LG released their flagship smartphone for 2014 about a month ago and it’s set to compete against Sony’s Xperia Z2, HTC’s One M8, and Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Because there’s a big rivalry between the two South Korean phone makers, we thought we should put their latest smartphones head-to-head in the LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 specs battle.
Our loyal readers may know from our previous Versus articles that the LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 specs battle will consist of ten different rounds. Each round is worth one point and, at the end of the battle, the smartphone that manages to score most points is named winner.
In the LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 battle we will be comparing the performance of the two handsets in terms of Display, Dimensions, Connectivity, Memory, Camera, Processor, Design, Operating System, Battery Life, and Price.
Even though early rumors have suggested that that Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will sport a Quad HD screen, the South Koreans have settled for a Full HD display.
Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution protected against scratches by a Gorilla Glass 3 layer. It also has a pixel density of 432 ppi.
On the other hand, the LG G3 boasts about a 5.5-inch True HD-IPS + LCD screen with 1440 x 2560 resolution and a pixel density of 534 ppi. Just like the S5, the LG G3 features Gorilla Glass 3 protective coating.
The LG G3 has a higher resolution display that sets a new standard for the 2014 smartphone market, therefore it wins the Display round of the battle.
As the screen size grows constantly, the smartphone manufacturers are making huge efforts to keep them as compact as possible.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 measures 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm and has a weigh of 145 grams. Because it has to accommodate a larger display and a bigger battery the LG G2 is 146.3 mm tall, 74.6 mm wide, and 8.9 mm thick.
There’s no doubt that the Galaxy S5 is the more compact smartphone, so it wins the Dimensions round.
Most high-end Android smartphones of 2014 are very similar when it comes to Connectivity, but let’s have a look at the LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 anyway.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives with HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 21 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL/ EV-DO Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 3.0.
The LG G3 sports HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 21 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL/ EV-DO Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0.
As you may see the only difference between the two is the microUSB standard. While the S5 comes with USB 3.0, the G3 packs USB 2.0. This is not enough for the Samsung flagship to steal the Connectivity point, so we’re calling it a tie.
The storage capacity of a smartphone is pretty important nowadays, because you’ll want to have enough room for your apps, music collection, favorite TV shows, and for the photos and videos you’ll be taking with the device.
The LG G3 has 16 GB of native storage and support for microSD cards up to 128 GB. On the other hand the Galaxy S5 comes with 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, expandable using microSD cards up to 128 GB. Summing up, while the G3 can max 144 GB storage, the S5 can reach up to 160 GB.
Furthermore, the LG G3 comes with 3 GB of RAM, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 only has 2 GB of RAM.
In our opinion, 144 GB of storage are enough even for the most demanding users, but the extra GB of RAM of the G3, would offer a better multitasking experience. This point goes to the LG flagship.
Most of the times, the best camera, is the camera you’re carrying with you, and the smartphone makers were quick to understand that.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a 16 MP rear-facing camera with phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.6″ sensor size, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, and support for 4K at 30 fps video recording. The user-facing camera has a 2 MP sensor and it’s capable of recording Full HD videos.
The LG G3 is equipped with a 13 MP primary shooter with laser autofocus, LED flash 1/3” sensor size, simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face detection, and HDR. It also records 4K videos at 30 fps. It also comes with a 2.1 MP front-facing shooter with 1080p video recording support.
Even though we’re dealing with two impressive camera modules, real-life tests have proven that the camera mounted on the back of the Galaxy S5 is capable of shooting higher quality photos. The point allocated for the Camera round goes to the Samsung flagship.
Early 2014, the folks at Qualcomm announced their high-end chipsets for the year: the Snapdragon 801 and the Snapdragon 805, the latter one being expected to equip the first smartphones starting this summer.
Both the LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 are underpinned by a Snapdragon 801 SoC based on four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.5 GHz and a quad-core Adreno 330. There’s basically no difference between the two processing units even though the LG G3’s unit is labelled MSM8975AC, while Galaxy S5’s is labelled MSM8974AC.
Because the two smartphones are capable of providing the same processing performance, this round of the battle ends as tie.
