So the Smartphone wars continue and it’s heating up every time a new Phone is launched. With the Major Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG launching their main Flagship for 2014, A very common question a lot of people are asking is which is better, and which one I’m going to pick. So In this Versus, I will be comparing the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8), Xperia Z2 and LG G3 to find-out which one is the best. I will be comparing them specification wise, and I will tell you why each one is good or bad in my opinion and on what device you should put your money on. So let’s go.
First let’s start with a Brief run down of all the specs of each device so you know what we are dealing with here. You can find my First Impressions Article for Each of these Devices by clicking on it’s name.
|Specs\Device||Samsung Galaxy S5||HTC One (M8)||Sony Xperia Z2||LG G3|
|Display||1920×1080 (432 ppi)||1920×1080 (441 ppi)||1920×1080 (424 ppi)||1440×2560 (534 ppi)|
|Build||Polycarbonate||Aluminium||Glass with metallic frame||Plastic with Metallic like Finish|
|Processor||Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5 GHz||Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.3 GHz||Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.3 GHz||Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5 GHz|
|Ram||2 GB||2 GB||3 GB||3 GB|
|Camera||Rear – 16 MP and Front – 2.1 MP||Rear – 4 MP Primary Camera and 2 MP Depth Sensing Camera and Front – 5 MP||Rear – 20.7 MP and Front – 2.2 MP||Rear – 13 MP and Front – 2.1 MP|
|Storage||16/32 GB with MicroSD up to 128 GB||16/32 GB with MicroSD up to 128 GB||16/32 GB with MicroSD up to 128 GB||32 GB with MicroSD up to 128 GB|
|Battery||2800 mAh (Removable)||2600 mAh||3200 mAh||3000 mAh (Removable)|
|Android version||Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat with Touchwiz)||Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat with Sense)||Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat with Xperia UI)||Android 4.4 (Kitkat with G UI)|
|Special Features||Finger Print Scanner, Heart Rate Sensor, IP67 Dust and Water Resistance, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Various Smart gestures||Amazing Build, Front Facing Boom Sound Speakers, Quick Gestures to enhance the experience||Front Facing Speakers, IP57 Dust and Water Resistance||Laser Auto Focus, Gestures to enhance the experience, Wireless charging built in|
So as you can see all these devices have Great Specifications. At the end of the day, it’s up to the consumer to choose what’s best for him to get. What suits him the most. There are Pros and Cons of each of these devices. So let’s talk about each device now. This is my opinion on each device.
The Galaxy S5 by Samsung is their Newest Flagship, it has Great Specifications, New Additions and then there’s the Same Old Design and Plastic. Samsung improved the Specs (as always) but this time they really missed out on things we don’t understand why. By that I’m talking about the 3GB of Ram, and Initial Storage Size (32GB); As you all no Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 from 2013 had 3GB of Ram and 32GB of Internal storage, But the S5 only has 2GB of Ram and 16GB of Storage to start with (Yes you have the Micro SD Card slot which can hold up to 128GB, but the problem is if you install a lot of Big Games – like GTA San Andreas, Asphalt 8, NBA 2K14, you’re going to run out of space soon because the game data isn’t transferable. I clearly do not understand why they did this. If they did this to save some extra cash, Shame on You Samsung. I really enjoy using Samsung Devices, but things like this makes their devices look bad in my opinion and it degrades it.
Apart from that the device has Amazing Specifications and New additions. The Galaxy S5 has a 1080p Display with amazing viewing angles. The Next weak point on the S5 is the Polycarbonate back, which makes the device seem cheap, but it is feels better than the old hyper-glazed “plasticky” back on the S4. The verdict about the build is if you like it, you will like it, if you don’t you never will. But I think you should give it a shot first because of the other extra features it has to offer when comparing. Now, talking about the CPU, The Snapdragon 801 is a powerhouse, so no worries there. The GPU used is the Adreno 330, which will blast through any game that is currently available. There are New Additions to the mix like the fingerprint scanner, Heart-Rate Sensor (Even though it is a Gimmick), IP 67 Dust and Water Resistance (It is Water RESISTANT – Not Water PROOF; Don’t Mix it up).
