Galaxy Note 4 vs LG G3

How do Samsung and LG's Quad HD beasts measure up?

IFA 2014 The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is official, and with it the Korean manufacturer has its first mainstream Quad HD device. With a whopping resolution of 2560x1440, the Note 4 goes toe to toe with LG's flagship G3, which we've been using since its announcement in late May. However the G3 and the Note 4 are radically different devices — Samsung's latest stylus-equipped handset is the latest in a long line of "phablet" class devices with pen input, while LG takes what it started with the G2 and makes things simpler and more refined in the G3.

Check past the break for video and photo comparisons.

We're dealing with two large form factor smartphones here, but the size difference between the two is surprisingly small. LG's 5.5-incher is slightly easier to one-hand, though, due to its smaller display, slim bezels and curved chassis. The 5.7-inch Note 4 is the more angular of the two, and the metal trim makes it easy to grip, though you'll need to shift the phone around in your hand to reach all of the display. As for the displays themselves, it's difficult to do any detailed analysis under show lighting, but the colors of Samsung's SuperAMOLED did seem more vivid than the G3's LCD to our eyes.

Internally, the Note 4 boasts Snapdragon 805 processor in some markets, and an octa-core Exynos chip in others. On the LG G3 you're dealing with a Snapdragon 801. And as we've said in our comparisons with the Snapdragon 805-based G3 sold in Korea, the 805 seems better suited to 1440p thanks to its speedier Adreno 420 GPU. The G3 falls what short of being perfectly smooth, whereas the Note 4 provided a stutter-free experience in our admittedly limited time with it.

On the software side, both handsets are running Android 4.4 KitKat — LG with its own minimalist UI, Samsung with an updated TouchWiz that's been simplified further from what we first saw in the Galaxy S5. LG differentiates itself with a pared-back interface, split-screen multitasking and its own note-taking app, echoing moves by Samsung in recent years. And the Galaxy Note 4 takes things a step further with updated S Pen capabilities like easy drag-and-drop, and enhanced multitasking including an Android L-like task-switching layout and the ability to move to a windowed view in apps by swiping down from the top-right corner.

As smartphones become larger more flagship devices — like the G3 — are going to find themselves competing with the Galaxy Note line. Nevertheless, Samsung's latest Note is a solid refinement of its earlier efforts, and we'll be watching with interest when it arrives in October.

Let us know which device you'd pick out of the G3 and Note 4 down in the comments!

 

Reader comments

Galaxy Note 4 versus LG G3: Quick comparison

130 Comments

way to go alex. this is the comparison that counts right now.

EDIT: oh yea and i'm definitely sticking with the G3 :p

I have a G3 as well and prefer the slim bezel, rear volume and power, and on screen buttons (which you can hide).

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I'm interested in battery life. I read in a review that the G3 screen quickly drains battery life. How about the Note?

Within the first week of owning the G3 I was ready to dump it. Battery was lasting less than 24hrs and screen on time was around 3hrs. After the first week though the battery life really started to pick up. I now easily get over 24hrs and at least 5hrs of screen on time.

Batteries have a break in time. I've noticed and had this issue with many phones. The G3 seemed to take a week vs the normal 2 to 3 day break in I experienced with the G2.

To be fair, users also have a break in time with new phones. Screen time is only part of the picture.

Right, those first few days to a week of usage you're loading all your apps, syncing back months and months of calenders and emails and other things, testing out all kinds of different games and apps to see how they work, as well as all the funky fresh new features of your new phone that you will never use again, etc etc etc

My G3 lasts me 2 full days on a charge and that's with regular use and screen brightness at 50%

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LG G3 Hands down, The price is way better than the Note. The screen does not eat the battery as badly as others say it does. Just don't keep your brightness cranked up!

Your's doesn't compared to what? It's proven that G3 batterylife is worse than G2. What more do you need??

My G3 was shocking on battery life i got rid of it and currently using my S5 while waiting to see what the Nexus 6 is going to be like.

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You do realize the article you're referencing is using a 1080p s5, right? The writer even comments on the s5's lower resolution being a factor for better battery life.

