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LG G4 vs HTC One M9: 5 Key Differences



Now that both the LG G4 and HTC One M9 have been announced and revealed to the world, prospective buyers are likely weighing all of their options, while also looking at the Galaxy S6, trying to decide what smartphone is right for them in 2015. The LG G4 hasn’t been released yet, but is coming soon, and here we compare the two for potential buyers looking for their next phone.

Last week LG took the stage and announced the impressive new LG G4, and while it doesn’t feature an all aluminum design like the HTC One M9, it does have a lot to offer along with a stunning new genuine hand-made leather design in six different colors. These are two of the best phones around, so lets break down all the details.

Read: LG G4 Hands-on & Impressions

In March the HTC One M9 was announced, and it hit all carriers on April 10th in the United States. It’s available now for potential buyers, while the G4 still has another month or so before we’ll see carriers release it in the US. Some may not be willing to wait, but if you are, here’s what you need to know about both of these phones, and a few key differences that may help you choose the right phone.

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Both the HTC One M9 and the LG G4 have a lot to offer, but are both very different. LG has a leather look with a huge display, while HTC stuck to the same brushed aluminum unibody frame and a smaller screen. Those are only a few of the many differences that separate these two phones.

When it comes to which smartphone is actually “better” between the HTC One M9 or the LG G4 there are a lot of things that come into play. User preference, software or hardware needs, and of course the size of the device are all things each user will decide on. While we don’t have all the answers, nor know what every user needs or wants, below are a five or so key features or differences that separate the two for those interested.


Many consumers are choosing a smartphone based on screen size. Even Apple realized this and increased the size of the iPhone 6 this time around. This year both HTC and LG kept the screen the same size as last year, but improved them in general.

Read: LG G4 vs Galaxy S6: What You Should Know

HTC stuck to the same 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display, one they think looks great yet will keep battery life in check rather than increasing the resolution. It’s a wonderful display, but LG has them beat. The new G4 has the same size as last year as well, a 5.5-inch screen, but it’s much improved and in our opinion better than the HTC One M9.

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According to an LG press release this new 5.5-inch Quad-HD display for the G4 achieved a “quantum jump” in color gamut and brightness. They’re calling it a “Quantum HD display”. The new LG G4 screen is brighter, features extremely rich and stunning colors. All while being more efficient and easier on battery life. Not to mention be thinner, and deliver improved touch function and precision.

It has a new advanced In-Cell Touch technology that allows it to react to touches, even with water on it. Finally, they claim it shows even more accurate colors over last year’s QHD panel in the G3 by offering a 120% color gamut, 50% increase in contrast, and 30% jump in brightness. It may not be as good as the Galaxy S6, but has more to offer than the One M9. HTC may have more accurate colors, but the screen is smaller and not nearly as crisp or pretty to look at.

Read: HTC One M9 Review

Don’t get us wrong, the HTC One M9 and its 5-inch screen looks wonderful, but if you want something bigger that promises some of the best colors and saturation around, the G4 is something to consider. It’s also hardly any bigger thanks to the small bezels around the device. If you want a big screen, the LG is the way to go.


LG and HTC couldn’t be any different when it comes to the design approach. LG has something that works great with the same overall look and feel as the previous generation, which is buttons being on the back for a sleek design, and lightweight (yet durable) cheap plastic for its smartphone build materials. They’ve used plastic for years, although the LG G3 actually looks like it’s made from aluminum. It has a brushed aluminum look to the plastic housing. The new G4 is the same, but they claim the plastic is infused with ceramic to feel more durable. And while that’s nice, it’s the new leather options that really makes the G4 stand out.

Read: LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 Camera Shootout (Comparison)

HTC on the other hand, has continued to deliver some of the best looking and most premium feeling smartphones on the market. The original HTC One was wrapped in a single aluminum shell, and that’s continued for two years and is the same essential design in the new One M9. While it barely looks different than its predecessors, it’s a big upgrade and one of the most powerful devices around. And now it has a nice two-tone aluminum finish. The aluminum is nice, but so is LG’s leather. It’s a hard choice to make, considering I have both. This one is a toss-up.

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The HTC One M9 has brushed aluminum in a few different colors, the best speakers of any smartphone, ones that happen to be front facing (and we’re not sure why others haven’t offered the same) and overall just feel like a premium device. And with the new One M9 they have a two-tone color option, still in aluminum, that looks wonderful. It’s a bit heavy, and has huge bezels around the small screen, while LG has a sleek bezel, big screen, and six different leathers to choose from. If you like to be fashionable, you can have different leather backs to match your outfit. Yeah, we went there.

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Looks aren’t everything, but it plays a role in many users purchase decision. Overall we like the design of the G4 better, but wish it had front facing speakers. The buttons on the back and sleek bezels make it stand out over the One M9.