Let’s talk about the Fingerprint Scanner now. The Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner is not the same as the one on the iPhone 5S. On the S5 you have to Swipe Down to unlock. On the iPhone you had to just place your finger (Which is the Most Accurate Method, according to my opinion and the reviews I have seen). Samsung has also integrated Paypal in to it, so that you can pay using your fingerprint scanner. I’m not sure how safe this is though as the Samsung’s Fingerprint scanner can be easily hacked. We have to give credit to Samsung for including it nevertheless, because now they can work on it to improve it, and hopefully in the future devices they can include a fingerprint scanner that works more accurately; A Fingerprint scanner like on the iPhone 5S.
There is also a Heart Rate Scanner available on the Galaxy S5. This should be good for Fitness Fanatics, and should be really good to show off and piss off those iPhone Fan boys. But apart from that I don’t think anyone will use this on a regular basis. Most of the reviews I have seen on YouTube says the same thing.
The addition of IP67, dust and waterproofing is one of the most interesting things on the S5. This is that factor that’s going to make most people get the S5 over something like the HTC One (M8). Even though the S5 is waterproof, Samsung has allowed the user have that replaceable back, which allows users to make use of the Removable Battery and the Micro SD card slot. The water resistance on the S5 will work great as long as you have closed the Flap on the bottom protecting the Micro USB slot, and as long as you have closed the back properly. I have seen the phone reminding the user to check it often via notification pop up.
The Galaxy S5 also has the Gesture options that were on the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, with Air View, Air Gestures, Palm Swipe to Capture, Smart Stay etc. Samsung has also implemented an Ultra Power saving mode, which makes your screen Black and White and only let’s selected apps work with Mobile Data. Samsung Claims this will improve your battery life marginally, and the reviews seem to agree. The S5 also use Micro USB 3.0 for data transfer, which is unique to it and the Note 3 currently. This makes the phone charge faster and make data transfers faster once you enable it on the selection window after connecting to a PC. Talking about charging, the S5 also has a 2800 mAh battery which seems to be giving some great battery life. As I said earlier, the best part is If you use multiple batteries and if you run out of juice, you’re not going to have any issues. Just Switch and just like that you have full battery on your device.
Let’s talk about the Camera now. The Galaxy S5 has the New ISOCELL camera. The shots taken with the S5 seem to be having great detail and amazing effects as well. The Galaxy S5’s camera UI has also been redesigned (a bit) and it has most of the features we saw on last year’s flagships, plus a few more. The biggest weak point on the galaxy S5’s camera has been low light shots as it has been in the past with other Samsung Flagships. If you really want good low light performance you’re going to have to get something like the Lumia 1020. In my opinion, no low light shot is perfect. So it won’t be a big deal breaker if you have learnt to live with it.
Finally, the Software. The galaxy S5 is running Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with Touchwiz on top, and when it comes to Touchwiz you’ll either love it, or hate it. I really have no problems with touchwiz and the way it looks and the features it has to offer. Over the years I have got used to it so much I don’t mind it at all. Don’t get me wrong here, Samsung has to improve Touchwiz a lot more to make it 100% stable and better but right now what we get is way better than what we had before.
The Galaxy S5 is sold for around $650, and it is a Great All around device. The Galaxy S5 gets 8.8/10.
When we say HTC One, all that comes to our mind is the Brilliant Build quality that was on the HTC One (M7) which was HTC’s Flagship for 2013. HTC didn’t chance the name of its 2014 flagship, maybe to let us know that we are getting the same package, but in an even more impressive build and specs. I wouldn’t mind the name, even though it’s a bit confusing for some people. So this years, HTC One has top end specs just like its competition. It is powered by the Snapdraggon 801 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU; It has 2GB of Ram, 16/32GB Internal Storage, 2600mAh battery and finally to top it off it has the 1920×1080 display. The problem with the HTC One for most people comes when talking about the Camera. The HTC One (M8) has dual cameras (Duo Cameras); One 4MP Camera and One 2MP Camera for depth sensing. This Depth sensing camera allow the HTC One (M8) to add beautiful, somewhat gimmicky effects to photos after capturing them. For Example, the bokeh effect can be applied on the Galaxy S5 or even by using the Google Camera on Any Device, but the thing is the camera mode has to be specifically on that. But on the HTC One (M8) you can add any of the effects after capturing the photo, and it does look a bit better than its completion thanks to the depth sensor. Keeping the effects a side, the HTC One’s Primary camera is not a Show Stopper. It is just an average camera, mainly due to the lack of Mega pixels. Yes, I know that Mega Pixels aren’t everything, but when you compare a photo taken with the S5 to the HTC One (M8) you will see the lack of detail. If you want to zoom before and after taking the picture, I wouldn’t recommend the HTC One (M8). The Only Bad thing about the HTC One is its Camera, when comparing it to the rest. I would say the M8’s Camera is actually downgraded, when compared to the HTC One (M7)’s Camera where it had OIS. HTC had to ditch OIS on the New HTC One mainly because of the Depth sensor, but most reviewers including myself doubt that decision. What HTC need to do is listen to the people and give a better overall camera. Trust me, this will help it boost it sales a lot. The HTC one also has a Dual Flasher aka True Tone Flasher which will help you get better photos using the flash.
