Last week it was the Moto X. This week it’s the LG G2. Pretty soon it’ll be the Galaxy Note 3. The Android phones just keep on coming, and it’s helpful to know how they all compare to one another. In honor of Wednesday’s LG G2 announcement, we’re placing it head to head against the Moto X and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 to see which phone comes out on top.
Let’s start with the similarities. All three phones run Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), with customizations from LG, Motorola, and Samsung, respectively. All three phones will be available on the four major U.S. carriers, and all phones come in either 16GB or 32GB variants. The Galaxy S 4 has a leg up here since it also has a microSD card slot, allowing you to expand its storage up to an additional 64GB.
That’s pretty much where the similarities end, so let’s get to the fun part, starting with the displays. The LG G2 is the biggest of the bunch, with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen. The 1080p Samsung Galaxy S 4 falls in the middle, at 5 inches, but it also has the highest pixel density. The Moto X rounds out the list with the smallest, lowest-resolution screen, a 4.7-inch 720p panel. While the Galaxy S 4 is technically the densest screen, it uses a PenTile pixel arrangement, which can make text and images look a little fuzzy, while the LG G2’s slightly less dense IPS screen remains crystal clear. Advantage: LG G2.
Next up is size. Physically, all three of these phones do an excellent job of feeling smaller than they actually are. In fact, the LG G2 may be the most comfortable phone with a screen bigger than 5 inches that I’ve ever held. But the fact remains that 5 inches or more is a lot of phone, no matter how thin the bezel is. So if you’re looking for something you can really wrap your hands around, the Moto X is your best bet. The Galaxy S 4 manages to hit a sweet spot, balancing a large screen with an extremely thin, comfortable design.
Now let’s get down to specs. In terms of sheer processing power, neither the Moto X nor the Galaxy S 4 can compete with the LG G2, which is one of the first phones to use Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon 800 processor. Running four cores at 2.26GHz apiece, the G2 will likely set the benchmark for 3D gaming and overall system performance. Next up is the Galaxy S 4, which is still plenty fast months after release thanks to its quad-core 1.9GHz Snapdragon S4 processor. The Moto X misses the mark this round. Motorola’s X8 processing system in the Moto X is intriguing, but the underlying technology is last year’s dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.
If it’s the camera you’re after, once again, all signs point to LG taking this round. Both the G2 and the Galaxy S 4 feature a 13-megapixel sensor, but LG is the first manufacturer to build optical image stabilization into a 13-megapixel camera phone without requiring an extra bump out around the lens. That means you’re likely to get a steadier shot with the G2. Then again, how the camera will perform in real life is anyone’s guess. Motorola comes in last in terms of megapixels, but the Moto X boasts some experience-enhancing camera features, like the ability to fire off a shot within just two seconds of pulling the phone out of your pocket. It’s hard to judge a camera without actually seeing the photos, so I can’t call this one.
Another very important factor in the smartphone wars is battery life. The LG G2 features the largest battery of the bunch, at 3000mAh. But given the fact it also has the largest screen, I’d expect it to perform comparably to the 2600mAh battery in the Galaxy S 4. The Moto X has the smallest battery, at 2200mAh, but with a smaller, lower-resolution display than the competition, it also requires less power.
There are also plenty of features you can’t compare in a chart, like all of the additional UI tweaks unique to each device. The LG G2, for instance, has a fantastic multitasking feature called Slide Aside, which allows you to use three fingers to slide an app right off the screen. The Moto X, meanwhile, offers touchless control that allows you to activate Google Now just by speaking to it. And the Galaxy S 4 has the ability to configure call quality to your specifications, along with a list of extra features so long I haven’t even tried them all.
And while it looks like LG G2 has got the competition licked, at least on paper, there’s a couple of details I’d still like to know, like how much is this thing is going to cost. Sure, I can’t see the 16GB model selling for more than $199.99 on-contract, but if it does, that could be a big deciding factor for potential buyers. At the right price, however, LG has a potential hit on its hands.