Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is a pretty popular line of phones and every year things seem to get better and better. This fall saw the release of the Galaxy Note 4 and it’s a pretty great phone. It has a premium build, tons of great features, and much much more. One of the few phones currently on the market that can compete with this phone is the LG G3. It released earlier this year to wonderful reviews and proved a hit for LG as became their most successful smartphone ever. But which is better? Today I’ll be comparing these two powerhouses to see which is a better buy for you. But who am I to tell you which is better? That’s for you to decide. But to make it a little easier, I’ve picked 5 reasons why each phone is better than the other.
5 Reasons The Galaxy Note 4 Is Better Than The LG G3
Samsung has never been famous for their build quality, and that didn’t change early this year with the Galaxy S5. However with the release of their Galaxy Alpha, the company certainly changed things by adding a very nice looking and feeling metal band to the edges of the phone. You can read our full review of the Alpha here. Thankfully Samsung brought this terrific change to the Galaxy Note 4. This metal band adds a lot to the build quality of the device and really is an amazing addition. Even though the back is still unapologetically plastic, it still feels pretty good. The LG G3 however is entirely made of plastic. That’s not to say it feels bad, but it certainly doesn’t feel quite as premium.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 sports a 16MP camera on the back with OIS. Quite simply it’s the best camera Samsung has ever put in their phones, and it really is very impressive. Even though things tend to be oversharpened and oversaturated, shots still look absolutely amazing. OIS also makes a huge difference in video quality. The LG G3 is no slouch in the camera department with a 13MP camera with OIS+, but shots simply aren’t as nice to look at. They are much truer to life, but in my opinion at least, the Note 4 beats it out. We took a few pictures with both the Note 4 and G3 to compare the quality. Check out the galleries below to see the results for yourself.
Note 4 Images
LG G3 Images
In a blind test we posted on our Google+ page, 73 people voted and 3 out of every 4 said that the Note 4’s shot looked better.
Samsung uses a 5.7” inch Super AMOLED panel in the Note 4 with a Quad-HD resolution. LG opted for a 5.5” inch IPS panel with the same resolution in the G3. Both panels are stunning, but I have to give this one to the Note. Colors look much more vivid on it’s display and blacks are much deeper. In this I’m disregarding the size but it is worth noting that the Note 4 has a larger display which results in a lower pixel density. Samsung’s panel also gets much brighter which makes it much better for outdoor use. It also gets much dimmer which is great at night or just in a dark room.
This section should be pretty short. The Note 4 has an S-Pen, the G3 does not. The S-Pen really adds a lot to the Note 4’s experience. Whether you use it for writing or not, it really is nice to have and I really miss it every time I go to another device.
The Galaxy Note 4 sports a 3,220 mAh battery. That should give a lot of power, but in my experience it simply doesn’t. Usually I get through the day with about 35% give or take when I go to bed. Certainly not bad, but not too great. The G3 however usually gets me through the day but is already on the charger when I head to go to sleep. It’s 3,000 mAh battery certainly has enough power to get through the day, but with even moderate use it won’t last all day. The Note 4 even has some impressive power saving modes that can get you a few hours to a few day more out of your battery. Both are removable however which is great.
5 Reasons The LG G3 Is Better Than The Galaxy Note 4
LG hasn’t always been the best with their software usually giving us nothing more than a carbon copy of what Samsung is doing with their own flare. However this year LG took what they had and made it so much better. Everything looks pretty nice and I’ve actually become a big fan of their software. Everything feels well laid out and makes at least some level of sense. Sure it’s still a heavy skin, but it’s one I have no issues using. Samsung on the other hand is still Samsung. TouchWiz has been getting better every year, but it’s still the same thing underneath. That results in a lot of lag and just confusion.
The Navigation Buttons
Back in 2011 Google introduced on-screen navigation to Android and it’s not the standard. Many OEMs have adopted it including HTC, Motorola, Sony, and thankfully LG. In fact Samsung is basically the only major OEM still including physical buttons. LG adopted on-screen navigation on the G2 and improved their implementation in the G3. Not only does on-screen navigation make things easier to use, but also allows for more flexibility. LG even lets you choose to add buttons to further improve and customize your experience.
The LG G3 has a pretty massive 5.5” inch display. That’s pretty big for most users, including me. However it simply doesn’t feel that big. This phone in fact is only slightly bigger than the iPhone 6 which has a smaller 4.7” inch display. This is thanks to LG’s incredibly thin bezels. They are nearly non-existent. On the sides they are small but even on the top and bottom they are smaller than they are in most phones. On the Note 4 things aren’t quite as good. The bezels aren’t huge, but they aren’t tiny either. This makes the phone harder to handle and makes one-handed use even less possible.
Unless you own an HTC One M7 or M8, your phone’s speaker is probably pretty terrible. Most are quiet, lack good sound, and are just not all that good. The LG G3’s speaker is back mounted which I’m definitely not a fan of, but it’s actually shockingly good. The speaker in pretty crisp and sound is OK, but it’s incredibly loud. Volume was great on the G3 and it really made the experience that much better. The Note 4 however doesn’t enjoy the same luxury. It’s speaker is also on the back, but it’s no where near as loud or good.
As mentioned the LG G3 has a 5.5” inch display and the Note 4 has a 5.7” inch display. Don’t get me wrong, these are both massive displays, but the phone’s size is a bigger part of the picture. As I mentioned before the bezels on the G3 are much thinner resulting in a much more manageable size overall. I have no issues using the G3 one-handed and my hands are exactly huge. The Note 4 on the other hand really pushes the limit of what I can and cannot use. It’s big and doesn’t apologize for it. If you like that, that’s your opinion, but personally I’m not a fan.
So which do you think is better? Both phones are great, and it tough for me to decide. I like parts of both, but alas we don’t live in a perfect world where we can have every phone be exactly what we want it to be. The Galaxy Note 4 is far better in the way of getting a premium feel, but the G3 is better on the software front which is really important to me. In the end this is a really tough one.