One other thing that the HTC One (M8) doesn’t have but its competition has is 4K Video recording. This is again mainly due to the low MP count. It has the Processing power needed, but the Camera is limiting it. We hope HTC can fix the Camera at least on their next flagship. For now all I have to say is the HTC One’s Camera is Average.
The HTC One (M8) will also face the same problem (Can’t transfer Game Data) as the S5 as I explained earlier when it comes to storage. 16GB primary storage is not enough, as I explained; even with the 128GB card slot. OEMs must make the minimum internal storage for Flagship devices 32GB, so people get the best from both worlds.
Talking about the Processor, the 801 holds enough power to do anything easily on the HTC One (M8). Backed with 2GB of Ram, the HTC One (M8) will blast through any game and will perform great on benchmarks (If you care about Benchmarks) as well.
Let’s talk about the Software on the HTC One (M8). The HTC One (M8) runs on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with Sense 6 on top. This is by far one of the fastest skins on Android in my opinion and HTC has worked hard to get it there. It has a lot of Features, most of them being actually useful. For Example the New Gesture settings (Motion Launch) on the HTC One (M8) are great. You can double tap to unlock, you can take the phone in Landscape and press the Volume button to open the camera, etc. The HTC One (M8)’s Sense 6 also has a lot of themes built in so you can switch between them at any time. This will change your theme throughout the device. The HTC one (M8) also has blinkfeed, where you will have your news collected. This is also getting better as HTC has released the SDK for developers to make new things for it. These features add to the experience of the device and we love them. Due to the minimal modifications, the device feels snappy overall, and it is a pleasant experience for anyone.
The Battery Life on the HTC One (M8) is good. It is not a removable battery, but it just gets a full day of juice. If you need more juice you will have to carry a battery backup pack with you. The HTC One (M8) doesn’t have Wireless Charging. The HTC One (M8) also has an Ultra Power Saving Mode, like on The Galaxy S5 which will help you improve your battery life critically. The HTC One also get a tad bit hot at some times, and it is felt well because it is made out of metal.
The HTC One (M8) is also available as a Google Play Edition Device, which means it will be running pure android like a Nexus Device. It will be slightly modified so it will have the gesture options and a few things like that from sense to make use of the Hardware. The Good thing about having a Google Play Edition device is that any HTC One (M8) user can easily switch to that by Rooting. He can be on sense or on bugless pure android. This is a huge plus on my Book.
Durability wise we won’t be able to judge it yet. But you will definitely have to take care of your device or else you will end up with scratches and bumps on it. This is why HTC Bundles in a TPU cover inside the box as well.
The HTC One (M8) is sold for around $650 and I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a Solid Device, but doesn’t mind much about the Camera, as I said the Camera is just Average. The HTC One (M8) gets 9/10.
Sony launched its Flagship the Xperia Z2 back in February at MWC, and Sony was able to fix a lot of problems that many of us had with the Original Xperia Z and Z1. The Main thing they were able to fix was the display. If you have used a Z or Z1, you know how bad that display is when using it at different angles. When you look at the The Display from front, it is gorgeous, but when you tilt your head a bit even it gets washed out and the experience is destroyed. It is completely solved with the Z2. Now the Full HD Triluminous display looks sharp from any angle and we are really pleased by that.
The Xperia Z2 is also powered by the Snapdraggon 801 SoC like all of the others in the Versus. It has 3GB of Ram. It has the same body as the Xperia Z and Z1 with Minor changes here and there, with Shatter Proof glass in the back and front. As you may have guessed the Z2 is Waterproof, with the IP57 certification. The Xperia Z2 also has a 20.7 MP Camera at the back and 2.2 MP Camera at the front. Hardware wise the Xperia Z2 is Awesome. But the problems start coming when you start using the device.
