LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: quick look

by: Joshua VergaraMay 28, 2014

The LG G3 has just been unveiled, along with its stunning specs, hardware, and new features. The device can definitely hold its own, and it’s one of the few that can challenge Samsung’s popular Galaxy S5.

With the G3, LG delivered a very well-rounded device that packs a punch and looks gorgeous in the process. While it’s late to the party, those who hold out for the G3 were likely not disappointed. But the Galaxy S5 has its own big selling points, and making a call between it and the G3 could be tricky.

Those who are deciding between the LG G3 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 have multiple factors to consider. Let’s go through them.


LG and Samsung were arguably on a similar level before, and while I do believe LG’s build quality was better, both of their flagships featured plastic builds and similar form factors. That changes with the LG G3, which offers superior build quality and design.

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The LG G3 is made of a polycarbonate composite material that LG dubs “metallic skin,” which closely resembles brushed aluminum in terms of look and feel. It’s the closest you can get to metal without adopting it, and therefore without the tradeoffs that come with metallic builds.

The bezel is also much smaller, which allows the LG G3 to sport a larger screen without making the smartphone over-powering in size. Of course, LG also features the back buttons, which are unique, but not for everyone. You may prefer Samsung’s traditional layout.

Samsung continues with its well-known design and build quality, even if they are not as premium as you’d expect from a premium phone. Though the Galaxy S5’s grippy back plate makes it less slippery and keeps the device light, it makes for a smartphone that feels significantly less solid.

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Samsung may be the most popular Android manufacturer around, but they are far from being the kings of build quality and design. That has always been the case.


There is no way any current-generation high end devices can beat the LG G3’s display, and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. LG’s new flagship device features an amazing 5.5-inch QHD (2560x1440p) display. We are talking about differences on paper here, though. What really matters is the experience.

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In all honesty, 1080p resolution is already amazing in devices this size, so the difference between them should be barely noticeable. There are some differences in screen technology, and that is really what you should look at more closely.

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The LG G3’s IPS screen will offer natural colors and a very pleasant viewing experience for those who care about color-correct imaging. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S5 follows suit with other Galaxy devices, which are known for their Super AMOLED panels. At 5.1-inches, Samsung’s alternative should also offer a great viewing experience, albeit a different kind. Blacks are deeper, colors are more saturated and viewing angles are amazing.

Performance and hardware

It is no surprise to see that the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G3 offer the same performance, at least at first sight. These have the same 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, paired with 2 GB of RAM.

There are some big hardware differences in other departments. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5, even if it looks less premium, is resistant to water and dust. The health conscious will also like that it offers a heart rate monitor, while the fingerprint scanner can help with password management, which is always a hassle in this day and age.

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Meanwhile, LG claims they really care about design the most, which is why they chose not to add any kind of ruggedness (aside from it being splash resistant). Doing so would make the device heavier and bulkier… or so they claim.


LG’s TouchWiz continues to be the feature-rich software UI we have always known. It packs all kinds of tricks, as well as the occasional gimmick. Meanwhile, LG has radically changed its UI, and the philosophy behind it.

The LG G3 is all about simplicity, making the whole experience flatter and with less visual clutter. This doesn’t mean LG became less functional, though. They are bringing most of the previous features and then adding some.

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LG G3 users will get features like Knock Code, Knock On and QSlide. LG has also added its smart assistant, a new keyboard, and Quick Circle shortcuts.

On the other hand, Samsung benefits from its heart monitor, fingerprint scanner, and the usual TouchWiz functions. Samsung didn’t add much else this time around.

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The Samsung Galaxy S5’s 16 MP camera is among the best in the market. It’s very hard to beat, and gets very close to offering serious smartphone photography. The sensor is outstanding and images tend to be quite stunning.

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We doubt LG can really beat Samsung’s Galaxy S5 in picture quality, but it will focus much faster. The LG G3’s laser autofocus technology helps the camera focus in just a fraction of a second.

Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will offer very good battery life with its 2800 mAh battery, but LG does beat it with that huge 3000 mAh battery, which did wonders with the LG G2. The only difference here is that the LG G3 needs to push more pixels, which does affect performance and battery life.

To compensate for the screen’s increased power draw, LG has implemented a new battery-saving technology called 3A. In a nutshell, it lowers refresh rates when the image is not changing and manages the processor more efficiently. LG swears this technology makes the device last as long as it would if it was a 1080p screen, but that is yet to be seen.

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Wrap up

The Samsung Galaxy S5 offers great quality, but at this point it’s as though the the LG G3 is in a range of its own. In a way, it’s a newer generation smartphone, as it has managed to differentiate itself with multiple major improvements. The LG G3 can offer a better display, sleek design, small bezels, and optimized software, as well as some cool features.

