Nexus 5 vs. LG G2

The newest Androids from LG are similar, but there are still plenty of differences

Google releases one Nexus phone each year, and there is always plenty of competition from Android vendors to compare it to. We're going to have a look at how the new LG Nexus 5 stands up against the best of the competition, and the LG G2 seemed like the logical place to start.

A lot of folks are under the impression that the Nexus 5 is just the G2 with the buttons moved to the "normal" location. While they certainly share some of the same components, and have some of the same hardware features, they are two very different animals. 

Hit the break and have a look.

The outside

Nexus 5 vs. LG G2

There are plenty of differences on the outside of the phones. Where the G2 is soft and rounded, the Nexus 5 is hard and angular. The edges and corners look different, and give an entirely different feel to the hardware. The Nexus 5 has a soft-touch coating (which is more prominent on the black version), while the G2 has a glossy piano black finish. Another obvious difference is the earpiece, which follows the more traditional style on the G2 and is a tiny circle on the Nexus 5.

The buttons, of course, are very different. The Nexus 5 has ceramic (which has to be good even though nobody seems to know why) volume and power buttons, placed on the side of the phones where you would expect them to be. The G2 has its buttons boldly placed around the back. Some users love them there, while some just aren't feeling it. There's also a slight size difference, with the G2 being a hair wider, but you'll probably not notice it.

Nexus 5 vs. LG G2

The screens are also different, though both are excellent. The size difference of 0.25-inches isn't very noticeable (it's measured diagonally and the G2 is a little bigger) and the resolution is the same at 1080p. The pixel density is slightly higher on the Nexus 5 at 445ppi compared to the G2's 424ppi, but nobody is going to notice the difference there. The one big difference is something you won't be able to see and that is that the Nexus 5 ships with Gorilla Glass 3 instead of Gorilla Glass 2 as used on the G2. As any Star Wars fan can tell you, three is not automatically better than two, so we'll hold any judgment here until we've some time under our belt. Both are pretty scratch resistant, but aren't magic — take care of these great screens if you want them to stay looking good.

We like the look and feel of both, to be honest, but if I were forced to pick I would give the nod to the Nexus 5. Matte, soft touch finishes just feel better than glossy hard finishes. The G2's button placement doesn't bother me very much now that I've gotten used to it, and any size differences are negligible. It all comes down to the finish of the materials.

The specs

Spec sheet

Again, there's a lot of similarity. Chances are they share some of the same engineering and components, simply because they were developed in tandem by LG. This is a good thing, because in general these are both some kickin' smartphones.

The same quad-core Snapdragon S800 lurks in both, and delivers blazing performance on your home screen, in your favorite apps, and in any games. Paired with 2GB of RAM and the great memory management brought to Android with Jelly Bean (and refined in KitKat), both these phones will chew through anything you throw at them. 

The basics are covered on both , with dual-band ac Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE on both phones, as well as an array of useful sensors. A slight tip to the Nexus 5 here for the inclusion of a barometer, which should be more prominent in future location services.

On the hardware function side, you'll see little difference between these devices. But the similarity we see in the hardware soon disappears when we turn the phones on.

The software

Nexus 5 vs. LG G2

Both phones run on the Android platform, but things are very different between them. The G2 runs Android 4.2.2, while the Nexus 5 runs the latest version — Android 4.4 KitKat. This matters more to developers who are targeting specific APIs than it does to the end user, even though the general consensus is that 4.4 is better because the number is bigger. There are a few fixes and new features, but nothing very user facing that LG hasn't put in their version — Like BT Low Energy support.

Of course, LG — like other Android vendors — has completely changed the UI so the underlying platform is disguised. Both KitKat on the Nexus 5 and LG's UI on the G2 have some compelling features — Q-Slide and the Google Now launcher both come to mind as powerful and compelling features. Both have their fans, and rightfully so. 

It's also worth mentioning that most of the software features we see in KitKat are really application specific features, and will be available to the G2. We've already had a taste with the new Google+ photo features, and if you haven't already side-loaded the Hangouts app from the Nexus 5 to your G2, we both salute your patience and wonder what's wrong with you. The biggest feature of the Nexus 5's software, and Nexus devices in general, is that they are bare, bloat-free, and designed for any and all Android applications to work out of the box.

The camera

G2 picture  Nexus 5 picture

The Nexus 5 has a decent camera. It's more than "good enough" for any picture you want to post to Facebook or Google+, and it's easily the best Nexus camera ever. Having said that, the G2 is easily the better of the two.

It's not the Mega-Pixel count — the G2 has 13 while the Nexus 5 has eight — and both have what appears to be excellent optical image stabilization. We're pretty satisfied that Google has hardware in place to make for an excellent camera on the nexus 5, but like everything else, the differences come down to the software.

We don't mean just the camera app UI. The KitKat camera is plain, boring, and as basic as we're used to from past versions. LG on the other hand, has put some time and money into the camera controls on the G2. Inclusions like Time-Catch or live view color effects are things that people seem to like, and many of them are in camera applications you can download and install right from Google Play. While you can't duplicate the G2 camera features on your Nexus 5, you can install apps with plenty of their own.

But we can't change the software that creates pictures from raw camera image data. Software used to build .jpg files from image data is complicated, and expensive to license. It's almost all patent-burdened as well, which makes it difficult to add to a phone you plan to release factory restore images for. First impressions say the Nexus 5 has more of this software included than past Nexus phones, but the really good stuff from players like Sony or Kodak is something we likely won't see in a Googlephone. This is good and bad, and we're glad that Google has to deal with the headache and we don't.

