Maybe diva is a bit too much to call a smartphone, but I can’t find any other word that would describe the effect these two flagships had on the public and on smartphone enthusiasts. The iPhone 6 Plus quickly became one of the most controversial and debated releases from Apple ever since it was first launched in September. While the iPhone 6 Plus is among the most expensive phablets on the market, that’s not what got it so popular and made it into a diva. The culprit was #bendgate, which turned out to scientifically accurate. The LG G3 on the other hand, became a dive because it deserved it. The LG G3 is still considered one of the best smartphones on the market, thanks to its wonderful QHD display and great power management. Naturally, other phones like the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note Edge have been launched since the LG G3 became the norm this summer, and these phablets surpass the LG G3 in many ways. Nonetheless, the iPhone 6 Plus and the LG G3 are among the few divas of 2014 and merit a little analysis.
The iPhone 6 Plus was launched in tandem with its smaller brother, the iPhone 6 in September. Apple has emphasized that alongside the new iPhones, iOS 8 would be one of the best new mobile operating systems the company designed. Truth be told, iOS 8 does bring a lot of novelty to the iOS line of software, but it still lags behind Android when it comes to user customizability. At the same time, the iOS 8 launch was buggy to say the least, with the OS launching together with a handful of bugs and performance issues. Apple was quick to issue update 8.0.1 and 8.0.2, but those seemed only to make things worse. With iOS 8.1, launched just a few weeks ago, all is fixed and the OS can finally be experienced in a near-flawless mode.
Speaking of OS, one of the most important things we need to mention about the LG G3 and the subsequent Android 5.0 Lollipop update is that LG’s flagship might be the first smartphone to get Google’s new OS. That is aside from the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, which come with the sweet new Material Design-touting OS out of the box. We recently found out that LG CEO is working diligently to bring Lollipop to the LG G3 as quickly as possible, so we should see the update rolling out for the handset by the end of the week or early next week. Android 5.0 Lollipop is the most comprehensive and well thought-out mobile operating system from Google and most people appreciate the Material Design of the OS most. Otherwise, the new OS brings new features and a revamped notifications system, among other things. We are curious to see how LG tweaked the Optimus UI of the LG G3 to accommodate Android Lollipop.
The iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3 are great examples of good marketing meets high quality hardware. Even so, when it comes to design and build materials, the iPhone 6 Plus has the advantage because of its metal unibody. That does bring its own drawbacks, as illustrated by bendgate. Since aluminium is light and thin, the choice of the material for the iPhone 6 Plus resulted in a light and thin smartphone, but more fragile nonetheless. Since aluminium is pretty flexible and the components of the iPhone 6 Plus are miniaturized and thin, bendgate illustrated how the handset, as well as many others, can bend under pressure. While it’s not news that the iPhone 6 Plus or any other thin phone will bend under a lot of pressure, users of the new Apple flagship said that they would have been much happier if Apple decided to make the phone thicker and sturdier with a bigger battery instead of thin and light. The LG G3 doesn’t have these issues since it is made of polycarbonate largely. The faux chrome finish on the back plate of the LG G3 doesn’t looks as gruesome as the faux chrome on the Galaxy S5 for example and it actually feels pretty good in the hand.
The iPhone 6 Plus has considerably more bezels than the LG G3, but those who are accustomed to Apple iPhones won’t mind that. Others, who are more fond of bezelless smartphones like the Sharp Aquos Crystal, might appreciate the thinner bezels on the LG G3. The LG G3 and iPhone 6 Plus are close in size, even though the iPhone 6 Plus is considerably larger in size with the same sized display. The LG G3 isn’t as thin as the iPhone 6 Plus, but it is lighter nonetheless, thanks to the polycarbonate build of the phone. If you are a fan of phablets with displays bigger than 5 inches, but still want a phone that will fit neatly in your hand and pockets, the LG G3 is smaller and lighter and more easily maneuverable than the iPhone 6 Plus. At the same time, the iPhone 6 Plus should have a longer shelf-life, considering the high quality build materials and its historical sturdiness.
The LG G3 is famous and appreciated for the high quality display LG put on it. The handset has a 5.5 inch True HD-IPS LCD display with a 1440*2560 resolution, which amounts to a 534 ppi pixel density. That is quite the feat and the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t come close to that quality. The iPhone 6 Plus display is a 5.5 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with a 1080*1920 resolution, amounting to a 401 ppi pixel density. While that is not a bad display, most users say Apple could have done better on this one. At the same time, the iPhone 6 Plus display’s LED-backlit screen does look better and has better outdoor visibility. Also, the gap below the screen is significantly thinner than in other phones, including the LG G3, which makes the experience of touching and swiping, as well as viewing, a tad more immersive. Still, the prize for the best display goes to the LG G3 this time, because of a high resolution and pixel density.