So cripple the phone to save battery when with the Note 4 you might not have to? I love the G3 and the battery is good but that is a bit much

I have had my G3 for about a month and keep the brightness at 75% (which is still the most vibrant screen I have seen) and the battery life is more than adequate.

Based on experiences with Note 2 and Note 3, is there any question what's next? Battery life improved from Note 2 to the 3, I don't expect a drop-off on the Note 4. Efficiency hopefully is in place with 8 cores possibly running and super amoled screen.

Keeping my G3! Note 4 looks like a block of a device, and I love the way the G3 feels in hand. Credit to Samsung though for going the way of chamfered edges. It does really help the look of the device overall in my opinion.

The G3 looks wider than the Note 4. I had no problems one handing the Note 3. So since the screen on the Note 4 is the same size and they didn't go up to 5.9 in, I'm sure I'll be able to handle the Note 4 without problems too. Love that S Pen. Sorry G3 it's Note 4 for me this time.

It does in the pix and videos here, but the G3 is always closer to the camera. Haven't seen actual device specs to know actual size. Is it really wider?

I had g3 now got note 4 and note 4 is wider . Pick note 4 i had problems with memory card in g3 its well known fact only had it 1 month took it back love th 4 battery life better

I don't think you can really compare these two phone. The Note 4 does so much more then does the g3.
Two phones for two very different customers.
I for one, have no use for most of the features on the Note 4, but I do like the specs.

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What, specifically, does the Galaxy Note do that the G3 cannot do? Besides, of course, provide a built-in stylus.

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Is there more to say than the stylus and all it does? Heck fine, take the styulus out of the equation and look at the video for it. You can do the same stuff with your finger, can the G3.

I would not kick the G3 out of bed, but the Note 4 does more.

I had the Note 2, currently have the Note 3. I was pretty sure I was going to switch to the G3, but now I'm on the fence. That Note Edge looks Slick.

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Not in the market for either. Had the G3 and returned it but the Note screen should be brighter and the 805 should be a beast. Although the G3 is smaller, let's not kid each other it is not a small device overall.

Looking at the Z2 or Z2 compact.

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Sticking with the G3. QHD, OIS with lasers, better UI, lower cost and it feels great in hand for a 5.5" screen. Battery life is great as long as you don't keep your screen at extreme brightness and once you remove a few unnecessary apps it has plenty speed. I was hoping to see more out of the Note 4 but I will continue to be plenty happy with my current device until perhaps the next, next big thing.

You do realize the note 4 has all the features you just listed except for the "lasers" right? And the cost for the note 4 hasn't even been revealed yet, who knows what's to expect.

Yes, I do realize this and that is why I am sticking with my G3. I paid only $99 for it the same weekend it was released. Also, if history repeats itself then the N4 will cost much more than what I paid.

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Similar sized devices, yet one has a 5.7" screen while the other has a 5.2" screen (plus 3/8" for buttons...)

Note 4 ftw.

Really wouldn't consider buttons taking up space. What most people don't realize is that in settings, there is an option to hide on screen buttons for any apps when opened giving you the whole 5.5 beautiful display for all apps. Your argument is invalid.

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What others realize is that the buttons more often than not, take up space. If the dimensions hold for the note 4 vs the note three, they are close to the same as the note 2, which is the same size as the G3.

I have an LG device running the latest version of android. I know when the buttons disappear and when they are in the way. For most daily activities (opening an app to check/do something) the buttons are in the way far more than they are hidden.

Then, of course, if the app you want to use isn't coded to hide buttons, you're stuck with them on screen.

No need to tell yourself lies. If you like buttons on screen, taking up screen space, while you have a useless bezel below them, that's fine. But you don't need to pretend like they aren't there.

the launcher lets you autohide the buttons on any app. It does not have to be "coded" for it. I went from a iphones to Galaxy S2, S3, S4, S5, HTC One M8 & now the G3. On screen buttons take a while to get used to but I like them and when you auto hide them with a launcher or app (auto hide) like the G3 has built in you get the full screen in any app you choose. However it does take a second motion swipe up to turn them on instead of just pressing a button. I prefer a smaller bezel and bigger screen since I can hide them, but if there must be a bezel and the buttons could fit on it then I would take that too.