The bottom line is that the G2 camera is a much better shooter than the Nexus 5. If a good camera is important to you, keep this in mind. 

The final opinion

Nexus 5 vs. LG G2

You can't go wrong with either of these phones. In fact, having them both here side by side makes for a damn near impossible choice.

The Nexus 5 wins on price — that's a given. Also, if version numbers or new features matter to you, you're probably better off with a Nexus 5. 

If you like a more complete experience, where all the apps and features share the same design language and you're not forced to visit Google Play to round things out, you'll appreciate the G2. Likewise, there's a good chance any "new" features that come to Android in the next version are already included on your phone, or will be available as a separate application from Google.

We just can't tell you which of these two phones to choose. But we can tell you that they're both pretty damn great.


Reader comments

The Nexus 5 vs. the LG G2


Nice comparison. I'd like to see you compare the Moto x to the new nexus 5. And I mean Jerry. Considering you love nexus devices , yet Also enjoy the moto x, it would make for a good comparison.

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Yes, first thing I thought of too, wanting Jerry to weigh in on how his moto x compares (not numbers on paper, any of us can do that, but personal day-to-day experience).
I'm on verizon, so in a sense my choice is made, however might consider a switch if its worth it (although att is more sketchy where I live but getting better; poor service is not worth it no matter how good the phone is), but I'm curious never-the-less.
"As Star Wars fans will tell you, Three is not necessarily better than two" . . just about spit my coffee on the screen, good one Jerry =D

Why the moto x isn't any thing special.

Posted via Android Central App via bad azz VZW LG G2 ROOTED!

You may have that opinion. I frankly was also a bit skeptical prior to receiving it. Now I find it to be one of the best android devices out. Software optimization , battery life, useful features , and not to mention an amazing form factor.

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Have you held the Nexus 5 in your hand? The X pales in comparison (personal opinion of course). The soft touch feel of the N5 with the hard edge corner allow me to securely navigate the phone with one hand without the fear of dropsies.

I've had the AT&T LG G2 (better back buttons than the VZW version), the Moto X and now the N5, and camera functionality of the G2 aside (it's WAY better than the other two), the Nexus 5 wins my vote. It's svelte, fast, gorgeous display, with a great hand feel and pure Google all day. I do miss the shooter on the G2, but I think I'll have to get over it for how damn good the N5 gets the job done.

I wish i had the VZW version of the G2, it has wireless charging. Buttons are no issue since i come from windows phone and used to the double tap on the screen. Coming from WP makes me miss the wireless charging, as well. Anyway, the G2 has added many of the features from almost all the top phones out there so the transition wasn't too bad

I agree. I just bought a Moto X, love the size and form factor. I have a HTC One GPE also, I use and love the Moto X a lot more. Battery is great too

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I wholeheartedly agree with you there. I just got my Moto X about a week ago and it's easily one of the best experiences I've ever had with a phone, ever. It's just so damn smooth, and the close-as-you-can-get-to-stock Android is made even better with all the subtle, but truly helpful additions from Moto. You can tell this phone was really well thought out.

I just bought one on Ebay and it's scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. I'm pretty stoked :) Once I realized that I was downloading a bunch of apps from the Play store trying to get the same functionality that the Moto X has (and all of them a little janky), I realized that if the Nexus 5/Kitkat didn't have these features, I would be ditching my Nexus 4 for the Moto X.

Look how noticeable that digitizer is on the G2. That was one thing that bugged the hell out of me when I owned one. It's a minor gripe, but when using it in certain light it is so distracting.

The Lg G2 pimp slaps the Nexus 5 pretty easily in reality don't be fooled by this stock stuff.

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Not on Sprint. It costed $150 while my G2 was on sale for free. So obviously I got the G2, and then I flashed to CM 11 and I have to say in comparison to the N5 the internals and whatnot is better, but the feel of the Nexus 5's externals is better. That being said, I put my phones in cases and didn't see a difference after that, so the G2 worked out for me. And the back buttons are really nice, as is the double tap future (also available in CM11 for anybody wondering.)

I started a small YouTube Channel. I will be doing a nexus 5 vs moto x review. Considering I love the x, and don't see anything breaking me of it anytime soon , it should make for a decent video review.

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I'd prefer to spend at least a week with a device before comparing it to any other device.

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I dot know why anyone would go over for Nexus 5 over LG G2 for any other reason other than price

Timely updates: i am beginning to laugh on timely updates of Nexus devices since 4.1

bloatware, Nexus is also full of bloatware from Google such as google music, video, magazine and books, etc.

most bloatware on oem devices are very useful and adds better features

as a normal customer or user... Can anyone point out bigger and useful features of 4.2 over 4.1 or 4.3 over 4.2 or 4.4 over 4.1,2,and 3. hangout sms integration is not big deal since idea is copied from imessage and not many ppl in the uk uses it. google now is no big deal either because it is not 100% usable yet for UK users.

4.4 bigger brighter icons also copied from ios7

thank you

If you are not able to tell the differences between 4.1 & 4.2 or 4.4 from 4.3, then yes, any non nexus devise is def for you. I take it you cant tell the difference between Sense 5 and Sense 1-4? or Touchwiz from LG UI? or Sony UI from Moto blur? Your point seems, well, pretty pointless. And since you mentioned it copied from iOS7(which is just a ridiculous uninformed statement from some iSheep repeating what he heard another iSheep say), why dont you mention ALL THE FEATURES iOS7 has copied from Android.

