I got some flack in July when I wrote that Apple’s iPhone 6 Already Has Tough Competition From LG’s G3, but now that I’ve had a chance to compare the 6 Plus with the G3, I’m feeling vindicated.
For the past week I’ve been carrying an iPhone 6 Plus in one pocket and the G3 in another and — after extensive use of both — I can see how each would have its fans and detractors. Both are excellent phones and while there is no clear winner, I’m leaning slightly in favor the LG G3.
Of course, if you love iOS or all things Apple than the iPhone is your personal winner. Only an iPhone can run Apple’s operating system so your decision is easy. But if you’re open to Android — which has finally matured into an operating system that’s truly competitive with iOS, then the G3 has some hardware features that might win you over.
It starts with the form factor. While both phones have essentially the same size (5.5-inch) screen, the iPhone is considerably taller and slightly wider (though a little thinner). Actual dimensions of the G3 are 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches compared t0 6.22 by 3.06 by .28 inches for the 6 Plus.
Personally, I much prefer the size of the G3. It fits better in my hand and is less prone to slipping than the iPhone, yet delivers the same amount of screen real estate.
Technically, the G3 has a higher screen resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels vs 1920-by-1080) but both screens look great. I’m not sure why, but I actually prefer the iPhone’s screen slightly over the G3 despite the lower resolution.
When it comes to storage, Apple gives you a choice of 16, 64 or 128 gigabytes while LG comes only with 32 GB but has a MicroSD slot, making it easy and affordable to add up to 128 extra GB for about $100, making the G3 a better value for those who want to store plenty of music, video, apps or photos on their phone.
If you judged the camera purely on resolution, the LG with its 13 MP camera would win over the iPhone’s 8 MP camera but that’s not the whole story. Apple has done an amazingly good job with its camera both in terms of ease of use and image quality. Based on my tests, I’d have to call it pretty much a tie when it comes to camera quality. Neither can replace a high-end SLR camera, but both can take very good snapshots and decent video under a range of lighting conditions.
Call quality of course depends on your carrier but both phones sounded pretty good in my tests.
The iPhone has “Touch ID” and the LG G3 doesn’t so, when it comes to being able to use your fingerprint to sign into the phone, there’s no competition here. I really like Touch ID and would love to see something like it on all phones and, I give Apple credit for doing it right. It takes awhile to train the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to recognize your fingerprints but, once it does, it recognizes them almost every time. Touch ID will be particularly important once Apple rolls out its Apple Pay service by allowing users to verify a purchase with the touch of a finger.
As per price, the G3 is available unlocked for $580 (from AT&T) vs. $750 for the least expensive (16 GB) iPhone 6 Plus. If you’re willing to sign a contract, the prices are the same ($199) on AT&T and Verizon Wireless
Personally, if I were to buy an iPhone, I’d be more likely to get the regular 6 because it feels better in the hand. But if you want the larger screen size in a more compact case, take a look at the G3.