LG G3 vs HTC One (M8)

July 15, 2014
48 26 31

The battle of the flagships continue, and after pitting LG’s latest and greatest against the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2, it’s now time to round out the collection by comparing the LG device to the latest HTC flagship. Both smartphones have a lot to offer, and while there might be a few similarities across the board, they both bring something unique to the table, that will certainly match the preference of certain groups of consumers. Eager to find out which premier smartphone is for you? Here’s an in-depth look at the LG G3 vs HTC One (M8)!

Design

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-25

This year, it looked like device manufacturers were happy with the design choices made with their previous flagships, and that is the case with both the LG G3 and the HTC One (M8). Neither feature dramatic departures from the design language of their predecessors, but this makes both phones easy to identify.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-59

Starting with the LG G3, the company borrowed heavily from the design elements of the G2, but did listen to its consumers, allowing for a design that is a lot more refined in almost every way. That said, the G3 is still made of plastic, but the device moved on from a glossy plastic to a harder material with a faux brushed metal look. Not only does the LG G3 look really good, but it doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints, with the curve on the back allowing for the device to sit comfortably in the hand.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-24

The back is also removable, giving you access to the microSD card slot and the replaceable battery. Continuing from its predecessor, the LG G3 also features a rear button layout, which is a lot more refined compared to previous iterations. The buttons are easy to find, have great tactile feedback, and they no longer protrude out on the back, so you don’t have to worry about accidental presses. The learning curve with this button layout, which is still unique to LG devices, isn’t very steep, and it only takes a few minutes to get used to it.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-17

On the other hand, the HTC One (M8) also features a similar design to its predecessor, but with a lot of improvements. It’s now made of 90% metal, so there’s a lot less of the plastic injection moulding, except for where it’s absolutely necessary. HTC has always been known for its build quality and design, and the company has really outdone itself with the One (M8). The back of the One (M8) is also curved, allowing for a comfortable grip and a smudge-resistant texture.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-21

The One (M8) features a unibody design, so the back isn’t removable, but you do get microSD expansion with an HTC flagship this time, accessible through a tray on the side of the device. The button layout is standard fare for an HTC smartphone, with the volume rocker on the side and the power button up top. Because of its size, the power button is somewhat difficult to reach, but a slew a gesture controls does drastically reduce the number of times you’ll find yourself reaching for the power button.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-6

While both companies have made improvements on their existing design philosophies, what does stand out when it comes to design is the size of the LG G3. The LG G3 boasts a display that is a half-inch larger than the One (M8)’s, but surprisingly, is packed in a body that is comparable to that of the HTC device, courtesy of its ultra-thin bezels. In fact, the LG G3 is a little shorter than the One (M8), albeit negligibly, and is only slightly wider.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-35

The handling experience with the devices is similar, considering that both feature curved backs that allow for the phones to sit snugly in the hand. The One (M8) is heavier because of its metal construction, but both phones feel very solid. The LG G3 and the HTC One (M8) are definitely two of the best looking smartphones currently available.

Display

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-2

The LG G3 is king of the Android world at the moment when it comes to the display, at least on paper. Boasting a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, resulting in a massive pixel density of 534 ppi, the LG G3 is the first mainstream smartphone to feature such a screen.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-8

For the most part, this G3 display is every bit as good as you’d expect it to be. The colours aren’t washed out and look great, but do a look a little cold to my eyes, at least in comparison to the One (M8). The G3’s screen is very bright, has good viewing angles, and is super sharp. Even though there isn’t a lot of content to take advantage of this resolution, the display is still fantastic, and once the content finally catches up, the display experience is only going to get better.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-44

That said, the 5-inch display of the HTC One (M8) is no slouch either, with its 1080p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 441 ppi. It’s a very crisp looking display, with fantastic colors, viewing angles, and brightness.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-100

Of course, the important question here is whether there is a noticeable difference between the two displays. It has to be said that if you look close enough, a difference is noticeable, but as mentioned before, until the content catches up to the high resolution of the LG G3, you’re not going to be missing out on much. At the end of the day, you’ll have a great time using the display of either smartphone.