How about not having to wait for the device maker to give you the next update to the OS. With the Nexus lineup you'll get the updates within 1-2 months of release.
Or the fact that you are getting a "Pure" Google experience without the pre-loaded custom UI by the Maker (Sense, Touchwiz, ect...)
Need I go on?

The "Pure" Google experience isn't really an experience at all. Kinda bores the crap out of me after a month of use. No bells. No whistles. Just plain old vanilla. No thanks. I have the N7 2013. Boring. Its like, just "there."

Couple of other major flaws with The Google Experience. No removable battery, No Extended memory. I like Android but I like Supped up Android On Steroids better!

Makes sense. Some of us are the opposite, though.

I love the simplicity and vanilla. For my use, the bells and whistles just get in my way. The simple straight android gets and stays out of my way. 'It's like, just "there"' is exactly what I want. I want it to be there, stay there, and just let me do what I want to do with it, nothing more. I prefer less, even, if I can just go get a simple app to supplement it if it's really necessary (which with Android, I can, easily, although I haven't personally felt compelled to at all since Gingerbread).

As for the no removable battery and no extended memory options, I think of those as toss ups. They can be completely irrelevant to some of us (like myself), but I can understand it being a deal breaker for some (particularly the battery issue for some particular people).

I had to replace a phone due to it not having a removable battery and me getting it wet. That makes me gun-shy for future purchases. Plus, with the NSA crapola, the paranoid in me doesn't want a phone I can't be sure can't be turned off.

"For my use, the bells and whistles just get in my way".

This was EXACTLY my experience both with SAMSUNG devices (GS3, GS4, and the G2). In every case, I ended up just running stock from a rooted device anyway. Now I can get that without voiding my warranty, and have a phone that just works the way I want it to, without all the gimmicks, tricks, and "hey look at what my phone can do" stunts that people only use one time and never break out again.

Google now, runs my life basically. The best version of it is on Nexus 5. That's enough for me.

That's what nova/apex/action or any other launcher is for. You get to add the features you want, not settling for what the OEM decides is what's best for you.

Deke You Are 100% Correct.
Some would even go so far to say that being "1st to get updates" means no more than "You-Are-The-Beta-Tester" to see if the fixes work from prior revision complaints..
And of course for the *Wanna-Be* Nerds that have no idea how to use a Command Line, Root or for that matter edit a build prop, to be able to say "I run pure Android!"....
Yeah.. Right.. :-).. Nerds don't even know how to reset a flash counter.. But they think owning a Nexus Device makes them cool.

Well, I get the most bang-for-my-buck, with Nexus devices. They may not be for you, but don't pretend they're not great deals, for what you get.

And, many of us don't mind being "beta testers." Being the first to software updates is a plus.

As for the experience, I like the "bare bones" feel of stock Android. I don't need or care for all of the "bells and whistles" provided by "skins.".

We can agree to disagree, lol.

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Also you really want to be beta testers, get a nexus and rom the cr@p out of it with PA or CM Nightlies. Always something interesting (Good and Bad) each time.

Or maybe they want to run stock android without voiding their warranty. My GS3 had a sudden death while rooted and running AOKP. No soup for me.

With a nexus device, I avoid all of that.

yes go on.

nexus updates of OS since android 4.1 (nothing major has been changed for end user) still looks ugly, battery life is crap and fragments android further. touchwiz has better features where nexus can never have, sense is loosing it since sense 4. lg ui is getting better and better with more useful features

"touchwiz has better features where nexus can never have"

Oh you mean all the gimickery garbage that Sammy loaded on the S4. Causing them to OC the Quad just to make it run to an acceptable level. That and having the OS take up the bulk of the on device storage. OK fine.


Can't be referring to the "picture in picture" crap. That's too small to run really well on a 5 inch screen. Or how about "smart scroll". Gimmie a break. the GS4 provided me with nothing I would use everyday. Not one useful feature, that I said, "I cannot live without this".


Can't be referring to the "picture in picture" crap. That's too small to run really well on a 5 inch screen. Or how about "smart scroll". Gimmie a break. the GS4 provided me with nothing I would use everyday. Not one useful feature, that I said, "I cannot live without this".

Nexus 5 definitely looks better for me personally. If it were the same price, I'd still go with Nexus 5. Looks better, less fingerprints (G2 back panel is a fingerprint magnet), faster OS updates, and I like using stock Android (I am currently using Nexus 4), without any custom UI or launchers, no extra apps, etc. I like the understated look and feel of stock Android. Maybe that explains why I like the understated look of black Nexus 5. I think it's elegant. Nexus 5 loses on battery (can always bring that small powerbank), and camera (I'm not a good photographer anyway, casual photos only)

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don't forget the freedom you get from an unlocked phone. the fact that I can take my phone to any carrier I want is a huge plus for me. the camera is an issue that can be fixed with snapseed if you're patient. However, Google needs to do a better job with battery management. It's embarrassing, that after so many iterations of the OS we still can't get decent battery life out of a Nexus Device. my wife's iPhone lasts her close to two days on a battery charge with regular use..most I've lasted is 12hrs on my N4, and it seems the issues are still visable on the N5

KitKat, no carrier bloat, no carrier bs what so ever actually, instant updates. Yes, I wish the battery was bigger, but so far (had mine since Tuesday) the battery is better than my S3 and that's good enough for me.

