Thursday, 24 July 2014

LG G3 vs. HTC One (M8): Duel duo

How do you compare phones that are so different - the LG G3 and HTC One (M8) barely have a common feature between them. As we found out though, even different specs can create a similar user experience, it's more than just a numbers game.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
Going into this article we had a certain idea of how things will work out but a series of tests once again proved that specs rarely tell the whole story. The 5.5" QHD screen should handily beat the 5" 1080p screen, right? And the contest between a 3,000mAh battery and a 2,600mAh one should be fairly straightforward.
It should but the LG G3 proved less dominant than it sounds on paper. The HTC One (M8) on the other hand, still has downsides it found hard to overcome. Here's a quick blow by blow of where each phone dominates its opponent.

LG G3 over HTC One (M8)

  • Larger, sharper screen - 5.5" QHD over 5" 1080p
  • Practically the same size, lighter
  • 13MP camera with OIS over 4MP camera; Laser autofocus
  • 2160p video capture over 1080p video
  • More powerful chipset, 3GB of RAM over 2GB (32GB model only)
  • Bigger battery - 3,000mAh vs. 2,600mAh; user-accessible to boot
  • The back cover has wireless charging support

HTC One (M8) over LG G3

  • Aluminum unibody
  • Front-facing stereo speakers vs. a single 1.5W speaker on the back
  • Dual camera with Zoe
  • 5MP front-facing camera over 2.1MP
  • Google Play Edition version
The LG G3 is a budding illusionist. It looks deceptively small, almost the same size as its opponent despite having a 20% larger screen. The back looks, and to a certain extent feels, like metal, but is actually a specially coated plastic. The screen, of course, is the first QHD unit (1,440 x 2,560 pixels) from a major manufacturer.
The HTC One (M8) has a true metal unibody - it's difficult to tell by looks, but touch is a dead giveaway. HTC focused on the experience, a lot of which comes from software features including a revamped Zoe backed by a new dual camera and improved stereo speakers on the front.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
HTC One (M8) and LG G3 go head to head
UX has become one of the 21st century buzzwords yet a lot of it comes from the past, our preconceptions. This means users will scoff at the plastic "metal" of the LG G3 even if they won't notice it until you tell them.
It's a matter of how well each company managed to read their consumers - the 4MP camera of the One (M8) stands little chance against the muscled up 13MP shooter of the LG G3, but a 5MP selfie camera is a perfect match for the social networks that rule the day, same goes for the effect-laden Zoe.
So, proceed with an open mind to the next page to see if HTC's traditional strength - design - has been countered by LG's newfound creativity.
The two phones are slightly rounded rectangles apparently made of metal. However, there's a striking difference between them when you put them side by side. There's a generous amount of space around the HTC One's 5" screen, while the 5.5" display of the LG G3 looks like it's ready to bust out of the frame.
The two phones are equally tall, but the LG G3 is slightly wider and thinner. It measures 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm while the One (M8) is 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm. Width is the most important factor for in-hand feel, but weight plays a role too and the LG is lighter - 149g vs. 160g. Hardly a surprise as plastic is lighter than metal.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8

Both screens are secured by Corning Gorilla Glass but the One M8's display has a good deal of padding all around. Most of that comes from the two stereo speakers with dedicated amplifiers. There's a special edition of the One (M8) with Clear-Fi audio tech from Harman/Kardon but that's only available for Sprint in the US at the moment.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
The front-facing stereo speakers add a good deal to the height of the device
Anyway, the LG G3 only has noticeable bezel above and below the screen and even they are not particularly big.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
LG must have used some sort of bezel-b-gone ointment on the G3
HTC kept the aluminum unibody from last year's One but added a new finish option - brushed metal for the Gunmetal Grey color. The other two colors - Glacial Silver and Amber Gold - have a matte finish.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
Glacial Silver is from last year • Gunmetal Grey is a new addition
The LG G3 looks like brushed metal finish and comes in five colors. It has a special coating and, although not self-healing like the LG G Flex, LG says it's still resistant to scratches. The plastic is warm to the touch (giving away that it's not metal) but it looks the part and feels great in the hand.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
LG gave the plastic back panel brushed metal looks
A key difference here is that the back is removable so you can access the 3,000mAh battery and two card slots below (microSIM and microSD).
The HTC One (M8) has a sealed 2,600mAh battery and the card slots are on the sides, you'll need an ejector tool to access those. Note that it uses nanoSIM cards.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
Removable 3,000mAh battery and easily accessible card slots on the G3 • One (M8) card slots require a tool
The backs of both devices are unique in their own ways. The HTC One (M8) has two cameras, the second one used solely for image effects. The LG G3 positions its Power key/Volume rocker assembly right below the camera and adds a special light emitter here used by the Laser autofocus system. Both phones use dual-tone, dual-LED flashes.
The LG G3 loudspeaker is on the back - there's only one, but it's quite powerful. Normally it produces 1W worth of sound, but with boost it can reach 1.5W.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
Both phones have memorable backs
The tops and bottom of both phones are quite similar. There are IR blasters on top for remote control functions, while the bottom houses microUSB 2.0 ports and 3.5mm audio jacks. Unfortunately, the HTC One (M8) puts its Power button on top where it's hard to reach on the 146.4mm tall device.
LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8 LG G3 vs. HTC One M8
IR blaster on top of the LG G3 • a bad place to put the Power key
The power key on the back of the LG G3 is much easier to reach though it takes some getting used to (we kept tapping the side of the phone).
Both devices support double-tap to wake so you don't need the hardware key to unlock the device. Both have their own tricks too - the HTC One (M8) can also be unlocked by a swipe up, while the LG G3 features Knock Code that lets you create a pattern of taps to make the tap to unlock option as secure as the pattern lock.
Winner: LG G3. We know some of you adore aluminum unibodies (we do too!) but the HTC One (M8) is just too big for its screen size. A bigger, accessible battery and better positioning of the Power key may sound like small potatoes but can have a big impact day to day.
The HTC One (M8) is certainly a looker, but HTC had a chance to improve on some things since last year's One and chose not to.

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