The past year has been amazing for smart phone cameras. Apple introduced phase detection autofocus (PDAF) in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung used PDAF and an f/1.9 aperture in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, and LG used laser focus, a color spectrum analyzer, and an f/1.8 aperture in the G4.
The camera improvements that we’ve seen over the past year have brought smart phone cameras to an entirely new level. In fact, it was enough to turn an amazing phone like the HTC One M9 and turn it into a mediocre phone. Nothing was wrong with the HTC One M9. It just don’t have the amazing camera that the iPhone 6, Galaxy S6, or G4 had.
I often see spec comparisons between the iPhone 6, LG G4, and Galaxy S6 cameras. It works for what out’s intended to though. Most people don’t know the advantages and disadvantages to the resolution of a camera. They just think that more megapixels means a better camera.
While the camera is certainly a big deal, that’s not all. The LG G4 uses the hexacore Snapdragon 808 processor, so it doesn’t have the overheating and throttling issues of the Snapdragon 810 in the LG G Flex 2. If you want to see the difference, check here. Of course, the A8 processor in the iPhone 6 is no slouch either. Let’s take a deeper look.
LG G4 vs iPhone 6: Specs
|LG G4||iPhone 6|
|Processor||Snapdragon 808, 1.44 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53, 1.82 GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex-A57||1.4 GHz Dual Core A8|
|GPU||Adreno 418||PowerVR GX6450|
|Display||5.5″, 1440p, 538 ppi, IPD LCD||4.7″, 750p, 326 ppi, IPS LCD|
|Body||148.9×76.1×6.3-9.8 mm, 155 g||138.1x67x6.9 mm, 129 g|
|Camera||16 MP, 5312×2988, 8 MP Front||8 MP, 3264×2448, 1.2 MP|
|Video||4K – 30 fps, 1080p – 60 fps, Front 1080p – 30 fps||1080p – 60 fps, Front 720p – 30 fps|
|Focal Length||28 mm||29 mm|
|Pixel Size||1.12 μm||1.5 μm|
|Storage||32 GB, Expandable to 128 GB||16/64/128 GB|
|RAM||3 GB||1 GB|
|Battery||3000 mAh||1810 mAh|
|Price||~$700, depending on carrier and body||$649/$749/$849|
OK, there’s something to be said here. For one thing, let’s make it clear that Apple’s 1.4 GHz dual core A8 processor is a very powerful processor. We’ll see more about that when we look at benchmarks. Just keep in mind that there’s much more to processors than cores and GHz.
It’s really not fair to compare specs from different phones that run different operating systems, because all operating systems require a different amount of system resources. iOS can run on less system resources because it only has to be optimized for four different processors. Android has to run on any processor you can find, whether it’s ARM, x86, or x64. Whether it’s Qualcomm, Samsung, Intel, MediaTek, or TI. Freedom requires more resources.
LG G4 vs iPhone 6: Rear Camera
The rear camera is an interesting case. I was told that the LG G4 was going to have the best rear camera I’ve ever used. It even got the promotion of being better than the Nokia Lumia 1020, which is a line that people like to throw out from time to time.
I found the 16 MP rear camera on the LG G4 to be somewhat disappointing. LG did a great job implementing the manual settings, but it’s my opinion that a smart phone camera should be something that takes a great picture with automatic settings. Ideally, I want a camera that takes amazing photos with automatic settings, that also allows for manual settings that can do everything that the LG G4 does.
The LG G4 doesn’t do that great when it comes to automatic settings. Many times, there is too long of a lag to take the photo, and occasionally it comes out blurry and out of focus. This is something that the iPhone 6 excels at.
The LG G4 uses LG’s laser focus while Apple’s iPhone 6 uses phase detection auto focus (PDAF). PDAF is also what Samsung uses in their flagship phones to take perfectly focused photos. I’ve always found LG’s laser focus to be just as good as PDAF, if not better, considering that laser focus works at night and in the fog.
The LG G4 also has a large aperture, f/1.8. In fact, it’s the largest aperture of any mainstream smart phone, right in front of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Nokia Lumia 735 which are f/1.9. The iPhone 6 is f/2.2.
