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LG G3 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Specs and Features Comparison : Can LG's 2014 Flagship Smartphone Take on Samsung's New Phablet?

In one of the status updates that I posted on TechPinas' official Facebook page a week ago, I said that - of all Note flagship phablet releases by Samsung - the Galaxy Note 4 is probably the first one to enter the market with more than a handful of legit competitors capable of giving it a major run for the money. I mean, the first and second generation Note models practically had no competition while SGNote3 from last year merely had to face like a couple of high-end phablets with decent features and specs.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

One of the devices that SGNote4 will have to immediately go head-to-head with as soon as it hits store shelves across the globe a few days from now is the LG G3 flagship smartphone by Samsung's main rival in its home country.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

LG doesn't really call the G3 a "phablet" but considering that it has the largest display out of all flagship smartphones by major international brands currently available in the market - 5.5 inches across, to be exact - on top of having some of the best innards around, it's clear that the phone can totally stand shoulder to shoulder with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and not feel a bit shy.

That said, let's check out how these two monster releases stack up against each other in terms of display, design, technical specifications, and key features as promoted by either companies.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Display

Both LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 push the very boundaries of how large (and how gorgeous) - we think - a smartphone's screen can be.

The LG G3 flaunts a 5.5 inch Quad HD - that's 1440 x 2560 pixels - True HD-IPS display protected by Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen. On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED also underneath the same scratch-resistant glass panel.

Which display is better? Well, first off, I can personally brush off the 0.2 inches screen size difference between the two handsets -- so, in answering that question, I'll just consider clarity, brightness, and color accuracy. And here's the thing: Although LG G3's display is a tad smaller than that of Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it is nonetheless more crisp as it has a higher 534 ppi pixel density compared to latter's 515 ppi. In that department, LG G3 is the obvious and clear winner. Now, in terms of brightness and color accuracy, the race is tighter. LED-backlit IPS displays - like the one on LG G3 - have always been known to go brighter than SuperAMOLED at full blast and to have more accurate color replication but Samsung has already addressed that issue on the Galaxy Note 4 with improved luminance and a new 'Basic' mode, which automatically adjusts the 5.7" screen's color reproduction so that it comes closer to the reference sRGB standard.

Design Language

Beauty, as they say, is always in the eyes of the beholder. Hence, for this part of our comparison post, I'll simply let the photos speak for themselves and quote each company's description of their flagship handset's design identity.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

According to LG, "The Floating Arc design of the G3 with its ergonomic arch and slim side profile provides an extremely comfortable grip for everyday one-handed use. The Rear Key continues to anchor LG’s innovative design language, with a newly designed power key and volume buttons as well as more premium quality materials and finish. LG also refined sophisticated technical features and advancements located on the rear by arranging them in a clean and singular layout consistent with the G3’s well-balanced design language. The stylish metallic skin with matte finish which keeps the G3 looking clean and fingerprint-free will be offered in three vibrant colors [...] from launch: Metallic Black, Silk White, and Shine Gold. To complement the new external design, LG adopted a minimalistic user interface design with flat graphics. The circular motif of the graphic assets in the new UI was derived from the shape and concept of LG’s logo, reflecting its unique visual style and identity."

Now, here's how Samsung describes its 2014 top-of-the-line phablet: "The Galaxy Note 4 introduces a new sleek and stylish Galaxy design language. The device features a premium metal frame with fluid curvature that seamlessly blends with the device display. The Galaxy Note 4’s 2.5D glass screen, inherited from the Galaxy S3, offers extra protection while perfectly complementing the device’s rich viewing experience. A soft-textured back cover provides incredible comfort that makes it easy to control with one hand. The device not only looks beautiful, but offers a superior grip and enhanced durability."

I appreciate the fact that Samsung is finally using real metal to frame the sides of its high-end releases. As some of you know, the faux-metal accent running down the sides of my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 continues to corrode from within, losing its chrome plating and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. Terrible! It's just heartbreaking considering how expensive the phablet was when I got it last year.

