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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs. LG G2


Review by Andrew Kameka on Monday November 04, 2013.

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LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge

"Monkey see, monkey do" seems to be the way that Samsung and LG operate. When one manufacturer does something new with the release of an Android smartphone, the other inevitably offers something strikingly similar in its next premium smartphone. The two companies have an ongoing relationship of trying to outdo each other but still one-up the other in a way unique enough to attract more customers.

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G2, the competing Korean manufacturers have found themselves at a point where both devices are actually rather unique yet still have many commonalities among its software. Before we delve into that, let's focus on how Samsung and LG have attempted to separate each other through hardware.

Both the G2 and Note 3 are on the large side of devices, but the G2 is more manageable because of its 5.45 x 2.79 x 0.35in (138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm) shape. The Galaxy Note 3 has a more challenging 5.95 x 3.12 x 0.32 in (151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm) that maintains usability thanks to a slender profile, but it's still rather large. The reason for that big size is the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display included in the Note 3, but I'd rather have the 5.2-inch display of the G2. Considering that both phones have excellent 1080p HD displays, what sets them apart is the G2's superior color profile and more accommodating size.

The stark line between the two is then seen in material choices. LG opts for a glossy plastic build while Samsung favors a faux-leather material that feels nicer to touch. The G2 also has a more unique form factor because of its rear control panel, and the Note has more input options with the Galaxy Note and its stylus-friendly software. Both offer something that no other phone possesses, though the Note 3 is arguably more useful. The S Pen integrates with multiple note taking and artistic options, and the smoothness of its drawing and writing capabilities are pleasurable to use.

The differences become less apparent when comparing the software. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a newer build of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean that focuses on the aforementioned S Pen enhancements, sensor-based media controls, voice commands, and a dialer app that does more than just call people. The LG G2 has Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software that includes sensor-based media controls, voice commands, and a dialer app that lets users share photos, videos, and live displays if the other person has a compatible LG phone. Sound familiar? Of course it does. Practically every good thing you can say about the software on one device is present on the other, though the implementation may differ in some ways. Which is better? Watch the video below to find out.

CAMERA

Both the G2 and Galaxy Note 3 deliver solid performance in the camera, but the Note 3 comes out on top in most cases. When both phones are set to their Auto modes, the Note 3 does the superior job managing brightness, contrast, and colors, especially when capturing photos outdoors. The photos are sharper and don't have the white haze seen when taking photos in the shadow with the G2. Indoors, the opposite is true. The G2 tends to have a firmer grasp of what settings to apply under fluorescent lighting or moderate indoor light settings, so the images are brighter and tend to look better. The flash lighting does well on human subjects and poor on inanimate objects, but the optical image stabilization helps with moving objects. Overall, I'd say that the Note 3 is the better camera to have because it's the most dependable. Take a look at the photos below to see the difference.

LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge
LG G2 / Galaxy Note 3 - click image to enlarge

CONCLUSION

Both the LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 received solid remarks in our individual reviews of each device. If you're someone artistic or in a field that requires lots of productivity or planning, I'd recommend taking a hard look at the Galaxy Note 3. The S Pen offers more input options and a wider canvas to operate on. The size is rather large, which leaves room for the G2 to come in and offer a counterargument as the better compromise between features and practical use on a daily basis. There's so much identical between the two phones internally that it boils down to how much someone cares about an S Pen, or if that person can get over the texture and camera compromises of the G2. If you still need more convincing, read the full LG G2 review or Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review for more guidance.

 
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About the author

Andrew Kameka
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.

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