Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Optimus 4X HD – head to head comparison [video]

June 18, 2012

The Galaxy S3’s presence is currently being felt throughout the world. With the S3, Samsung has easily produced one of the hottest smartphones to ever hit the market. Destined to shine, the Galaxy S3 bears the specs that help it handily beat out nearly any phone on the market. But, despite its prowess, Samsung’s superphone is facing some top-notch competition. Competitor HTC, with their One series phones, obviously aims to steal the spotlight from the Galaxy S3. But, who would expect the not-so-prominent LG to throw a quad-core behemoth into the mix? One that gives Sammy a run for their money, at that!

Not yet slated for a U.S. release, the LG Optimus 4X HD has been shaking up European and Asian markets for a few weeks now, and is waiting to make a stir in the West. LG’s beast of a phone produces no grey area, people usually love it, or they hate it. Personal preference aside – the LG stands up to the GS3 in almost every single aspect of hardware and software.

Price and Availability

The Samsung GS3 is available for $699.00 unlocked, and will also be shipping in carrier variants in the next month . The LG Optimus is available on the European market for a firm $733.00, and is pending release in the US and other markets.

Hardware

The second you lay eyes on each phone it is obvious that their makers have spent some quality time perfecting the design of each.  The build quality is unmatched in both the LG and the GS3. Each device feels solid and strong in the palm of your hand. Each of these devices are garnished with silver/chrome accents and look extremely attractive.

Spec Comparison

Spec wise, both devices are remarkably similar, except in a few notable areas, like the display technology, and the SoC (processor) they use. In terms of the most obvious difference, that would definitely have to be the display. Samsung is well known for its AMOLED displays, and, while quite popular, tend to offer images and video that are more saturated in nature, than that of LG’s IPS-LCD.

The Galaxy S3

  • Quad Core 1.4GHz Cortex A9 processor
  • 4.8” super AMOLED display with 1280×720 resolution, at 306 pixels per inch.
  • 8MP rear facing camera with 1080p video capture, and a 1.9mp front facing camera with 720p HD video.
  • 2100mAh battery

The LG Optimus 4X HD

  • Quad Core 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor
  • 4.7” True HD-IPS display with 720×1280 resolution, and 312 pixels per inch.
  • 8mp rear facing camera with 1080p video capture, and a 1.3mp front facing camera with 720p HD video.
  • 2150mAh battery

Software

Each device is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. On top of ICS, Samsung has overlaid their TouchWiz user interface. LG has done the same with their Optimus 3.0 overlay. Each overlay is fairly intuitive, despite many users’ wish for a vanilla Android experience. The hardware of each phone makes for a buttery smooth software experience, and gives users access to features that otherwise wouldn’t be available.

UI comparisons

I found that folder access and creation was much easier on the LG Optimus 4X HD. Folders, when created on the GS3, require the user to drag an icon to the bottom of the screen, rather than over the top of another icon, like on the LG. Both devices feature rather obtrusive ways of opening folders. Dimming the rest of the screen around the folder makes the folders feel out of the way.

The LG also give easy access to screen brightness right from the notification menu. Whereas the Galaxy S3 has no master brightness control, the brightness must be changed on a per-program basis.

For example, when on the homescreen, brightness may be set to full, but upon opening the web browser the user must access the menu to set the specific brightness for the browser. This makes for a rather tedious experience, in my opinion. The Optimus also has a QuickMemo feature, where the user can instantly draw on the screen at any time. LG also has implemented their LG Tag NFC client, which allows users to program NFC tags, much like Samsung’s upcoming TecTiles. The S3 has the advantage of being preloaded with apps like S-Voice, which is a native voice control app. LG has none. The Galaxy also bears the Smart Stay feature, where the phone monitors the user’s actions, and turns off the screen if the user is no longer looking at it. Controls such as the screenshot utility are heavily gesture-based on the Galaxy S3, making for a more simple, intuitive experience.

