We’ve already witnessed the debut of some interesting flagships smartphones this year, but there are still some high-end smartphones launched in 2013 worthy to become your next smartphone. The highly-appreciated Nexus 5 is one of them, so we’ve though we should put it to fight against one of the most powerful smartphones of the year in the LG G3 vs Nexus 5 specs battle.
As you may know, the Nexus 5 is co-developed by Google and LG and it was officially introduced in October 2013, being the first smartphone in the world to run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. On the other hand, the LG G3 is the latest and greatest smartphone of the South Korean phone maker.
If you’ve been with us for our previous Versus article, you would have probably known that the LG G3 vs Nexus 5 specs battle will consist of ten rounds where we will be judging the performance of the two devices in terms of Display, Dimensions, Processor, Memory, Connectivity, Camera, Design, Operating System, Battery Life, and Price. Each round is worth one point and, as you might have guessed already, the smartphone that manages to score most points wins the battle.
In the last couple of years the resolution of the smartphone screens went up from HD to QHD. The G3 is the first mainstream smartphone to feature a Quad HD display.
The LG G3 boasts about a 5.5-inch True HD-IPS + LCD display with an impressive resolution of 1440 x 2560. It has Gorilla Glass 3 protection and a pixel density of 534 ppi. The Nexus 5 features a smaller 5.0-inch True HD IPS+ display with Full HD (1080 x 1920) resolution and 445 ppi pixel density. Just like the G3, it’s protected against scratches by a Gorilla Glass 3 layer.
The resolution of G3’s screen is simply amazing and if you had the occasion to get your hands on it you would know how good it its. The LG G3 wins the Display round.
With screens growing in size every year, the smartphone makers are struggling to keep their devices as compact as possible. Let’s have a look at the dimensions of the G3 and Nexus 5.
Nexus 5 is 137.9 mm tall, 69.2 mm wide, and 8.6 mm thin and weighs in at 130 grams. Because it has to accommodate a 0.5-inch larger screen, the LG G3 measures 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm, while weighing 149 grams.
As you can see for yourself, the Nexus 5 is both smaller and lighter than the G3. The Android Vanilla-powered smartphone wins the Dimensions round.
We are dealing with two smartphones equipped with Qualcomm processors that come from different generations. But are the differences that major?
The MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 chipset powering the Nexus 5 was introduced by Qualcomm early 2013, but it was only integrated on devices launched in the second half of the same year. It is based on four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU.
The LG G3 is underpinned by a Qualcomm MSM8975AC Snapdragon 801 SoC. The processing unit has a quad-core 2.5 GHz CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU.
Even though the Snapdragon 801 SoC of the G3 is slightly more powerful than the one equipping the Nexus 5, you won’t be able to notice the difference between the two unless you run a benchmark. The Processor round has to end as tie.
When you want to acquire a new smartphone you must take the storage into consideration. There are a plethora of apps and games out there, not to mention about your music collection, favorite TV shows, and the photos and video taken with your smartphone.
The LG Nexus 5 is available in two storage options, 16 and 32 GB, and, unfortunately, it doesn’t have support for microSD cards. It also arrives with 2 GB of RAM, which are more than enough for your multitasking needs.
The LG G3 comes with either 16 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM or 32 GB storage and 3 GB of RAM. Both models have support for microSD card expansion with up to 128 GB.
The LG G3 can reach to up to 160 GB storage, so it wins the Memory round. Another point for LG’s latest flagship.
There weren’t may breakthroughs in the connectivity field in the past couple of years, so the high-end Android smartphones are almost identical when it comes to connectivity options. Let’s have a look at what’s inside the G3 and N5.
The LG G3 arrives with HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 21 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0. On the other hand the Nexus 5 brings HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 21 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and microUSB 2.0
As you can see, the only difference between the two is the infrared port of the G3, which isn’t enough for it to beat the Nexus 5 in this round. We’re calling it a tie.
I’m not much of a photographer myself. In fact, whether you hand me a DSLR or a smartphone, I’ll get the same results. Anyway, I do appreciate a good smartphone camera.
The LG G3 arrives with a 13 MP primary shooter that integrates phase detection/laser autofocus, optical image stabilization, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, while having 1/3” sensor size, simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR, and support for 4K video capture. It also features a 2.1 MP user-facing camera with 1080p video recording support.
Nexus 5 packs an 8 MP main camera with autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash, 1/3.2″ sensor size, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, photo sphere, HDR, dual recording, and 1080p@30 fps video recording support. It’s user-facing camera has a 1.3 MP sensor.
You don’t have to bee a professional photographer to figure out that the LG G3 has the better camera. This round goes to the LG G3.
The LG smartphones launched over the past couple of years have made huge steps forward in terms of design. Fortunately, both the G3 and the Nexus 5 are two of those.
