The war just reignited.
However, this time, it’s not between North and South but between two South Korean companies intent on world, er, Android world domination instead of just a jutted and divided peninsula. The war prize is billions of dollars’ worth of revenue and an improved brand image. The battleground is the consumers’ wallets.
Witness the clash of the older, less powerful but more entrenched king and the new knight of the kingdom. The king is ready with his millions of supporters while the knight can only rely on his awesome strength which is second to none. Can the knight (LG G2) overthrow the king (Galaxy S4)?
No worries, though. There are no malfunctioning missiles or Dear Leader rallies in this war.
Numbers and Other Geek Stuff
Specs-wise, LG G2 wins. There’s no silver lining for the Galaxy S4; the G2 is simply more powerful than Samsung’s international flagship (the Korean “Advanced” international Galaxy S4 comes with the same processor as that of the LG G2, nullifying the advantage of the G2).
The design of the LG G2 is somewhat closer to the Galaxy S4 than the original Optimus G due to its plastic construction. However, the similarity ends there. The G2 is slightly thicker at 0.35 inches to the Galaxy S4’s 0.31 inches and also a hair heavier at 0.315 pounds to the Galaxy S4’s 0.286 pounds. Also, the LG G2 only contains two physical buttons: The volume keys at the back just below the camera, contrary to the myriad of buttons found on the Galaxy S4.
The biggest physical difference you might notice is the presence of a larger and almost bezel-free screen on the G2. The screen is 5.2 inches and has the same Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution found on the Galaxy S4’s smaller 5 inch screen. Both have the same 13 megapixel rear camera. The front-facing camera of the G2 stands at 2.1 megapixels compared to the Galaxy S4’s 2 megapixels. The only camera difference is the presence of Optical Image Stabilization on the G2 which helps to avoid blurred pictures courtesy of shaking hands.
The selling feature of the G2, though, can be found inside. The beating heart of the G2 is a 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor which made a meal of the 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor of the American Galaxy S4 and the international Galaxy S4’s 1.6 GHz octa-core processor if benchmarks are to be believed. However, real time usage showed that performance is mostly the same smoothness, courtesy of Android Jelly Bean’s Project Butter. Both have 2 GB of RAM.
Curiously, the G2 lacks both a microSD slot and a removable battery; the Galaxy S4 has both. The G2 battery compensates with a larger capacity rated at 3000 mAh compared to the Galaxy S4’s 2600 mAh. For the lack of a microSD slot, future G2 users have to be contented with 16, 32 or 64 GB of non-removable storage.
Software wise, both run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with different custom UIs built on top. The G2’s Optimus UI looks almost the same as the Galaxy S4’s TouchWiz UI with the bright color icons and the nature inspired interface. It doesn’t matter much though, as power users despise custom UIs and there are many alternatives that can be installed from the Play Store such as Apex, Nova or Go Launcher Ex.
The New King or Just a Usurper?
Should the King be threatened? Or should the Usurper now quake in its boots?
The Galaxy S4, despite the somewhat lukewarm reception it received from tech reviewers all over the Internet due to the similarity to last year’s Galaxy S3, has received a much warmer reception among consumers. The users who voted with their wallets ensured the success of the device: 20 million units sold as of July 2013 and counting.
Will these users be even receptive to the idea of once again purchasing another smartphone, more powerful than the Galaxy S4? And users who are on a contract shouldn’t be discarded either. Upgrading from an already costly contract just to have a phone with a few upgrades and tricks up its sleeve sounds eerily impractical.
Get the LG G2 once it launches if you feel that the additional specs are worth another purchase. It has been five months since the release of the current king, the Galaxy S4 and for the fast-paced mobile phone trends, that’s a long time. However, this update is likely more geared for techies who owned last year’s flagships like the Galaxy S3, LG Nexus 4, the original LG Optimus G and the iPhone 5; the users who decided to pass on the Galaxy S4 to wait for a more powerful device replacement.
The fate of the G2 rests largely on how well LG markets this device and the pricing as well. Currently, the Galaxy S4 is priced at $99 with contract and $600 without contract. If LG comes up with a reasonable pricing scheme, new users will be swayed to buy it over the Galaxy S4. However, if LG acts greedily and demands an iPhone-ish price, then all bets are off.
As the new Korean War rages across multiple fronts from the Korean peninsula to continental Europe and the mainland USA, LG must know that specs and raw power alone will not win it for this device.
The LG G2 is an impressive device, however, it still remains to be seen whether it can gather enough supporters to form an army and attack the Androidland court currently dominated by the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Currently, the LG G2 is not yet available stateside; however, it will be available at the end of August on all major carriers in the United States. You may want to start saving now. If you don’t have enough money to purchase one, you can always sell your used, broken or unwanted electronics or your 5-month old Galaxy S4 on a site like eCycleBest.com.
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