If you want a great looking smartphone with a big screen odds are you are already comparing the LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 on your own. After spending nearly a year with the Galaxy Note 3 and weeks with the LG G3 there are clear differences between these two devices.
Samsung is the undisputed king of big screen Android smartphones. Until this summer there was the Galaxy Note and then there were other smartphones with big screens. Samsung continues to deliver the features that set the Galaxy Note 3 apart from other devices with a big screen including hardware and software.
This summer the LG G3 arrived with a beautiful 2k display, stunning camera and a design that feels much nicer than the fake leather back that Samsung strapped to the Galaxy Note 4.
Read: LG G3 review
Still, the LG G3 does not include an S Pen, which is an essential part of the Galaxy Note 3 experience for many owners. Although there are some rumors the LG G3 will gain a stylus accessory in time to compete with the upcoming Galaxy Note 4, there is no place to stow this like on the Galaxy Note devices. Samsung also delivers years of experience in S-Pen software that users benefit from.
The Galaxy Note 3 is almost a year old, and will soon be replaced by the Galaxy Note 4, but it is still a powerful and useful smartphone. It is available for as low as $99 on Amazon, and $200 to $300 in a carrier store.
The LG G3 is a month old, with new hardware like the 2k display that packs in more pixels than the Note 3 and a camera that uses laser to focus faster. You can buy the LG G3 for as low as $99 on Amazon and from $99 to $200 at carriers.
As far as carriers and connectivity there are not many differences between the LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3. Both of these phones are available on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The Galaxy Note 3 is available on several other carriers including US Cellular.
Read: Galaxy Note 3 Review
For this comparison we are using the Verizon LG G3 and the AT&T Galaxy Note 3. There are no major differences in hardware between the carrier versions of these devices that most consumers will notice aside from the radios used to connect to each network. The only thing worth mentioning is the AT&T LG G3 does not support the same wireless charging as the Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint models which is widely used in many phones.
LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 Video
Watch this short LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 video to see the biggest differences between these two devices. The LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 buyers guide takes a closer look at the five things buyers need to be aware of before buying one of these devices. If you are tempted to wait for the Galaxy Note 4 this LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 comparison will help you understand how the G3 stacks up to the Note series in general.
LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 Size
When it comes to size a LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 comparison yields a small difference in height and width, that does make a difference in how you actually use the two devices.
Although the difference is small, it is enough to keep the LG G3 in one-hand use territory, while the Galaxy Note 3 is typically one that I need a second hand for more tasks on. Both phones offer one-handed modes to help users with smaller hands, but I don’t use these. I find that I can reach more of the screen and do more simple activities on the G3 without a second hand.
This is thanks to the LG G3 design that delivers this smaller overall size.
LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 Display
Right off the bat users will notice tow things from a LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 comparison. The Galaxy Note 3 display is larger, but the LG G3 display looks better.
Here’s how the two screens compare on paper, but that’s only part of the story.
- LG G3 – 5.5-inch display, 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, 538 pixels per inch
- Galaxy Note 3 – 5.7-inch display, 1920 x 1080, 386 pixels per inch
The Galaxy Note 3 offers a bigger display that is pleasing to look at and works with the S Pen. The LG G3 offers a higher resolution that packs in more pixels so you can see more details on the screen. It’s difficult to show this through a photo of the screens, so you may need to go compare the two in person to see if you can tell the difference with your own eyes.
The video above shows a close up of the LG G3 display to highlight the detail it can deliver.
The design of these devices avoid metal that we see on the HTC One and the iPhone 5s, but that doesn’t mean they are cheap or feel like a poorly made gadget.
The Galaxy Note 3 includes a faux-leather back that is better than cheap plastic, but the white plastic back is still a bit too hard. The black Galaxy Note 3 offers a nicer feel. Users can also add a premium experience with an S View Flip Cover for the Galaxy Note 3, but right out the box you get the faux-leather.