Anyway, back to our design comparison; I'm not sure if you'd agree with me but I think the two phones look equally beautiful. In fact, I'm having a hard time choosing which one is more visually arresting. I have to say, though, that - its new aluminum frame and Heart Rate Monitor aside - SGNote4 looks almost exactly like its predecessor so, for me, its design - which includes the faux leather texture of back plate - is but recycled. In contrast, some design elements of the LG G3 are totally fresh - like the plastic back cover with brushed finish making it look like real metal and even the case with circular window that we really haven't seen before.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4
From this angle, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 looks almost the same as the phablet it superseded: SGNote3 from Q4 2013. (Photos by Android Authority, Android Central, and PhoneArena from IFA 2014 in Berlin)

Technical Specs Battle

To make it easier for you to spot the differences - no matter how subtle - between the two handsets, I went out of my way to create this detailed side-by-side comparison table of LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4's hardware features and technical specifications:

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name LG G3Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen), Phablet with Stylus
Price Category High End (Flagship Level) High-End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
Weight 149 grams176 grams
Available Colors Shine Gold, Moon Violet, Metallic Black, Silk White, Burgundy RedFrosted White, Charcoal black, Bronze Gold, Blossom Pink
Operating System upon launch Android 4.4.2 KitKat Skinned by LG UXAndroid 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz Skin
Display 5.5 inches (~534 ppi pixel density), 1440 x 2560 pixels, True HD-IPS + LCD, Gorilla Glass 3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
570 Nits of Brightness
5.7 inches (~515 ppi pixel density), 1440 x 2560 pixels, Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors

Processor Quad Core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8975AC Snapdragon 801 chipsetSM-N910S: Quad Core 2.7 GHz Krait 450 CPU, Adreno 420 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset
RAM 2 GB and 3 GB RAM options3 GB RAM
Internal Storage 16 GB and 32 GB options,
expandable via microSD,
supports up to 128 GB
32 GB, expandable via microSD card slot, supports up to 64GB
Camera Main: 13 MegaPixels, 4160 x 3120 pixels, Face Detection, Laser Autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS+), Dual LED (Dual Tone) Flash, 1/3'' Sensor Size, Simultaneous Video and Image Recording, Geo-Tagging, HDR
Front: 2.1 MegaPixels
Main: 16 MegaPixels, 3456 x 4608 pixels, Optical Image stabilization, Autofocus, LED flash
Features: Rear Facing Camera ~ HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty face, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot and More, Dual Camera
Front Facing Camera ~ Selfie, Wide Selfie
Front: 3.7 MegaPixels, f/1.9
Video Capture Main: 2160p 30fps, 1080p 60fps, HDR, Stereo Sound Recording, Video Stabilization
Front: 1080p 30fps
Main: 2160p @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, Optical Image Stabilization
Front: 1080p @ 30 fps
Audio and Video Playback MP4, DviX, XviD, H.264, H.263, WMV, MP3, WAV, FLAC, eAAC+, WMA playerMP4, DivX, XviD, WMV, H.264, H.263, MP3, WAV, eAAC+, AC3, FLAC player
Ports microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort), USB On-the-go, USB Host, 3.5mm Audio JackmicroUSB v2.0, TV-out (via MHL 3.0 A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, IR LED, NFC, LG Smart Share, Miracast, Mirroring and Extension4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), WiFi Hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth v 4.0 (LE) IR LED (Remote Control), S Beam, Samsung AllShare Play and Control, Samsung AllShare Cast (WiFi Display), Mirroring and Extension, Samsung AllShare Framework
GPS Yes, with GLONASS and A-GPSYes, with GLONASS and A-GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Gyroscope, ProximityAccelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer, Temperature, Humidity, Gesture, Heart Rate Monitor, Finger Scanner, UV
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE 800 / 1800 / 26002G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600
SIM Card Type microSIMmicroSIM
Battery Removable Li-Ion 3,000 mAh batteryRemovable Li-Ion 3220 mAh
Uptime TBATBA
Value-Added Features Knock Code, Smart Keyboard, Quick Memo, Quick Remote, Quick Circle Interface, LG HealthAdvanced S Pen, Photo Note, Multitasking Pop Up Windows, S Health
Announcement Philippines: July 1, 2014Global: September 3, 2014, IFA, Berlin
Availability Philippines: July 1, 2014Philippines Guesstimate: Mid October 2014
Price Official SRP:
2GB RAM + 16GB ROM Variant - Php 29,990
3GB RAM + 32GB ROM Variant - Php 33,990
Guesstimate: Php 37,000 to Php 38,000