The iPhone 6 Plus, like other new Apple devices including the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and the iPhone 6, has Apple Pay and TouchID built-in. Apple Pay works with a new feature included in the new flagship, namely NFC. At the moment, the NFC chip in the phone is locked to Apple Pay, but the company will surely open it up to developers just like it did with TouchID in the past. The LG G3 has NFC too, as well as an IR blaster. Unlike on the iPhone 6 Plus, NFC on the LG G3 isn’t locked to anything, so you can use it with NFC tags, IFTTT and many other fun things. The IR blaster is a plus, too, since many of you tend to use your phone as a remote control. In addition to these, the LG G3 also has a microSD card slot, which is missing from the iPhone 6 Plus. Even though Apple and implicitly iPhone fans have been clamoring for a microSD card slot on their devices, Apple doesn’t feel like they should have it, which is understandable since the company is focusing increasingly more on iCloud and Continuity.
We are used to iPhones having great iSight cameras, and the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t stray far from that tradition. Even though the iPhone 6 Plus main shooter is only an 8 MP one, believe it or not, it takes photos just as good as the LG G3 with its 13 MP camera. The 8 MP iSight sensor is accompanied by optical image stabilization and a dual-LED flash, which is also applicable to the LG G3. The front camera on Apple’s flagship is a 1.2 MP sensor, while the LG G3 has a slightly larger 2.1 MP sensor on the front for your selfie needs. Optical image stabilization is a plus for both these flagships, and consequently, both take amazing photos for a smartphone. That being said, camera-wise, we can call this a tie, mostly. Any thoughts on this? Maybe it’s odd to say that an 8 MP camera can take photos just as detailed as a 13 MP camera, but photo quality is usually influenced by many other hardware and software.
As for processing power, there are no complaints on either side. The iPhone 6 Plus is powered by Apple’s new 64 bit dual core A8 CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz, backed by a PowerVR GX6450 GPU and 1 GB RAM. You can choose between 16, 64 and 128 GB internal storage. The LG G3 on the other hand, runs on the Snapdragon 801 CPU, backed by an Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB RAM for the 16 GB storage configuration and 3 GB RAM for the 32 GB storage configuration. Both these flagships have high-end internals, so you won’t have any issues with graphics intensive games and apps, or otherwise for that matter. Once Android 5.0 Lollipop arrives on the LG G3, we should see even better performance and battery life reports.
Speaking of batteries, the LG G3 sports a removable 3000 mAH battery, which will be good for a day and a half of mixed use, approximately. The iPhone 6 Plus has a slightly smaller, non-removable 2915 mAH battery, which will provide for the same time of battery life, more or less. Battery life depends very much on user interaction and the way you use your smartphone, so this is not a definitive verdict. I would choose the LG G3 based on the battery because I enjoy having the option of swapping out the battery when it gets depleted and I’m always in dire need of a charger. At the same time, iPhone 6 Plus owners have also said they would have liked a bigger battery on the flagship, as stated above, which corroborates the fact that battery life is more important than design to most people.
The LG G3 also wins in my mind because it features wireless charging and Stereo FM radio with RDS, which are important to me. I don’t know about you guys, but so far, I’m more impressed by the LG G3 than the iPhone 6 Plus. But let’s get to the jist of it and talk about prices. The LG G3 price can go as low as $450 during the discount season, Black Friday and the holidays, while the iPhone 6 Plus has three different prices, based on storage configuration. The 16 GB iPhone 6 Plus price is $750, the 64 GB price is $850 and the 128 GB version will set you back $950. Those are hefty prices to pay for a smartphone, in my opinion. To be clear, I’m not saying the iPhone 6 Plus isn’t worth it. I’m just saying it isn’t worth it for me. What do you think?
Between the LG G3 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the choice is quite hard actually. One has to take into consideration the fact that the iPhone 6 Plus is part of the Apple ecosystem, which is a good thing for some and a bad thing for others. You also have to settle on a budget and define what you need from a smartphone. Both these flagships will handle anything you throw at them with ease, and both are fairly future-proof at the moment. I can honestly say that the LG G3 has wooed me, what about you? Which would you choose? What if they were offered to you for free?