The LG G2 is a rather old phone compared to what we have on the market right now. That doesn’t mean that it is outdated, as the LG G2 remains one of the best and one of the favorite flagships of many Android fans around the globe. The handset was launched in September 2013, and since then we’ve seen a lot from the South Korean company, most notably the LG G2’s successor, the LG G3. These two flagships quickly became crowd favorites, and the original model has held its spot as a such for a long time. There still are thousands of LG G2 owners out there who are completely in love with the phone, and they swear it performs just as well as other flagships launched in 2014. Now the purpose of this comparison is to see what the company did to upgrade the LG G2, and how the LG G3 might be worth the upgrade.
We’re going to look at design a bit, but mainly we will be focusing on display quality, battery life and average performance. What anybody should keep in mind is that both battery life and performance depend very much on the user. That means that if a phone will last 3 days with me and has spotless performance in my hands, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will behave the same way for you. Each person chooses to use their phone differently. For the sake of this comparison, I’m going to let you know what I use on my phone, how I use my phone and for how long and the battery life and performance I get out of it. This routine of mine is valid for any type of daily driver.
I’m a Google person, but I don’t have a stock Android ROM because I have a carrier phone bought with a 2 year contract. I usually keep my phones like this for a year, after which I proceed to customize them if possible. Now that’s a generic setup for most smartphone users out there, I believe, so many can relate to that. Since I rely on Google services a lot, I use the Google Now launcher. I use most Google apps, including Keep, Gmail, Analytics, Camera, Maps and the Play Store. I rarely use Youtube on my phone because the small screen annoys me. I do use Feedly, a content aggregator, Issuu, a magazine reader, Pushbullet, OneDrive, Google Drive and Facebook Messenger. These are all the apps I use, aside from occasional benchmark apps. That means I don’t game on my phone or use it for intensive things like editing or stuff. With this setup, at almost zero brightness, I get 3 days of mixed use out of the phone, with an average of 2 hours of screen time each day, 2 hours of talk time and a lot of Facebook Messenger. Pretty neat, huh? That’s what I get out of most phones, and that’s what I got out of the LG G2 and the LG G3, as well.
On to our comparison then! Let me know in the comments below if you prefer a structured review, like the one I’m going to do right now, if you prefer spec sheets and a short testimony about each phone or if you prefer a rant, that includes every aspect of the phone, mixed in with opinions of each category like design, performance, battery life, UI, software, screen and so on. We aim to please our readers so it would be much appreciated if you guys would let us know so that we can truly structure according to your tastes. There is a limit, though, so don’t ask me to write a poem about the LG G2 please, because I sock at rhymes. On to it, then.
Since the LG G2 is an older model, you would imagine it comes with a few short-comings, but let me tell you: display is not one of them in my opinion. The LG G2 display is a 5.2 inch True HD-IPS + LCD panel with a 1080*1920 resolution that makes for 424 ppi pixel density. If you’re familiar with pixel density, you already know that the human eye can’t really notice the difference if ppi count is above 350 ppi. That means that the pixel density and the resolution on the LG G2 are ideal. The screen is bright, comes with crisp colors and great outdoor visibility. Viewing angles are also pretty neat, but I’ve seen better in that department. The panel is high quality, but Corning Gorilla Glass 2 isn’t too good with scratches, so a screen protector would be a good investment for the LG G2.
The successor of the LG G2, the G3 comes in with a larger display that was the first smartphone display to come with QHD resolution. That means that the 5.5 inch True HD-IPS + LCD screen has a staggering 1440*2560 resolution, which adds up to a whopping 538 ppi pixel density, approximately. Insane, right? I don’t agree with QHD displays because we don’t really have much use for it at the moment, but we will in time. With that said, I think it just makes for a battery-hogging feature in the phone, so it’s a no-no on my part. But undeniably, the display on the LG G3 is gorgeous. Colors are absolutely stunning, and the display won’t drain the battery as much if you learn to use it at lower brightness.
The design of the LG G2 isn’t too different from the LG G3, but it does look a bit cheaper, to be honest. It comes with a shiny plastic chassis that has a metal frame around the edges, rounded corners and awesomely thin bezels. The LG G2 was the first phone from LG with buttons on the back, but the buttons aren’t as neat as they are on the LG G3. They look a bit cheap and plasticky, and sometimes get pressed accidentally. Still, the build quality is great, even though the chassis is not made of metal. I personally prefer plastic phones, and that’s why LG is a winner in my book. But that’s just me.
The LG G3 design hasn’t changed much, save for the refined buttons on the back that are much more textured and look appealing. The chassis is made from plastic, but it gets a neat metal finish that actually doesn’t look cheap. Bezel sizes are approximately the same as on the LG G2, but the lower bezel does take part in the whole metal finish thing the LG G3 has going on on the back. The newer flagship is a bit more slippery, but not as much as to let it slip out of your hands in an instant, certainly not as much as the iPhone 6 Plus. The handset is a bit larger than the LG G2 because of its larger screen, but it’s actually just as thin and only a few grams heavier. When it comes to design, both these phones look great, but the LG G3 feels better in the hand and the better design of the buttons on the back makes it the winner when it comes to appearance.