Camera

Each device is packing an 8mp front facing camera. The options are pretty similar, but the focus options on the GS3 take the cake, and both LG and Samsung offer HDR options here, too.

Here are some test shots with each device.

Speed and Performance

The blazing fast quad core chips provide an almost identical user experience when using the phones for basic tasks. It is when we benchmark that differences are seen in performance.

Make no mistake though – both devices represent the absolute pinnacle of performance on a mobile device of this nature. Operation is ridiculously smooth across the board, and I was not able to make either stutter under even absolutely ridiculous loads.

Battery Life

The LG Optimus has a slightly larger batter with 2150 mAh. Each phone has power saving functionality as well as battery management options. Each device is very capable of keeping charge for 24 hours with moderate-to-heavy use.

Display

Some smartphone users swear by HD-IPS displays, and others loyally support Amoled displays. Purists tend to favor the true IPS, as it provides optimal vertical viewing angles, and colors more “true” to thier source. Amoled displays provide more rich dark tones, as the pixels actually turn off, instead of displaying the color black. Here is a test image between the two devices, with each devices’ brightness on full.

Video

To see each device in action check out our comprehensive review video here

Wrap up

All in all, each device is extremely capable and will outperform most users needs. The Galaxy S3 is a humongous hit, and will probably sweep the U.S. market, unlike the LG. Only time will tell if the LG Optimus 4X HD will make an multinational appearance, and only personal preference can lead you to buying one or the other. Which one takes your pick? S3 for the win with its HD AMOLED display, or LG with its IPS-LCD and industrial design? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Comments

  • andhavarapu

    One reviewer mentioned the bad viewing angles on the LG. True?

    • Clayton Ljungberg

      I did not experience any poor viewing angles with the LG!

      • andhavarapu

        Great! because i think that reviewer said the screen was installed a little far away from the surface!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jbscoelho Bruno Coelho

      not true… HD IPS, its better then iPhone 4s display.. if you know that one. :)

      • andhavarapu

        great! yup I know it! its insanely awesome!

  • Andrew Boyle

    I’m pretty sure the Galaxy S3 has an HDR mode? Fix your comparison unless i’m wrong.

    • Rakisha

      I think you are right…I do recall reading that the GS3 has HDR mode.

      • MasterMuffin

        It has, I have it :P better than lg or htc one x, just look at the perfomance test and you can see it, one x is worst of them

        • boogie boogle

          The iPhone completely beats the SGS3, it is simply a copy and a terrible one at it! I am disappointed that idiots like you would even purchase such a terrible phone!

          • MasterMuffin

            Well, the fact that your comment has more dislikes than likes show how wrong you are. I’m also guessing that you’re under 14 because you write things thay you THINK that are true but the fact is they aren’t, also you’re saying that I’m an idiot because I bought a phone that you personally don’t like -.- AND why are you even here if you love iphone so much, this is an ANDROID forum you’re just here because you want to be stupid and fight with other people in the web. I’m really disappointed that people like you exist -.-

          • marorun

            Iphone 4S video benchmark are quite high (as good as the S3) but CPU talking lol the S3 and in fact every new android smartphone with dual S4 or Quad tegra/exinos kick Iphone 4S ass..

          • SAMI

            IAM LATE READING THIS FORUM, BUT I AGREE WITH MASTERMUFFIN, WELL SAID!

          • MasterMuffin

            Thanks :) 82 likes, yey! :D

          • http://www.facebook.com/sinisa.marin.96 Sinisa Marin

            MasterMuffin, u r right, disgusting haters polutte whole web space.

          • Danielsbc

            You’re a douche. Good job, son. Troll on!