Performance

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-9

The two smartphones feature similar specifications, as is the case with most current flagship devices, and as such, allow for a smooth and snappy performance. Both come with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.3 GHz for the One (M8) and 2.5 GHz for the LG G3, backed by the Adreno 330 GPU. The HTC One (M8) features 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. In the case of the LG G3, the 16 GB version of the device comes with 2 GB of RAM, while the 32 GB model boasts 3 gigs of RAM.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-4

These devices absolutely fly, even with their respective skins on top of Android, and you’re rarely, if ever, going to experience any sort of slowdown that would be detrimental to the overall experience.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-26

I do find the experience with HTC Sense to be a tad snappier in comparison to LG’s G UI. That said, the LG G3 does outperform the One (M8) in benchmark tests, but it is real world performance that ultimately matters the most. Either way, both smartphones are blazing fast, and it’s not easy to pick one over the other when it comes to performance.

Hardware

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-5

When it comes to the rest of the hardware, there are some notable differences, and, depending on your tastes, some available options may tip the scales in favor of one contender or the other.

Talking about the common features, both devices offer microSD expansion, with the slot found under the removable battery cover on G3, and via a tray on the One (M8). There’s also an IR blaster on both devices, which is great if you like using your phone as a TV remote.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-10

One of the big differences you’re going to notice with these two smartphones is in the sound quality of the speakers. Unsurprisingly, HTC is still the best in the business, with the front-facing BoomSound speakers. While the back-facing single speaker of the LG G3 is pretty good for what it is, and does get loud, it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the front firing speakers of the One (M8).

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-13

When it comes to the battery, the HTC One (M8) packs a smaller, non-removable, 2,600 mAh battery, compared to the replaceable 3,000 mAh unit of the LG G3. The LG smartphone does get a slight edge in the battery department, as users always have the option to carry around a spare. That said, I’ve found the battery life performance of both smartphones to be comparable, which is impressive on the part of the LG G3, considering its larger, higher resolution display.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-23

I’ve managed to make it through a full day with both smartphones, and as long as I’m able to do that, I’m perfectly fine with the performance of the battery. If you are looking to get the most out of the battery, both devices offer impressive power saving features that help you get that little bit of extra juice. One thing to watch out for, though, is that the power saving mode of the HTC One (M8) may vary from carrier to carrier in the US — the Verizon version of the device that I’m currently using does not include this feature.

Camera

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-33

With regards to the camera, you see two completely different approaches, but both offer something new to enhance the shooting experience.

The LG G3 has a more conventional camera setup with a 13 MP sensor, along with a new laser auto focusing system, and OIS+ technology, which was first introduced with the LG G Pro 2.

The newly added laser focusing system allows you to snap shots really quickly, in contrast to older LG devices, and it works extremely well. OIS+ combines hardware and software stabilization, helping you take some great looking shots even when your hands happen to be shaking for some reason.

Taking pictures with the LG G3 couldn’t get any simpler, because the camera pretty much does all the work. You do have a few shooting modes built-in, but not a whole lot more, which in a way, allows you to focus on taking photos, instead of fumbling around with the settings.

On the other hand, HTC continues to stay away from the megapixel race with the One (M8), bringing back its 4 MP “Ultra Pixel” camera from the One (M7). This time around, there’s also a secondary camera sensor that captures depth information, but OIS has unfortunately been omitted. The Duo Camera setup does allow for some cool post-shot focusing effects, and it’s possible to get a very convincing depth of field effect. The software interface of the One (M8) camera is also quite simple and straightforward, but there are a lot more granular controls available.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-7

If you’re looking purely at resolution, the LG G3 wins without a doubt. You get much sharper photos with more detail, and you’ll also be able to zoom and crop, which can’t be said about the 4 UltraPixel sensor of the One (M8). Of course, megapixels aren’t everything when it comes to picture quality, but even when comparing photos side by side, the G3 camera performs better in almost every way. Besides being sharper and more detailed, colours look a lot more vibrant, and dynamic range is also better. I prefer the HDR mode on the LG G3, as I find the HDR mode of the One (M8) to be slightly over aggressive with the processing. Low-light photography seems to be the same, with neither camera outshining the other.

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-61

If you all you ever really do is upload photos to social media, you should have a satisfactory experience with both cameras. If you’re looking to do more serious smartphone photography though, the LG G3 does feature the better camera, even if you aren’t offered as much manual control as you might hope for.

Software

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-58

On the software side, both the LG G3 and the HTC One (M8) run Android 4.4.2 Kitkat out of the box, with their respective skins, the G UI and Sense 6, running on top.