LG fits the back of the G3 with a tough plastic material that almost feels like the ceramic back on the Moto X and other devices. This offers a premium feel that is not typical of plastic smartphones, and still offers the benefits of a plastic back.
Both of these devices let users remove the back for access to a removable battery and Micro SD card storage. Also users can add cases that connect directly to the back to add features that show information on the screen and add wireless charging.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 design is that the G3 uses slimmer bezels around the display. This is part of how the G3 is smaller than the Galaxy Note 3.
The back of the Galaxy Note 3 is flat and the sides are a traditional corner, while the G3 back is curved and edges wrap up. This is another way the G3 design helps users hold on to the phone with one hand.
Part of the thickness at the edges comes from the S Pen, which Samsung houses in the right edge of the device. The LG G3 puts the power and volume buttons ont eh back of the device, while Samsung keeps them on the edges.
LG G3 vs Note 3 Camera
You need to look at the photos and the software to see the difference in a LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 camera comparison. Both of these smartphones use a 13MP sensor, but they are not the same camera at all.
Samsung adds a lot of modes to the Galaxy Note 3 camera to help users take better photos, and they work for the most part. Some of them will auto activate when on auto, but you’ll need to dive in to use Drama Shot, Animated Photo and Eraser which can help you show motion, take a moving photo or erase someone from a photo if they walk into your group photo. The LG G3 does not include this many modes and options. The Note 3 camera app is more like that of a Point and Shoot.
The LG G3 camera app is simpler, but it relies on the G3’s Laser Focus to focus faster so you don’t miss a shot because the subject moved. There is a noticeable speed difference in how fast these two cameras focus. The LG G3 also includes a magic focus mode to let users adjust the focus after taking the photo, which can blur the background or foreground for dramatic looking photos.
Both of these smartphones offer a good front-facing camera and can record 4k video using the rear-facing camera.
The S Pen is a key Galaxy Note 3 feature that the LG G3 does not offer. Yes, you can buy a third-party soft tip stylus, but it does not interact with the screen the same way that the S Pen does.
With an S Pen, the Galaxy Note 3 display can ignore touch from your hand and fingers to avoid unwanted marks and make note taking easier. There is also a button on the Note 3 S Pen that lets users quick launch certain apps and tasks from anywhere.
There is no S Pen equivalent for the LG G3. There is a leak showing a LG G3 stylus option that may offer similar functionality, but it is a new phone, not something a LG G3 owner can add to the device they buy right now.
LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 Features
The LG G3 vs Galaxy Note 3 feature comparison yields many of the same features. Although Samsung is well known for multi-window mode that allows users to run two apps at the same time and a floating app on top of all the other apps, these are now standard on the LG G3.
One of the main differences is the LG G3 Knock code that allows users to knock out a security code and go from a black screen to the home screen. The Galaxy Note 3 doesn’t offer this and it does not include a fingerprint scanner like the Galaxy S5 introduced this year.
The Galaxy Note 3 multi-window mode lets users run two apps at once on the large display for enhanced productivity. The LG G3 also include dual window mode which is the same concept. The Galaxy Note 3 offers more apps and the option to run two versions of some apps at the same time so you can use two chat windows for instance. The feature is great to see on both devices, but better implemented on the Galaxy Note 3.
The Note 3 includes Pen Window that puts a small window of an app on top of all other apps. The LG G3 does this with Qslide, but once again the Note 3 offers more options. Samsung includes a dozen apps for this window, compared to five default apps that the G3 offers.
Both of these devices include an IR blaster and software to control a TV, cable box and home theater. They support many devices and include fast access to a remote control.
LG G3 QuickCircle Case
The first case on the list needs to be the official LG QuickCircle case with built-in QI Wireless charging. This replaces the back with a new flip-cover, one that has a nice cutout to still give the user excellent coverage and protection without missing important on-screen notifications.
It's slim, smart and customizable, and has built-in QI wireless charging. Meaning once you have a charging dock you won't ever have to plug in your LG G3 again. It is the most expensive option we'll be sharing today, and comes in at $59 from retailers or carrier stores like AT&T.com