The Samsung Galaxy S4 is by far the best selling Android smartphone launched in 2013, but it has a lot of competitors out there, all capable of biting a bit chunk of its market share. All big player of the smartphone market already announced their flagship devices for 2013 and Sony’s Xperia Z, HTC’s One, and LG’s G2 are some of the most powerful.
Of the three aforementioned Galaxy S4 rivals the LG G2 is the one that raises a lot of interest from the public, because, besides having a powerful hardware platform, it is rumored to serve as starting point for the yet-unannounced LG Nexus 5.
Announced in August, the LG G2 is one of the most powerful Android smartphones to date, but is it good enough to steal the crown from the Galaxy S4? That’s what we’ll try to answer.
If you followed our previous Versus articles, you would probably know that the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG G2 battle will be divided in ten rounds, each worth one point.
We will compare the two smartphones when it comes to Display, Dimensions, Design, Processor, Memory, Connectivity, Operating System, Battery Life, Price and Camera, and, as you probably guessed already, the smartphone that manages to score most points will be declared the winner of the battle.
The full HD displays became the standard for the high-end Android smartphones launched in 2013, so the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG G2 make no exception.
The Samsung flagship boasts about a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with full HD resolution and an impressive pixel density of 441 ppi, plus Gorilla Glass 2 protection. On the other hand the LG G2 brings a slightly larger 5.2-inch 1080p display with True HD-IPS + LCD technology, along with a pixel density of 424 ppi and Gorilla Glass 2 coating.
Even though the G2 has the bigger display, the experience will be similar to the one of a 5-inch unit, given that the LG handset has on-screen software buttons, so it can’t be a tie breaker.
Well, the True HD-IPS + LCD panels used by LG come with amazing brightness and contrast, whereas the Super AMOLED unit fitted on the GS4 performs rather poorly under direct sunlight, while its color reproduction is not what you would call accurate.
The higher display quality brings the first point to the LG G2, which takes the lead in the battle against Samsung Galaxy S4.
All of us like their smartphones to be compact, thin, and light, that’s why we will be talking about dimensions next.
LG G2 measures 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm and weighs 143 grams, compared to the Galaxy S4 which is 136.6 mm tall, 69.8 mm wide, 7.9 mm thin, and has a weight of 130 grams.
It’s obvious that the Galaxy S4 is thinner and lighter than the G2, that’s while the Samsung flagship wins this round of the battle.
The smartphone enthusiasts have always mocked Samsung for the design of their devices, most of the times, being completely entitled to do it.
Even though Samsung claims to build premium smartphones, they always forget that a premium smartphone should also bring a premium design. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Samsung for using plastic, but for not being able choose the right shape and finishing for their flagships.
The Galaxy S4 looks an awful lot like its predecessor, the Galaxy S3. Of course, Samsung is not Apple so it made a couple of design changes here and there: they ditched the “inspired by nature” body colors, the smartphone now has sharper edges and less rounded corners, slimmer display bezels, and an new bezel around the body with aluminium finishing.
LG tried something new with the G2 this year and the best they could come up with was to relocate the volume rocker and the power button on the back of the smartphone, right below the camera sensor. Well, you’d be tempted to say that the buttons are not in handy in the new position, but all those who got their hands on the LG G2 said that you will get familiar with the new position and find it more appropriate in less than hours of using the handset.
Just like the Galaxy S4 the G2 is build using plastic, but it looks way better than its rival. Coming with an unibody design, a glossy back and an almost edge-to-edge screen the G2 is one of the best-looking smartphones on the market, that’s why the LG flagship wins the design round.
You are probably aware of the fact that there are two Galaxy S4 variants out there, each coming with a different processing unit. The most common one, the I9505 is underpinned by a Snapdragon 600 chipset with quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300 CPU and Adreno 320 GPU, while the I9500 variant is powered by Samsung’s proprietary octo-core Exynos 5410 SoC with four Cortex A15 cores at 1.6 GHz, four Cortex A7 cores at 1.2 GHz and PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU.
The G2 features Qualcomm’s mighty Snapdragon 800 chipset with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.26 GHz and Adreno 330 GPU.
Well, since the G2 is powered by the faster processor on the market yet, this round goes to LG flagship.
