If you’re not the kind of smartphone fan that gets weak in the knees when you see metallic phones like the HTC One (M8) or glass phones like the Xperia Z2, then plastic is where it’s at. Plastic is not only lighter and cheaper to produce, it also absorbs shock better than rigid materials like glass or metal.
So, how does the LG G3 stack up to Samsung’s big hitter, the Galaxy S5? In this first part we’ll compare design, display and user interface. The next part will deal with G3 and S5 software features, hardware and cameras.
The Galaxy S5 (left) and the LG G3 (right) go head to head in the looks department.
The G3 is not water-resistant and has no heart rate monitor or fingerprint scanner. It also does without physical buttons of any sort on the front or sides. LG has opted instead for the rear-key setup that they claim puts the buttons where your fingers naturally are, and after a little period of getting used to, they do feel quite natural. They can also be used as shortcuts to the camera and note-taking apps from a screen-off state. The front of the G3 is all glass, with tiny bezels and a metallic-look plastic curved behind that sits nicely in the hand. The camera lens is flanked by a dual-LED flash and laser auto-focus module and none of the ports are covered. Both devices have rear-mounted speakers.
Notifications shades of the new Optimus UI (left) and the new TouchWiz (right).
Samsung did a pretty good job of overhauling TouchWiz for the Galaxy S5, which also runs the latest Android version, but as I said at the time I first saw it, it all feels kind of rushed and unfinished. It’s certainly better than previous TouchWiz versions, but it lacks consistency. Perhaps the next update will allow Samsung to tighten up the new UI but until then it’s a bit patchy with bright, bold icons in the settings, a different look in the notifications shade and other aspects that still look a little like the old TouchWiz. Samsung do big and bright tremendously well, so their UI tends to the brighter end of the spectrum and in all honesty looks good for it, but the inconsistency is an issue
Despite squeezing more apps into the app drawer, the G3 (left) doesn’t look cramped.
Preferences for user interface is equally as personal a choice as design and material preference. I personally prefer the clean layout and simplicity of the new Optimus UI. I was however, impressed by Samsung’s attempt to overhaul TouchWiz, if not their final execution. It feels like a step in the right direction to be sure, but it seems as though they didn’t quite take enough steps before they released it. As a stock Android fan, I don’t much like any manufacturer skins, but if all we look at is consistency and unity, it’s clear that LG have done a better job with the new Optimus UI, whether you like the particular look of it or not
Samsung (right) opts for a dark theme, while LG (left) goes for a lighter UI.
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