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LG G2 vs. HTC One Comparison Smackdown
Posted September 19, 2013 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
In the culmination of our smackdown week where we pit the lovely new LG G2 against its three Android flagship competitors, the HTC One finishes the round. We and many other reviewers have been smitten with the HTC One's superb design, quality metal casing and clean Android build. Its Ultrapixel camera taught us that improved sensors with larger pixels could be as meaningful as the number of megapixels. It was the phone to get if feature spam was weighing you down with apps and UI tweaks you never used. But the LG G2 is several months newer and sports some impressive generational improvements; will it win the day?
The HTC One's large, full HD IPS display is one of its strongest selling points, and so far no other phone has rivaled it. Until the LG G2 that is! The LG also has a fantastic IPS display with very good color balance and it's a half inch larger (measured diagonally) than the 4.7" HTC One. The good news is that the LG G2 is no larger than the HTC One, so you won't have to put up with a wooly mammoth of a smartphone. In terms of display quality, they're very, very close. The LG G2's color calibration is slightly better, but the HTC One is slightly brighter. The LG G2 wins by size alone, since that increase makes for more enjoyable movie watching and reading without adding bulk.
Winner: LG G2 (based on size, otherwise it's a tie).
Performance and Horsepower
The HTC One ran what was the top of the line Qualcomm CPU and graphics chip: the Snapdragon 600 quad core clocked at 1.7GHz with Adreno 320 graphics. The LG G2 is newer so it gets the Snapdragon 800 quad core clocked at a mind-boggling 2.26GHz. The LG has Adreno 330 graphics for a secondary boost. Yes, the LG is significantly faster on benchmarks. No, you really don't need this much speed today: both phones are overkill. But two years from now, the LG will have a performance edge and by then application developers will probably have found good uses for all those CPU cycles.
||3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
||6719, Demo test: 25.9 fps
||9803, Demo: 46.8 fps
Winner: LG G2
Design and Ergonomics
The HTC One beats every phone on the market except the metal iPhones that have an equally stunning metal chassis. The Aluminum, Gorilla Glass and polycarbonate HTC One is the poster child of what an aspirational smartphone should look like. The LG G2 is yet another bland, shiny plastic slab phone. The G2 is put together well, but it's nothing to look at and gets ugly with fingerprints before you can say "smartphone" twice.
Winner: HTC One
Much has been said about the HTC One's Ultrapixel camera that translates into 4MP in terms of resolution. Yes, the larger photosites make for much better night shots and for casual photographers, it's got everything you need. You can take great looking photos and 1080p video that look sharp on Facebook or on your phone's screen. But that lower resolution falls apart when you need to make large prints, or capture photos with max detail (like I do when taking a stealth shot of an unreleased phone at a show). The LG G2's 13MP camera with Sony Exmor RS sensor is one of the best camera phones on the market: resolution, settings, features and good image processing software come together for excellent results.
The front cameras? They're excellent on both devices (by today's standards).
Winner: LG G2
Software and Android
This is the "there's no right answer" part of our comparison, rather its what appeals more to you that counts. HTC went with a very modest customization of Android with HTC Sense 5. You get BlinkFeed (newsfeeds) on the home screen, the tastefully integrated clock and weather in the app drawer and a surprising stripping of quick settings from the notification area (HTC actually brings settings back in some versions of their One software, but our AT&T model hasn't gotten the update). For those who want pure, plain Android, there's a Google Play Edition of the HTC One, but you'll have to pay full retail.
LG, like Samsung, believes that you can never have enough software. To LG's credit, there's less feature spamming than on Galaxy smartphones, and the UI is a bit better looking than TouchWiz, but for those who love a super clean, Nexus like experience, you won't get that on the G2. That said, I generally prefer a clean Android build, but I find most of LG's apps and customizations useful and enjoyable. I particularly like the Knock feature where you tap the screen twice to wake up the phone, the motion activation for answering the phone, and the QSlide widgets that provide some multi-tasking.
Winner: this one's up to you.
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