Depends on what you consider "instant." Still no official KitKat for Nexus 4, and Google abandoned the Galaxy Nexus completely — a phone they were still selling just 12 months ago. If you want timely updates for ANY phone, Nexus or not, you better get comfortable with rooting and flashing. Or just buy a new phone ever year, and don't worry about the updates that you're never going to get.

They supported the GNex for 2 years already, what more do you expect from them? They said they want all manufacturers to update their phones for at least 2 years after release, not after it stops getting sold. I don't even think Apple does that (the iPhone 4 just stopped getting sold and I doubt it'll see iOS 8 for example). I'll be keeping my N4 and not upgrading to the N5 (I might upgrade to the Moto X, but I'll keep my N4 in arms reach in case of an update I want to try out). Come November of next year, I don't expect the N4 to get any updates and I'll either buy the next nexus or stick with whatever phone I have.

No, the Galaxy Nexus was launched, in November of 2011. Verizon had a 6-month exclusive, in the States; upon which, Google released the GPE GNex. The phone received almost two years of updates: it started with 4.0, then went on to receive 4.1, 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.2, then 4.3. That's seven updates, over the span of two years (18 months); I'd say, that's pretty damn good.

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As far as kitkat goes, the update was just finalized. It will hit the Nexus 4, 7, and 10, within the next few weeks. Meanwhile, people with carrier-branded handsets will complain about not having the update, even after calling Nexus users "beta testers."

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Developers would certainly want the Nexus 5 as they will always have the most recent version of Android available.

"Developers would certainly want the Nexus 5 as they will always have the most recent version of Android available..."

The average user doesn't care about that. The G2 is an overall better device but the Nexus 5's price wins more hearts (which is the only advantage).

Not so sure about that. I'm not an Android developer (cough, iOS) and if these two phones were the same price, I would still pick the Nexus 5. It just sickens me looking at LG's software design. I could not enjoy that phone.

There's more to LG's bad software than just the launcher. They also screw up the notification pane, settings menu, etc., which you can't really do anything about.

You can change the settings menu to look just like the stock menu (except the color). You can also remove the Qslide from the notification pane.

That's how I do it!List view in settings and qslide is history.

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If your going to go through all that trouble, then you don't need the so called advantages that it provides and thus, could get a nexus device and save some cheddar without being locked into a carrier.

all that trouble? its one press of a button to disable q-slide lol if that's trouble I pity you :P and the whole point of G2 customizability is to enable or disable what you want ...if you don't want it don't use it.

personally id rather have it available and not use it than not have it at all

You're using iOS7 I assume and you think the LG UI will sicken you? WOW!

A lot of people that have not used the G2 like to complain about the UI, but most once they have used it feel totally different. It's easy to use and the feathers you don't want stay out of your way.

Ditto. I hated Touchwiz because of the unappealing look on my wife's S3 and all the constant trash talking of it on Android sites.
Bought the Note 3 with TW as my only reservation. Fell in love with all the options and extras. Still sifting through all the features built in. Enjoyed the Galaxy Nexus experience, but am absolutely loving the Note and TW.

Eh, it's personal preference. I returned my note 3 and waiting on the n5. I really tried to enjoy TW and it's features on my note 3. Got tired of it asking me which route I wanted to carry out a certain function: samsung's way or google's way. Even when I selected a choice and had the device remember the choice, it would often not remember it. There were 100 ways to do one function (obvious exaggeration) which just made it seem cluttery. Now I'm sure kit kat on the n5 still has some clutter, but I'm hoping, and pretty confident, it'll give me a more streamlined experience.

i have used the G2 extensively and I will admit the UI is tired and annoying. Everything about it feels like a copy of touchwiz. It has far to many useless features that bog down the phone as well as takes away precious storage. The phone does have a lot of features I enjoy using, but there are times I really wish I had a stock experience. Dont get me wrong, its the best phone I have ever owned, but if I had my choice, my G2 would offer a stock or near stock experience without all of LG's customizations as well as at&t bloatware.

Isn't price reason enough? You're getting phones that are 97% matches and one is half the price.

LG G2 over the Nexus 5
- Better camera
- Better video recording
- Better build quality
- Better battery life
- More OS features than stock (Please stop this "bloat" crap cos you don't use them)
- Much more optimized overall performance

Nexus 5 over G2
- Affordability
- Receives OTA update faster
- Stock android

From my math, that's way less than 97% when compared to the Nexus 5

You just went full retard. Never go full retard.

And other dude above, yes, it's hardware is "97%" indentical, certainly where it matters. The rest you listed are opinions, wrong opinions at that : p I would try to justify paying twice as much for a similar or inferior devioce too! Hopefully you're on contract. Software is king...and LG's skin mostly blows.

"You just went full retard. Never go full retard."

I seriously lol'ed. That line will never get old.

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Once you dig into the details, these devices are not at all 97% the same and it starts with the SOCs. For example, the G2 GPUs clock faster and the graphics hardware architecture has differences that save power.

You forgot:

Nexus 5:

- Better (or more traditional) button placement (Could be a big deal for many)
- Gorilla Glass 3 (2 sucks balls)
- Higher PPI (Not a major issue though)
- Lighter
- Barometer (Again, probably nothing major)

LG G2:
- IR Blaster (No biggie for me, much more for some)

I know why people say price. But if I'm going to stay w/ AT&T for the foreseeable future, why wouldn't I just pay 149.00 for the G2 instead of 350 for the N5? My monthly fees don't go up when I upgrade my phone.

The fee is already built into the money payment. Your fee doesn't go down once you finish paying off a device either, does it?