You must be wondering what I mean when I say “problems start coming when you start using the device”. Well if you have been following the phones in the past, it is simple. The Xperia Devices have been using the Same Software for a long time. When I say this some of will want to argue the fact that Samsung’s Touchwiz has been the Same, but I say otherwise. Think about it, Touchwiz has been improving with Features (Gimmicky or not). Though some people call air gestures and Air View features gimmicky, I wouldn’t say it is the same for everyone. It is most certainly not for me. I use all of those features on a daily basis and I love using them. I like touchwiz. By this I don’t mean to say that Sony has to change its whole UI to be like touchwiz or that they have to copy Samusng or follow their path and fill their phone with features, but what I mean is that they need to think, think and think and then implement new and useful features to the UI and make it look nicer. It was a good Skin on top of android when it was launched earlier. But now it is outdated. Yes they have implemented new features along the way like Small Apps and Themes, but it is not enough for me. Yes the themes have improved but Sony can do better. Even the Icons just look the same; Yes you can change icons on android to your liking, but I’m not talking about it like that, Sony has to do something Unique here if they want to make their phones sell like Galaxy Devices or iPhones. Sony has Top notch hardware, but the Software Degrades the Experience.
One other problem I have with Sony is the Software Lagg. When I might want to argue that Samsung also has that. Yes I totally agree. Samsung has to some extent, if you go overboard with the settings. As well all know the touchwiz skin is the heaviest skin on Android. But Sony, doesn’t have that problem. Their skin doesn’t have many features and they don’t have many useful stuff. So how can it lag? Now iPhone fan boys don’t try to say it’s a problem with Android, because if you say that you clearly have not used a Nexus device. Sony need to fix this with their next device, probably the Z3 (Hopefully).
The other big problem with Sony devices is overheating. If you have used the Z or Z1 you know how true I am. According to the Reviewers it is still existing on the Z2 as well, but this time a bit worse, because it won’t let you take photos or videos or sometimes use the phone when it is too hot. They could try to fix this by pushing out a software update maybe. Anyway Sony needs to step up and do the right thing if they want to survive and be competitive as I Said.
The Camera on the Xperia Z2 looks good on paper and it delivers in some cases. It also has a lot of features. What is good about the Sony device is the addition of the extra Shutter Button on the side with the Focus Dial, so you can easily snap a picture. Yes you can map other phones to use volume keys to be used as the shutter but it is easy and nice to have a dedicated button. Another problem Sony had with the Z1 is the problems of using in manual mode. What i mean by this is when someone use the manual mode instead of the Superior Auto, the Image is captured in 8 MPs, not the Full 20.7 MPs. Sony has fixed this partially, and now we can take images of 15.5 MPs. Sony also has bundled in the Background Defocus Mode, which offers the Lens Blur, Bokeh effect, but then the images are captured in 8 MPs and they don’t look as good as pictures taken with the competition. We do not know why Sony has these restrictions.
With the Z2 launch, Sony emphasized on Timeshift mode where you can record slow motion videos and select particular time gaps where you can slow it down. Sony also has a lot of features available in the camera. The Xperia Z2 also has 4K recording. That is an awesome thing,
but the problem is it’s not working flawless. I have seen 4K videos tests done with the Z2 and there are Sync issues. The Audio is playing a few seconds after the Video, which is unprofessional and we do not want Flagships to work like this. UPDATE : Now it is working Flawless after a Software Update (Update Version 17.1.1.A.0.402)
The Xperia Z2 is the Best Sony Phone out yet, and it has a lot of things fixed, including the display, but Sony still has to improve their software experience a lot more to make it compelling. The Xperia Z2 gets 7.5/10.
The LG G3 was launched by LG with a lot of plans in mind; the main Focus was Simplicity. The LG G3 is awesome in its own way and it has a really compelling package built in with enough specs to power it all off. It has a sleek build with minimum bezels and it looks elegant from the front. Talking about the front we have a QHD display being used with the G3. The display looks sick with amazing viewing angles. Even though it’s true that we won’t see any pixels even on the 1080p Full HD displays used on the other devices, having a QHD display is Future proof and it looks even more crisp.
The LG G3 is powered by the Snapdraggon 801 SoC, Adreno 330 GPU and it is backed with 2 G Ram on the 16GB Version and 3 GB of Ram on the 32 GB Version. It also has a Micro SD card that supports up to 128 GB Cards. The LG G3 will power through any process with ease and any game will work smoothly.
