Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro (video)

June 1, 2013
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    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa both from above

    Simply put, Samsung dominates the smartphone world in terms of sales. The company sold 10 million Galaxy S4′s within a month, and this could quite possibly have to deal with its seemingly endless marketing budget. On the other side, we have LG, a company who hasn’t seen nearly as much success with a single device. However, that doesn’t mean their devices don’t pose a challenge to Samsung’s unwavering flagship, the Galaxy S4.

    The Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG Optimus G Pro are both great devices. Despite its size, the Optimus G Pro, in many respects, is on par with the Galaxy S4.

    We’re pitting the two devices from South Korea against each other, and only one can come out on top. Join us for the full Samsung Galaxy S4 vs LG Optimus G Pro review or jump straight to the video.

    Design and build quality

    The first big difference you’ll notice between the Optimus G Pro and the Galaxy S4 is that the former is much larger than Samsung’s latest flagship offering. The Next Big Thing comes in at just 5.3-inches tall while the Optimus G Pro, taking on the likes of the Galaxy Note 2, measures in at 6-inches tall and is a third of an inch wider than the S4.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa both standing

    Once you get past the size differences, the Galaxy Note 2 and Optimus G Pro are both similar in nature. There’s no plastic versus glass dispute here folks, as both phones are built with the same material. It makes the two handsets feel a little less than premium, but not by much.

    LG took some design pointers from Samsung, so the button layouts are very similar between the two devices. The only difference worth mentioning is the Q-button tucked above the volume rockers on the Optimus G Pro that serves as a user-defined shortcut.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa button layout

    As you might expect, the Optimus G Pro is harder to use with a single hand than the Galaxy S4 due to the large form factor. The Galaxy S4 is easy to operate in one hand, making it the best 5-inch device to handle right now. It’s obvious that the Optimus G Pro is meant to be used with two hands. Looking around the back of both devices, you’ll see a camera up top surrounded by a removable plastic cover.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa size difference

    Bottom line, the Galaxy S4 and Optimus G Pro are both well built devices, so it really depends on your preference. If you’d rather go for a comfortable single-handed operation, the Galaxy S4 is the perfect choice. If you’re looking for something larger and don’t mind two-handed operation, the Optimus G Pro is an obvious choice.

    Display

    There’s about a half-inch difference between the screen, but both have nearly the same specifications. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a Super AMOLED 1080p display rated at 441ppi. It’s a beautiful display with very saturated colors that compliments Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. However, it can be a turnoff for some people.

    On the other side of the spectrum, we have a larger and less saturated 5.5-inch True IPS display on the LG Optimus G Pro. It also is capable of 1080p, but it’s rated at a lower 401 ppi. The pixel density isn’t much of a difference though. Text has the same sharpness and media consumption like videos, pictures, and games are enjoyable on whichever device you choose.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa displays

    When you get down to it, the real difference, again, is the size of the displays. If you’re looking for something less saturated, but with a larger screen, the Optimus G Pro is no doubt the way to go, especially when it comes to media consumption. On the other hand, the Galaxy S4′s 5-inch Super AMOLED display is no slouch either, and is still great when it comes to videos, pictures, and games.

    Performance

    As we mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG Optimus G Pro are very similar, and that holds true with the performance of the two devices. The western version of the Galaxy S4 is no slouch, sporting a Snapdragon 600 CPU clocked at 1.9GHz with an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The device performs wonderfully and provides for a slick experience. Being a high-end phone, AnTuTU rates this bad boy at the top, around the 25,000 range.

    As for its competitor, the Optimus G Pro, it was released a little before the Galaxy S4, making it one of the first devices to sport that wicked Snapdragon 600 processor. It’s clocked at 1.7GHz, and similar to the S4, it is backed by the Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. So when it comes to performance, it’s very similar to the slickness of the Galaxy S4.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa performance antutu

    The Optimus G Pro measured in with a lower AnTuTu score, but it’s hard to deny that its performance isn’t matched by the Galaxy S4. So whether you choose the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the LG Optimus G Pro, you’ll get a slick experience without sacrificing performance.