How about you switch to Straight Talk, save about $50/month over AT&T, and use the savings to pay for the N5? That's saving a lot of coin over another 2 yr contract at 100 bones/mo plus 149 phone bones.

I don't think so. I used it for 18 months with my iPhone, and I'm using it now on my Nexus 5. If it's a joke, I'm the one laughing, because I pay less than $50 a month for ATT's voice and data.

Your data isn't full speed. Its throttled. You get what you pay for. I pay at&t for full speed LTE and that's what I get. Straight Talk, Metro PCS, etc.....that's all throttled data. You don't really think the major carriers are going to let the discounters have full use of their towers do you??

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Best Buy had special, 32GB Black for $99 2yr AT&T contract and they're accepting trade-in. I ended up paying just $30 after they recycled my GS2. Maybe T-MO will get some towers up in the next 2 years.

True, if u plan on staying on AT&T anyways, might as well go for subsidized price. Going unsubsidized only gives u freedom to leave whenever u want. Depends on personal preference. Also for someone like me who is already locked down, I can still upgrade to the N5 at a reasonable price without extending my current contract. That way I can keep the upgrade for next year when it's due and see what's on the market then.

I too am surprised the bigger battery in the g2 want highlighted.
It does make it a little heavier though.

The front facing camera is higher resolution too on the G2. That might be better for Skype etc.

stop the crap about bloatware. you dont use it doesnt mean million other dont use them. galaxies sell for their features which for you may be bloatwares.

I like to know what fool would use Verizon backup and Verizon contact. Sure you can disable them but it's never gone sort of like a tumor in remission.
The difference with the Google Apps you consider as bloat, they can be uninstalled and space free up. That's the basic definition of bloat.

The bloatware scare tactics are was away overplayed. It's 2013.
My Note 3 has 96gb of memory/storage and 3 GB of ram. The new smartphones just devour data without a hitch.

3-4gb of even unused software isn't even going to make a dent. Just one useful feature and its easily worth it.

Unless the average productive user o is trying to split nanoseconds for some benchmark badge of honor, this' bloat' is irrelevant.

I wouldn't call it a scare tactic. However, I prefer to not have apps installed that I know I won't use, regardless if their "footprint" is light or heavy.

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phones that come with only 16gb of storage.... phones that arent expandable..... if thats the case then yes it matters. when i have a device with expandable storage i dont care either, but with my htc one i only have 32gbs... thats a lot of space that i cant use because of oem and carrier junk that i dont use.

Samsung features is not bloat nor is that what people refer to as bloatware. Bloatware is pre-installed apps from your carrier that cannot be removed unless you have root permissions. Do people really use sprint tv, sprint nascar, verizon music player, verizon backup, at&t backup apps, etc. These apps often take up precious space and when most phone only give you 16gb of storage, an extra 2-5gb can be a big deal. Sure there is expandable memory, but apps cannot be installed on sd cards and it can limit how many apps you can install. If you enjoy using your carrier pre-loaded apps then good for you. But it should not be something that cannot be uninstalled from the phone you bought from the carrier. And as someone already stated, those google apps that people complain are bloatware from google can be easily removed.

Unmatched dev community and support, look, feel, software, pretty much every single aspect of the device sans camera and battery which I'm more than happy with on the N5. How's that besides price?

The viewing angles on both look washed out. Well at least in tue pictures shown. Are they really like that in life.

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Consistency. His light setup is the same whatever the weather or time of day.

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I'd like to see more sample shots between the 2 cameras. Also, the battery is 700mah or roughly 30% larger on the G2, pretty considerable. I have a 32gb Panda nexus coming in tomorrow and am picking up a 32gb G2 today for $350 to run CM10.2 on this weekend, so just curious how the cameras compare.

I dunno. I'd go with G2 simply for better at capturing moving objects with the camera. Which is the 3rd most important feature to me after screen quality and cpu for gaming

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Lol. If I'm not mistaken your talking about the OIS option in the g2 camera which the nexus also has. Thought you knew this.

Yeah, OIS will in fact hurt you when you're trying to capture moving subjects... Though if that's really your intention then any phone is just gonna be full of fail compared to even advanced compact cameras.

Shutter lag as stated in this review:

"Unfortunately, we also noticed that the Nexus struggles with shutter lag, at times taking two to three seconds to fire off the shot (even when we already focused in on an object). Because of this, we found it difficult to take pictures of moving objects, like sugar-filled children. As you might expect, it's not quite as bad in direct sunlight, but it's exponentially worse indoors or anytime after the late afternoon."

The G2 i played with took great moving objects pics.


What would be stopping Google from opening up low level API's to third parties in order to make third party camera apps access the imaging software at a lower level for better photos? This way Google wouldn't have to deal with licensing if it didn't want to, but developers still could.

Another option is google could do what motorola is doing and put the camera app on the play store and make it closed source (like gmail, G+ etc.)

Not sure that would work because it would be very device dependent but they could at least develop a camera app that worked for the nexus line of phones.

I never realized the open nature of android was getting in the way of a nexus phone with good image processing! :-(

i don't think the open nature is getting in the way. Remember, this isn't AOSP, this is GOOGLE'S version of Android. Very important distinction. Google could license whatever imaging components necessary and it would be dandy.

What are those horrible looking grid lines on the G2 display. I hope the Nexus 5 is not like that...?

Nexus 4 has those too. It's part of the touch screen. Only visible from certain angle in super-bright light.