While aperture is defined as the opening of the lens, the size of the sensor is important for low light performance as well. The LG G4 also has the larger sensor, at 1/2.6″ while the iPhone 6 comes in at 1/3″.
All of the samples below were taken with automatic settings. Please note that in order to enlarge the photos, simply click or tap on them.
|LG G4||iPhone 6|
Both the iPhone 6 and the LG G4 seem to be very similar cameras in the way that the reproduce color, which is a good thing. The iPhone 6 is renowned for its color reproduction. The fact that they look the same means they’re both great cameras.
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LG G4 – iPhone 6
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I was a bit surprised to see how similar low light performance is. The LG G4 should, by all rights, have better low light performance, and that doesn’t appear to be the case.
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LG G4 – iPhone 6
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LG G4 – iPhone 6
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LG G4 vs iPhone 6: Front Camera
The 8 MP front camera on the LG G4 is the one thing about it that blew me away. Ever since LG sent me my review unit, I’ve been taking all kinds of selfies with my girlfriend. It’s one of the best front camera on the market.
Of course, Apple has a pretty good front camera as well, but it’s 1.2 MP, which is just north of 720p. Unfortunately, most of our screens have higher resolutions than that now, so there’s only so much they can do with 1.2 MP.
Like I said, they’re both great front cameras, but there’s only so much that you can do with 1.2 MP.
LG G4 vs iPhone 6: Benchmarks
The LG G4 uses the hexa core Snapdragon 808 processor. It doesn’t use Qualcomm’s flagship, the Snapdragon 810, due to the well known overheating issues, despite the fact that the LG G Flex 2 (which uses the Snapdragon 810), requires heavy usage to even throttle to below the 808. Even then, it’s still close.
Apple’s A8 processor is one of the most efficient processors I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the only phones I’ve ever used that just doesn’t heat up in my hand, even after heavy usage. It’s also one of very few phones where you can record a 45 minutes video without it crapping out halfway through.
First, a battery test.
|LG G4||iPhone 6|
Obviously, the LG G4 gets better battery life, which isn’t entirely surprising, given how much larger the battery is in the G4. iPhones have this reputation for having great battery life. I think it’s because they really don’t use any battery life when the device is asleep.
I see a lot of screen shots on Google+ where people brag about 2 days of battery life. The screen shot is from the Settings option that shows battery usage. I’ll even see a company announce a device that promises 36 hours of battery life. No device gets battery life that good, except when it’s asleep for 90% of the time. We say that screen on time is what matters, but it also matters if the devices uses a lot of battery when it’s asleep like the OnePlus One does.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow has a feature called Doze, which should finally bring Android battery life up to par with iOS. The only other thing they have to work on is ridiculous unnecessary, battery draining specs, such as octa core processors, 4 GB RAM, and 1440p displays.
Next, processor benchmarks. First up, Geekbench.
This is not entirely surprising. Apple’s dual core A8 beat up most of the phones that came out that used the quad core Snapdragon 801. Now, Android processors are finally catching up to Apple’s 64 bit processors. The only processor that I’ve ever seen come near the A8 in single core scores is the Nvidia Tegra K1. As for the multi core score, throw enough cores in there, eventually it will come out on top. It’s the Android brute force method. Rather than optimizing the OS for performance, throw in more cores, GHz, and RAM.
Next up, AnTuTu.
Next up: GFXBench for graphics benchmarks.
As we can see here, for the most part, the iPhone 6 beats the LG G4 when it comes to graphics performance. This is a similar to the results we got when we compared the iPhone 6 to the Samsung Galaxy S6.
It’s the 1440p display. The iPhone has a 750p display, which is about a million pixels. 1440p is 3.7 million pixels, which is about 3.7 times as hard on the GPU. That’s a lot of pixels to push. Considering that there are no benefits to a screen that high in resolution (other than virtual reality), this is important.
LG G4 vs iPhone 6: Conclusion
Obviously, these are both awesome phones, and let’s face it. Anyone who is deciding between these two phones aren’t deciding based on a slight difference in benchmark scores. They might choose based on a better front camera though.
The fact is that for about the next month, the iPhone 6 is the best iOS phone on the market. The question is what the best Android phone is that will compete with it. Depending on what you want from a phone, I think it’s either the LG G Flex 2 or the LG G4. One thing is for sure. LG is killing it.