          • Aimee green

            The iPhone died long time ago when the GSII came out

          • Dude

            Gs2 SUCKS. Never been better than 4s. Just wait for iphone5 with i6 os and watch gs3 dying. ^_^

          • Jamie Cottrell

            and we have another isheep

          • jamie

            copy? of what? the S3 looks nothing like an iPhone u i-diot

          • Jamie Cottrell

            shut up isheep

        • Marorun

          Thats the one X international version idiot! The one in north america use same Soc as the S3 lol

          • MasterMuffin

            so I’m an idiot because I said the truth that they are better than hox? The north american sgs3 is better in performance test compared to north american hox -.-

  • Rakisha

    With all else looking fairly comparable, I’d stick with the GS3 as I am not really feeling that ultra boxy look of the LG.

    • boogie boogle

      The boxy look is what brought the iPhone such popularity… perhaps the new LG is heading in the right direction! Plus you can alway get a “less boxy” case if you really hated the feel that much.

      • Danielsbc

        You must work for LG… Sad…. Yet funny!

        • veeru

          May be u work for Samsung, you should feel sad

  • http://twitter.com/EmalLikeBau5 Emal Jaan

    Which plastic do you recomand?

    • clayton ljungberg

      plastic as far as screen protectors? or the actual phones? I like Zagg invisible shield for the screen protectors, and I like the build of both phones. hope that helps

    • marorun

      I agree i dont like plastic phone thats why i stick with HTC since a long time and never had problem.

  • arwen

    No matter how good the LG is, i will not buy it. Bad customer support from LG

    • http://www.androidauthority.com Derek Scott

      When I think LG I think of my refrigerator, they need to improve their marketing for their mobile division. You have to do a lot more than just make a good spec phone.

      • tBs_Battousai

        when I think of LG i think of my 42″ tv that has had three faults in the last five weeks and customer services that made me feel like I was just bothering them…

        • http://www.facebook.com/jgoodin2 Jeff Goodin

          When I think of LG I think of the hundreds of comments I’ve read just like yours. When I think of Samsung I think of the gorgeous 58″ plasma in my living room… Already pre-ordered the S3 for Verizon -just pissed that they dumbed down the US version with a dual core processor! (Rumor has it it is still the fastest phone out -even with “only” 2 cores…)

          • matt

            well, the dual core s4 is still the best processor, i’m waiting for october though for the quad core s4′s to be in good phones =D

          • Marorun

            Ridiculous The One S get better benchmark result than the dual core S3 (they both use same soc lol)

        • Troling Saruman

          When I hear a person flaming a company for bad customer support I think lol they probably dont have internet

    • cbstryker

      +1

    • boogie boogle

      The LG Optimus 4X is much better then the Samsung Galaxy S III, it has many more innovative features and it has a faster processor!! Obviously there is NO comparison between these two.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/7HW2XUBJUPNS7EGFYKEBL6ZLK4 Miguel

        the tegra 3 isn’t faster in test even though its clock speed is .1ghz “faster”

        • Edward Reid

          Sorry to point it out. but the lg has the faster processor look at the bottom of the screen shot. LG CPU 13372 and SG3 CPU is 11048 but the SG3 has faster ram hence it looks quicker in that chart. LG have release a firmware patch that is ment to improve the thru put for the ram. So that should help also. It also fixes the camera problem.

      • Sgwudxj

        Samsung has the better processor, screen and interface, there US definitely no comparison between these two LG fanboy. Admit it, Samsung is still better

        • Marorun

          Samsung in north america use same soc as HTC one serie lol Faster proc? not at all in fact as i said in another reply the One S with dual core S4 is nearly as fast video wise and much more faster processor wise than the quad core scrap chip both nvidia and samsung made.. a dual core thats put quad core to shame… and benchmark of north america version of the S3 vs one serie show it clearly.

          • http://twitter.com/Dakunclear Joseph

            its all the memory in the NA version that gives it a big helping hand

    • theangryteddybear

      im tempted to get a lg optimus 4x but just like you, i know the support of the phone is bad (personal experiance) they forget about it in a year (no more support or updates) and make it a pain in the ass to update. there is no doubt that the s3 will get loads of 3rd party support lik custom roms ect (i doubt the lg would) they also arent so reliable as samsung and dont give the same “buzz” feeling. who likes to wake up in the morning and say i’ve just spend 700 bucks on a lg product?