You've obviously never even touched a G3. There's no need to pretend they aren't there when you can literally define when they display and when they dont in any given app.

This is still not enough of an upgrade from my G2. I guess we will see what happens next year.

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So are on-screen buttons. To be fair, they each have their benefits. Most of my use is in portrait and I think capacitives are great. They become somewhat of an issue in landscape, however. That's where the on screen buttons are nice.

The g3 is an outstanding device. And what lg did with optimus ui was awesome. But the truth is the sd 801 and adreno 330 aren't as well suited as the sd 805 to push a 2k display.....I've used the g3 expensively, and saw a ton of studder on animation transitions, the battery also gets eaten alive when the brightness is high...

The note 4's hardware will be much better suited to push that resolution. It'll also be a better performer.

I think your right the note 4 with the 805 chip should be super smooth waiting for battery life test and to see if it has any lag before I jump on the note 4.

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Ya, even with touchwiz and the quad hd display, i think the note 4 may be the best performing android device to date.....it's gonna be a beast. Im defiantly planning on picking it up on launch day

I would have a G3 if it had the 805, it's too bad it's not available in the US in that configuration.

The note 4 looks really good this year.

Posted via Android Central App w/G2

Every single Samsung phone I've ever owned (S3, Note II, and Note 3) has, at some point, lagged terribly (my Note II & Note 3 were both rooted, with as much "bloatware" removed as possible).

I own a G3 currently, and while I've only had it about a week so far, it's noticeably more responsive (at least, to my perception) than either of my Notes were (my G3 is also rooted, but I've only so far had a chance to "freeze" the AT&T "bloatware" apps, using Titanium Backup Pro).

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then you would be amazed if you had the HTC One M8...I have the G3 now as well, but coming from an M8. By far the most snappy android experience out there. So fast. The G3 is fast but not the level of M8 for opening and closing apps or switching between apps with task manager. But I went for the G3 for the larger screen, better camera and I like the back button configuration on a large phone. The M8 and G3 really are the same size physically. In fact I found the G3 easier to hold and use in one hand. G3 is just slightly wider. Battery life was similar but again the M8 was better (best batterly life I've had). I can always get through a full day but I have an extra battery if need be.

Now that's a better comparison, l think I'll stick with my Note 3 for the time being. No real need to upgrade just yet and I'll be suprised if I don't get some of the software benefits eventually trickle down like the improved multi tasking & multi window view.

I disagree that they are radically different devices. Only 5 mm (or .2 inches for the yanks) difference in screen size? They're both phablets.

The big difference is the price. $125-$150 more for the Note 4? Actually you're right, Alex, that is a radical difference.

The price is definitely a legitimate deciding factor. But,the Note has a digitizer and pen. Not everyone needs or wants the digitizer, but it definitely costs more.

Actually, all capacitive touch screen devices have a digitizer. The Note has an additional digitizer specifically for the pen input.

Sticking with my G3 as well. Samsung are getting like apple - The phones always look the same and gradually get bigger and I'm sorry but touchwizz still looks as gastly as it did 3 years ago

Note 4 all day. Lg is a blatant copy of Samsung. Only thing that's "innovative" on the G3 is those goofy back buttons. Note 4 FTW! Plus with the g3 if you keep the brightness up high, the phone overheats and lowers the brightness automatically. What's the point of having a qhd display if you can't keep it bright?

Posted via My (unlimited everything) T-Mobile Galaxy S5...

Everybody is talking about the G3's brightness. What if I just leave it on auto brightness? Is that what everyone is referring to as "brightness turned way up high"?

On my G3 the auto brightness is horrible. It leaves the screen dark and very dingy. I have been playing with the brightness settings to see the effect on the battery. I "live" at about 75% brightness and it is a vibrant screen with excellent battery life. I might try a bump to 85% to see what happens, and if that works, might go a full 100%.

