Samsung Galaxy S4 didn’t even hit the market, but when it will, the new flagship will have to withstand the heavy pressure of a lot of competitors. Besides Sony Xperia Z and HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will also have to face the LG Optimus G Pro which is rather a phablet than a smartphone, still it’s LG’s flaghip for early 2013. Because we are dealing with two powerful South Korean flagships I’ve thought it would be nice to put them face to face into a Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro specs battle.
Even thought the LG Optimus G Pro is more like a competitor for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (by the way, we’ll to this comparison, as well) than for the Samsung Galaxy S4, the LG and the Samsung flagships belong to the same generation of smartphones, therefore the battle between them should be pretty tight.
The predecessor of the LG Optimus G Pro, the Optimus G, impressed everyone last year, and Google even used it as model for its Nexus 4 smartphone. Even though the LG Optimus G Pro didn’t hit the market yet, it is expected to become one of the popular Android models in 2013. What seemed really odd to me is that LG chose a 5.5-inch display for the Optimus G Pro, making the terminal more of a phable then a smartphone.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S4 comes to continue the success of its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, which was the best selling Android smartphone ever. Both the Seoul-based company and the analysts are predicting that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will become the best selling smartphone in 2013, with prevised sales of 100 million units world wide.
Just like I mentioned above, because both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG Optimus G Pro are part of the same generation of smartphones, you will be able to find many similarities between the two. However we are talking about different smartphones, thus I will find a way to see which one is better.
I’ve decided to split the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro battle in seven rounds, therefore we will be judging the two smartphones based on their performance when it comes to Processor, Display, Connectivity, Operating System, Memory, Dimensions, and Camera. One point will be awarded for the winner of each round and after all seven rounds are through, we will sum up and see which of the two has won the battle.
I’ve always said that the processor is the one that makes the difference between smartphones and good smartphones. The processor is responsible for many of the things that are going on under the hood of your smartphone, therefore always be careful when choosing.
The LG Optimus G Pro comes with a Snapdragon 600 chipset, the new processing solution unveiled by Qualcomm at CES 2013. The Snapdragon 600 chipset powering the LG Optimus G Pro is based on four Krait 300 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz that are helped by an Adreno 320 GPU.
As you’ve probably heard, there will be two Samsung Galaxy S4 variants: one packing a Snapdragon 600 chipset and the other coming with Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 5 Octa SoC.
The Exynos 5 Oca was also unveiled at CES 2013, but it is a bit different than the Snapdragon 600 unit. The Samsung chipset is based on ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture and comes with two sets of quad-core CPUs. There are four Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz which are responsible for the tasks that require more processing power, while the basic tasks like phone calls, text messages, or emails, are handled by four Cortex A17 cores at 1.2 GHz that are more battery friendly. In fact, Samsung announced that the new Exynos 5 Octa is 70% more battery friendly than the Exynos 5 Dual processor fitted inside the Nexus 10. The Galaxy S4 comes with PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU with tri-core graphics.
Just like it happened last year with the Samsung Galaxy S3 on certain markets, because Exynos 5 Octa chipset is not copatible with the LTE networks in certain regions, Samsung has fitted a Snapdragon 600 processor inside their flagship. Well, even though we are talking about the same chipset as the one of the Optimus G Pro, Samsung overclocked it at 1.9 GHz, thus it should provide a bit more power.
I guess it’s obvious for everyone that the Samsung Galaxy S4 wins the processor round. Both the Exynos 5 Octa and the Sandragon 600 variants of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are more powerful than 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 SoC of the LG Optimus G Pro, therefore, the S4 winds the first point of the battle.
The display is just as important as the processor of a smartphone. Personally, I choose carefully when it comes to displays, because, after all, you will always have to look at it each time you are checking your smartphone.
As you probably noticed, the flagship smartphones launched this year are all boasting 4.7+ inch full HD displays. Of course, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG Optimus G Pro are two of them, but besides resolution we should also consider the size and build technology.
I guess you didn’t expected Samsung not to use a Super AMOLED for its Galaxy S4. The 5-inch display comes with full HD resolution and a pixel density of 441 ppi. On the other hand, LG used True Full HD IPS Plus LCD technology for the 5.5-inch display of the Optimus G Pro. Given it has a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, it’s easy to figure out it has 401 ppi.
Just like I was mentioning before, the manufacturing technology used for the displays fitted on the modern smartphones is pretty important. Even though they are similar in terms of design and resolution, the AMOLED and LCD displays are pretty different.