    • keshu

      who cares about you……..

    • jamie

      true that

  • Bob Dydrek

    The Galaxy S 3 has a 1.4 Quad Core Exynos 4412 processor.

  • Dufus

    In terms of build quality the LG is much better. I know as I own the S3 and it’s plasticky build leaves a lot to be desired. If only Sony would release their Xperia with a quad core soon…..

    And the LG is better as all it’s buttons are capcitive. No physical home button like the S3 which sooner or later will cause u lots of grief just like my last iphone4!!!

  • anGel_pLayer

    Is it just me or the sgs3 home button got chipped? DO the paint come off easily?

  • Jhonsonn

    S3 is a monster in any way, but i gotta give the credit to LG for the display… It looks more vivid and not blury as the AMOLED.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    Ugh I hate LG’s choice of font. Serifs, in this day and age? Yuck.

    • droidtomtom

      Same here. First thing that I noticed. Ugly and does not fit the rest of the UI.

    • droidtomtom

      Same here. First thing that I noticed. Ugly and does not fit the rest of the UI. Hopefully you can change it.

    • Clayton Ljungberg

      There are 3 system fonts to chose from

  • http://www.fabiano.ws/ Fabiano M. Braga

    Hi, my Galaxy S3 doesnt take photos and videos in the same time. There is no camera icon when i do a video. What could be the problem? thanks

    • loljord

      do you pee and poop at the same time?

  • http://www.facebook.com/balazs.geczy.9 Balázs Géczy

    Could you please upload some screen shots of LG battery usage stats?

  • True_Neutral

    Can I just say that it’s insane that LG is pricing their phone more than the S3? It’s not like the Optimus 4X is clearly superior over the S3, and besides LG has lesser brand value than Samsung. I’m sure previous LG owners remember the horrible software updates history of LG. LG needs to knock down the price a lot more.

    • Marorun

      Samsung make cheap phone made of cheap plastic lol.
      Yes the LG made too of plastic but its heavier and is more robust.
      When you search way to make phone as cheap as possible its sure you can get them to sell at lower pricing ;) Ever felt the back cover of any samsung phone? feel like its will break and in fact… we changed back cover for client with samsung phone more than any other brand in the cellstore i work. The two phone with the most return for manufacturing problems are Samsung and Apple… Example 10 iphone 4S sold at least 2-3 come back, Samsung out of 10 at least 3-4 come back lol where other company its 1 per 10 or even 1 per 30… Even Blackberry who are buggy lately only come back 1-2 per 10 phone sold.. Crappy product and ppl still buy it ;)

      • http://twitter.com/Dakunclear Joseph

        biggest issue is LG doesn’t support their devices as well as samsung and anything Nvidia is bad news for dev support

    • Dwi Budiyanto

      In my country LG 4x is cheaper $100 than S3

      • junior

        in greece too…..

      • jonas

        in norway the lg is almost 200 $ cheaper than the s3

        • ZB

          Yea, just bought the LG at the New Year sale for around $450. The S3 is currently priced at around $590 at the same shop (Elkjøp). I’d recommend it to anyone. Only downsides I’ve found so far is the low battery lifetime, the hard to access SD input (behind the backpanel), and the cheap-looking plastic backcover. Well worth every dollar

  • http://www.facebook.com/micheal.marcus11 Micheal Marcus

    for the fairness? I THINK LG 4X IS Much better in CAMERA, LCD SCREEN, COLORS, DISPLAY ( Purity of colors, & more detailed ) better DESIGN, better UI.
    LG IS GETTING MY ATTENTION!

    • Clayton Ljungberg

      LG has produced a great phone

  • droidtomtom

    How was audio quality on the LG? Every Samsung from flip phone to smartphone have always had good and sometimes excellent call and speaker phone quality. I have not had the same experience with LG. I have even swapped out the loudspeaker in my LG quantum for the one out of my old Samsung flip phone. made a big improvement.