I am keeping my phone usually at 0-20 indoors and less than 50% outdoors in bright sunny (sweltering hot) conditions and I find that I don't see a "dim" screen issue: I can read the screen quite comfortably even with the free matte screen protector my G3 came with. (I think it will look much better with a better clear screen protector)

Comparing it to my S3, brightness seems to be higher on G3 and the display is definitely much sharper and have better colour reproduction.

I have the G3 for 4 days now and it easily beats my old S3 (which I have rooted and used Greenify and deleted a long list of bloatware -- ever since it's brand new, battery it can only last about 10 hours with 3-3.5 on screen time needing a charge by 1-3pm in the afternoon) with more than 13 hours of battery life and 5 hours 7mins of screen on time with 5% left. (The phone always lasted a whole day from morning till night and sometimes a good part of the next morning and standby time is absolutely fantastic it loses only about 0-7% of battery overnight!)

I drive a tractor-trailer for a living. I own a G3 (admittedly, for just over a week). It spends about 12 hours in a mount on my dash, with Google Navigation and Poweramp running all day (along with many other apps open/running at the same time), and the screen brightness is set at 100%. It has never, not even one time, had it's brightness level dimmed or throttled back for any reason.

It's also continuously plugged into a charger which, I believe, would cause the battery temp to increase, at least any time it might be charging.

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Be safe, we have too many others looking at their phones while driving.

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Oh and you must have a fan on your g3. Too many posts on heating up to be a anecdotal occurrence.

Lol at your ignorant, random comment of how LG copied Samsung. There is literally nothing copied from one phone to the other. LG G3 hasn't overheated in the 2 weeks I have had it.

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I don't mind "copycats": In fact, I like it when they "copy" and make it better! That's what LG did with the LG G3 UI. It is significantly less bloated than Samsung Galaxy flagships, looks better (apps icons is not hideous that I can stick to stock launcher quite happily, the stock apps looks and performs quite well -- though I practically replaced most of them with my preferred Poweramp, Textra, and MX Player)
I find that LG gave me most of the features I loved about Samsung in a attractive build without the excessive features and apps I really don't want (like the whole suite of ChatON, Samsung Magazine...why have a similar app of your own when you preload Flipboard?)

Geez, the obvious thing to do would have been to place them face-to-face so we could all see the actual size difference, and you guys weren't smart enough to do that. :(

I dumped the G3 already. Wasn't a fan of the LG skin and horrible auto brightness.

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I use Lux and it completely solved by auto brightness issues. Hate to see people unhappy with their phones with such such a simple fix available.

Autobrightness on the S5 is horrible as well, I used 75%. G3 auto brightness is useable, The best auto brightness for me was on the M8 I just wanted the G3 screen, back buttons and camera so I switched.

I think too much emphasis is put on drastic differences. I think it's especially important for the Note to maintain a simple professional appearance. The new fancy changes should be on a different product line (like Note Edge). If it ends up becoming well accepted, then roll it into the main product line.

Hey Man don't you think that is a harsh statement especially saying something about a brand that comes from where I was born. I love samsung and I look at the g3 and I like it but I am not used to the buttons being on the back. I just like them being in a place more accessible that is why I might get the note 4 or the g3 I just need to adapt to the power and volume buttons on the back but me having autism will probably make it more difficult especially when I get angry at the little issues in my life ( which I am working on not getting angry). I love all phone companies equally like Apple, Samsung, etc and some may not agree with me but that is alright.

Great comparison but I can't wait to get the Note 4 in October. (even though my Note 3 is still more than capable)

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Love my G3. Came from a Galaxy S3. Shattered my screen and had to upgrade before the Note 4 was ready. I'm very happy with the LG. The curved edges are great for holding this big phone, and the thin bezels help, too. No regrets here.

I will be going for the Note 4 too. Never used any of the Note series before. I believe it's time I did. Am sad they dropped the USB 3.0 tho.

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Looking forward to trying out the note 4 but really confused on why they whent back to USB 2.0? Anybody know why ? I'm thinking people who bought accessories for the note 3 and s5 might be a little angry about that.

