LG G3 review

Super screen, metallic skin - has LG leapt to the top of the pile?

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The LG G3 entered a really rather packed smartphone market, and these are the big phones you'll probably be considering over the South Korean's big hitter – take a look to see how it stacks up against the best the competition has to offer.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

When the LG G3 first launched the Samsung Galaxy S5 was a key competitor, which worked in the G3's favour due to the Galaxy S5's disappointing design. However Samsung hasn't given LG such an easy ride lately, with the much improved Galaxy S6 proving more of a challenge.

Not only does the Galaxy S6's screen handily beat the LG G3's in quality thanks to Samsung's Super AMOLED tech, but the S6 now matches the LG G3's 1440 x 2560 resolution – something that the Galaxy S5 failed to.

Because of the slightly smaller 5.1-inch screen, the Galaxy S6 has a higher pixel density, giving it the edge in clarity as well.

The Galaxy S6 also has an improved design, ditching the plastic chassis of the S5 for a more premium metal design. This reduces the LG G3s previous lead in this area, though its brushed metal effect still feels and looks good, so don't worry about getting a worse looking smartphone if you go for the cheaper LG G3 – it still holds its own.

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6 Plus

Apple's out the gates with its first phablet and it's got an LG G3-matching 5.5-inch display. It's a strong first attempt too, with a 401 pixel per inch 1080p screen, sporting impressive viewing angles, great contrast and bright colours.

I'd argue that it's not quite a match for the LG G3's display though, thanks to that phone's crystal clear QHD resolution.

The iPhone 6 Plus certainly trumps the LG G3 when it comes to looks though, with a truly premium body and it also gives the LG G3's camera a run for its money.

But despite its high-end appearance, the design of the iPhone 6 Plus makes it more awkward to use one-handed than the LG G3, as it's both taller and wider. Its biggest problem though is its price tag, because with a starting price of £619 it makes the LG G3, which can now be found for under £300 in some places, look positively cheap and it's hard to justify the extra expenditure.

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

The LG G3 was initially pitted against the HTC One M8 – a rather tough challenge considering it was one of the best smartphones we'd had the pleasure of using. Since then the HTC One M9 has been released, and although it is still a better overall smartphone than the G3, LG's ageing handset still puts up a decent fight.

The HTC One M9 keeps a similar metal design of the M8 with some choice improvements, which gives it the edge against the LG G3.

However the LG G3 does come with a larger 3000mAh battery, compared to the 2840mAh capacity of the M9, and in our battery benchmarks we saw that the LG G3 does slightly better at holding on to battery life – though only just.

Another thing in the LG G3's favour is that it doesn't get that hot when in heavy use – unlike the HTC One M9.


Of course where the LG G3 really benefits is in price;s not too surprising when you consider that it's getting on a bit, and the HTC One M9 is still relatively new. It does mean that if you don't mind a slightly older handset, you can save quite a bit of cash by going for the LG G3 and still end up with an excellent phone.

iPhone 5S

iPhone 5S

The difference between the iPhone 5S and the G3 is stark – one is compact, the other massive. LG reckons that the Retina display has had its time in the sun, and it has found the ultimate screen resolution – yet Apple stuck with Retina HD for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The iPhone 5S probably has a more robust camera that's a little simpler to use and handle, and the app selection is improved. But everything from a faster OS to a better screen and improved audio experience swings things in LG's favour.

Sony Xperia Z3

Sony Xperia Z3

The Sony Xperia Z3 is also getting on a bit, like the LG G3, but has yet to be replaced – although we expect the Xperia Z4 to arrive in the not too distant future.

The Xperia Z3 has a lower resolution screen than the LG G3, yet it still comes out slightly on top in the image quality stakes thanks to some nifty display tech.

Camera-wise both handsets are very good, with the two smartphones coping particularly well with low light images. Although the Z3's 20.7 megapixel camera looks more impressive on paper than the LG G3's 13 megapixel snapper, in reality the gap is a lot closer.

The Xperia Z3 also wins when it comes to design with it's slimline and waterproof, design that looks and feels more premium than LG's offering.