    Specs

    There’s no doubt that a lot of work went into the Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG Optimus G Pro to make them the two top dogs on the market. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a removable plastic cover allowing for battery replacement when power is low or when you just have a bad battery. There’s also a microSD card slot to expand the device’s storage by 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB. The S4 also features an IR Blaster to control a number of different devices, such as TVs or set top boxes. Finally, there’s a number of sensors used for navigation and unique applications.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa s4 performance

    Under the hood of the LG Optimus G Pro is a removable battery and a microSD slot in case you use the device’s entire 32GB of onboard memory. Similar to its competitor, it sports an IR Blaster for controlling TVs and a number of other devices. The Optimus G Pro really lacks when it comes to sensors — it doesn’t have nearly as many as the Galaxy S4. However, it does have the gyroscope and the accelerometer, and Eastern versions of the device have a long antenna for broadcasted television.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa g pro performance

    When it comes to hardware, the Galaxy S4 has a lot more to offer than the Optimus G Pro. However, that may not be a bad thing, as you may or may not put all of the Galaxy S4′s features to use. If you like the extra bells and whistles, the Galaxy S4 is without doubt the route to follow. Otherwise, the Optimus G Pro is your standard smartphone, just bigger.

    Battery and cameras

    Naturally, the Optimus G Pro has a larger battery than the Galaxy S4 to power the larger screen and body. It’s actually quite a difference too — 3,140 milliamps compared to the Galaxy S4′s 2,600mAh battery. Despite the larger battery, in some ways the Optimus G Pro still runs out of juice faster than the S4.

    Like all Galaxy S devices, the S4 has a lot of built-in power saving features. During battery tests, the power saving features in the Galaxy S4 helped it outlast the Optimus G Pro, even during media consumption. Of course, that might be an okay tradeoff, as a spare battery and charging dock come with the Optimus G Pro.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa battery

    As for the cameras, the Galaxy S4 sports a 13-megapixel rear facing shooter. The picture quality is very good. Details are reproduced quite well, and the color accuracy is another great strength of the camera. As per the norm with Samsung, most of the camera’s strengths lie in the application itself. It’s rich with features — there’s an arsenal of different modes to make your photo pop in a unique way. You’ll find Drama and Eraser modes to be some of the most useful, as they add or remove objects from your photos. There’s also a cool dual recording mode, which was first shown in the Optimus G Pro.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa s4 camera modes

    LG’s offering isn’t far behind. Similarly, you’ll notice good picture quality, but the depth of field that the Galaxy S4 offers just isn’t there. Details are reproduced just as well, and so is the color accuracy. As you might imagine, the Optimus G Pro doesn’t have nearly as many camera features as the Galaxy S4. However, it does provide HDR, dual recording, and even its own version of PhotoSphere, which was introduced to Android with version 4.2.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa g pro camera modes

    When it comes down to it, the Optimus G Pro’s camera is pretty standard, but it does what it’s expected to do very well. The Samsung Galaxy S4 certainly has some unique features, but whatever phone you choose to get you’ll have a great point-and-shoot camera on hand.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa camera 2

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa camera 1

    Software

    As for the software, Samsung has included some new navigation features in TouchWiz. Gestured based sensors now allow you to navigate through your phone with a simple wave of your hand and hovering your finger over an item, such as a text message, will give you a preview of said message. The Samsung’s Galaxy S4 tagline is “Life Companion”, so Samsung has included new applications that will make your life easier, such as S Health and S Translator among others.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa s4 air gesture

    The Optimus UI isn’t as colorful or bloated as TouchWiz, but it still packs a ton of features. As we mentioned earlier, the LG Optimus G Pro doesn’t have the necessary sensors that the S4 has for navigation. Albeit disappointing, LG makes up for this by providing a few nifty tools that will help with multitasking. QApps are small applications, like QVoice and QMemo, that can be put on the screen to accomplish small tasks. Then we have QSlide, which is very similar to a nifty feature called Multi Window in the Galaxy S4.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa g pro q slide

    It will allow you to have two windows open at the same time. So for example, you could have your browser opened up in one window and Google Maps in another to efficiently search for directions. Again, similar to Multi Window, but helpful to have nonetheless.

