Following our iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5 comparison, we continue our versus series with the big guns: the iPhone 6 Plus and the LG G3.
Apple finally caved in and accepted the obvious – users want bigger phones. The result is a 5.5-inch device that’s supposed to take on Android devices that have already made a name for themselves in the phablet market. The LG G3 is one of the most successful ones, and it’s certainly a tough nut to crack for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Let’s see how the LG G3 does against the new iPhone 6 Plus in our quick look comparison!
While some argue that smartphones nowadays tend to all look the same, that’s not something that can be said about our two contenders. On one hand, we have Apple’s well-known form factor, with lines that have basically remained unchanged for years. On the other, the G3 features one of the most unique designs on the market, with its signature rear-mounted power button and volume controls.
At a glance, the G3 features a more efficient design, at least when it comes to keeping a compact footprint. The G3 is both smaller and lighter than the iPhone 6 Plus, even if the two share the same display size.
The front of the G3 is almost all screen, with just a small plastic band at the bottom. There’s no physical home button, and the tapered edges are free of any distractions, making it feel even more compact. On the back, the home button and volume rocker let you operate the phone without having to stretch your hand too much.
The iPhone 6 Plus is more than a centimeter taller and 23 grams heavier. You will probably use this device with two hands most of the time, and that’s not a problem in itself. But we feel Apple could’ve done a better job at making it more compact and easier to handle.
The iPhone’s aluminum unibody gives it a luxurious feel, but the G3 isn’t far behind with its brushed metal finished plastic. Plus, the G3’s removable back cover gives you access to the battery and microSD card slot inside. The slippery finish of the iPhone 6 Plus and the protruding camera mean you will probably feel better putting a case on it.
Overall, these are two very good looking phones, though the G3 is definitely easier to handle.
The G3 was first on the market (among mainstream devices) with a Quad HD display that offers 1440 x 2560 pixels for a whopping density of 534 ppi. So, while Apple jacked up the iPhone 6 Plus’ resolution to Full HD and 401 ppi, the G3 still holds the lead in terms of screen density. With that said, the difference in crispness may go unnoticed by many users, due to the diminishing returns of increasing resolution beyond Full HD.
Both devices employ LCD screens, so color saturation levels are similar, and clearly not as vibrant as Samsung’s AMOLED screens.
Apple used a technology called dual-domain pixels to improve color reproduction at steep viewing angles, and, as you can see in the video, it works pretty well.
Bottom line, it’s a very close call in the display department, and the difference will likely be a matter of personal preferences. If you must have the very best screen density, the G3 is the obvious pick; if you prefer an optimized and balanced experience, iPhone 6 Plus may be the way to go.
Hardware and performance
The iPhone 6 Plus packs a dual-core A8 processor designed by Apple in house, part of a series that has impressed in the past with it superb low-level optimization. And, because Apple controls both hardware and the software stack, it’s able to draw every last bit of performance out of the A8 chip and just 1GB of RAM, a combination that looks underpowered on paper.
The LG G3’s quad-core Snapdragon 801 (coupled with either 2GB of 3GB of RAM, depending on configuration) looks like a beast, and it’s still one of the best chips available on the market. However, for the reasons mentioned above, the difference between the performance of the two devices is likely to be quite small.
Regardless what you do on these phones, you will get fluid animations and jank-free transitions. In the rare occasions when they hang a bit, it’s because of the demands of the software rather than underpowered specifications.
The iPhone 6 Plus comes in 16, 64, or 128 GB of storage, depending on configuration, while the G3 features just 16GB of storage, but can accept memory cards of up to 128GB.
The batteries are pretty close in terms of capacity (2,915 mAh – iPhone, 3,000 mAh G3) but the G3 has the advantage of offering a removable battery. Most versions of the G3 also feature wireless charging, something that iPhone lacks. It’s a convenience feature, but once you get used to it, it’s hard to go back to cables.
The iPhone 6 Plus features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button, which is nice for quick and convenient security. The LG lacks biometric authentication, but at least for unlocking the phone, the Knock Code feature could make it up to some extent.
Apple finally installed a NFC chip in the iPhone 6 Plus, but there’s a catch: it’s limited to Apple Pay, meaning you won’t be able to use it for things like device pairing or quick file transfers. NFC has been a staple of Android devices for years now, and the G3 is no exception.
This section is a close call – both phones have their strengths, and deciding on one or the other boils down to what exactly you plan to do with the phone.
The iPhone 6 Plus keeps the 8 MP rear camera of the previous generation, though Apple touts an all-new sensor that should deliver better results. You get an f /2.2 aperture lens, faster autofocus thanks to a tech called Focus Pixels, and optical image stabilization. On the video side, you can capture slow motion shots at up 240 fps in 720p resolution, which is quite impressive. On the front, you get an f 2.2 lens, with features including HDR video and burst mode.
The G3 offers a larger 13MP sensor, and features a laser-assisted fast focusing system that’s typically encountered on DSLR cameras. That means you’ll be able to get nicer action shots and find the perfect focus almost instantly. The G3 offers optical image stabilization as well, combined with a 1/3 inch sensor size, and dual-tone LED flash. There’s also 4K recording and a bevy of software features.
The iPhone has always been known for good camera capabilities, and the 6 Plus brings further enhancements in this area. The question is, can you get over the relatively low resolution of the sensor? 8MP may still be enough for many users, but competition, including the LG G3, has moved on to the next level.
The G3 and the iPhone 6 Plus both represent a departure from their respective predecessors. For the G3, the big change is mostly about the UI design, which now has a flatter, more modern look. For the iPhone 6, the iOS8 UI remains largely the same with iOS7, but there are many new features added, including some that were quite long overdue.
That includes support for third-party keyboards, widgets in the notification dropdown, or a way for apps to share info between them. Probably the most exciting new feature though is Continuity, which will allow the iPhone to work in tandem with Macs or iPads, so you can start a task on one device and continue on the other.
Overall, iOS on the iPhone 6 Plus brings some freshness to an OS that had become stale at one point.
The G3 arguably makes better use of the large screen with the Dual Window feature, which lets you open up two apps at a time. Features like Q Slide multitasking make a return here, while new additions include the Smart Keyboard, Smart Cleaner, which lets you periodically clean up your system, and the Smart Notice assistant. LG worked hard to improve its software game, and it succeeded for the most part.
To draw the bottom line, the LG G3 offers several benefits compared to Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus. You get a lighter, more compact build, a denser screen, a larger removable battery, microSD compatibility, NFC, and wireless charging. The iPhone 6 Plus strikes back with a solid metal build, the fingerprint scanner, and a high quality camera, albeit limited to 8MP.
In your opinion, which device is better? LG G3 or iPhone 6 Plus? Tell us your pros and cons in the comments!