The LG G3 follows the design language introduced last year by its predecessor, the LG G2, with rounded corners and the physical buttons placed on the back, right below the camera sensor. The new laser autofocus sensor is placed to the left of the camera, while the back has a metallic finishing. Even though the handset it’s not made of real metal, the finishing of the back brings a premium look to the phone.
One of the first things you may notice about the LG G3 is the really thin bezel around its display. Because LG had to accommodate a 5.5-inch display into the body of a smartphone capable of rivaling the S5, the One M8, and the Z2 in terms of size, the South Koreans chose to narrow the bezel, in the same time allowing the G3 to provide great screen to body ratio.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S5 gets its design inspirations from the Galaxy S4, Samsung’s flagship smartphone for 2013. Even though Samsung was criticized for using plastic for their high-end smartphones, the company employed the same built material for their latest flagship. The good news is that the dimpled back of the S5 offers great grip and doesn’t feel cheap.
On the back of the S5 you’ll find a heart rate monitor right below the camera sensor, while the new fingerprint sensor is integrated in the home button. It’s also worth noting that the S5 is IP67 certified, being both dust and water resistant.
We believe that the LG G3 is the better looking smartphone here, therefore the Design point goes to the LG flagship.
Even though we are dealing with two smartphones running Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box, they are providing quite different experiences because of the custom interfaces installed by the two South Korean manufacturers.
The Galaxy S5 runs Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz UI which, besides the software features like Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Dual Shot, or Dual Video, introduces new functionality like Selective Focus (allows the users to choose the focus point after a picture was taken), Ultra Power Saving Mode (shuts down all unnecessary processes to dramatically minimize battery consumption), Download Booster (combines LTE and WiFi to improve download speeds), Private Mode (allows the user to hide apps or files), or make online payments via PayPal using the fingerprint sensor.
The G3 UI brings a new feature called Smart Notice which, according to LG, “suggests what you need, even before you need it.” Smart Notice may suggest you to erase apps that you haven’t used in a longtime, may remind you about missed calls, or to enable battery saver when batter level is too low. One of the most appreciated LG software features is Knock Code, which enables you to unlock your phone by using a customized knocking pattern.
Even though I’m not the biggest TouchWiz fan, I must admit that Samsung’s custom skin is one of most innovative interfaces in the Android world. The operating system goes to the Galaxy S5.
The battery life is one of the biggest problems of the modern smartphones, but we are glad to see that the OEMs are making efforts to improve this aspect of their phones.
The LG G3 has a 3,000 mAh battery which performed amazingly in our tests. The Li-ion 3,000 mAh unit managed to get the device through almost 48 hours of moderate usage.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 packs a Li-ion 2,800 mAh. In our tests, the smartphone managed to stay awake through around 36 hours of typical usage. Of course we won’t take Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving Mode into account, because you can barely call the device a smartphone after you activate it.
The LG G3 wins the battery life round.
Even though the LG G3 wasn’t made available for purchase on the US market yet, I guess it’s fairly easy to estimate the price of the new handset.
As you may have already noticed, most flagship smartphones are sold by the US carriers are $199 after you agree two sign a two-year contract with them. The same happened with the Galaxy S5. The terminal costs $199 on-contract at Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T.
We strongly believe that once the G3 hits the us market, the major US carriers will sell the new LG flagship smartphone for $199 with two-year contracts.
The Price round of the LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 specs battle ends as tie.
Here we are at the end of the LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 specs battle. This means it’s about time to see which smartphone managed to score most points.
We’ve had three rounds that ended as tie: Connectivity, Processor, and Price, because the two smartphones bring the same connectivity features, have the same processing unit, and will be sold at the same price.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 managed to score three points after it won the Dimensions, Camera, and Operating System rounds because it’s more compact than its rival, it has a higher-quality camera, and because TouchWiz UI is one of the most popular and innovative Android skins.
The LG G3 outmatched the Samsung Galaxy S5 in terms of Display (it has a Quad HD screen), Memory (sports 3 GB of RAM), Battery Life (the 3,000 mAh battery provides almost two days of autonomy), and Design (the brushed metal back looks great). Four points for the LG G3.
In our opinion the LG G3 is better than the Galaxy S5, but you are entitled to think otherwise. Feel free to prove us wrong in the comments section below.