Both speaker grills are ugly, I think that LG nailed with the nexus 4,right at the edge and you almost did not notice it, it was beautiful.

Good comparison except battery life was not mentioned. The battery life on the G2 is phenomenal and the N5 has been rated as adequate. Big point for many users.

New hangouts don't do mms on g2 with vzw. And why would I go g2 over nexus. Better user features better camera bigger battery rear buttons rock knock knock is awesome.

Posted via Android Central App via bad azz VZW LG G2 ROOTED!

You're on Verizon, so you don't really have a choice in the matter, when comparing the two.

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Double tab render physical button obsolete, except for on and off.
One of the great features from G2.

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Um, price is only better on the Nexus if you are comparing the outright price. The G2 is available for $50 at Verizon with a contract.

The sad fact is, both of these phones will be worthless in 6 months because any lg phones value plummets rapidly. I recently got rid of my lg g1 and I could only get 200 for it. But my sons s3 is still selli g for 300 on kijiji and it cant compare with the g1. So I went to a note 2 because samsung hold its value much better. Lg make the best phones in my opinion but since I upgrade yearly I need to be able to make a decent return on my old phone and lg wont get mw that. Something to consider.

With the G2 or the N5 there is no reason to get another phone in 6 months, or 12 months and I see no reason they can't last the user for at least two years. Just because you like to update every 6 months doesn't mean everybody does. Plus you are now buying a phone that is a year old in the Note 2, I guess that's why you get something different every 6 months.

For me, the G2 wins in the categories that matter most to "me".

1. Battery life
2. Camera
3. IR blaster (yes, this is important to me as I use it often)

The "pure Google experience" is way overrated.

I tend to agree. Maybe it's just because the Nexus that I have experience with is the Galaxy Nexus, but the "pure Google experience" that everyone seems to be clammering for all of the sudden is boring just as Jerry said. This is great for my mom, which is why I'm giving her my Galaxy Nexus, but the "Google experience" started wearing thin on me toward the end.

I'm on Verizon so I didn't have much choice, but I'm glad I went with the G2. I'm not saying the Nexus 5 isn't a great phone, but I honestly don't know if I would have picked it even if I had the choice now that I've experienced the G2.

I will say that hopefully Verizon does start working more with Google as Google stated earlier this year though because that just means even more choices for everyone regardless of your taste and/or preference and that's always a good thing.

I agree. I can take or leave the pure Google experience provided the ROM isn't restrictive.

It's more about prompt updates, particularly for major issues. LG doesn't have the best reputation in this regard. Thankfully, the G2 didn't appear to have many bugs out of the gate.

All that said, it may have been a different story if KitKat had been a major revision. As Google moves more things out of the OS and into services, Android revisions, and fragmentation, are going to be less important.

I was thinking exactly the same. From the limited sources I've read, the N5 battery is just meh but can actually make it through a day if you don't abuse it (unlike the N4). If that is true, then imagine how long a G2 with KitKat-ified CM will go.

I'm averaging 18 hours with my G2. It's incredible. I came from a Gnex that had the worst battery life of any phone to this. I know we're close to chargers/outlets, but it's still nice NOT to worry about it. I use my mobile hotspot while at work a lot to connect my tablet and that tends to chew through more power than normal, but I still don't worry about it.

Don't use the G2 as my main phone, and haven't had the N5 long enough to know.

In my short experience with them, they both have shit battery life.

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Couldn't agree more. How can the author mention something about a barometer, which NO ONE will notice, and NOT mention a word about a battery that has 23% more capacity????? Odd.

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The battery Life is a huge factor for me. I know you put it in the specs but you might want to mention something like that.

The N5 would have been perfect if it got the G2's battery, camera and panel self-refresh functionality. Why did they skimp on the battery in particular?

I hear the G2 GPUs are clocked a fair bit higher than the Nexus. Probably not evident outside of benchmarks but I wonder whether the GPUs at affect the speed of auto focus.

G2 has display RAM (GRAM) that helps extend battery. Haven't seen mention of that for the Nexus 5.

The main differences, camera and battery, are a big deal for most.

If there was more compelling stuff in KitKat, it might tip the equation. The G2 gets my vote.

Wondering how they did not mention battery life. This is just a specs comparison , would love to see an in depth comparison about how these phone performs in the real world.

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I am a nexus guy, I bought a LG g2 because I am on Verizon. I was ok doing this because I knew immediately I was going to load cyanogen on it.

If you are cool with that then there would be no reason to get the nexus over the G2, besides price.....either way both are great phones. will just last you longer until next charge

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I know the apk is floating around out there, has anyone tried dropping the MotoX camera on the N5 and seeing if that helped at all?

That's like saying "has anyone tried using the install CD for this Canon printer to see if this HP printer will work on Windows 8?"... Moto X camera probably doesn't even show up in the market if you're not using a Moto X.

I'm surprised NO ONE mentioned Qi charging... VZW's G2 has it, the others don't, Nexus 5 does. It's super convenient IMO, 'specially if you also have a Nexus 7. I've got two Qi pads and I'm probably getting a third now that both my tablet and phone feature wireless charging, only time I ever plug in now is in the car or when I'm abusing it thru the day...

I'll carry a USB battery pack for those occasions, and there's even some of those w/Qi now (though it probably doesn't work at all inside a pocket which is where I'll throw my phone+pack when connected).

For me getting updates straight from Google, the lack of OEM mods, Qi charging, and the fact that I can use the phone on any carrier easily make up for the smaller battery. The camera's another story but I've got two other small cameras and I mostly use my phone's camera to take quick reminder shots of stuff so...