The data presented in the table are pretty straight-forward -- but just a few notes:

1. Although LG G3's display is just 0.2 inches smaller than that of SGNote4, the former is far lighter - weighing just 149 grams vs. 176 grams - and has a considerably smaller footprint, making it more convenient to hold with one hand or keep in the pocket.

2. Antutu Benchmark Scores of devices running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801 and 805 chipsets show that they're largely comparable in performance.

Snapdragon 801 vs 805 Antutu

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the first phablet from the Korean Giant to have a camera with Optical Image Stabilization, which compensates for movement when you take a shot -- resulting in photos with crisp details even when you're walking or your hands are shaking while snapping the photo. LG has had this feature on the cameras of its high-end smartphones since last year. The best-selling 2013 flagship ,LG G2, had it; In fact, LG is now implementing OIS+ on the G3 -- an improved version of this technology.

4. LG G3 has a front-flash selfie mode wherein the camera app gets a thick light-pink virtual frame with brightness on full blast, illuminating your face for clear selfies even in low light conditions.

5. You can conveniently charge LG G3's battery wirelessly. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 doesn't support such feature.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Unique Features

We've talked about the display, design, and specs of each smartphone. Now, let's check out the flagship-level software capabilities and value-added features of LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as heavily promoted by either companies.

LG G3

In addition to providing advanced core technologies, LG took its 'Learning from You' approach to a higher level with new UX interface features to offer LG G3 users a unique experience unlike any previous smartphone from the company. Highlights include:

Smart Keyboard: It's an adaptive technology that learns as you type for faster input along with less typos. Smart Keyboard reduces input errors by up to a whopping 75 percent by tracking and analyzing typing tendencies and intuitively predicts what word the user intends to type. The height of the Smart Keyboard can also be adjusted to better fit your hands and how you usually place your thumbs on the display. Individual keys can likewise be customized with frequently used symbols for even more speedy input.

Smart Notice: Like a personal virtual assistant, Smart Notice provides suggestions and recommendations based on the user's behavior, phone usage patterns and location to offer relevant and useful information when it’s needed the most. Smart Notice, for example, can remind you of a call you declined earlier - while you're in a meeting or inside the classroom - and ask if you would like to call that person back. If you have a large number of unused files or inactive applications on the LG G3 taking up valuable space, Smart Notice will ask if you would like to delete or uninstall them and help you with the process. But what truly sets Smart Notice apart from other virtual assistants is its natural conversational language capabilities. For instance, instead of just displaying the daily temperature and weather forecast, Smart Notice can make recommendations like, “You may want to take an umbrella today since it will rain this evening.” Cool, eh?

Smart Security: LG understands the importance of maintaining, securing, and managing confidential data when smartphones are shared, misplaced, lost or stolen, so the company have LG G3 a number of enhanced security features such as:

Knock Code, which lets users to unlock their device with a pattern of taps. A marriage of security and convenience, this unique feature allows users to create a personalized code that can be entered anywhere on the inactive screen. With the LG G3, users also have the option of being able to use KnockON (plain double tap) to wake the screen to check the time as well as enter the home screen directly via the more advanced Knock Code.

Content Lock that keeps personal files safe and hidden from view when sharing your LG G3 with friends. When the phone is connected to a PC, Content Lock prevents file previews from being copied or transferred remotely so the data remains still safe. The locked files can reside either on the device's internal memory or on the microSD card.

