Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. LG G3

Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (left) and LG G3
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (left) and LG G3
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Battery capacity
1/29
Battery capacity
Build materials
2/29
Build materials
Cameras (megapixel counts)
3/29
Cameras (megapixel counts)
Color options
4/29
Color options
Processors (only including LTE version of the Note 4)
5/29
Processors (only including LTE version of the Note 4)
Dimensions
6/29
Dimensions
Display (resolution and pixel density)
7/29
Display (resolution and pixel density)
Display (size)
8/29
Display (size)
Display type
9/29
Display type
Fast charging
10/29
Fast charging
Fingerprint scanner
11/29
Fingerprint scanner
Heart rate monitor
12/29
Heart rate monitor
IR blaster
13/29
IR blaster
Laser-based auto-focus
14/29
Laser-based auto-focus
Split-screen multitasking
15/29
Split-screen multitasking
OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
16/29
OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
One-handed mode (what gets shrunken down)
17/29
One-handed mode (what gets shrunken down)
Starting price (off-contract)
18/29
Starting price (off-contract)
RAM (varies in G3 based on storage tier)
19/29
RAM (varies in G3 based on storage tier)
Release date
20/29
Release date
Software
21/29
Software
Storage
22/29
Storage
Stylus
23/29
Stylus
Tap-on display (Knock-On and Knock-Code)
24/29
Tap-on display (Knock-On and Knock-Code)
Ultra Power Saving Mode
25/29
Ultra Power Saving Mode
Virtual reality compatibility
26/29
Virtual reality compatibility
Water resistance
27/29
Water resistance
Weight
28/29
Weight
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (left) and LG G3
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (left) and LG G3

Not long ago, Samsung's Galaxy Notes were pretty much the only phablets worth paying attention to. But with super-sized phones becoming more and more common, the Note series has more competition than ever. Let's see how Samsung's latest, the Galaxy Note 4, stacks up next to one of its biggest rivals, the LG G3.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The Galaxy Note 4 lives up to its phablet moniker a bit more than the LG G3 does. Not only does the Note have a bigger screen, but it's about 5 percent longer and 5 percent wider.

Though the Note 4 is a bit thicker than last year's model, it is still 5 percent thinner than the G3.

Weight

Weight
Weight

That smaller size could make the G3 slide into your pocket a little easier, but it has also another advantage: it's 15 percent lighter.

Build

Build materials
Build materials

Nothing is what it seems ... at least in this category. The Galaxy Note 4 has a leathery finish (almost identical to what we saw on the Note 3), but it's still made of plastic. And that brushed metal look that you see on the G3? Yep, that's plastic too.

The exception is the metallic band that wraps around the edge of the Note 4. This time around, it's really made of metal.

Colors

Color options
Color options

We're looking at four color options for the Note 4, and five for the G3. For the G3, though, only black, white and gold options are currently available in the US.

Display (size)

Display (size)
Display (size)

The G3 gives you 93 percent as much screen real estate as the Galaxy Note 4.

Display (resolution)

Display (resolution and pixel density)
Display (resolution and pixel density)

One of the Note 4's biggest upgrades over the Note 3 is its leap to a Quad HD display. You could argue that the difference between 1080p and Quad HD amounts to overkill, but my eyes can usually appreciate the extra pixels.

Display (type)

Display type
Display type

The Galaxy Note 4 is the first Quad HD device that we've played with that uses Super AMOLED screen tech. It was hard to get a great read on the display's appearance in the hands-on area at Samsung's launch event, but AMOLED screens typically have richer colors and greater contrast.

Stylus

Stylus
Stylus

It wouldn't be a Galaxy Note without something to take notes with, would it? Samsung's S Pen is back for the latest model, with some improvements in tow. Though its design hasn't changed much, Samsung did double the pressure sensitivity in the new Note's stylus.

Tap-on display

Tap-on display (Knock-On and Knock-Code)
Tap-on display (Knock-On and Knock-Code)

The G3 brings back the same Knock-On feature that we first saw in the G2. It lets you turn on your display just by rapping twice on it.

Knock Code, also on the G3, takes the same concept and marries it to your phone's security. Just set a series of taps across a quadrant, and use that unique pattern to unlock your G3.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanner

Like the Galaxy S5, the Note 4 has a (swipe-based) fingerprint sensor.

Heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitor
Heart rate monitor

The Galaxy Note 4 also borrowed the GS5's heart rate monitor, which sits on its backside.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

The Note 4 doesn't, however, have a water resistance rating. I'm guessing that's because the S Pen's slot would require some sort of cover, making the phablet a lot less convenient to use.

Battery

Battery capacity
Battery capacity

We'll have to wait to see what battery life looks like in the Galaxy Note 4, but Samsung is saying that it will last longer than the Note 3 did.

When we tested the G3, it delivered solid enough battery life – but it also wasn't its killer feature.

Ultra Power Saving Mode

Ultra Power Saving Mode
Ultra Power Saving Mode

Samsung's Ultra Power Saving Mode lets you stay on the grid by severely limiting the phone's available processes (and turning the screen black & white) when you're almost out of juice. By temporarily turning your expensive phablet into a glorified feature phone, it can stretch just 10 percent remaining battery life into an extra 24 hours of uptime.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

Samsung says that, as long as you're using the default Samsung charger, the Note 4 can jump from 0 to 50 percent battery life in "about 30 minutes."