Having all these choices is super awesome either way, no other OS ecosystem offers this kinda versatility and choice. Android thrives because of it, all fanboy bickering aside.

I'd still pick the Nexus, and not because of the cost. Vanilla Android is better than that hideous LG UI. The Nexus also looks better, and is 20% lighter.

If I was still trapped on Verizon I'd get the G2 though. LG hardware has been good since the Spectrum.

I'd say the LG G2 is a better device overall. Unless you're one of those people that absolutely wants the updates, even if they're not gonna utilize what the update brings, then the G2 is a better phone. Menu, button this, menu button that. The recent apps button is far less useful than the menu button. You can clear all your apps MUCH easier just by holding down the home button.

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How is holding down one button easier or quicker than just tapping another? The menu button needs to die... That being said, this wouldn't keep me from getting a G2 if I wanted it for the battery life or camera... I'd just root the thing and mod it for the buttons I want.

Pretty much no one's doing my preferred button arrangement right now outside of Moto and Google... HTC decided to go to two buttons (why?), the Koreans are clinging to menu (Samsung/LG), and Sony's a no show in the US at the moment.

Because you can just clear all the apps at once on the G2 instead of having to swipe them all away separately on the N5. Why have two different buttons when one can do both? I like the menu button. Way more useful than the recent apps button. It doesn't really serve a useful enough purpose for me to warrant it's existence.

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I wish the G2 launcher had a customizable long press on the menu button like the Nova launcher. Then you could have the menu button and the app drawer on the same button.

Curious to know how the barometer will come into play on the N5. I'd personally rather have an altimeter (living in Colorado), but the more sensors the better.

Also, I have noticed on my N5 that voice activation does not work when paired with a bluetooth device. Anyone else experience this? Seems to defeat the purpose when you are connected to bluetooth in your car and you have to touch the screen.

holly crap i bought the LG G2 on verizon the other day and returned the very next day. after all the positive reviews from different reviewers i purchased the phone for my verizon account. Screen was a let down for me, IPS never again, and the camera was so laggy and slow. no matter how much i played with camera settings, and flash took for ever in a day. and the speaker was so weak. first phone that i bought biased on what all reviewers said about this device, never again went back to store got myself the note 3, holly crap NIGHT AND DAY.

Jerry! You left out the most important comparison, BATTERY.

I currently have both the LG G2 and Nex5, there is no comparison when it comes to battery. G2 is WAY better.

Still, I cant decide which I am keeping. Battery/knock-knock or buttery good KitKat!

I had both and kept the G2. Battery is huge for me, knock-knock is sweet and I like the UI just fine. Plus, KitKat will be here soon enough.

Hi Jerry can you comment on the sound quality between the two.

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What I want is the moto x's always listening and active notifications, G2's knock knock feature and its battery, and I love me my stock android. So I use dynamic notifications and I hope to get a kernel down the road with the knock knock feature and always listening. I really wish I knew how to develop like the geniuses over at XDA.

I had the G2 for a day and disliked it so much I simply sold it. I found the user interface a muddled mess and the screen to be subpar in terms of brightness and contrast. A phone screen should present info in a very clear way, and the G2 doesn't. The Droid Mini screen is better as an LCD comparison, and most LED sceens are far better.

Give me a phone with a bright contrasty screen and a clean UI over heavy, UGLY overlays that try to help too much.

In addition, that speed sounds great. But the Droids are running far slower chips and seem to perform more smoothly than the G2. All I can hope for is the N5, because it's de-crapified, is a smoother phone. I do wish Verizon offered the N5, but that's not going to happen I guess. I'll stay with my Droid, thanks.

Just my opinion and im sure many will disagree but i dislike vs reviews you can make that comparisons yourself by reading the G2 review and then the nexus so to me yes merging may be an easier read but thats it.

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Excellent write up Jerry. I own the G2 and I don't regret it at all. The battery is incredible. Two days are entirely possible and with heavy use I can never get it below 20% in a single day. The camera is excellent. Coming from the Gnex I decided I would never buy another phone with a small battery or a subpar camera so I fill I made the correct decision with the G2. I will always love a nexus but the G2 has too much to offer and I'm already rooted and running TWRP recovery so I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

Thanks Jerry. Going to Sprint tomorrow for the big release day and honestly had no idea whether to go Nexus 5 or G2. This helps, but probably won't finalize decision until I hold both in my hand. Ergonomics is always my deciding factor when I'm conflicted on which direction to go with a phone.

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Mediocre battery life and lack of a battery percentage in the taskbar makes me pass on the Nexus. G2 is the only phone out there that would make me give up my One.

I am not sure what to choose atm. My gnex still going strong with a extended mugen 4000 mAh battery. Had hopes for a huge battery on the n5, but for some reason that was not a priority for Google on this phone. Its not possible to do a battery upgrade on it either, because its integrated in the phone. Still sticking to the old faithfull ;D

on galaxy nexus^^ o-jea!

Actually the battery is really easy to take out, if one was available with the same dimensions and larger mAH ...It looks like you could swap them almost as fast as a removable battery!! 8/10 on ifixit.

It was mentioned only once I think but developer support will be insane on the n5 a nexus phone one but also works on three major carriers. Nexus ftw. LG needs to cut their losses with trying to be different with the buttons on the back. Just strange.

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In my opinion nexus phones are overrated, g2 is far superior

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Coming from the N4 whose battery is the worst I've ever seen (1% each min I watch a normal SD movie) I'm in the market for a new phone that can actually last without me charging twice a day.

