A level up? A look at the differences and similarities of LG’s G3 and G4

Last updated: October 5th 2017.

similarities of LG’s G3 and G4

A1

When LG released the G3, it quickly became one of the best smartphones of 2014.  Not content with that, LG has added even more improvements to their follow up flagship the G4.

The G4 and the G3 both have some of the best specifications to be found on smartphones, making some people wonder if the two are different enough for the G4 to really be considered an upgrade.  We put that idea to the test with our comparative review of the LG G4 vs the LG G3.

Design

  • The G3 measures 146.4 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm and weight 149 grams.
  • The G3 sports LG’s iconic design language in a large form factor.
  • The G3 was the first to bring the Quad HD display to the forefront, while keeping the rear-mounted button layout that LG first began using in their G2.
  • The G3’s power button is flanked by its volume rocker and this particular design cue is a distinguishable LG feature that looks like it will be around for awhile.
  • The G3 has a brushed plastic design which gives the phone a stylish and sleek profile.
  • The back cover and battery of the G3 are removable.
  • The G4 measures 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8mm and weight 155 grams.
  • The G4 keeps the large form of the G3 but adds a slight curve that makes it more durable and also easier to handle.
  • The curve of the G4 is greatest at the back, which helps the phone sit comfortably in its user’s hand.
  • The G4 keeps the rear-mounted button layout but has a power button that is thinner than and not quite as easy to feel as that on the G3.
  • The G4 is also noticeably taller than the G3. The body is also made mostly of plastic but instead of the brushed texture of the G3, the G4 has a subtle grid pattern.

A2

  • The G4 sports a vegetable-tanned leather back plate. This provides a good gripping surface and also makes the G4’s profile look unique among LG’s previous phone offerings.

Verdict?

  • Both phones are nicely designed, by sticking to their signature design language; LG has created a line of attractive but accessible devices.
  • G3 is a bit simpler but the unique look of the G4 could appeal to some
  • When it comes to handling, curves of the G4 make it slightly better and easier to handle.

Display

  • The G4 has a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS LCD display while the G4 has a 5.5 inch Quad HD Curved Quantum display.
  • As the G3 is the first widely available smartphone using Quad HD pixel, there are some small problems. LG had to compromise somewhat on how certain elements were displayed on screen.
  • There is a noticeable smoothening effect when scrolling through text and the colors on the G3 are a bit less vibrant then they should be.
  • Despite the small problems, the screen is great to use for work and for play.
  • LG improved on the technology with the G4 and its new Quantum display.
  • The G4 uses a new version of LG’s IPS panel to meet a DCI film standard of quality. This means that the G4’s display stays within the DCI levels of color.
  • There is still some smoothening when scrolling to text, but it’s less then with the G3.

Verdict?

A3

  • While both displays are good, the G4’s screen has definitely benefited from improvements and enhancements that LG has made in their display technology.

Performance

  • Both the G4 and the G3 use Qualcomm processors. The G3 has a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 while the G4 has a 1.8 GHz, 64-bit hexa-core Snapdragon 808.
  • The G3 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with the Adreno 330 GPU. The RAM capacity of the G3 depends on how much storage the device has.  You can get 2GB of RAM with the16GB model or 3GB of RAM with the 32 GB model.
  • The Snapdragon 800 line is quick and stable and because of this, the processor can move smoothly – even if the G3’s software is feature-packed.
  • Multi-tasking with the G3 is easy and fast.
  • The G4 uses the Snapdragon 808 processor and has 3 GB of Ram.
  • With a toned down UI and a capable GPU, navigating the functions of the G4 is fluid and easy.

Verdict?

  • Both devices are quick to use and have stable performances, but the G4 is a little more reliable then the G3.

Hardware

  • There has not been much changed in the hardware available in the G4 from what the G3 offered a year ago.
  • Both features removable back plates, removable batteries and have expandable storage. These are features that users love but what many manufacturers have begun to choose to omit from their smartphones.

A4

  • For the G4, you can get 32 GB of on-board storage, expandable up to 128 GB. For the G3, you have two options, 16 or 32 GB which is expandable up to 128 GB.

Verdict?

  • Though the battery capacity of the G3 and the G4 are the same (3,000 mAh), the G4 has added some optimizations that enable its battery life to last a little longer. With moderate usage and by taking care to keep background apps from running, G4 users can stretch the battery life to keep the G4 running past a day and a half.

Camera

  • The G3 has a rear camera of 13 MP with OIS and a front camera of 2.1 MP.
  • When it was released, the G3 offered one of the fastest camera experiences available.
  • With the G3, LG added optical image stabilization and a laser guided focus feature to their camera app.
  • The G3 had some problems with noise reduction and in post processing but otherwise produced photos with great detail and color.
  • The G4 has a rear camera of 16 NP with OIS+ and a front camera of 8MP.
  • LG improved on the camera of the G4, upping the megapixels to 16 and lowering the aperture to f/1.8.
  • The front-facing camera of the G4 has been improved for better “selfies” by utilizing a wide angle lens with a 8MP sensor. The front-facing camera also has gesture contol.
  • The G4 still features laser auto focus, but it also has the Color Spectrum Sensor. This is a IR that analyzes a scene to ensure you achieve proper white balance levels and accurate color.
  • The G4 ha a manual mode which allows you to change very minute values – including shutter speed and Kelvin levels for white balance.
  • Post processing with the G4 is not that good. Noise reduction is still a problem but colors are a bit clearer now than they were with the G3.

Verdict?

A5

  • The G4’s camera is an improvement from the camera of the G3.

Software

  • The G3 has Android 5.0 Lollipop while the G4 has Android 5.1 Lollipop.
  • Not to many new features have been added to the G4 thought there have been some improvement’s made.
  • The UX of the G3 tended to have to many features which slowed down the system. These features were not really used and ended up just taking up space in the quick setting menu.
  • The UI of the G4 has been cleaned up and the Knock Code and Dual Window features were improved.
  • The G4 has improved on the calendar app and has a more powerful gallery app which allows users to categorize picture and videos.
  • The G4 has incorporated the G Flex 2’s Smart Notice feature and you can now get getter weather notifications as well as be warned about background applications that are draining the battery.

Verdict?

A6

  • The software has been toned down and the performance has been improved so that the G4 is a better performer software wise then the G3.

As the G3 is technically the older phone, it is becoming increasingly available for lower prices.  Though some might not feel that spending money on a “year-old” phone is worth it, the G3 doesn’t really feel “obsolete”.  Considering its lower price, solid camera, speedy performance and the available software updates, the G3 is still of great value.

The G4 on the other hand offers enough improvements that make its higher cost worth it.  The camera is better than ever and the overall user experience is smooth.

In the end, the biggest difference between the two phones is the cost and the G4 is one of the most powerful smartphones available to date.  If that’s important to you, consider skipping the G3 and going straight to the G4.

Do you think the G4 is worth it? Or would you be happy with the G3?

JR

About The Author

Reply

Gravityscan Badge