Smartphone supertest: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One (M8) vs Sony Xperia Z2 vs LG G3

4. LG G3

The G3 had its work cut out for it when it launched. Not only did it have to face the toughest smartphone competition ever, but it had to surpass its excellent predecessor, the G2, which reigned supreme at the top of Stuff's best smartphone list until the M8 came along.

Thankfully, LG was more than up to the task. The G3 surpasses the G2 in almost every way. For starters, it's got a 2K display that's almost sharp enough to cut your eyes on. Sorry if you're squeamish.

While the G2's 13MP camera remains, LG has thrown in laser-assisted autofocus and 4K video. And it now matches the Samsung with a removable battery and microSD slot.

It doesn't have the booming dual front-facing speakers on the One M8, but its rear 1W speaker is no slouch, and can almost match its HTC rival for loudness, if not bass.

While it lacks the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2's waterproof powers, its build is much improved, with a plastic, brushed-metal-look finish that will fool your eyes, if not your fingers.

LG's redesigned its UI too, opting for less eye-searing colours and a more muted, subtle look.

READ MORE: LG G3 - the full review

More after the break...


Design: 9/10
The G3's faux brushed-metal finish is barely discernible from the real metal rear of the HTC One (M8), and it easily beats the S5 for classiness. Pick it up, though, and its weight (or lack of it) can't fool your fingers. So it's no M8, but that doesn't mean it's not handsome in its own way.

Screen: 9/10
The G3 stands out from the crowd, with a 2560 x 1600 2K screen. That's an insane 538 ppi, though you won't notice any difference in sharpness in normal use. Look closely enough however, and it does throw up more details than its rivals. Its colours are excellent too - even more realistic than those on the M8 - although brightness, black levels and contrast let it down somewhat. Overall though, it's one of the best screens our eyes have had the pleasure of ogling.

Camera: 10/10
The G3's 13MP camera is, put simply, fantastic. It's a jack of all trades, and nearly a master of every one. Well-lit shots are packed with crisp detail, and it even beats the light-guzzling M8 in most murky conditions. Its advanced optical image stabilisation, coupled with its laser-assisted autofocus, help keep subjects in focus - and at lightning-quick speeds, too.

OS and apps: 9/10
LG has thankfully gone down the same fat-trimming path as Samsung. While its UI still isn't as minimalist as the Z2's, the garish icons are gone, replaced with flat, pastel-coloured icons.

Much of the bloatware is gone too, and LG's done its best to simplify things. The camera app for example, has had almost every little-used feature eliminated, and its bare controls now make for a much more pleasant experience.

LG's new Smart Notice is less useful. It's essentially a Google Now clone, and we can't see any benefit it offers over Google's own well-established offering. Smart Clean is more useful, prompting you to clean up and delete apps to save memory.

Finally, LG's excellent Knock Code feature negates the need for any fancy fingerprint scanners. Sorry, Samsung. It lets you tap out a pattern on the G3's screen (even when it's off),and with over 80,000 combinations, and a higher reliability than fingerprint scanning, LG's hit on a winner.

READ MORE: 7 of the best apps and games for the LG G3

READ MORE: Ultimate setup: LG G3


 One of the things that's being overlooked about the M8 is it's camera. While in stock form I must admit  it's a mess for outdoor landscapes but If you're willing to root you're phone & install Jishnu Sur's HTC One Cam mod it corrects most of it's  shortcomings.  it however doesn't stop there. For even more camra awsomeness, a trip over to Google play to pick up a litle app called  Camera FV-5 will have you churning out 4.5 MB Raw .PNG files that will bitch slap every one of it's rivals in their stock form.  The ultra pixel Camra HTC hyped up  is actualy there. You just have to do a little digging to bring it out. And lets also not forget the sound. as is it's awsome. By simply rooting the phone and flashing the rom you get  a choice of either Beats audio (which I prefer) or the Htc one Harman Kardon presets. 

Most will likely go for the Harman Kardon presets but as a true audiofile I can tell you first hand that while not as spacious sounding (I feel Harman Kardon over did it with the brightness) Beats audio introduces a warm, rich, ampli spacious quality sound with Bass the likes I have never heard coming from such a small device.

Another one of the HTC's strong points are it's actual data thruput speeds. whether it be with wi-fi or 4G LTE.  The phone is one of the fastest out there.

So the bottom line is, If you like to root your device you may want to go for the M8 & if done right your images won't be pixelated and you also wont have a problem with its dynamic range.

The M8  Rooted  is just beautifully awesome.

I've personally gone for the LG G3 after reading this review, listening to some advice off friends and then finally being recommended it when i went into a store. personally i love it does everything i want it to, having been an iPhone user since the originals launch i'm loving the freedom the android OS is giving me and the Luxurys of a removable battery and a huge amount of screen space!

That being said i've found the screen to be a bit of a curse. the battery on the phone seems to last a lot longer than that of my old iPhone 5 when it's sitting in my pocket but the minute you turn on that screen it's one huge power drain, so you really need that option of removable batteries.

I also found today when i was out on a sunny walk and was wanting to turn up the brightness on the screen so i could see it in the bright light i was told that i couldn't turn it up any higher because of the temerature of the screen.

...All this being said, still love the phone and would recommend it to people, but that screens a bit of a double edged sword.

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