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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3 quick look

We compare two flagship powerhouses that boast Quad HD displays. Here's a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3!
September 3, 2014

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been announced in all its glory! Of course, it wouldn’t be a Samsung device if it didn’t bring a lot to the table, starting with its beautiful Super AMOLED Quad HD display. Granted, it isn’t the first smartphone to feature a display with such a resolution, and it’ll certainly be very interesting to see how it stacks up to another such flagship device, the LG G3. A more comprehensive comparison will be coming up soon, but till then, here’s a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3!

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While the design language is still quite familiar, both Samsung and LG attempted to leave behind their older design aesthetics in favor of something more premium looking, with both their latest flagships. For the LG G3, this meant a plastic material that has been treated to give it a metal-like look and feel. For Samsung, it meant the Galaxy Note 4 becoming only their second smartphone to rock a metal frame, after the recently-announced Galaxy Alpha.

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Comparing the two devices, it’s obvious that the overall look of both smartphones are very different from each other. The LG G3 boasts of having some of the thinnest bezels around, and offers a unique button layout that is placed on the back of the phone below the camera unit. This allows for the front and the sides to remain button-free, allowing for a clean look up front that is dominated by its large display.

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Of course, the bezels of the Galaxy Note 4 aren’t massive by any means, and its signature button layout below the display, with a physical home button flanked by capacitive back and recent apps keys, returns. Also the same is the placement of the power button on the right, and the volume rocker on the left side of the phone. On the back of the Galaxy Note 4 is the heart rate monitor below the camera unit, surrounded by a faux leather finish similar to what you got with the Note 3, albeit without the fake stitching, and with tapered edges.

The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a larger 5.7-inch display, compared to the 5.5-inch screen of the LG G3, and by virtue of the ultra-thin bezels of the LG flagship, the Galaxy Note 4 is noticeably bigger than the G3, making the handling experience a little bit more difficult.

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With both the LG G3 and Galaxy Note 4 boasting Quad HD displays, this is certainly going to be an interesting fight. Because of its slightly smaller size, the G3 display comes with a pixel density of 534 ppi, while the Note 4 comes with 515 ppi.

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The difference in technologies brings back the old LCD vs AMOLED debate. The IPS+ LCD display of the LG G3 is really good, with good color reproduction, brightness, and great viewing angles. That said, the Super AMOLED display of the Note 4 definitely packs a punch, with the vibrant colours and brightness that we’ve come to expect from Samsung displays all shining through here.

Both displays are evenly matched when it comes to the pixel count, and you’ll have a great media experience regardless of which device you choose, but it seems like Samsung has outdone itself once again with the display of the Galaxy Note 4.

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The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in two variants depending on the market, one powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, clocked at 2.5 GHz, and backed by the new generation Adreno 420 GPU,  while the other boasts a Exynos Octa-core processor. Both versions pack 3 GB of RAM, which should make multi-tasking and general use an absolute breeze.

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Of course, the LG G3 is no slouch either, with a processing package that was one of the best, until the Note 4 came along. With its quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, clocked at 2.5 GHz, Adreno 330 GPU, and 2 or 3 GB of RAM, performance on the LG G3 is also as smooth as ever, with the device comfortably handling anything you can throw at it. Any issues with performance will not be because of any shortcomings on the part of the processing package with either smartphone, and while the Note 4 is expected to perform better, it won’t be as evident while running day to day tasks.

The Galaxy Note 4 offers 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB internal storage options, while the LG G3 comes with 16 GB or 32 GB storage, which also determines how much RAM it will have. If storage is a concern, both smartphones offer microSD expansion up to 128 GB.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 goes beyond the LG G3 in terms of hardware, with the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner integrated into the physical home button, a heart rate monitor, three microphones for directional voice recording, and of course, a Note series staple, the S-Pen stylus. The S-Pen also sees an improvement, featuring 2048 levels of pressure, compared to the 1024 on the Note 3, and a slew of new software features to go with it.

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When it comes to the battery, the LG G3 packs 3,000 mAh unit, which offers decent battery life, and since it is removable, you always have the option of carrying around a spare. The same holds true for the larger battery of the Galaxy Note 4, which also features fast charging. You can now charge 50% of the battery in 30 minutes, and charging a battery fully is up to 30% faster than the norm. Of course, a special charger will be required, but it’s a minor inconvenience considering all that it offers.

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Samsung finally adopted optical image stabilization with the Galaxy Note 4, allowing for smoother video, clearer pictures, and better shots in low light, with its 16 MP rear shooter. On the LG G3, you get a 13 MP rear camera which features OIS+, a software enhanced version of OIS, and a laser-based focusing system, that lets you capture images really fast.

The Galaxy Note 4 takes the lead over the G3 when it comes to the front-facing camera, with its 3.7 MP unit, which features a 90 degree viewing angle, and a f 1.9 aperture for better low light performance, and a wide selfie mode that can capture 120 degrees, by working like a panorama shot. Taking a selfie is also very easy, and all you have to do is tap on the heart rate monitor on the back to take a picture.

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The TouchWiz UI of the Galaxy Note 4 sports the the new, flatter look that was first introduced with the Galaxy S5, and comes with some new widgets that make it easier to access its smart features. That said, Samsung did as Samsung always does, and took the feature-packed software package of Galaxy Note 3, and added even more.

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One of the new features is Smart Select, which should really make doing research on your phone much easier, by letting you select multiple pieces of content at a time and have them appear in a floating bubble from where you can access them, share them, or convert them to a scrap book format. There is also a new Snap Mode, for digitizing handwritten information and enhanced multi-window functionality. As mentioned, the stylus software has also received an upgrade, with two new brush modes, and a PC selection mode that for example, makes it easier to select text on a web page.

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LG also made some changes to the software experience with its new G UI, which also has a more stream-lined and flatter look. But, the G3 isn’t far behind when it comes to software features, which are just better hidden, and not as in your face anymore. The biggest additions come in the Smart software suite, which include the Smart Keyboard, that brings the ability to resize the keyboard for easier typing, and Smart Cleaner, that scans for temporary files that can be deleted to save space and offers suggestions to remove applications you haven’t used in a while. Add to that returning features like Knock On and the QSlide apps, and the LG G3 is certainly still as heavy as ever.

LG G3Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Snapdragon 801, Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 / Adreno 330
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Snapdragon 805, Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 450 / Adreno 420
CPU/GPU (Select markets)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Exynos 5 Octa
5.5-inch, 2560 x 1440, 534 ppi
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440, 515 ppi
2/3 GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
16/32 GB, microSD up to 128 GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
16/32/64 GB, microSD up to 128GB
3,000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
13 MP/ 2 MP, OIS+, LED flash, laser focusing system
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
16MP/3.7MP, BSI Sensor, Optical Image Stabilization, LED flash
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE), IR LED
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
2.5G/3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps), 4G LTE
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
2.5G/3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps), 4G LTE
Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with G UI
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz
146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm, 149 grams
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g
Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet, Burgundy Red
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Charcoal Black, Blossom Pink, Frost White, and Bronze Gold

So there you have it – a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3! There’s no doubt that both devices are absolute powerhouses that deserve their flagship status. But the Galaxy Note 4 manages to just edge out the LG G3 in almost every aspect, be it its better processing package, more RAM, bigger display that offers an arguably better experience, the S-Pen stylus, more hardware features, and more software features. You certainly won’t go wrong by picking up the LG G3, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 truly is the latest and greatest.