The LG G UI features a lot of improvements, and a more streamlined experience, compared to the Optimus UI from previous iterations. It’s a lot flatter and cleaner looking, with a more toned down colour scheme, but it is still as packed with features as ever. You still get the LG QSlide apps, but now they’re a bit hidden, and I basically ended up forgetting that this feature was even there. Making a return from the G Pro lineup is Multi-Window for some true multi-tasking, which definitely makes sense considering the larger display of the G3. Features that prove to be very useful are the resizeable keyboard, the customizable navigation bar, and the popular Knock On and Knock Code.

LG G3 screenshots

We get HTC Sense 6 with the One (M8), and it has to be said that this is the best iteration of Sense UI yet. HTC has certainly taken to heart customer feedback, and built an user interface that not only looks good, but isn’t cluttered with a host of gimmicky features. All of the staples of Sense, such as Zoe, video highlights, and BlinkFeed make a return. My favorite part of Sense 6 is the slew of motion gesture controls available, letting you easily access features like BlinkFeed, voice dialing, and the camera, without needing to wake the phone first. As I mentioned earlier, the positioning of the power button is a little inconvenient, and having these gestures allows you to avoid using the power button altogether.

HTC One (M8) screenshots

While LG has made some great strides with the G UI, and they’re definitely moving in the right direction, Sense 6 is a lot cleaner and simpler in comparison. If you don’t mind a very heavy feature set, you’ll have no problems with the G UI. If a more streamlined experience is your thing, Sense 6 is the way to go. Personally, I find Sense 6 to be one of the better Android skins out there.

Specs Comparison
 
LG G3
HTC One M8
Display5.5-inch display with 2560 x 1440 resolution5-inch display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
Processor2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU
RAM2GB or 3GB w/ 32GB model2GB
Storage16GB or 32GB, microSD with expansion16GB/32GB
Camera13MP rear cam with OIS and laser auto focus, 2.1MP front cam4MP UltraPixel Duo camera
Battery3000 mAh removable2600 mAh non-removable
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, USB v2.0, Slim PortWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB v2.0
Networks4G LTE support4G LTE support
SoftwareAndroid 4.4 KitKat with LG UIAndroid 4.4 KitKat with Sense 6
Dimensions146.3x74.6x9.1146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm
Gallery

Pricing and Final Thoughts

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-30

The HTC One (M8) has been available for a while now at the $200 subsidized rate from most US network carriers with a 2-year contract, except for T-Mobile, which has another payment scheme. The LG G3 is now making its way to carriers, and is expected to cost the same. Unlocked versions of both devices push the $700 mark.

So there you have it, the LG G3 vs HTC One (M8)! At the end of the day, both are fantastic smartphones, and you can’t go wrong with either of them. As always, what it really comes down to is what matters the most to you. If you’re looking to be on the bleeding edge with a device boasting a 2K display, or if a great camera and replaceable battery are important, the LG G3 is the way to go. On the other hand, you get beautiful design, a streamlined software experience, and the best smartphone speakers in the market with the HTC One (M8). You’re certainly not going to be disappointed, regardless of which smartphone you pick.

Comments

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Putting M8 aluminum crap beside LG G3 is already advertising for HTC.
    No wonder….Apple and HTC have made contract , and use even the same propaganda.

    • FunkredibleBen

      It’s a comparison piece. What are they supposed to put beside the G3, a banana?

      • The-Sailor-Man

        LOL
        M8 has nothing to do with the today’s high-end phones.
        NOTHING
        (don’t bring me now the cheap aluminium tin can “premium” BS)

        • M3D1T8R

          Yeah, it’s only the latest flagship from one of the big OEM’s, released only a couple months ago. /s “Nothing to do with today’s high-end phones”. Troll away…

        • I-C-E-D

          Sail away.

        • Mooster Pennybags

          I wonder if sailor moon here thinks that they are comparing the G3 to the HTC M7 (last year’s flagship from HTC)?

          Been out at see too long sailor moon. Time to read up on new technology. I see you managed to find the internet. Maybe soon you’ll even discover Google.

    • ThunderCrackR

      To me, the G3 looks better than the M8, too. At least from the front, which is the main side, because this is the part I am looking at. Also, the G3 has better specs and, from my point of view, a more practical interface, with more useful features and a better camera with innovative focus. Still, its display has, let’s say, not a very impressive contrast and brightness, which could be a downside. In fact, if you read GSMArena review, the display in the G3 is one of its main disadvantages, also with software sharpening which looks unnatural. But, overall, I prefer the G3.