Kill Switch giving G3 owners the ability to disable the handset remotely in the event of theft. The Kill Switch also allows content on the G3 to be wiped completely so personal information won’t be compromised. Kill Switch likewise includes antivirus scanning and remote wipe and lock, among other essential security features.

LG is also offering a collection of new premium accessories to accompany the LG G3:

QuickCircle Case: Available in five colors, QuickCircle Case allows quick and easy access to frequently used apps and functions such as calling, text messaging, music and camera all from the circular window without opening the cover. In addition to the QuickCircle Case, LG also offers a lineup of Slim Guard Cases and premium Slim Hard Cases to protect the flagship handset in handsome style.

LG Tone Infinim (HBS-900): Developed in collaboration with Harman/Kardon, this Bluetooth stereo headset combines premium audio quality sound and stylish design. Built with retractable wire management technology and 'jog buttons', Tone Infinim also features Name Alert to verbally let you know who's calling before you answer.

Wireless Charger: Compact and foldable, LG’s Wireless Charger is crafted for easy portability. Compatible with Qi’s wireless power charging technology, the Wireless Charger from LG makes staying powered up and fully charged as convenient as possible.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Quoting Samsung, "Making everyday tasks much faster and easier, the Galaxy Note 4’s S Pen has been specifically evolved to serve as the primary tool that users go to for common, everyday mobile device use. This new S Pen offers a much more authentic pen experience, with a more natural brush effect that perfectly emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen. The S Pen also introduces a more user-friendly Air Command functionality along with other intuitive features such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select that allow users to create and collect content with ease. A new Smart Select feature enables users to easily piece together content from different origins, and share it with ease.

​The Galaxy Note 4 also provides users with a choice of multiple, seamless note-taking methods integrated with Samsung’s S Note application that allows everyday tasks to get done faster and more easily. In addition to typing and writing, the innovative Snap Note feature allows users to take a picture of their notes on a paper or a classroom board, and then quickly and easily convert to the S Note. They can also further unleash their creativity by jotting down their thoughts quickly with the Voice Memo."

Smart Select: Freely select the text and content on any screen using the S pen. You can then edit what you select and conveniently share or save the file.

Photo Note: Take photos with Photo Note and instantly convert analog to digital. You can edit notes, change colors, and put in additional memos with S Pen easily.

Advanced S Pen: The new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 stylus offers an improved digital handwriting experience through enhanced pressure sensitivity mimicking the feel of real pen on paper. Enrich your writing through more precise expression.

Free Flowing and Natural Multitasking: Accomplish more and be more flexible by managing multiple applications at once on a single screen using simple gestures. You can also minimize applications into pop-up "bubbles" making it easier for you to jump from one app to another.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Comparison Conclusions

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a larger display, bigger battery, and more powerful processor compared to LG G3 -- but to say that the former is vastly superior to the latter in all departments would be inaccurate and untrue. For one, G3's 5.5-inch display has a higher pixel density than SGNote4's 5.7-inch screen; The performance of Snapdragon 801 and 805 are largely comparable, and while G3's battery is a tad smaller, it nonetheless supports wireless charging.

2. If a stylus is a must-have for you when using a phablet, then you'd do well to go with the Galaxy Note 4. But if you don't really care too much about using a pen on your phone's glass touchscreen but you still want powerhouse innards, save a bit more, and choose the far more affordable LG G3.

3. Looking at the specs comparison table, the 'in the flesh' photos, and the list of value added features for each device, it's clear that LG G3 is not just a viable alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 but it is a very strong contender to the 'best smartphone of 2014' crown. So far, LG's current flagship handset has already won a total of three "Best of the Best" trophies from the 2014 Red Dot Communication Design Awards and has become another testament as to why LG was named as the 'Most Innovative Device Manufacturer Of The Year' at the 2014 Global Mobile Awards.

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