The Super AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will come with “deeper black” and great brightness, while the IPS Plus LCD display of the LG Optimus G Pro will provide more natural colors and both come with great viewing angles. Well, both have their inconveniences. The IPS Plus LCD display is not capable of reproducing “true black,” which rather looks like a darker shade of grey, while the Super AMOLED display performs terribly outdoors.
Both displays are amazing but I will have to choose the better one. The 5-inch display of the Galaxy S4 should be better when it comes to one-hand usage, but the 5.5-inch unit of the LG Optimus G Pro is capable of displaying more information and it’s better when it comes to web browsing, video playback, or gaming. By a narrow margin, the LG Optimus G wins the display round of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro battle.
The 4G LTE support is a major selling point of the modern smartphones, especially no the North American market where the technology is more widespread. Now, that the LTE support is becoming more and more popular outside the US, each manufacturer that wants to launch a competitive smartphone will have to integrate a 4G chip. In fact there were certain companies that even ditched their own chipsets in favour of more LTE-friendly ones, for fear that the customers won’t buy their smartphones (see Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4).
We’re dealing with two smartphones launched in 2013, and guess what, you will find the same connectivity features inside them. You don’t believe me? Wait and see.
LG Optimus G Pro comes with 4G LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC chip, Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5 mm audio jack, and microUSB 2.0. The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with exactly the same connectivity characteristics as the LG Optimus G Pro. You want to read them again? Here you are: 4G LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC chip, Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5 mm audio jack, and microUSB 2.0.
Oh, I almost forgot, both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG Optimus G Pro come with an IR blaster which can transform them in a remote control for TVs. Seriously? Would any of you use that?
There’s absolutely no way to separate the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG Optimus G Pro when it comes to connectivity, as they come with exactly the same features, that’s why this round of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro battle will end as tie.
We have to Android Jelly Bean flagships facing off here. The Samsung Galaxy S4 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, while the LG Optimus G Pro comes with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. Even though the two devices run on the same operating system, you will find a lot of differences between the two, mostly because of the user interfaces the two companies have fitted on top of Android Jelly Bean.
The LG Optimus G Pro runs the company’s proprietary Optimus UI on top of Android 4.1.2, and you will be glad to hear that the Asian company has took some time to include some interesting features in its user interface. Besides a couple of gesture-based interactions, like flipping the phone to silent calls or alarms or tilting the phone to move items on the desktop, LG also integrated some options that are trying to ease user’s attempts of handling the Optimus G Pro with just one hand. By activating these options, you will be able to adjust the position of the keyboard or lockscreen pin.
By far two of the most interesting LG additions to Optimus UI, are Q Slide and On Memo. Q Slide multitasking feature supports up to two floating windows which can be resized and made partially transparent, but only seven apps have support for Q Slide at the moment. The On Memo feature allows the user to take notes directly on the screen of the smartphone, then save them for later reading.
The LG Optimus G Pro also comes with a customizable notification bar, where the user will be able to choose what toggles will be displayed in the top end of the notifications area.
Well, the Samsung Galaxy S4 runs the popular Touch WizNature UX user interface, that was introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and now improved once the new flagship debuted. The TouchWiz Nature UX comes with all the features currently present on the Galaxy S3, like Smart Stay, Direct Call, Smart Alert, Pop-up-play, customizable toggles in the notifications are and adds a few more for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung thought that it’s not necessary to touch your smartphone in order to interact with it, that’s why the company has introduced Smart Scroll and Smart Pause. The first one will track the user’s eyes and scroll a document or web page when the eyes reached the bottom, while the latter one will pause a video each time the smartphone detects that the user is looking away from the display.
The Galaxy S4 is also responsive to motion. If you wave your hand up and down in front of the smartphone it will scroll the web page for you, and if you wave left or rite it will switch between pages. But the most interesting feature of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is by far the Air View. Remember that each time you hovered the Galaxy Note 2’s S Pen stylus over an item it sowed a preview of it. Well this also works on the Samsung Galaxy S4, only you don’t have to use an S Pen, but your finger.
Of course, you will also find Multi View on the Galaxy S4, the feature that allows the user to split the screen and manage two apps in the same time, with full functionality.
Both the Galaxy S4 and the Optimus G Pro come with interesting features, but the Samsung flagship has brought things to a new level, and the TouchWiz Nature UX looks better than ever. That’s why the Samsung Galaxy S4 wins the Operating System round.