The number of applications in Google Play Store has surpassed 1 million as of July 2013, so the internal storage has became pretty important nowadays.
LG G2 comes with either 16/32 GB of storage, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t support microSD cards which means that after your phone’s storage is full you will either have to delete some content or use storage in the cloud solutions. Samsung Galaxy S4 is available in three internal storage options 16, 32, 64 GB and it packs microSD card slot, which can bring up to 64 GB of extra storage. That’s a total of 128 GB which should satisfy even the most demanding users.
It’s also worth mentioning that both devices come with 2 GB of RAM, so they should bring a similar experience when it comes to multitasking.
The GS4 obviously has higher amount of storage, therefore the Samsung phone wins another round of the battle.
The 4G LTE networks are a common thing on most developed markets, thus you will find this type of connectivity on all high-end smartphones launched over the past couple of years.
In terms of connectivity, the LG G2 sports HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 21 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC chip, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0.
The connectivity features of the Galaxy S4 are almost identical with the ones of G2, as the Samsung handset brings HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE and EDR, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0.
I can’t find a connectivity feature to separate the two smartphones, so this round of the battle ends as tie.
You’d say that we are dealing with two smartphones running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean so they can’t be very different. Oh, how wrong you are. Even though the two handsets run the same Android version, each comes with a different user interface developed in-house by the manufacturing company.
The G2 comes with LG’s own custom Android skin which brings tons of new features like KnockON, Guest Mode, Text Link, or Audio Zoom, along with a new multitasking system based on swipe gestures, which is a reminiscent of Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows RT multitasking.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 runs TouchWiz Nature UX on top of Android 4.2.2, packing innovative features like Smart Stay, Smart Scroll, Air Gesture, Smart Pause, Air View, S Health, or S Voice.
Even though each interface has its pros and cons, the one developed by Samsung is by far more popular and more intuitive, that’s why the OS round is grabbed by the Galaxy S4. Moreover, Samsung is one of the companies that keeps its smartphones up to date with the latest Android firmwares, while LG seems to forget about updating its devices. Even the high-end ones.
The autonomy is the biggest issue of the modern smartphones, most of them barely being capable of staying awake for a whole day of moderate usage.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a removable Li-Ion 2,600 mAh battery. When we got our hands on the device it heroically survived to about 36 hours of typical usage on a single charge. Even though the LG G2 comes with a bigger battery (Li-Po 3,000 mAh unit) our real life tests have shown that, just like the Galaxy S4, it has a battery life of around a day and a half.
Another equally matched round in the battle.
Most smartphones are sold with subsidies, that’s why we will compare the on-contract prices of the two terminals.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG G2 are available at a price of $199 with two year-agreements with either AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or any other major US carrier, so it’s all square in the Price round.
On the back of the Samsung Galaxy S4 you will find a 13 MP camera with autofocus LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, and support for 1080p@30fps video recording.
Of course, Samsung didn’t leave the camera software untouched, therefore you will find camera-related features like Dual Shot and Dual Video, Sound and Shot, Drama Shot, or Eraser pre-installed on the GS4.
The LG G2 also comes with specific camera features with Dual Recording/Dual Camera, Talking Zoom and many other such goodies among them. These are powered by a 13 MP camera with simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face detection, optical image stabilization, HDR, and slow-motion 1080p@60fps video recording.
Even though Galaxy S4’s and G2’s cameras seem pretty similar, the Optical Image Stabilization and the slow-motion video recording support of the later smartphone, are breaking the tie. Moreover, real-life tests have shown that G2’s camera outperforms the one mounted on the back of the Samsung rival. Another point for the LG G2.
Here we are at the end of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG G2 battle and it’s time to do the add up and see which smartphone scored most points.
We’ve had a tie in three rounds, the Connectivity, Price, and Battery Life ones, while the Samsung Galaxy S4 snatched three important points wining the Dimensions, Operating System, and Memory rounds, because it’s slimmer and lighter than the G2, and because it runs a popular interface and has more internal storage.
The LG G2 scored four points winning in front of the Galaxy S4 when it came to Display, Processor, Camera, and Design. Why? Because it has a higher-quality screen panel, faster CPU, better camera, and because it brings an almost edge-to-edge display in a unibody case.
Any thoughts on the result of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG G2 battle? Please share them in the comments section.