    • Clayton Ljungberg

      The audio quality is fairly great on the LG. It’s been fine so far

      • droidtomtom

        Thanks for the response. cnet dinged it on audio quality which was a concern to me but not sure they tested the two side by side like you did. But this makes me consider the LG a good bit more. Now it comes to pricing and support by the mod community.

    • marorun

      Tested a S3 vs a one S and a one X and both the one serie phone got much much better speakerphone. But i admit the incall quality (not on speakerphone) was a lil bit better on the S3

  • Dos

    Android development for the S3 is already yielding some stellar ROM’s. Sorry LG…

    • Clayton Ljungberg

      very true! I am running a great rom on my S3 right now!

      • Veeru

        try LG they you can say ur opinion

        • http://twitter.com/Dakunclear Joseph

          um LG is terrible i had the 2x and it was bad no support from LG and with Nvidia all the drivers are locked and it makes it difficult on the devs to get anything good working on it

  • boogie boogle

    The LG Optimus 4X HD brings new and beautiful original ideas to the table. I will start off with the proccesor! It is incredibly fast and definitely worth it, although my sister has an LG android and I hate it….

    Then on the other side we have the Samsung Galaxy S III… a complete rip-off the iPhone, once again! It seems all that Samsung is good at these days is copying software without getting caught. Their so-called “innovative technology” is call iOS! if that wasn’t bad enough the new Galaxy had to COPY the iphone icons!!!
    I would not recommend this phone!!!

    • Danielsbc

      Your other douche comments kind of kill your credibility… Fail.

  • Hashaam khan

    LG optimus 4x is best in every feature

  • SIII

    SIII is a clear winner in terms of apeed & Performance…

  • VANAPIN

    Heads off 2 Samsung for making phones likeSII & THE SIII

  • aikonix

    first that i want to say.. Most Galaxy devices, if you turn off Auto Bright, from the main screen you swipe the notification bar from left to right or right to left depending on the brightness

  • Richard Langley

    The LG Optimus 4X HD is now in stock in the UK if anyone is looking for it. It can be found at http://www.mobi-city.co.uk/lg-optimus-4x-uk.html

  • Aqmal Asyraf Salleh

    my quadrant score was 5916 for my SGS3, they should wipe the cache files first before doing the test for a better results. i was once an iphone user. for me it sucks big time! their selling point was just the display. in terms of performance, SGS3 owns other smartphones out there including this LG OPTIMUS.

  • Louis B

    The screen and design of the LG are so much better. The Samsung plasticky has easily won the ugliest phone award of year.

    • lwen

      Anything’s better than plasticky HTC with poor build quality and user experience.

  • KRAKEN SWAG

    S3 looks crisper….

  • Jake

    Dayum this phone is nice.
    This is the sleeper phone of the year.
    I’m debating between the S3 and this LG. Too hard too hard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/javier.padial.5 Javier Padial

    Yeah the downside is that the s3 simply looks horrible, also pentile screen, asymmetric physical button and microsim card, and slightly bigger than the 4x. If that is not enough also unavailable in black. About 100 Euros more expensive with the same memory on board of the 4x 16Gb.
    I have asked many people about the way it looks, and it seems to me that only girls fancy this old looking kind of Nokia’s 90′s design. Still also not LTE supported (4G) in the European model.
    The downside of the one x, is no battery removable, poor battery life at only 1800mAh, and no sd card slot.
    LG mobiles will increase their resale value as from one week ago they double the efforts on their mobile division by leaving behind the tablets and focus on mobiles, expect an increase on lg phones in the market in the coming months, and that will come with more sound support to their top end models, they have learnt from their mistakes and the proof is the 4x and the lg vu, also coming soon a 5 inches full HD screen 1080p only available on LG.

  • sLAWKO

    Lg is cheaper.