Camera

Cameras (megapixel counts)
Cameras (megapixel counts)

The Note 4's camera wins on megapixels, but we'll need to put its camera through the paces before jumping to conclusions.

One thing I hope that Samsung improved on over its little brother is the camera's launch time. The Galaxy S5's shooter is conspicuously slow to launch.

Laser focus

Laser-based auto-focus
Laser-based auto-focus

The G3's laser-based autofocusing makes focusing and shooting quick and easy. Just tap the point on the screen where your subject is, and the G3 will (almost instantly) snap a shot with it in focus.

OIS

OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Both phones' cameras have Optical Image Stabilization onboard.

Infrared

IR blaster
IR blaster

Both phones include built-in IR blasters, so you can use your handset as a universal remote control for your TV or cable/satellite box.

Split-screen multitasking

Split-screen multitasking
Split-screen multitasking

Though each company uses a different marketing term, both devices have their own versions of side-by-side multitasking.

For the first time, with the Note 4 Samsung integrated its Multi-Window feature into the recent apps button. The company says it's also now easier to choose between single-window, multi-window and pop-up window modes.

One-handed mode

One-handed mode (what gets shrunken down)
One-handed mode (what gets shrunken down)

One of the biggest downsides of a huge screen is that it's tricky to use with one hand. Both of these devices offer their own ways of dealing with that.

One the Note 4, you can perform a quick gesture to shrink the entire screen down to a manageable size for one hand. On the G3, LG opted to just shrink the size of keyboards for its one-handed mode.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality compatibility
Virtual reality compatibility

Okay, so the Note 4 doesn't have any magic VR powers on its own, but it is the only phone that's compatible with Samsung's new Gear VR headset. If you buy the Oculus-powered accessory, you can slide the Note 4 in to provide the headset's display and processing power.

The G3 can play nicely with Google Cardboard, but it's technically a developer kit and not designed for consumer use.

Storage

Storage
Storage

We're looking at different storage tiers for each handset. They both have microSD slots, though, if the internal storage isn't enough for you.

Processor

Processors (only including LTE version of the Note 4)
Processors (only including LTE version of the Note 4)

Though the performance of most high-end mobile devices passed the point of concern long ago, the LG G3 had a noticeable amount of lag out-of-the-box. Switching to Android runtime pretty much took care of the problem, but, with a Quad HD display of its own, we'll be keeping an eye on this when we review the Galaxy Note 4.

You'll want to note that we're only showing the processor for the LTE version of the Note 4. For the HSPA/international variant, you'll get a Samsung Exynos octa-core processor in place of the Snapdragon.

RAM

RAM (varies in G3 based on storage tier)
RAM (varies in G3 based on storage tier)

If you buy the 32 GB version of the LG G3, then it will have the same 3 GB of RAM as the Note 4. If you opt for the 16 GB model, then you'll just have 2 GB.

Software

Software
Software

Both phones run Android 4.4 KitKat, with their respective manufacturer UIs layered on top.

Release

Release date
Release date

The G3 launched in Korea way back in May, but has only been available in the US since July. The Galaxy Note 4 will start shipping on October 17.

Starting price (off-contract)

Starting price (off-contract)
Starting price (off-contract)

We still don't know what the Note 4 will cost, but I'd guess we'll be looking at the same US$700 off-contract (usually $300 on-contract) price that the Note 3 originally rang up for.

For more on these two beasts, you can hit up our full reviews of the LG G3 and our Galaxy Note 4. We also got some hands-on time with the Note 4's curved-display sibling, the Galaxy Note Edge.

5 comments
Darron Crowe
What a great comparison that really covers both phones from top to bottom. I wonder how the new iPhone 6 would compare to the both of these phones? I looks forward to seeing the next article that might have the iPhone 6 included for a matchup.
Darth Stig
Well, yes, LG's G3 is lacking Samsung's propriety "Ultra Power Saving Mode" but it does actually have it's own "Battery Saving Mode" that kicks in at 30% if switched on. It also chimes and prompts you to turn on "Battery Saver Mode" if you hadn't previously selected it. Other than that a great comparison. And yes, I have the LG G3. I have no issue using it one handed but it is at the limit of my ability to do so...which makes me think it would be a stretch with the SGN4.
Brian Crail
All Android phones have supported Fast Mode. Actually the LG G2 and G3 use USB 3.0. Even the Note 3 supported the new faster data speeds and higher charging speeds. The Note 4 went backwards and only supports USB 2.0. That is a huge downgrade IMO. Even with USB 2.0, other phones have and do use Fast Mode. So it isn't a unique Samsung feature or new by that matter.
Brian Crail
That LG G2/G3 also has wireless charging. Which, in this day and age, should be a standard. I will not buy a new device without wireless charging.
Aaron Graves
I went from the note 4 to the G3 and honestly the difference between phones isn't worth the hefty price difference. LG G3 hands down.