Tested my colleague's G2 and it's ok. I can see myself living with the skin. Might not be perfect but it's doable

Waiting for my cousin's N5 to arrive so I can test.

Over in Singapore, the cost of importing a N5 without warranty is only a little less than the cost of a G2. So it looks likely I'll swing to the G2.

To me, 3 things are most important in a phone.


What's the use of stock android if it don't last me more than 12 hours? A dead phone is a useless phone.

P.S I'm near to outlets and have power banks lying all over. But constantly discharging and charging is going to use up all the cycles of a battery.

Just ordered my Nexus 5 16GB. It was a close call between the two for me but the lure of stock android without having to resort to cyanogenmod will always appeal to me. I HATE manufacturer skins and my last experience with the Optimus UI wasn't too pleasant...don't even get me started on Touchwiz.

I was wondering if Jerry or anyone else who has compared them could compare audio quality. I know the G2 supports higher-res files, but for standard MP3's, is there much of a difference? Does anyone know if they use the same DAC?

Also, I was wondering which one you all would recommend to a first time android user. I am super excited to get rid of my iPhone, and a lot of my excitement in getting an Android phone was the customizability. Not having a ton of experience with tinkering with phones, I am a little nervous about not being able to root the phone easily, flash other ROM's to try things out, etc..., as I feel I would need to do with the G2 in order to get a UI and experience that I would like. Should that be a reason to go with the Nexus 5? Or should I just go for it with the G2?

How do you think the G2 would fare when it comes to AOSP ROMs? Since the heart is so similar to that of N5, do you think we would get first class support for Cyanogen and other AOSP based ROMs? If that is the case, is it only a matter of waiting for a couple of weeks/a month for the G2 to get a first class port of the latest version of Android that the N5 is sporting?

As someone who has owned the last two nexus devices, I have to say I am loving the G2. Over the past few months I was like everyone anticipating the new Nexus device, but after seeing the leaked specs I was underwhelmed. Sure its nice getting the new shiney OS Google just put out, but lets face it, have there really been that many useful or end user specific features in the last few releases of Android? I didn't think so. ICS, Jellybeen, both look pretty similar. Other than the "I'm an elite Nexus owner" feeling, I got very tired of plain Android. I had 60+ apps on my N4 and it still felt plain.. Now with the G2 I feel like I have something more unique. I can deal with the "bloatware" that LG puts on it, because to be honest stock Android does include magazines, movies, and a few other Google apps I never used and couldn't uninstall. What makes the G2 great for me, a few things. First of the camera is the best I've seen in a smartphone. Secondly the screen is best described as (took this from another AC user), like the Note 3 and Nexus had a baby. Its has all the great resolution as an IPS display with all the color depth and vividness of an amoled. The screen really does look that good. The third and final quencher for me, the battery life. I mess with my phone all day, play games, check email, web surf, text, and this phone will do it all day from morning till night and still has plenty of charge by the time i plug it in at night.

Dead right. After the specs leaked, it was evident the N5 was not going to be the $350 "LG G2 Google Experience" phone folks were wishing for.

When you dig into the details, these phones are not so much the same beyond the Krait 400 cores. LG clearly saved their thunder for the G2; 13mp camera, 60fps video, 120% faster GPUs, GRAM for better battery life, HD audio, battery capacity, larger display in the same dimensions

For a daily driver, the camera and battery life are convincing enough but only because it's trivial to get the less desirable aspects of the LG skin out of the way.

Although I enjoy the elegant G2 piano black design, if I let oils from my hands build up on the phone a few days, it does get slippery. A quick wipe down when putting it down to charge overnight is all it takes to make it grippy again. For those with sweatier palms, you're absolutely going to need a case for the G2.

The difference is the cameras. Why oh why Google? G2 cameras + Nexus 5 = iPhone Killer.

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Hmmmmm...... I haven't checked XDA so don't hate, but root the G2 and basically put all of the N5's software on it. Mmmm that sounds good.

The N5 has problems with force closes and random restarts? Because my G2 I got on release date has had zero of both.

This is the perenial problem with Nexus, it's a phone for the developer and hard-core Android nerds. It's not a daily driver for the masses, whatever the price might imply.

With LG beginning to support developers with their G2 loaner program, it might only be a matter of time before there's an LG G2 Google Experience phone for the hardcore.

If they did, I'd get it in a heartbeat. Perhaps, Nexus 6 or whatever the next Google phone is going to be called will have the best of both worlds.

Every phone has its pros and cons. I went with the N5 mainly due to price. In the end I felt that to be the number one issue. It's in a league of its own when that's considered.

Price isn't really an issue, both the N5 and G2 are about the same prices in the market right now. You can get a 32gb G2 brand new or used off contract for $400 or less considering the N5 is also $400 for the 32gb. Actually I just looked around the Moto X is also around $400 but for only the 16gb which stinks.

But faster updates and the ability to go to any one of the 3 big carriers is a huge plus for the Nexus5. We need to have more phones like the Nexus5 that can be used on the big 3 carriers. Sorry Verizon

Crap Comparison

another fatto hipster who has no idea about tech...

you use ppi , and how "soft" the screen is to measure screen quality? are you retarded?

where are the tests on colour gamut?

I know this is an ancient review but I just got the Sprint LG G2 from Best Buy for $150 and activated it on Boost Mobile. It immediately updated to lollipop. This a nice phone. Even in mid 2015. I came from an S3.

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