On the other hand, Samsung continues to offer a great device. The Galaxy S5’s performance is top-notch and its AMOLED screen is also gorgeous, even if not QHD. Not to mention, it has more health-focused functions and a more resistant build.

  • Aniruddh

    “LG’s TouchWiz co” Lg’s touchwiz???

  • asd

    LG Looks sexy…The note 4 has to be on par or even better looking if it wants to compete in aesthetics with the LG and other phones

  • _X_

    I’ll be getting the S5 this weekend (black)
    I wanted to wait for the G3 but besides the looks they are almost the same. Both made their interface less colorful and uncluttered plus both offer bloat (features with you can get from an App from Google Play Store). G3=Good looks and screen, S5=Durability and extras.

  • G3 beats S5 hands down in terms of design and look… Kudos to LG for a great design… BUT

    The color’s and few other elements of both the UI have a good similarity among them any way Both of them has to improve here….

  • RusticKey

    I’m all eyes on LG now, I’m bored with Samsung.
    If my Note 3 broke somehow, I’ll get a G3, absolutely.

    • Rickrau5

      Waiitng for the LG Flex 2 ! Love my G Flex except for the lack of SD card

  • poop

    Doesn’t the G3 have 3GB (at least in the more reasonable 16GB model)?

    • RusticKey

      The 3GB RAM is in the 32GB model. The 16GB has a 2GB RAM instead.

    • saturobi

      Its 2gb/16gb or 3gb/32gb RAM/HDD configurations.

  • Luka Mlinar

    This isn’t even a competition. LG beats Samsung with ease. Only a major flaw would upset that. Maybe poor battery life but we will see about that.

    • xoj_21

      samsung have better camera quality and audio, especially exynos with wolfson

      • Melad360

        that’s actually so true for the camera quality, I mean, all you have to do is look at the megapixel count.


        • Who cares anyway

          megapixel count doesn’t mean everything, look at the HTC One (M7)

          • Melad360

            I was being sarcastic lol

          • Who cares anyway

            sorry sarcasm is not very prominent over the internet

  • zak

    Not true 5.5″ screen with on-screen-keys. Mostly 5.2″. Not water and dust resistance. No fingerprints scanner. Phablet with no stylus. S5 Prime or Note 4 will be much better

    • Airyl

      Since when has a phablet needed a stylus to be good? Plus, if they did add a stylus, you’d be yelling about how the “G3 copied Samsung’s Galaxy Note Line”. The G3 is also splash resistant, similar to the S5. No fingerprint scanner is not a downside. The LG is superior to the S5 in so many ways that the small advantages the S5 has don’t even count for much.

    • Rickrau5

      You can hide the on screen touch keys with all current LG androids. You can have it app specific to where everything but the homescreen has the soft keys showing. And sorry but the fingerprint scanner is a gimmick.

    • 26

      G3 is going to be head to head with S5, not the upgraded S5 or S5 “variants”.

  • Jason

    Im noticing that in the pictures, either the LG pics are out of focus compared to the S5 ones or that the LGs screen is actually fuzzy due to the over pixelization of the screen? The S5 icons look sharp and the G3 icons look fuzzy!

  • _X_

    this is why i will buy the S5:
    In South Africa, the Samsung Galaxy S5 also comes with a special warranty that the company has dubbed “ADH Premium” – ADH stands for Accidental Damage from Handling.

    Among other things, the warranty offers two no-questions-asked screen or liquid damage repairs, with free collection and delivery and a loan unit for the duration of the repair.

    Plus 1 gig free Wifi

    Plus a policy to fix the phone in one day launched this month!

  • chris

    Id rarher wait for the Note 4. Im sure it will kill the HTC two M8, s5 and LGs phablet that. LG didnt come out with anything with a wow factor. Its just another phone with better battery and camera. Id rather go with dust and water proof over a “Metallic” Glossy back. With all that said, its still a nice phone, but not for me.

  • Gerrit Geow

    Errm what’s the release date for lg g3

  • AndyP

    Please correct. Its samsung’s touchwiz and not lg touchwiz. first line of software section.

  • Rick

    Good sales reports for LG G3 so far: 100000 in only 5 days in South Korea, eventhough coping with much less marketingbudget compared to Samsung Galaxy S5.

  • Yuga Max

    better than the S5

  • Eddy

    Its size won’t be for everyone, and we do wish LG would take a closer look at the audio side of things, but there’s no denying that its high-res capabilities, mixed in with a stunning video performance, great design and superb user experience make it a very tempting choice.