Since the LG G2 is the older model, you’re probably already aware of the fact that it comes with older specs. Still, even though the handset was launched in September 2013, it got pretty decent specs, better than some current phones actually (iPhone 6, khm). LG decided to slap a Snapdragon 800 as the chief in the LG G2, a quad core CPU clocked at 2.26 GHz, backed by 2 GB RAM and either 16 or 32 GB internal storage. Sadly, you don’t get a microSD card in the phone, so you’re going to have to make due with what you get out of the box, or opt for cloud storage. Performance is exemplary on the LG G2, but it does lag occasionally with heavy use. A reboot every couple of days should keep it running smoothly though.
The LG G3 is naturally outfitted with better hardware, including a Snapdragon 801 CPU, quad core clocked at 2.5 GHz and Android 5.0 Lollipop, which makes the device significantly faster and snappier than its predecessor. Lollipop works great on the LG G3 and you’ll get extra features and faster load times with the new OS. At the same time, the CPU is backed by 2 GB RAM for the 16 GB version and 3 GB for the 32 GB version, and you can feel the difference between the two. Both versions are superior to the LG G2, so if you want the best performance, the LG G3 takes the throne in this situation. What’s more, LG decided that it was best to include a microSD card slot in this device, so if you hog media files, you’re going to be able to store them on the phone with no problem.
LG is pretty good with cameras and has done a great job on both these flagships. The LG G2 comes with a 13 MP camera on the rear, outfitted with a LED flash and optical image stabilization. The front camera measures 2.1 MP, which is not much, but it’s enough to shoot 1080p video at 30fps. The camera app is a bit slow, to be honest, and focusing can be difficult for the LG G2 sometimes, as well as low-light conditions, but overall, the photography experience is above average with the phone. Check out the camera comparison below to see video footage from both these flagships. The reviewer is Russian, so some of you might not understand, but basically, the LG G3 is better.
The LG G3 comes with much of the same specs when it comes to camera, and with good reason. the rear sensor measures the same 13 MP, comes with optical image stabilization, but with the added benefit of laser autofocus and a dual-LED flash, which improve photography significantly. You also get the added 4K video recording mode which comes in handy a lot and the phone doesn’t even overheat that much, at least not as much as the Sony Xperia Z3 does when shooting 4K video. The front camera stayed the exact same 2.1 MP shooter capable of recording 1080p video at 30fps, which once again, is decent. Overall, the camera experience is better on the LG G3, as the company made significant improvements to both hardware and software, so we’ve got a winner.
Battery life on smartphones these days isn’t anything out of the ordinary, as companies still haven’t mastered the technologies necessary to make batteries last a week while powering high-resolution displays. The LG G2 comes with a non-removable 3000 mAh battery, which coupled with the Snapdragon 800 CPU manages to offer great battery life, but that’s about it. You can get 2 days out of it, I would say, with mixed use (heavier than mine), but it will get you through a day of heavy use, too, well into the night, actually.
The LG G3 comes with the same battery, which sounds odd, as the handset got a larger display with massive resolution. You would think LG would put a massive battery in the phone to compensate for all those extra pixels, but the Snapdragon 801 does power management extremely well and LG managed to make the LG G3 pretty durable in terms of battery life. You will get one day of moderate to heavy use out of it, but by the end of the night, the battery will be dead, for sure. The upside of the LG G3 is that it has a removable battery and wireless charging, so if you end up with a depleted battery, you can always swap it out or leave it to charge wirelessly.
The LG G2 price for the 16 GB unlocked version is around $300, which is a pretty sweet deal in my mind. The phone has passed its one year release date, which means the price will keep going down. If you’re into used phones, you can get it for as little as $230, which is yet again, a neat price if you find a mint condition LG G2 for it. If you want 32 GB of storage, the LG G2 will set you back around $360 on Amazon, without a warranty, so it’s not a pretty good deal right now, but I’m sure you can find other deals in the future or at other retailers.
The LG G3 is naturally more expensive, but it is also approaching the one year mark since its release, so expect some sweet deals to show up online. The 16 GB version with 2 GB RAM currently costs around $385 unlocked, which is a very good price, and I was surprised by it when I found it on Amazon. That’s definitely worth it. If you want 32 GB internal storage and 3 GB RAM, you’re going to have to eek out around $430 for the unlocked version, which is still a very very good price. If you want a used phone, you can go as low as $400 for the 32 gig version and even lower if you’re good with 16 GB and less RAM.
The LG G2 is still a good phone and definitely a good investment if you can find a nice deal for it, but the LG G3 is the better choice here, especially since its price isn’t that far away from the LG G2 price at the moment, and it will continue to decrease. With the LG G3, you get a crisper screen, better performance, better camera experience and better software out of the box, but you will get a slightly shorter battery life, which can be mended with an extra battery. Now that’s definitely a good choice when it comes to a smartphone! Oh and the LG G4 is coming next month, so prices for both these handsets will definitely drop. Let us know what you think about these two phones in the comments below. Also, feel free to make those suggestions I talked about earlier.