor and a 2.1MP front-facing camera (FFC) – fairly mainstream and it takes great pictures – but the LG G4 uses a new and larger 16MP main camera sensor with improvements in hardware and software and a huge 8MP FFC. You can find the G3 for as little as $0 on a two-year contract and all the way up to $199. It is available on all four major US carriers and should be updated and running Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Although the LG G4 is an update of last year's popular LG G3, LG made a few much-needed improvements. The G3 already had a QHD display, but LG improved it greatly using a new IPS Quantum display technology that LG claims is 25-percent brighter with a 50-percent increase in the contrast and 56-percent improvement to the color accuracy. The device is slightly larger and they added a very slight curve for added comfort. Along with the improved metallic plastic backing, you can now special order a real leather backing with stitching in a multitude of colors. It looks about the same as last year's model, and yet, at the same time, it does look even more premium.
The LG G4 sports a 5.5-inch QHD LCD Quantum display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 538 PPI…the same size and resolution as the LG G4. The display is much brighter than the G3's and the colors really pop out – it is covered by Gorilla Glass 4. LG decided to bypass the Snapdragon 810 (found in the LG G Flex 2) and instead used the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor…slightly below the 810, but it is optimized for the LG G4 and should be kinder to its battery and several unofficial tests have shown the 810 to throttle some of its speed. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and also has room for expansion via a microUSB card – identical specs of the G3.
The camera is first rate with a 16MP sensor with a larger f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash and OIS and a huge 8MP is used for the FFC and should take excellent selfies and provide great video chatting. These specs are an improvement all around from the LG G3 and the G4 really upped its camera software/interface. Both the G4 and G3 use a 3000mAh removable battery and have can use QI wireless charging if you purchase the optional back – the LG G4 was just updated to use Quick Charge 2,0.
The LG G4 also offers easily accessible controls on the back of the device and includes a built-in IR Blaster. It also incorporates some great software features like knock-knock and split screen multi-tasking. The LG G4 will be running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, comes in a variety of colors with additional cost leather options, and will cost about $200 on a two-year contract.
…And The Winner Is…
What I thought would be a tough decision turned out to be an easy one after all and I picked the new LG G4 as the winner of this specification comparison. With the LG G3 heavily discounted, it is quite a buy for a new or existing smartphone user looking to move up. Since LG included the QHD display, an owner of any smartphone prior to 2015 would have access to the G3's large 5.5-inch QHD display and excellent camera for a very good price.
LG made a few key improvements that make it the clear choice to me – the most important item was how much they improved the display by increasing its brightness and using a new IPS Quantum display technology that is 25-percent brighter, offers a 50-percent increased contrast and a 56-percent improved color accuracy. Secondly, the G4 is using a 64-bit hexa-core processor versus the 32-bit quad-core found in the G3. Lastly, LG improved an already great camera by upping the sensor from a 13MP to 16MP and added several new features as well as jumped the FFC to a huge 8MP.
Those main items, plus the additional software updates/improvements, the beautiful new choice of backs and competitive pricing allows me to choose the LG G4 as the winner of this comparison.
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