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Just bought the lg g3 today.after having the whole galaxy line, every year, i can say without a doubt that my s5 was the last samsung phone i am going to buy. I mean i spent so much money on a device with 2 inch bezels and a cover that makes scratching sounds

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Going with the Note 4, likely the Edge. The decisive factor for me is the expanded functionality of the stylus that now approaches that of a cursor for drag and drop and copy and paste functions.

How about a likely price difference of $200 in favor of the G3 (with 2 year contract). The Note 4 is going to go for $299 and the G3 can easily be found for $99.

I'm sitting on the fence with G3 and Note 4 on either side.
The main thing that's stopping me from G3 is the issue abt screen brightness and heating/lagging issues I keep hearing abt this (let's see if it will release a 4G+ version)
On the other hand, my experience with Samsung devices (S3, Note, S4, Note 3) was that every single one of them don't last a day (They have a generally poor battery life that's worse than iPhone) as they constantly stutter crash and overheat, even self rebooting. (Turns out to be due to the bloat: I had to root my phone and remove all of the various apps) There's also the KNOX counter (No rooting and removal!) G3 on the other hand has less of a issue. (LG power management seems to be better)

It all boils down to the reviews I see of Note 4 (battery life)

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I'd wait to hear feedback on the Note4. The GS5 does really well with battery life, and what's even better is that it charges really fast. About 1% per minute in my casual testing with an Anker charger and regular USB2 cable. The supplied cable and charger may go even faster than that.

It does have some minor pauses at times, that I don't think is due to hardware being overloaded, it is almost as if the thing was programmed to wait a moment before doing some things. As such, the Note 4 might suffer that as well.

As for rooting, the GS5 has KNOX too and I rooted it the day I got it. Given that the Note range is even more coveted by the XDA crowd, I would bet they have a root method for it before too long. As for S-off, that may never come, so directly running custom ROMs may never be available, but even here they figured out how to safestrap the GS5 so a person can boot into a custom ROM without removing the stock ROM.

Good luck with your choice.

I picked up the Maxwest Android Gravity 5.5 (Kit Kat) from YIPPZ. This phone has a 5.5 inch screen, quad core, 13.0 mp camera it's Dual SIM and has a 1yr US warranty. It's super fast! I love it, because I can choose any MVNO and I am not stuck in a contract!!

I have the new LG G3. I love this phone. The screen is fantastic and their minimal ui actually is really helpful. Immoved around in logical order. Best ui I've ever had. My last phone was a Note 2 it was too bulky and hard to use with one hand. The colors on every Samsung with a amalod screen are always brighter by design. I don't think it always looks natural. Since switching to the LG. The colors seem much more natural. Not screaming.

For me the Note was overkill. The LG with its great internals operates fantastic. For my needs.

Wonder how long it'll be before the Note 4 is available on Verizon. They always seem to get new phones a whole month after it's been released everywhere else.

Ready for October 17 to pick up my Note 4. I believe lg g 3 is a good phone but note is on its on level.

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Like the G3 wouldn't touch a Note. Tooooooo bigggg.
Anyway the GPU in the 805 does not drive the screen for 2D function only 3D rendering out of the box. You can force 2D rendering by the GPU if you like. but I don't know how buggy that is.

Anyway, the 801 and 805 debate should not be about 2D performance.
The performance difference at 2.5GHz is on the order of 4%. If you run the 805 faster, up to 2.7GHz you will see the advantage of 4% + the difference in clocks speed. That's about a 10% assuming all cores busy. In real life you will not be able to tell the difference.

The big difference is in the GPU (not used for 2D unless forced in the Developer Options) and the H.265 HEVC hardware that is in the 805. The GPU is up to 30% faster.
So for video playback and gaming there is a big difference.
For plain old usage, not so much...

Data - taken from Qualcomm, Wiki, AnandTech and ExtremeTech

I am a Note 3 owner but I will wait for the LG G4 or Note 5.
Speaker on the back is a no no. Plus I want Snapdragon 810 (64 bits).