Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3 full review
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the latest Quad HD phablet on the market but can it topple the LG G3 which was the first smartphone to Quad HD it up? Find out in our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3 comparison review. See also: The best phone you can buy in 2014.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Price
Along with the iPhone 6 Plus, the Galaxy Note 4 is one of the most expensive smartphone you can buy. You'll have to fork out a whopping £575 which is the best price we can find, at Clove. See also: Galaxy Note Edge hands-on review.
That price will drop over time but even when it launched the LG G3 was £100 cheaper. Since it's been around for a good chunk of the year, it's now available at under £300 making it almost half the price of the Galaxy Note 4.
That's a massive difference in price but read on to find out how these two flagship handsets compare in hardware, specs and performance.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Design
Unfortunately, the Note 4 is a little thicker and heavier than its predecessor at 8.5 mm and 176 g which doesn't put it in good stead against the LG G3 which is a tiny bit thicker at 8.9 mm but a lot lighter at 149 g which makes a bigger impact. See also: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Note 4
With a larger screen, the Note 4 is the bigger phone here but either way you're buying a sizeable smartphone which will often require two-handed use. We've found the LG G3 to be more ergonomic with its curved back.
Neither offers a waterproof design and while Samsung has stuck with the plastic rear cover which tries to look like leather – albeit without the lame stitching this time – and a metal frame, the LG G3 is more stylish and feels more premium with a rear cover which has a brushed metal skin.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Screen
The Note 4 has the same size screen as its predecessor at 5.7in but the resolution has jumped to Quad HD. The LG G3's is bigger than the G2's at 5.5in and was the first smartphone on the market with Quad HD so rivals have been playing catch-up on this front.
Since both use a 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution, it's not hard to work out that the LG G3 has a higher pixel density at 534ppi but the Note 4's isn't far off at 515ppi and you won't notice the difference between them.
A bigger difference is that Samsung uses its usual Super AMOLED technology while LG opts for LCD instead. This comes down to personal preference so if you like a bold display with popping colours go with Samsung but if you like the sound of a more natural laidback look then go for LG.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Processor and GPU
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is one of the first devices to come with a 2.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (or a 1.9/1.3 GHz Exynos octa-core processor in some markets) and comes with an impressive 3 GB of RAM.
The LG G3 also comes with 3 GB of RAM but only if you buy the larger storage capacity, the standard model comes with 2 GB. Meanwhile, the processor is the older Snapdragon 801 which is a quad-core chip clocked at 2.5 GHz.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
As you can see in the above table, the Note 4 wins on three out of four benchmark tests and understandably so since it's newer. Remember that these are synthetic tests and in real-world use, both are smooth and speedy devices.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Storage
The Galaxy Note 4 only comes in one storage option which is 32 GB so it gets one up on the LG G3 which will come in 16 GB as standard but it also available in 32 GB. As mentioned already, you must buy the latter to get 3 GB of RAM rather than two.
Both phones offer a microSD card slot for adding more storage and each can accept up to 128 GB cards.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Wireless
Things are fairly close on the wireless front as you'll get dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC and an IR blaster no matter which phone you pick.
However, the Galaxy Note 4 has newer Bluetooth 4.1 compared to 4.0 and faster (theoretically) 4G LTE with Cat 6 (300mbps) rather than Cat 4 (150mbps). Meanwhile, the LG G3 fights back a little by offering wireless charging out of the box.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Unique features
We're always looking for unique features in smartphones as a way of standing out in a crowded market. Which ones will appeal to you depend on the way you use a handset, your lifestyle and your hobbies.
To the Galaxy Note 4's advantage is its array of sensors including a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and UV sensor. It also has the S Pen stylus which is a big draw for the Note series.
LG's G3 will appeal to music lovers with its ability to play 24bit/192kHz audio and its decent 1W rear facing speaker with a 'boost amp'. There are also camera features to point out which we will do so below.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Cameras
With the Note 4 and G3, we have two seriously good cameras – 16 Mp and 13 Mp respectively, both with optical image stabilisation and 4K video recording. The Note 4 offers and live HDR mode while the G3 has a dual-LED flash and super-fast laser auto focus. It's extremely difficult to split the two – you should be pleased either way.
At the front, the Note 4 is a winner for selfie fans with a 3.7 Mp shooter which is capable of recording Full HD video. The LG G3 can do the same on the video front but the camera itself it lower resolution at 2.1 Mp.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3: Software
At glance, things are pretty similar on software as both have Android 4.4 KitKat and each will be upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Although they run the same version of Android, they use their own user interfaces, or skins which make them very different.
Samsung's TouchWiz interface is not one our favourite Android overlays due to its style and complexity. If you're willing to stick with it, the S Pen and its software has potential once you've spent time learning. With the large screen, Samsung offers the ability to run two apps side-by-side and the option to run apps in a smaller window so they are usable with one hand.
LG's UX is closer to stock Android and can also run two apps at the same time. Features to help you use the large screen include an option navigation button to retrieve and put away the notification bar and a resizable keyboard.
Overall we prefer LG's software but it comes down to personal taste and we don't blame you if the S Pen swings it.
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
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Specs
- Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS
- 5.7in SuperAMOLED display (1440x2560), 515 ppi
- 2.7GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
- Adreno 420 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- 16Mp rear camera laser AF with optical image stabilistaion
- 3.7Mp front camera
- Video recording at up to 4K
- Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.1 LE
- Fingerprint scanner
- Heart rate monitor
- UV sensor
- 4G LTE (Cat 6)
- 11.9Wh (3220mAh) battery