Google Nexus 6 vs LG G3 full review
The LG G3 has been top of our best smartphones chart since we reviewed it but can the Nexus 6 knock it off its perch? We take a look at its potential in this Nexus 6 vs LG G3 comparison. See also: Best smartphones of 2014.
First things first, the Motorola-made Nexus 6 isn't out yet and although it will be soon, we haven't seen it yet. In this article we're mainly comparing specs so bear that in mind. Read: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G3 comparison review.
Nexus 6 vs LG G3 comparison: Price and availability
The Nexus 6 looks like it will arrive on 1 December even though the Play store still says 'coming soon'. The price here in Blighty will be £499 for the 32 GB model and £549 if you want 64 GB.
Now the LG G3 started at £479 when it was released back in May but since it's been on sale for a number of months, the price has dropped significantly. It's slightly crazy but you can get one for less than £300 now meaning it’s a lot cheaper than the Nexus 6. It is older but as we show below, many of the specs are matched with Google's flagship handset.
Nexus 6 vs LG G3 comparison: Design and build
On the raw numbers front, the LG G3 is both thinner and lighter than the Nexus 6. It is 8.9 mm and 149 g compared to 10.1 mm and 184 g. Google's new flagship device looks very much like the Moto X which it Motorola's flagship smartphone.
Both devices are available in various different colours and neither offers a waterproof design. Each has a metal frame running round the edge and while the Nexus has a plastic rear cover, the LG has coating the G3's rear cover with a metallic skin.
Nexus 6 vs LG G3 comparison: Hardware and specs
The LG G3 has a large screen at 5.5in putting it just into the phablet category by our standards. The Nexus 6 is even bigger at a whopping 6in (5.96in by the spec sheet). Either way you'll need to be prepared for the size but it's worth noting that LG has made it smaller than you might think with tiny bezels.
On the resolution front, the LG G3 was the first to introduce Quad HD to a smartphone - that's 1440 x 2560 (or four times 720p hence the name) – and the Nexus 6 matches this. The larger display means a lower pixel density of 493 ppi compared to 534 ppi.
Processor and memory
Inside the G3 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor – quad-core and 2.5 GHz – and 3 GB of RAM if you get the 32 GB model (there's 2 GB inside the 16 GB edition). The newer Nexus 6 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 which is also quad-core and clocked at 2.7 GHz. It has 3 GB of RAM regardless of which capacity you opt for.
We've already mentioned storage a couple of time but although the Nexus 6 offers larger amounts, it doesn't have expandable storage like previous Nexus devices. The LG G3, on the other hand, does have a microSD card slot so there's more flexibility there.
Things are fairly matched on the wireless front with 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS. The Nexus 6 has slightly newer Bluetooth 4.1 as opposed to 4.0 but the LG G3 has an arguably handier IR blaster. Both phones support 4G LTE and if you're bothered, the Nexus 6 has theoretically faster Cat 6 rather than Cat 4 found on the G3.
Wireless charging is still fairly rare but you'll get it on the G3 and Nexus 6. Google touts a Turbo Charger which can supposedly give six hours battery life from a 15 minute charge.
On the audio front, the LG G3 impressively supports 24bit/192kHz audio playback and has a 1W rear facing speaker with a 'boost amp'. To the Nexus 6's advantage, it has front facing stereo speakers.
For photographers, things are closely matched here with the LG G3 and Nexus 6 offering a 13 Mp rear camera with optical image stabilisation. The G3 has a dual-tone LED flash and laser auto focus while the Nexus has a dual-LED ring flash. Each can record video at up to 4K quality.
Front cameras are similar in spec at 2 Mp on the Nexus 6 and 2.1 Mp on the G3.
Nexus 6 vs LG G3 comparison: Software
You probably don't need us to tell you but the Nexus 6 comes with stock Android 5.0 Lollipop since it's one of the two launch devices, alongside the Nexus 9, for the new version. This means the operating system comes untainted and meddled with as Google intended it to be.
Since Google allows manufacturing partners to do their own thing with it, most of them do and LG is no exception. The G3 comes with Android 4.4 KitKat but will be updated to Lollipop soon. Not having stock Android isn't automatically a bad thing and we like the LG UX which comes with some decent features built in including fitness tracking, dual-window for running two apps at once and various things to help with the large screen size.
As both runs Android, much is the same so it really comes down to personal choice as to which you prefer.
LG G3: Specs
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS
- 5.52in IPS LCD display (1440x2560), 534 ppi
- 2.5GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
- Adreno 330 GPU
- 2/3GB RAM (storage dependant)
- 16/32GB internal storage
- 13Mp rear camera laser AF with dual-tone LED Flash
- 2Mp front camera
- Video recording at up to 4K
- 24bit/192kHz audio
- Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- HSDPA, 42 Mbps
- HSUPA, 21 Mbps
- 4G LTE (Cat 4)
- 11.1Wh (3000mAh) battery
Google Nexus 6: Specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor at up to 2.7GHz
- 32/64GB storage
- 3GB RAM
- Android Lollipop 5.0
- 13MP main camera with optical stabilisation, dual-LED flash, support for 4K video at 30fps
- 2MP secondary camera
- 2560 x 1440 pixels, 5.96 inch Quad HD AMOLED, capacitive touchscreen
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MIMO
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Wireless charging