  • keshu

    i think lg need to improve their market to take a fight against gs3

  • http://twitter.com/Thefoulfellow Douglas Hinebaugh

    I have the Galaxy 3S. Got it on Wednesday and love it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bjørn-Erik-Fjeld/565086396 Bjørn Erik Fjeld

      I have s3 and s2, my s2 has more system ram? if u are testing a mobile performance, plz check the flash player performance. I must say if u try something heavy as gamespot full website. And u stream 2-6 movie’s on the run. The s3 is no Better than the s2. And I m diss like s3 has less Ram than s2?!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bjørn-Erik-Fjeld/565086396 Bjørn Erik Fjeld

        By the way the s3 has a black line across the screen when example u have a black photo in a complete dark room. Not cool. But hardly noticed..

  • wackarus

    acctually the lg has a better screen because it uses rgb, while samsung preferes pentile… you might not notice the difference but its worse because..google pentile vs rgb yourself

    • marorun

      Indeed the LG and HTC one X screen beat the S3 screen to pulp. Better white balance more acurate colore also faster responce time.. Did i also said thats its better in sunlight? so basicaly the S3 screen is made of outdated tech.

  • ThatGuy

    The lg optimus 4x costs 590 dollars in europe not 733! Only in the UK it costs that much.

  • Grace

    Bought the samsung galaxy 3 Friday. I have had nothing but problems all weekend.It drops calls constantly or the call will break up.I cannot access internet or WiFI anywhere I go.(My husband is sitting beside me on his old blackberry with perfect access.Same carrier.
    ) Even when I have strong signal strength I still drop calls.And the battery drainage is HORRIBLE. It was down to 50% in 4 hours today.No wifi was turned on at the time or the hot spot.I only talked on the phone 10 minutes and was not surfing the internet.I am swapping it tomorrow for an Iphone.

  • Andrew

    When I think of LG, I think of Low Grade!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaykelly.77 Justin Kelly

    I say the overall winner is the SGSIII in more than just these talked about comparisons, also I do like LG but think they have too many low end phones right now to really be seen as a high end brand. The optimus L5 is the best phone in its price range at $179 but in high end the SGSIII takes it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jaykelly.77 Justin Kelly

      Also the android community will take the Galaxy phones further, and roms are a lot more available as opposed to LG’s and I have to say I have found some awesome roms that make my SGS2 run faster then my stock SGS3!

  • hashaam

    4x is best in every feature and surely beats s3….

  • http://tech-trip.com/ Tech-Trip

    I’d definitely go with the Galaxy S III

  • Jiv

    Lg oprimus , just got it… Wow ..what a package and performance.. comparing One X and S3, and Xperia Arc

  • nicolas

    I want that lg phone to come on verizon ill wait for it the gs3 is good but I can not have a phone with a button it feels very cheap.

  • porcupine

    Just got my LG Optimus 4 X HD, it’s an amazing one. I love it. GO LG

  • Nick

    How does the screen brightness compare in bright sunshine, outside the house ? I work in Dubai and have a problem with screen brightness on my Defy which is why I want to change now.

  • jamie

    the main deciding factor is the displays. I would want to see both displays side by side before picking a phone.

    • jamie

      I think Samsung should make their displays brighter and should invest some major cash in improving color reproduction

  • Rich

    Hopefully samsung doesn’t sue Lg for having a screen and things you can tap with your finger. O wait that’s apple never mind.

  • Jamie Cottrell

    i wana see those two screens so i can make a comparison, the screen is the deciding factor

  • Amit Gupta

    I bought LG 4X HD and its an amazing phone for its built quality and ease of use. i won’t tell that which one is better S3 or 4x HD. i think what matters is at the end of day is which one are you happy with. Android rocks and so does its users!!!!

  • Sayantan

    I’ve gons for S3. The most popular phone…and also the descendnt of earlier year’s best SmartPhone!!

  • jehad

    lg optimus the past

  • Kapil

    Lg is 1000 times better than s3, samsung company stolen i5 company’s software, thats the cuz samsung troubleing by terrible case. by the way lg has many features than s3, sorry samsung BOO