    As we mentioned earlier, there’s a QButton on the top left of the Optimus G Pro above the volume rocker. This is one of the Optimus G Pro’s most unique features, as it will let you program the button as a shortcut for opening an app like Google+ or just general QApps.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa g pro qapps

    While the G Pro lacks navigation sensors, it makes up for it with the QButton and QApps. On the other hand, the Galaxy S4′s motion navigation is a cool feature to have. So when it comes down to it, you’re either giving up a ton of multitasking features or some of the cool new ways of navigating the Galaxy S4. It all depends on what interests you more.

    Hands-on video review

    Price and final thoughts

    The unlocked Optimus G Pro runs at $800 USD. The Galaxy S4 runs for $100 cheaper unlocked at $700. If you’re looking to get either phone on contract, and we’ll use AT&T as our measure, both devices will run you $199 on a new two-year agreement with the carrier. So unlocked, there’s quite a significant difference, which also may affect your buying decision.

    galaxy s4 vs optimus g pro aa price

    Both the LG Optimus G Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S4 are great devices. In many respects they’re similar, but when it comes down to it, you’re going to have to decide if you like the Galaxy S4′s 5-inch screen or the Optimus G Pro’s larger 5.5-inch screen. If you’re someone who isn’t fond of often using two-handed operation for your device, the LG Optimus G Pro probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 has some downsides too, such as the Super AMOLED display with the saturated colors.

    Regardless of your choice, either way you’re getting a really powerful device. What phone do you prefer? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments!

    Joshua Vergara contributed to this review.

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    Comments

    • MasterMuffin

      Sgs4 wins in every category and is cheaper. You can wait for the Note 3 or HTC T6 if you must have a phablet!

      • Sandy

        Well i have both hands on experience ! LG G Pro feels premium all the way for me. SG4 touchwiz lags a bit at some point. and viewing angles & display is awesome in G pro. Performance would be better in SG4 but Battery boost in G pro lasts for whole day with LTE. in my opinion G pro would be a nice choice !

        • MasterMuffin

          Don’t get me wrong, G Pro is a great phone and great choice for anyone. It’s of course (as always) about personal preferences, but objectively s4 is better in more areas. If you must have a phablet, you could (as I already said) wait for the awesome Note 3 or T6!

      • gptot

        G Pro overall better performance
        TRUE HD IPS + better display,
        13mp better camera … very natural & accurate colors.

        larger screen & smoother

        s4? NO NO NO way……….

        SUPER AMOLED SUCKS..

        FAKE, DARKER & OVER SATURATED COLORS…

        LAGS… UGLY DESIGN…UGLY UI.

        LG THE WINNER!

        • MasterMuffin

          Better performance? How were those AnTuTu scores again? 28000-18000 for s4. Higher pixel density with s4 and the AMOLED vs LCD is just a personal preference and as Soneira (the display guru said), the new AMOLED display on s4 is so good that it is actually on par/even better than the praised iPhone’s screen. BTW just compare the black of AMOLED to G Pro’s black. Larger screen is personal preference and doesn’t make it better. Not even going to start commenting about that CAPS LOCK part. You’re (obviously) an LG fan (or Samsung hater or both), calm down and be happy with your device, okay?