While we were huge fans of the HTC One M8 and it received an Editors’ Choice award, the new HTC One M9 is even better. The LG G4 is slightly wider, extremely lightweight, and nearly the same height yet has a much bigger and better overall display. The entire design of the G3 was to offer a sleek device that isn’t too large, yet pack a massive and beautiful screen inside, and LG is doing that and more with the G4 in 2015.

If the screen size doesn’t matter too much and you’d rather have a premium device, the HTC One M9 should be perfect. For anything else, the G4 wins.


In 2015 the HTC One M9 finally delivered a capable camera coming in with a 20.7 megapixel lens. And while our review left us a bit unsatisfied, it should be one of the better options around. That said, LG kicked things up a notch with the G4, and are aiming for the Galaxy S6 and iPhone in terms of camera performance. The 16 megapixel lens features a fast F1.8 aperture rating, image stabilization, and some of the best software tweaks yet. It takes stunning images, and will give any device a run for its money. Above is a comparison with it and the S6, and the LG G4 could be the best camera smartphone this year. That’s a bold statement.

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Most phones are over 2.0 with the f-stop, which is the speed of the sensor and how well it captures details and light. Meaning both Samsung and LG are leading the pack here. There’s no question the LG G4 takes better photos than the HTC One M9, but we’ll be doing a comparison soon for those interested in that aspect alone.

The G4 has the laser auto focus and this is the third year they’ve delivered optical image stabilization, while HTC’s One M9 does have a 20.7 MP camera, there’s no OIS. The Galaxy S6 and LG G4 should have the best cameras in 2015, but HTC’s option is pretty impressive and recently received an update to make it even better. We’re not expecting the HTC One M9 camera to keep up, but for average users posting to social sites, it will be more than enough.


While specs aren’t as important as having a device that’s fast, fluid, and will work for years to come, it’s still something many consider while making a purchase. Below are the hard numbers for those interested, but it all boils down to these devices being nearly the same under the hood with a few small changes, and software will play the biggest role in how each device performs.

HTC One M9 Specs

  • 5-inch 1920 x 1080p HD display
  • 8-Core Snapdragon 810 with 3GB of RAM (4×4)
  • 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
  • 20.7 Megapixel rear camera, and 4 Ultrapixel front shooter
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and HTC Sense 7
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio Antenna, and Infrared laser for remote
  • Brushed Aluminum design, new two-tone color options
  • Dual front facing HTC Boomsound Speakers
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 Technology
  • 2,840 mAh battery


LG G4 Specs

  • 5.5-inch 2560 × 1440 Quantum-HD display
  • 6-core Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
  • 16 Megapixel f1.8 camera with OIS+, laser auto-focus, 8 megapixel front camera
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with a new LG UI
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio Antenna, and Infrared laser for remote
  • Reportedly will have wireless charging (our unit does not)
  • Three colors in plastic, six all-new Genuine leather back choices
  • 3,000 mAh battery (removable, but no Quick Charging)

As you can see from the breakdown above, these devices are extremely similar. Essentially buyers main concerns should be on the the camera, screen size, or simply which manufacturer has the best software and design. And those are in no particular order. Any one of those could and can be the deciding factor. The G4 may not be as premium, even with the leather, but we’re loving how it feels in the hand. It’s one of the best feeling, most comfortable smartphones I’ve ever used. The HTC One M9 has a more powerful processor and Turbo Charging, so that’s another thing to consider.


Last but certainly not least is the price. The HTC One M9 is a brand new flagship phone made of aluminum, and runs $199 with a new 2-year contract. We’re expecting the same 2-year pricing for the G4, but carriers have yet to make announcements, and we’re hearing a release date is aiming for late May or the first week of June.

Both come in 32GB of storage with a micro-SD slot, so there’s only one option to buy. Unless LG offers a premium leather-made option at a slightly higher cost. We’re not exactly sure what they have planned for the leather yet, so it may actually cost more than an HTC One M9 from carriers. Rumors suggest leather options could have a $40-$50 premium, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The HTC One M9 is $199 with a new 2-year contract, and $649 from most carriers outright. Not to mention monthly payment options as mentioned above ranging from $25-$28 per month. Expect the same monthly payments on the LG G4, but hopefully a lower outright price.

Final Thoughts

In closing, the only major advantage HTC has is the One M9 available now from carriers around the globe, while the LG G4 release date is still somewhat of a mystery. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular have all confirmed they’ll carry the LG G4, but no dates, pricing, or availability has been announced yet.

Potential buyers will need to decide if the HTC One M9 is right for them, or if they’d like to wait a month or so for the LG G4 to be released from all major carriers in the US, and around the globe. The Galaxy S6 and Edge are another viable option, something that LG is aware of, so expect big things from the G4 when the release date finally arrives.

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