The LG G3 doesn't have the exquisite build of the HTC One M8, nor does it have the extra sensors of the S5. But that doesn't matter.
Instead, it brings a complete package. For one thing, it has an excellent screen that, despite being larger than its rivals, doesn't increase the size of the G3 itself, thanks to LG's bezel-trimming magic.
Its camera is superb and adaptable, and its build, although not metal, both looks and feels good. A removable battery and microSD storage are the cherries on top of an already very tasty cake.
The S5 points to a flashy future, the Z2 a controlled one, and the One M8 continues to push design boundaries. But it’s the way LG has packaged everything so carefully that makes this the nicest phone to live with.
The final scores
HTC One M8 (from £520) ★★★★★Beautiful and brilliant, the One M8 is as pleasant to use as it is to hold
Samsung Galaxy S5 (from £530) ★★★★★Packing in tech features and waterproofing is great, but Samsung needs to focus on design details
Sony Xperia Z2 (from £600) ★★★★★Classy and clever with talent in spades, if the Z2 were easier to live with it’d be unstoppable
LG G3 (from £407) ★★★★★LG followed its 2013 Smartphone of the Year by keeping everything that made it so special and adding a whole lot more
Smartphone season isn’t over. Not by a long shot. The new king of the spec sheets is the £230 OnePlus One, with the 2K Oppo Find 7 not far behind. Both 5.5in phones offer most of what the HTC, Samsung and Sony have, for a lot less money. Paying more isn’t the only way.
Each of the phones here is a refinement of sorts. If you’re waiting for more of a leap, both the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime and HTC One M8 Prime have already been rumoured to launch with 2K screens. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4, meanwhile, should be announced at the IFA trade show in September and may even have a flexible display.