The LG G2 and the Apple iPhone 5S are now available to buy in the UK. Both are flagship smartphones with high end specifications, great features and the very latest mobile operating systems - but which of the two is the better buy ?
The build quality of the iPhone has always been one of the areas where it's always excelled and the iPhone 5S is no different. You get the same stylish metal construction with every element of the smartphone feeling premium.
LG's G2 has a pleasing appearance , with the large display dominating the smartphones appearance - thanks to minimal bezels surrounding the screen. However, the plastic design doesn't convey the same quality as Apple's iPhone 5S - with the LG G2 feeling like a cheaper smartphone (more on price later).
The quality of LG's displays has never been in doubt , with Apple even using the Korean company to produce displays for its iPhone range. The LG G2 has a huge 5.2 inch IPS (In-Plane Switching) display that runs at a resolution of 1920*1080 pixels giving it a pixel density of 443 pixels-per-inch.
Apple's iPhone 5S has a smaller 4 inch Retina display running at a resolution of 1136 * 640 pixels. That gives it a much lower pixels-per-inch rating (341) and it's smaller size makes it less effective when it comes to web-browsing and multimedia playback.
The obvious upside of the iPhone 5S's smaller display is that the smartphone is much more compact than LG's smartphone. Apple's mobile is 14mm shorter, 12mm narrower, 1.3mm thinner and also 21g lighter than the LG G2. Apple have also introduced three new colours : Gold, Space Grey and Silver which give the mobile a more futurisitic appearance - and we love it.
LG's smartphone is only available in 'classic' Black and White colours, although it's still a visually appealing design, with the huge display taking centre stage. The introduction of the rear-buttons has completely removed the need for side-facing buttons and it's surprising how much this improves its appearance.
The LG G2 is a real powerhouse thanks to its 2.26 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Apple's iPhone 5S has a 1.3GHz dual-core processor A7 processor and 1GB of RAM , but don't let that concern you because Apple have never been concerned about spec-sheets.
In the real world Apple's A7 processor - combined with iOS 7's 64 bit architecture - outperforms all of its major rivals. In benchmarks posted by PCMag the iPhone 5S just comfortablly beats LG's G2 overall, although in fairness both devices offer staggering performance.
Apple's iPhone range has never excelled when it comes to camera technology and the iPhone 5S lags behind LG's G2 when it comes to camera technology. LG have included a 13 mega-pixel snapper with optical image stabilisation (OIS) , and it can record full 1080p video at 60fps.
Apple's iPhone 5S has an 8 mega-pixel camera that lacks OIS and can also only record 1080p video at 30fps. Also, the front-facing Facetime camera only comes in at 1.3 mega-pixels, while LG's G2 has a 2.1 mega-pixel front-facing snapper.
Battery Life, On-board Memory and Connectivty
The LG G2 comes with a huge 3,000 mAH battery which delivers 18 hours talktime or 12 days standby time. Apple's iPhone 5S doesn't drain anywhere near as much power and consequently ships with a smaller 1560 mAh battery that provides up to 10 hours talktime or 10.5 days standby time.
On-board memory is normally a category the iPhone loses out on due to it's lack of microSD card support. However, this time around it's equal pegging , because LG's smartphone also lacks a microSD port. Apple's smartphone is available in models with 16, 32 or 64GB of storage, while the G2 is available in versions with either 16 or 32GB of onboard memory.
Both smartphones support 4G LTE, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. LG's mobile supports NFC, which is a feature still yet to be embraced by Apple.
Aside from running on totally different operating systems - Google Android and Apple iOS 7 - both smartphones have a single standout unique feature.
Apple's iPhone 5S has the much-touted Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, which provides the 'WOW' factor when showing-off the new smartphone to your friends. However, there were doubts about it's security when it was announced and Apple have since had to launch an update to resolve a lock-screen hack. There is always the risk , even with Apple 100 per cent sure it's not possible, that someone could extract your fingerprint from the mobile - a very worrying prospect.
LG have decided to move all the G2's physical buttons to the rear of the smartphone. Adjusting the volume of calls or music playback feels intuitive and is a definite improvement , but the new interface sometimes felt awkward - overall, it neither makes or breaks the smartphone.
There is a big difference in price between the two smartphones with the 16GB version of the LG G2 available on Three for just £399.99, while the Apple iPhone 5S 16GB costs £549.
The difference in price is also reflected in the monthly costs with LG's G2 available on tariffs starting at just £29 a month on Three (£49 upfront), while the lowest priced Apple iPhone 5S (15GB) tariff costs £37 a month (£99 upfront) - that's a total difference of £242 over the length of a contract.
The LG G2 is one of the best Android smartphones in the world, with a stunning 5.2 inch display, amazing power and a brilliant 13 mega-pixel camera. We can't recommend the smartphone enough, but Apple's iPhone 5S has the much higher build quality and is actually a faster device.
At the current time we're not sure whether the iPhone 5S's fingerprint sensor or LG G2's rear-facing buttons are a blessing or a hindrance - we've got privacy concerns about the former and need to spend more time with the latter. Therefore, the only other differentiating factors are the operating systems and the size of the smartphones themselves.
If you love Apple's iOS platform and are looking for a compact , premium smartphone then you'll love Apple's iPhone 5S. Although, those looking for a high-end Android mobile that's great for web-browsing and multimedia playback won't regret buying LG's G2.
Overall, the iPhone 5S and the LG G2 are two of the best smartphones in the world right now. Personally, given the price difference we'd choose to buy LG's G2 and wait for the iPhone 6 to launch next year, which should be revolutionary!
You can read our review of the LG G2 here. We're yet to post our Apple iPhone 5S review, but it won't be long now !
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By Simon Thomas on 02nd October, 2013