LG G4 vs. LG G3: Is it worth the upgrade?

By April Taylor , Apr 29, 2015 09:01 AM EDT

The LG G4 is officially out of the bag, and naturally many are wondering whether it's worth the upgrade over last year's LG G3.

LG's flagship smartphone from 2014, the LG G3, stirred plenty of interest due to its QHD display, high-end specs, and sleek design, albeit it only resembled brushed metal and was in fact made of plastic.

The new-generation LG G4 has now made its official debut on April 28, as expected, arriving as the company's latest flagship. The new iteration comes with high-end specs and features as expected, but it remains to be seen whether consumers will find the improvements big enough to warrant an upgrade over the LG G3. Let's see how the two stack up in key areas.


In terms of design, the LG G4 is larger and heavier than the LG G3, measuring 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm compared to the 146.3 x 74.6 x 9.3 mm dimensions of last year's flagship, and weighing 155g while the LG G3 tips the scales at 149g. The difference in size and weight, however, is minor, and may go unnoticed.

Both smartphones have the same overall form factor and design language, with a large display and the rear key layout, but the LG G4 is slightly thicker and with a vertical curve.

The LG G4 also comes with a real leather back (removable), which some may find to be an improvement over the all-plastic design of the LG G3. Finishes include leather backs in black, brown, yellow, sky blue, and beige color options (see image above), as well as three ceramic finishes that come in gray, white, and gold. The LG G3, meanwhile, comes in black, white, gold, burgundy, violet, and blue color options.


Both the LG G4 and the LG G3 sport a 5.5-inch display with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, offering a pixel density of 534 ppi. According to LG, however, the display of its latest flagship boasts some notable improvements over its predecessor.

The company touted that the LG G4's display provides an improved color gamut and brightness, more accurate, richer colors, and better touch sensitivity. The display on the new-generation flagship will also allegedly deliver a 50 percent higher contrast ratio, as well as a 25 percent brighter screen.

Processor, RAM

The LG G4 was initially rumored to come with the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor that also powers the LG G Flex 2, but the new flagship features a hexa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 808 instead. Recent rumors suggested this much, claiming that LG would go for the Snapdragon 808 for its LG G4 because the Snapdragon 810 raised some overheating concerns.

In other words, the LG G4 doesn't rock the latest and most powerful processor, but it's still a notable improvement over the quad-core Snapdragon 801 powering last year's LG G3. The LG G4 also wins in the RAM department, packing 3GB of RAM instead of the 2GB found on its predecessor.


When it comes to storage, the LG G4 comes with 32GB of internal storage capacity, expandable up to 128GB via microSD. The LG G3, meanwhile, offers only 16GB of internal storage capacity, i.e. half of that of the LG G4, and comes with the same microSD support for up to 128GB of additional memory.


In the camera department, there's really no doubt that the LG G4 does indeed boast some notable improvements over its predecessor. The new iteration not only comes with a 16-megapixel rear shooter instead of the 13-megapixel camera of the LG G3, but it also rocks an f/1.8 aperture. This aperture is not only larger than that of the LG G3, but also greater than that of any other smartphone.

The larger the aperture, the more light can get in and the more high-quality the images will be. According to LG, the LG G4 will capture as much as 80 percent more light than the LG G3. Moreover, a 40 percent larger sensor and a color spectrum sensor will also make photos look more natural, LG further touted.

The LG G4 will also offer some neat new camera features, such as three user modes - simple, auto, and manual. Users will also be able to adjust the shutter speed, as well as save images in RAW or JPEG formats.

The front camera, meanwhile, gets a significant boost as well. While the LG G3 features a 2.1-megapixel sensor, the LG G4 joins the selfie trend and boasts an 8-megapixel front shooter.


The LG G4 has the same 3,000 mAh battery found on the LG G3, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 may offer more battery efficiency. According to LG, its latest smartphone should last for up to 440 hours of standby, and 14 hours of talk time on 3G. The LG G3, meanwhile, lasts for up to 553 hours on standby, and 21 hours of talk time on 3G. On paper, the LG G3 sounds better in the battery department, but it remains to be seen how the LG G4 actually performs.


The LG G4 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop straight out of the box, while the LG G3 received the new software as an update. Nevertheless, both handsets run Lollipop. The LG G4, however, also has a few UI tricks up its sleeve, delivering a new LG UX 4.0 interface. New features include Quick Shot, which enables users to take a photo by double-pressing the volume button on the rear, even when the display is off. LG has also made some improvements in terms of notifications, customization, gallery, camera features, calendar, and more.

Bottom Line

As expected from a new-generation flagship, the LG G4 does indeed boast a number of notable improvements over its predecessor. The new iteration comes with a more powerful processor, more RAM, better cameras, improved software, and double the internal storage capacity.

"We are living up to our promise of Innovation for a Better Life with a fashionable, premium smartphone that is more focused on delivering a balanced user experience that can compete with the best of the best," Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, touts in a new press release on Wednesday, April 29, detailing the LG G4. "We wanted to give consumers a truly human-centric device that combined the analog sensibilities with technologies that delivered real world performance. From the design to the camera to the display to the UX, this is the most ambitious phone we've ever created."

In conclusion, the LG G4 is better than its predecessor in many aspects, and many may feel that it's indeed worth the upgrade. Pricing could also have a big say in the decision whether to upgrade or not, but LG has yet to reveal the price of its new LG G4. If you have any thoughts on this, drop by our comment section below.

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