Metal or plastic? Ultrapixels or lasers? QHD or 1080p? It's time to choose between two of the hottest Android phones out there
This is one of the big questions we find ourselves being asked by smartphone buyers — which is better, the LG G3 or the HTC One M8? Both of these high-end Android phones have captured the imagination of enthusiasts and technology fans since their announcement, and now both are widely available to buy in the U.S. So there's no avoiding the issue any longer — the Android Central editors are going to have to choose between the G3 and the M8.
Join us as we break things down and make our decisions ...
Physical hardware and build quality
Q: Both of these devices are physically remarkable. The G3's sheer size lets it pack a 5.5-inch screen, but the HTC One M8 boasts the boasts a uniquely premium metal frame. Superficially speaking, whose design do you prefer?
Alex Dobie: LG's done a fantastic job creating a 5.5-inch phone that's just as holdable and pocketable as its 5-inch competitors. But it's really tough to beat the curved metal unibody of the M8, tall and slippery though it may be. While LG's content imitating premium materials with its "metallic," rear, HTC has the real deal, and the in-hand feels is unlike any other smartphone.
There are disadvantages, of course. You're never going to get wireless charging in a metal-backed phone, and HTC's solid unibody precludes any possibility of swapping your battery. But the M8's fantastic metal exterior more than makes up for this.
This is almost like having to pick a favorite child.
Phil Nickinson: This is almost like having to pick a favorite child. (And to sleep at night, I'd need to throw the Moto X into the mix.) For a phone of its size, the LG G3 wins out on in-hand feel. I've got small hands, so big phones have never really been my thing. But the difference between the G3 and the M8 is completely obvious. The G3 simply is easier and more comfortable hold. The M8 might look a little nicer — and I'm not convinced most civilians would be able to tell the difference between the M8's aluminum and the G3's plastic metal at a glance — but the G3 simply is easier to hang onto, full stop. The buttons on the back are still (surprisingly) easy to use. (Though HTC was right to "borrow" the Knock-On feature.
The One M8 looks fantastic when sitting on a table, but the rounded body presents usability issues.
Andrew Martonik: While the One M8 looks pretty — okay, absolutely — fantastic when it's sitting on a table, usability suffers somewhat with how smooth and rounded the entire body of the phone is. There's not a whole lot to grip onto, and when you add in the fact that the M8 is notably taller than the M7 and the power button is still on the top, it's a recipe for unfortunate drops.
LG has done it again with the G3 when it comes to packing a gigantic screen into a phone that doesn't feel that big. Make no mistake though, this is still a huge phone. The metal-looking plastic treatment is in a different class compared to the glossy stuff covering the G2, which looks better and definitely helps you hold onto the thing. I still haven't gotten over the back buttons from a usability standpoint, but I think the G3 has the advantage here in terms of all-things-considered user experience and looks.
Jerry Hildenbrand: Am I allowed to prefer the HTC One M7? I am going to have to pick the G3 here. Both phones look very similar from the back, but once in your hand the G3 just feels better. It's not the size, because both phones are a little "long-feeling" but it's the shape — especially at the very edge of the phone. There seems to be more meat to grab onto there, and I don't get the feeling that I'm going to drop the G3 like I have whenever I hold the M8.
I don't think the G3 has the "perfect" design. I would have preferred a good soft-touch plastic over the faux metal thing LG has going on, and I wish the speaker placement was different, because the way I hold my phone covers the cutout on the back of the phone. But since I have to choose, I'll have to choose the G3 in this one.