The LG G3 continues the design philosophy introduced last year by its predecessor, the G2. It has a curved back, rounded corners, and sharp edges, but the main highlight is probably the very thin bezel surrounding its 5.5-inch display. It even keeps the same placement for the Volume and Power keys: on the back. The rear-facing camera is mounted centrally, being flanked by the dual-LED flash and the laser autofocus module. Have I mentioned about the metallic finishing of the rear lid? No? Well, hear that it looks amazing. The G3 is available in five body colors: Dark Grey, White, Gold, Pink, and Purple.
Even though the Nexus 5 is based on LG’s last year flagship, the G2, it has almost nothing in common with it when it comes to design. It might not have a metallic back like the G3, but the soft plastic used for Nexus 5’s feels great. It also offers great grip so you won’t have to fear it will slide on glossy surfaces. It has the Nexus branding written in big letters on the back, while the main camera is located it the top left corner, right above the LED flash. There are three color options available: Black, White, and Red.
I’ll have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised when I held the LG G3 for the first time. It looks and feels better than expected and the metallic rear looks amazing. It just has to win the Design round.
Both the G3 and the Nexus five are running KitKat. Even so, they are quite different, because of the custom skin LG has applied on the G3.
Nexus 5 was the first smartphone to run Android 4.4 out of the box, so it also also the one to introduce all the KitKat-specific features. The handset arrives with “OK Google” hotword detection in the homescreen, full screen album and movie art in the lockscreen, the highly-appreciated immersive mode, Caller ID in the Phone app, along with prioritized contacts based on the people you talk to the most, cloud printing, and many other more features. Anyway, the best thing about the Nexus 5 is that it’s always in the first wave of devices to receive the latest Android updates. Latter this year, when the Android L update will be released for the public, the N5 will be one of the first smartphones to get it.
The G3 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, but it also introduces some LG proprietary features. It has Smart Keyboard (size adjustable and gesture word correction), a flatter UI compared to the previous LG interfaces, and allows the users to remove pre-installed apps to provide more free space. It also comes with some sort of personal assistant called Smart Notice. According to LG, Smart Notice “suggests what you need, even before you need it,” making predictive recommendations based on your phone’s status, behavior, and location. It also introduces Knock Code, a fun way to unlock and secure your smartphone without even touching the Power key.
Even though the G3 introduces quite a few interesting software features, we prefer the unaltered Android interface of the Nexus 5. Furthermore, the N5 is always first-in line when it comes to getting updated to new Android versions. The point allocated for the Operating System round goes to the Nexus 5.
The battery life is one of the biggest problems of the modern smartphones. Fortunately, the manufacturers are working to fix that and the first signs are already showing.
The Nexus 5 is kept alive by a non-removable Li-Po 2,300 mAh battery. I happen to own a Nexus 5 and I can get around 24 hours of battery life on a single charge and with typical usage, but if I unplug it in the morning that would mean the next day I won’t have any battery left on my way to work.
The LG G3 has a Li-Ion 3,000 mAh battery which, according to LG offers 553 hours of stand-by time and up to 21 hours of talk time. I know that’s not what matters to you, so hear that, in our tests, the LG G3 managed to get through 48 hours of typical usage.
The G3 has greater battery life so it has to win this round. The latest LG flagship scores another point.
We’ll try to keep it simple in the Price round: the cheaper smartphone wins. And because there are more smartphones sold on-contract, this is what we will be comparing.
The major US carriers are already selling the G3. You can grab the LG flagship for 2014 from either Sprint or Verizon at $99.99 with a two-year contract, while AT&T is selling it at $199.99. You also have the option to buy it on-contract from Amazon with big discounts. With an AT&T plan you can have it for free, the Verizon model is $49.99 with a two-year contract, while the Sprint variant sells at $99.99 on-contract.
Sprint is the only US carrier that has the Nexus 5 in their portfolio. You can either get directly from Sprint’s web store for free with a two year contract, or you can head to Amazon, buy the Sprint Nexus 5 for $19.99 after you agree to sign a two-year deal with the carrier and have it shipped to your door right away.
It’s quite obvious that the Nexus 5 is the cheaper smartphone. The Price round goes to the handset co-developed by Google and LG.
If it reads Conclusions above it means that we have arrived at the end of the LG G3 vs Nexus 5 specs battle. Let’s start counting points and see which smartphone has won.
Two rounds have ended as tie. The two smartphones were equally matched when it came to Processor and Connectivity.
The LG-made Nexus 5 has managed to score three points after winning the Dimensions, Operating System, and Price round. It outmatched the G3 because it’s smaller and lighter, because it runs stock Android, and because it’s cheaper.
The LG G3 has won in the Display, Memory, Camera, Design, and Battery Life rounds. It’s better than the Nexus 5 courtesy of its Quad HD display, bigger storage, better camera, because it’s better-looking and because it offers greater autonomy.
With all these being said we declare the LG G3 the winner of the battle. Anyway, you are entitled to have a different opinion, therefore we are inviting you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.