LG went on to use Plastic this time around as well. It is comfortable to hold as well according to most reviewers. But this time, they did one thing right; making it a NON-Fingerprint magnet. If you have used or seen the LG G2, you know how much of a fingerprint magnet it was. That was really annoying, and LG went on to Fix that. The only Grudge for me in the G3 is that it is made out of Plastic (With a Metallic Looking Finish). They should have used premium materials for their flagship. If I am to look forward from that, at least they should have incorporated Waterproofing with the G3, since it is already Plastic. This is a good chance missed by LG, with the G3. Just think about it, what if it was Waterproof? It would clearly win a lot more people over the S5 or the Z2. When people get the S5 or Z2, one major consideration factor is Waterproofing. It is a Shame that LG wasn’t able to pull it off. They should include that with their next flagship, the LG G4 at least. Till then we will have to stick with the G3, and it’s Fake Metallic Look with Plastic.
The LG G3 is also not scratch proof like the LG G flex, and we again doubt why LG has done this, even after using Plastic for the build. These are small things LG missed out on that makes a huge difference, in my opinion.
LG also continues the trend set by the LG G2 with rear mounted volume controls and Power/Lock buttons and they has refined them a bit this time around. The buttons are more Clicky and They look good; but the removal of the LED Notification light around the rear power button degrades the design in my opinion. If you recall the G2’s Rear mounted power button had a Notification Light around it, which looked superb, but LG has removed that and placed a normal small LED Notification light at the front. I think they should have left the rear one and added the front one too. This could have made it more Elegant.
The battery of the LG G3 is 3,000mAh and is user-removable which means you can carry around multiple batteries and still easily switch. This is another Awesome step by LG, following the footsteps of Samsung. I personally prefer removable batteries so i can easily switch the battery. There’s optional wireless charging support that comes with a different back panel and it is said to be working flawless by LG.
Simply when talking about the LG G3’s Camera and a Dual LED Flasher, LG Nailed it.The LG G3 has a 13 MP Camera with OIS+. This Camera is Awesome. It has Laser Autofocusing at the back, which makes it faster than any other phone to Focus, which sound cool, and it delivers. The Image quality is Crisp, and 4K Video on this looks Awesome. The only down side to the camera is Low Light Shooting, but No Camera is perfect there, so a lot of people won’t mind that especially when the MP count is big so we get better looking photos most of the time. The G3 can also shoot Slow Motion Videos which is again Awesome.
Talking about the Software of the G3, the UI has got a refresh, and I personally think it is a Major step up over what they had. It looks very colourful this time around with Loads of Animations. LG has implemented a few specific abilities with the G3 to improve the performance. Those include things like LG’s Smart Keyboard that goes beyond learning your typing habits to offer handy customization, like an adjustable on-screen height. You can also change the cursor placement by swiping along the space-bar. LG tackles the so-hot-right-now virtual assistant field with its Smart Notice service, which places an emphasis on using natural-sounding language as it delivers its reminders. The G3 also a better version of Knock On, called Knock Code, which helps you unlock you device by tapping on your screen to the pattern you select. It really looked awesome and useful. Guest mode is also available and the User can have a different Knock Code for that.
The Battery life is also good on the G3. You can easily get through a full day of work with the G3. Even if the battery runs out, you can carry extra batteries just like on the Galaxy S5; so that is a Huge Plus.
What LG have built this time around is a prominent phone. They did a sacrifices in some departments, and Overall we think the G3 is awesome. The LG G3 gets 8.9/10
As you see all these devices have their own Spotlight Set. They are all great devices and at the end of the day it is up to you to select what is going to match your Lifestyle. So I think, the Overall best phone out of these 4 devices is the HTC One (M8), mainly because it does everything right, except the camera, but as i said earlier if you don’t mind that, then no issues at all.
The Galaxy S5 is superb for a Fitness Junkie, and a person who wants features. The LG G3 is good for a person who wants to have a new experience, because that is just what you’re going to get. The Xperia Z2 is good for a person who needs an elegant device, with Waterproofing.
Disagree with me on any point mentioned above? Feel Free to express your thoughts down below in the Comments section. I am open for any discussion.
Now it’s your time to Vote. What do you think is the Best? Vote Now.