          • Mbecks

            sorry bud, but no. antutu is a benchmark, which have little say in real life performance. nexus 4 scored much lower than both, yet is faster than both in real world performance. the same with the gpro and s4, s4 benchmarks higher yet lags more and is generally not as fast. also, ips is simply the more realistic screen tech even though amoled has gotten better, but this is still personal preference. the s4 is just not better in more areas, except for maybe gimmicky features

            • MasterMuffin

              Funny how everyone throws the lag card everytime talking about s4. Have you actually got G Pro and S4 and have you compared the performance side by side? Yes N4 got low scores and was fast, but a difference of 10,000 points does tell something. No, G Pro isn’t faster. Also if you cut all BS, S4 wins. Deal with it. I don’t care if you don’t accept it, so you don’t have to reply “I don’t agree” or “I don’t accept” or similar, “bud”

            • waiting for nexus 5

              samsung just overclocked the same processor for benchmarks . Thats y it lags, heats . Antutu score is less because of bigger screensize … dont be a blind fan just use two device side by side .. then comment … use all new device S4/HTC one / OG Pro … just dont belive just benchmarks blindly

            • waiting for nexus 5

              samsung just overclocked the same processor for benchmarks . Thats y it lags, heats . Antutu score is less because of bigger screensize … dont be a blind fan just use two device side by side .. then comment … use all new device S4/HTC one / OG Pro … just dont belive just benchmarks blindly

            • MasterMuffin

              That’s what I said, you can’t comment if you haven’t used them side by side ಠ_ಠ

            • MasterMuffin

              That’s what I said, you can’t comment if you haven’t used them side by side ಠ_ಠ

          • tbotb

            I am having samsung S4 with better color than over saturated uncontrollable color of S3. However, color display of super amoled really sucks ( too much color saturation and samsung engineer still do not know how to determine what understand what is the standard for normal display which should be ?? )
            LG pro display is very nice I strongly agree. Just exaclty how you compare the display between cheap laptop screen and apple’s and you will see the different. Just open your mind and compare !!

          • Ridwan Atma Wijaya

            My G Pro got 26500 Antutu Score… when i turn off the LG heat control…
            Glad i can set it ON back again…
            Very rare i need those power raw…
            Even when i played 3d GAMES

          • AndroidGuy

            ANY display is better then an iphone screen….so that dosent mean much

      • iamdluhansa

        you can get BNIB LG Optimus G Pro for $629 in Indonesia

        • MasterMuffin

          And you can get S4 for $579

          • iamdluhansa

            not here in Indonesia, you will need $730 to get S4

            • MasterMuffin

              Well it seems it depends on where you live

            • iamdluhansa

              yes, it is.

    • Bilal

      S4 is 5 not 5,3 inch and G pro is 5.5 not 6. :)

      • HitokiriX

        It has a 5″ screen but total size is 5.38 and the G Pro has a 5.5″ screen with a total size of 5.9″

      • http://androidauthority.com/ Brad Ward

        Yes, the Galaxy S4 and Optimus G Pro has a 5- and 5.5-inch screen, respectively, however, the devices themselves measure in at 5.3- and 6-inches tall.

    • MariaxNY

      LG is better in every-way Samsung AMOLED display sucks

      • simpleas

        LG Does make nice solid phones. I think all it needs are some cool software /hardware features like the S4. I think it’s doing a pretty good job.

        • Jaun Lombard

          Well all makers of Smartphone need to copy Samsung and give it a different name ola LG. The next feature of Samsung to be copied will be Air gesture and Smart stay! Whats this space!. I like my AMOLED screen thanx! Gets a lot of attention for its colors.

          • waiting for nexus 5

            Samsung Lawer knows where the design is getting copied .

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2012/08/14/samsung-argues-prior-art-invalidates-apples-patents-calls-its-designer-as-trial-continues-live-blog/

            Samsung is now showing photos of the LG Prada phone, which Sherman says was released in late 2006 before Apple filed its patents.

            LG Prada is a mobile handset that is rectangular, with rounded edges, flat front, black, lozenge-shaped slot at the top.

            Samsung Copied icons from LG S-class UI .

            S4 copied OG PRO thin bezel .

            samsung copies LG pattern design .