You know that thing called Google Play Store where you can find hundreds of thousands of apps, songs, movies, TV shows and books? Well, if you know it you also know that you will need a lot of storage in order to be capable of storing as much content as possible on your device. I’ll keep it simple with this round of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro: the smartphone that has most RAM and internal storage wins.
Let’s see! The Optimus G Pro sports 2 GB of RAM and has 32 GB of internal storage, plus support for microSD cards of up to 64 GB. I’ll do the math for you; that’s a total of 96 GB of storage.
On the other hand the Samsung Galaxy S4 has three internal storage options, 16/32/64 GB, and it’s internal storage can be expanded using microSD cards (up to 64 GB supported), which means that the maximum storage is of 128 GB. Just like the Optimus G Pro, the Galaxy S4 comes with 2 GB of RAM.
Of course, the cloud storage is always an alternative, but know how harmful can be when for your data plan, I decided not t take them into consideration.
Since the Samsung Galaxy S4 has more internal storage than the LG Optimus G Pro, the SGS4 wins another round. +1 Samsung Galaxy S4.
There are not few those who take the size into consideration when purchasing a new smartphone. We all like big displays, even those who don’t admit it (I’m looking at you Apple fanboys), but in the same time we want our smartphone to be pocketable. We’ll have a look at the dimensions of the two terminals involved in the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro battle, then see which one is better suited.
The LG Optimus G Pro has to accommodate a 5.5-inch display, that’s why it is 150.2 mm tall and 76.1 mm, while having a profile of 9.4 mm and a weight of 172 grams. As you probably expected the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the smaller, thinner and lighter of the two, measuring 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and weighing 130 grams.
Well, the Samsung Galaxy S4 wins another round for being thinner and lighter, adding one more point to its side.
Just like every phone maker is putting full HD displays on their high-end smartphones, they are all fitting 13 megapixel cameras on the back of their devices. Well, all except one, because HTC is using a 4.7 MP Ultrapixel sensor for the One, but that’s a story for another time.
The LG Optimus G Pro comes with a 13 megapixel shutter with Geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilization, panorama, HDR, simoultaneous HD and video recording, autofocus, LED flash, and support for full HD video recording at 30 fps. The Samsung Galaxy S4 packs a 13 megapixel camera with full HD video recording capabilities, autofocus, LED flash Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR.
While the technical specifications of the cameras mounted on the backs of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG Optimus G Pro are similar, maybe we will be able to find some differences when it comes to software features.
Samsung has feature-packed the camera app of its Samsung Galaxy S4, where you will find features like Eraser (allows the user to remove unwanted moving objects from pictures), Cinema Photo (creates a .GIF where only objects selected by the user are moving), Drama Shot (takes several pictures of the subject and merges them into one), or Sound and Shot (add a couple of seconds of background sound to a picture).
On the other hand the LG Optimus G Pro’s most interesting camera feature is the VR Panorama mode, which is LG’s name for the Photo Sphere introduced in Android Jelly Bean. This technology allows the user to take 360 degree panorama photo that looks similar to Google Street View pictures.
I know, you’d say that the Galaxy S4 brings more features, but the truth is that most of you will only use them once or twice then forget about them. The VR Panorama is cool, too, but I won’t see you losing 4+ minutes to take a photo more than a couple of times.
We have two solid 13 megapixel cameras here that’s why this round of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro ends as tie.
This is the end of the Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro battle and all we need to do know is count the points and see which one is the winner.
In this battle two rounds were tied: Connectivity and Camera, because the two smartphones come with the exact same connectivity features and both pack impressive 13 megapixel cameras.
The LG Optimus G Pro has won one battle, the Display one, scoring 1 point because its 5.5-inch True Full HD IPS Plus LCD has more to offer and performs better under direct sunlight.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 outmatched the LG Optimus G Pro in four rounds, courtesy of its octo-core Exynos 5 chipset, feature-packed TouchWiz Nature UX, internal storage capacity, and because it’s only 7.9 mm thin, winning the Processor, Operating System, Memory, and Dimensions rounds. 4 points for the Galaxy S4 and we have a winner.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 worthy to win the battle against Optimus G Pro? The Optimus G Pro lost some rounds where it should have won? Or maybe the Galaxy S4 should have won by a bigger margin? Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts with us.