    • Too rich!

      They just don’t get any dumber than this, boys. (Primarily because beyond this point they start failing to grasp basic concepts such as breathing, eating, etc…)

  • Luis

    The HTC One M8 has a microSD expansion

    • ThunderCrackR

      it also has 5MP front camera, if we want to be right in the comparison!

      • Jesus

        …and a 4MP.. ahem, “Ultra Pixel” main camera. End of discussion.

  • M3D1T8R

    Cool, read the entire comparison, not bad, except it’s the 10,000th one of these that doesn’t even mention the number one issue I need to know about in comparing a new device: Signal strength. How hard is it to take two devices on the same network at the same time, same exact location, and use a phone info app to show -dBm readings? Add a speed test average over 5 tests or so (same server/time) and you’re good.
    In my own limited testing I did with the M8 and G2, the LG signal strength was on the poor side. Have they improved that at all on the G3? Who knows! Nobody cares to report about that! Everyone just talks about the ridiculously high res new screen that we already know all about. You do videos for about every other feature. Give us a comprehensive signal strength comparison, please! ..or I’m going to have to have to start my own web site.

    • grumpyfuzz

      I would go to your web site :P

    • districtjack

      Yes,some of us are interested in deep reviews that include very technical specs and test results. Alas, most reviews on the internets are basically just enhanced sales pitches. Makes ya wonder.:)

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    • Jonathan Kramer

      Dude…I COMPLETELY agree here.. Funny how AA and AC test phone against each other but NEITHER of them bothers to mention CALLING.. Hello!.. these are phones aren’t they? From what I’ve heard neither of these have as good a radio as a Moto or Sammy phone.. Frankly I don’t give a rats a** if a phone takes great photos if it can’t get strong signal when I’m calling people or needing WiFi.. call me crazy! LOL

    • Jorge

      Go to ars technica. They have all the tech stuff we nerds crave :)

    • DCnish

      Great point M3D1T8R. I’ve been hands-on with both the M8 and G3 for the past several days; in all my tests, in multiple locations, the M8 found signals several minutes before the G3 did, and sometimes the G3 continued to search and never found a signal. The G3 was great up until that point, but that is a deal breaker.

      The G3 review by Tech Radar (7/30/14) did mention the signal strength issue: “The one issue I did note is that the LG G3 sometimes struggled to get a signal where other phones managed it just fine – it wasn’t that the signal was weak, or the reception from the phone poor, it just was stuck searching to find any reception, meaning a restart or putting it in and out of airplane mode to sort.” http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/lg-g3-1250581/review/5

    • Kostas

      Signal on G3 is good, it can operate in places with poor signal, but it could have been done better because sometimes i have noticed it to scan the gsm network without any reason, wifi reception is superb on every band, especially on 5Ghz in which i am operating it, it can reach about 35MB/sec throughput on an AC network, GPS is very good, finds signal really fast even inside the house, bluetooth i had some issues with some headsets (shows connected but couldnt communicate) but i have found one that works fine and i dont have any problem now.

  • Laborin_HK

    I hope HTC manages to shave the top and bottom bezels next time round. I know the HTC logo area is for radios and the speakers, but the phone just looks disproportional to me the way it is now.

  • http://j.mp/NOKIA_XL_OFFER37_DISCOUNT MOTO_E_NOTIFIER_IBM

    LG G3 is excellently reviewed with its Pros and Cons in LG_G3_PROS_CONS . For LG, after its flagship model LG G2 is already going for 20% offer in LG_G2_Offers , the latest G3 will give a great hit. From the review LG_G3_PROS_CONS , this phone is a definite to watch for this year..!!!

  • Michael Samsara

    LG apparently has been listening to commonsense and cares about helping rather than hindering us in the pursuit of truth, justice and the American way by including – a removable battery! lol

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  • John Garlits

    I must say, I have been torn between these for my next phone. After spending some quality time with both, I found the g3 bit laggy. And the oversharpening can look bad in some photos. The hi res content demos on the phone are stunning, but when will there be more? I’m afraid the tech is a tad too immature. It’s saddening because I have the g2 and have been really happy with it. I think I’m going with the m8 must likely. But anybody have the g3 and tweaked to speed it up somehow? Am I misled by the stock demo?

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  • Sara Rebelo

    htc have microSD with expansion! :o