If you grab a random person on the street and ask them to name the best Android phone they’ll probably tell you the Samsung Galaxy S4. Samsung’s flagship phone, released earlier this year, offers an incredible package of great specs, awesome software and amazing screen. Yet a more recent phone by Samsung’s lesser known South Korean neighbour, LG, is challenging the S4 for the top spot with their latest phone, the LG G2. We decided to put both devices to the test to see which is the best Android phone available right now.
Phone screens are increasingly becoming one of the most important factors in choosing a new smartphone. While almost every display available in a high end phone will be significantly better than anything available even a year or two ago, there are still important differences between displays. One of the major factors is the screen size – phones are growing every year as customers want to be able to do more with their handheld devices. The LG G2 is slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S4 but by such a small amount – 5.2″ vs 5″ – that this doesn’t make a noticeable difference between the devices. The technology behind the displays in each phone is very different though – and leads to noticeably different screens. The Samsung device uses Super AMOLED while LG utilises LCD with IPS+. The gives the LG G2 a brighter screen and more accurate colours, but the S4 has far superior viewing angles and much better contrast (which is useful when using the phone in direct sunlight).
Taking photos on our phones is something that we all do, most of us almost every day. Even those with DSLR cameras packed full of features and having amazing lenses will often use phone cameras instead because they offer a great combination of speed and portability. The LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy S4 at first glance are they similar when it comes to their cameras – they both use 13 megapixel chips. However beneath the identical headline camera tech spec there’s a range of differences. Image stabilisation is important to anyone taking photos while moving or in a rush, the optical image stabilisation in the LG isn’t available in the Samsung and puts the LG G2 into a clear lead. However, the S4 has slightly sharper photos in sample photo comparisons. The LG G2’s ability to shoot video at 1080p Full HD with 60 frames per second is double what the Galaxy S4 can achieve and really does make videos taken with this phone better. Overall it’s difficult to say which of the two phones is best for photography.
When it comes to speed comparing the two is a little complicated by the fact that the S4 uses different specs in different markets, and even in the same country there’s often more than one version of the Galaxy S4 available. The best way of comparing the two phones therefore is using benchmark tests conducted on them to see how fast they can complete a series of tasks. In all the tests we’ve seen the LG G2 is a clear winner, thanks in part because new processors were available when it launched that Samsung didn’t have the option of using in the S4. Nevertheless both phones are significantly better than most other devices currently available so even if you opt for the slower S4 you’ll still be getting an incredibly powerful phone.
There really is no outright winner here. Both of these devices are excellent, and no matter how you use your phone you’re likely to have no issues with either phone. The LG G2 does have a slight advantage when it comes to the display size and brightness, the phone’s design, the processor, video recording and battery life. However, the Samsung Galaxy S4 beats LG when it comes to display contrast, expandable storage, replaceable battery, thinness and being available in a dual-SIM version for those who regularly cross borders. We’d suggest that frequent travellers would be best opting for the S4 due to being able to replace the battery which handy for long trips between charges and the dual-SIM, while those who prefer raw power should choose the LG G2.