            Samsung cant relese pentile display >5 ” coz the pentile will be visible . cant be hidden by oversaturating colours

          • waiting for nexus 5

            Samsung Lawer knows where the design is getting copied .

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2012/08/14/samsung-argues-prior-art-invalidates-apples-patents-calls-its-designer-as-trial-continues-live-blog/

            Samsung is now showing photos of the LG Prada phone, which Sherman says was released in late 2006 before Apple filed its patents.

            LG Prada is a mobile handset that is rectangular, with rounded edges, flat front, black, lozenge-shaped slot at the top.

            Samsung Copied icons from LG S-class UI .

            S4 copied OG PRO thin bezel .

            samsung copies LG pattern design .

            Samsung cant relese pentile display >5 ” coz the pentile will be visible . cant be hidden by oversaturating colours

            • Jaun Lombard

              Didn’t say AMOLED is the best display, but I like it!

            • Jaun Lombard

              Didn’t say AMOLED is the best display, but I like it!

      • Jaun Lombard

        they are better why? Copy Samsung much? Same type of apps that came with the S3! Without Samsung to lead the Android pack, no other maker of smartphones will be where they are now! S-Voice = QVoice (Really?) Multiview copy! Look at all the new LGs…looks like the previous Samsung S2! Plus the S4 looks better. Both use cheap plastic but Samsung makes the LG look like a year old phone!

        • AndroidGuy

          You do relize that qslide apps have been used sing the optimus g…..which came out befor the s3 so other way around…..samsung copied lg

    • Ugff

      I can use both devices with one hand easily. Kinda a lame comparison to differentiate between the two based on one vs two handed usage.

      • waiting for nexus 5

        yes .. OG pro has a ‘single hand use ‘ mode .. and even the QWERTY keypad u can use with one hand . Thanks to LG for the thin bezel and less width . Even S4 got inspired from OG PRO which released in korea 4 months before S4

      • waiting for nexus 5

        yes .. OG pro has a ‘single hand use ‘ mode .. and even the QWERTY keypad u can use with one hand . Thanks to LG for the thin bezel and less width . Even S4 got inspired from OG PRO which released in korea 4 months before S4

        • Jaun Lombard

          The single hand feature was introduced in the Galaxy Note 2 which was introduced before the PRO…another copy!

        • Jaun Lombard

          The single hand feature was introduced in the Galaxy Note 2 which was introduced before the PRO…another copy!

    • blairh

      Sorry Brad but you made a big mistake here. The unlocked G Pro for $800 is probably the Korean edition, which no one in America is going to bother purchasing due to absurdly slow data speeds. If you want to use the G Pro in America the only sane choice is the AT&T variant. That model costs $550 off-contract. Big mistake here.

    • Jeremiah

      I am going the gpro it just seems like a better device.

    • Ryan Bloedow

      This isn’t a good comparison for anyone in the United States: First, the LG OGP costs $550 off contract (AT&T will unlock for free), where the GS4 costs $599. On top of that, the US version of the OGP does not come with a charging dock or an extra battery.

      • Jeff Burns

        Correct. I got mine full price (less than $550), unlocked it, and am using at on T-Mobile.

    • milksop held

      The difference between the two on antutu shows that benchmarks mean nothing, for example on my nexus 4 I can score around 22 000

    • vampyren

      How can 1800 point be similar to 2800? Sure both are s600 but the result is anything but similar in an tutu. Please explain that….

    • On a Clear Day

      For me, the size of the phone is too big. I would invest in a 7 in or 10 inch size before buying something that is a “Mr. In-Between” and not quite one or the other.

      What I get from the review is that LG hasn’t really hit a homerun but rather a good base hit that advance a runner and got one on base – and at best allowed a player on third to make it in.

      Nothing came across as being especially special about it; though I have personally had good experience (only one phone!) by LG and it was very reliable and sturdy so I would have no problems buying from them.

      However, once the Galaxy S4 Active comes out and we know what it actually offers that might make it worthwhile – I will then be going with the S4 or the S4 Active; it;s not to big nor too small.

    • gptot

      G Pro overall better performance
      better display,
      13mp better camera … very natural & accurate colors.

    • Jaun Lombard

      Haha I cant believe all the android lovers on this blog. Since the S2 everyone was voting for Samsung saying it is better than the iPhone when the iPhone was actually a little better in every category than the S2. Now everyone is hating on Samsung and choosing phones that is almost as good as the S4. Got to love this. Everyone was for the S2 because it had more power and was lighter than any android. Now it is still the most powerful and lightest 5″ screen but now you are hating them?

      Plus when Google announced the S4 Google edition most people on the blog actually now wants a normal S4 because Android is too stock and of all the extra features Samsung offers…CRAZY!

      You can hate Samsung now but all those spec and sensors will be copied. Just read this article and you will notice that LG just copied Samsung with their apps, plus it was Samsung that started the big android phone! (Original Note).

      For me the S4 is really remarkable. LG is competing with Samsung, but look at the size of the phone they need to make to compete with the S4. cant they make a compact phone like the S4 with EVERYTHING the S4 offers?

      In South Africa we get with every Samsung 1 gb free wifi with alwayson and the S4 comes with a warranty where the will replace your screen TWICE if you drop and break it for free!!! Samsung just got support for its customers!

      My point being…Samsung is there already…others are almost there. S4 is future proof because all of its spec will be copied next year. Watch this space!

    • acee00

      But when is this optimus g pro coming to Canada ??

    • Humaan

      OGP is cooler, slightly slower and having better display (1080p needs *LESSER* ppi for usability- means larger screen)
      S4 is hotter, faster and more battery friendly

    • waiting for nexus 5

      S4 is just a laggy version of S3 . Just use it .
      OG PRo is the Android device with best display ( yes i mean it even with HTC One )

    • waiting for nexus 5

      S4 is just a laggy version of S3 . Just use it .
      OG PRo is the Android device with best display ( yes i mean it even with HTC One )

    • SPEEDOSWIMMER

      Am SOOOOOO HAPPY with my new USA-edition LG Optimus G Pro! Traded-in a ‘older’ LG phone with new 2-yr contract with AT&T and paid JUST the tax on it – 6 US-dollars!!!
      And yes, I’ve done my research – the LG Optimus G Pro is clearly the BETTER OVERALL phone compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4. And besides, the S4 would have costed USD99 + tax for a similar trade-in deal. Cost-wise, the S4 lost out yet again.

    • jaikrishnan

      Try the medium spec Galaxy Mega……U dont need 4 cores or bullet speeds… iys all about optimising.
      Its an affordable super phone….really cool for videos….

      Guys U gotta try this.

    • inii

      I got unlock code from safeunlockcode dot com at low price but it worked well.

    • Ashli

      I say the optimus G all the way

    • Sonya Peña

      Both are Great phones! But for some reason The LG optimus G pro is wao <3 I like S4 Display, I owned and S3 and I like it very much, But honestly GPRO is like so cool!

    • Tilbert Dee Foreman

      thanks for the review, I know little to nothing about the LG brand however having had several Samsung products I’m very strongly leaning towards the S4 as it will still fit inside a shirt or jacket pocket, I sure don’t need nor will ever use most of the bells and whistles of the S4 but the camera and the android syatem seem the best of whats available

    • Andrew

      LG Optimus G Pro E988 has better display(IPS) and great color accuracy. No lag when used. Bigger screen, great connection like smartshare, wifi direct, wifi share setting,etc. Better camera than Galaxy S4. Super Amoled has color degradation issue(life span issue).

    • Turtleman

      I like turtle stew.

    • ADHC

      holyshisht, antutu 28xxx vs 18xxxx, W. Ta.F. Nonetheless, i read real life experience posts and users agreed GPro wipes gs4 assh.

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