iPhone 6 full review
The iPhone 6 is the most important iPhone launch since the very first Apple phone was thrust upon an unsuspecting world in 2007. Put simply: the breadth and quality of Android and Windows Phone alternatives has never been greater. You can purchase an Android handset offering similar qualities and features to an iPhone, and save money. The iPhone 6 needs to be a huge success for Apple to maintain its leadership in terms of profitability in smartphone manufacturer, and to see off the onslaught of rival handsets at the top end of the market.
We've spent a bit of time with the iPhone 6 now, and decided to put it up against the best of the rest. According to Macworld UK's sister title PC Advisor the LG G3 is the best smartphone of 2014. So in this article we have compared the LG G3 with the iPhone 6, and pushed ourselves to decide if the LG has anything to offer that would make an iPhone-toting Macworld UK reader think again. We think the results are interesting: basically, there are plenty of things, but if you love iPhones, iOS and iTunes, you are likely to stay happy.
WARNING: this is a Macworld UK story, and as such it is going to assume that readers are pre-disposed to like iPhones. Android fanboy comments are of course welcome! (See also: iPhone 6 review.)
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Price and UK availability
The iPhone 6 is available in the UK, at least nominally. At the time of writing there are supply issues, but likely these will pass in a few weeks. The iPhone 6 starts at £539 inc VAT for the 16GB model. You will likely need more space than that, and the 64GB will set you back £619, £699 gets you a 128GB iPhone 6. The UK SIM-free price for the LG G3 has been confirmed at £479 inc VAT for the 16GB model. It is an exceptionally good value handset. (Related articles you might like: iPhone 6 review | iPhone 6 release date | iPhone 6 Plus release date | iPhone reviews.)
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Storage
The LG G3 comes in 16GB and 32GB flavours, and employs support for microSDXC, allowing you to add an extra 128GB of storage. The iPhone 6 offers greater onboard storage options of 16GB, 64GB or 128GB. But it allows for no expandable storage. You'll see the significance of this when you look back to the UK price section. Suffice to say that storage is critical in smartphones, and we'd rather get a 32GB LG G3 and whack in a 128GB expansion card than shell out more than £600+ on a 64GB iPhone. But SD cards can lead to marginal drops in performance, so your view may differ. Apple's certainly does! Also read: iPhone 6 Plus rivals
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Design and build
LG has applied a metal-effect skin to the LG G3's rear for a touch of class, but it is not actually metal. It is sufficiently stylish for a high-end smartphone. The rear cover of the LG G3 is removable, allowing you to access the also removable battery and microSDXC slot.
The LG G3 is just 8.9mm - pretty thin by any measurement, especially considering the extra tech that is squeezed in. At 75 x 146mm in size, the G3 is a large phone due to its bigger screen size compared to its predecessor and other flagship devices. By contrast at 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm the iPhone 6 is certainly not a small phone, but it is uncommonly thin, and smaller than the LG G3 in general.
The iPhone 6 is a very different device from the iPhones of the past four years. The new phones have rounded edges - not just the metal, but the edges of the glass front are curved. This and the overall thinness make it a very comfortable fit in the hand.
It's no surprise that the LG G3 has gained some weight considering its overall size but not much at all, 149g up from 143g. More impressive design work from LG. The LG G3 feels big enough and ugly enough to look after itself, too. By contrast the iPhone 6's 129 g is very light for a larger-screen smartphone: much as you would expect from Apple. If you want a big-screen handset with a smaller chassis, you are going to choose the iPhone over even the LG.
Both handsets offer colourful options, but neither the LG G3 nor the iPhone 6 comes with any dust- or waterproof credentials.
Ultimately this section comes down to a simple question: are you comfortable using your iPhone without a case. If you are, it is indisputably smaller, thinner and lighter. It's also subjectively better looking. But it will be more delicate than the less precious-feeling LG G3. And using a case adds weight and bulk.
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Display
The screen is a key difference between this pair, and LG really knows what it's doing in this department. On the LG G3 LG has managed to squeeze a 5.5in screen into a chassis barely larger than the screen itself. Not only is the LG G3's screen large at 5.5in, the resolution is also Quad- rather than full-HD. Indeed, the LG G3 has a staggeringly high pixel density of 534ppi. The LG G3's really is a brilliant, brilliant screen. Apple may tell us that the human eye cannot discern detail beyond a Retina display, but that makes it odd that Apple itself has created what it calls a 'Retina HD' display for the iPhone 6. That display is excellent, but to our eyes it cannot match up to that of the LG G3 (maybe it is something other than the pixels - who cares?)
In the case of the iPhone 6 we have 4.7in display. It is an LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen with 16M colours. You get, as you would expect, shatter proof glass with an oleophobic coating. Into this display is packed 750 x 1334 pixels, making for a pixel density of 326ppi. This is very much an iPhone screen: sharp and colourful, with realistic colour reproduction and good viewing angles.
As I said above, the iPhone 6's is a great display. But I cannot honestly say that the LG G3's isn't better.
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Specs
The LG G3 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at 2.5GHz. Living up to its name, the G3 has 3GB of RAM but only if you buy the 32GB, the 16GB model has 2GB. (The software is designed for 2GB to the extra on the 32GB device gives headroom.)
It's unsurprising that performance is smooth and nippy. It is certainly a powerful and fast performer. As, of course, is the iPhone 6 - despite nominally inferior hardware.
The iPhone 6 comes with an Apple A8 processor - a dual-core chip running at 1.4 GHz. And it has only 1GB RAM. So if we were comparing only on pure processing power we'd have to hand the prize to LG. Of course it is more nuanced than that. Both of these handsets are super fast performers, both in terms of real-world use and in synthetic benchmarks. I cannot imagine anyone finding either of them slow. Much more important than pure processing power is user experience, which also takes into account software coding. And in that respect both of these handsets are at the pinnacle of moddern smartphone technology.
None the less, if you are the sort of user who requires the fastest chip and the most RAM, it is the LG G3. (See also: iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison review.)
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Cameras
The resolution of the G3 remains at 13Mp compared to the G2 but there are a number of improvements which have been added. For starters there's a dual-LED flash which should come in handy in low light situations.
More impressive is the inclusion of recording video in 4K resolution. That's not a new feature for smartphones but the LG G3's laser auto focus certainly is. The G3 includes optical image stabilisation technology to keep shots shake-free and something called 'touch and shoot' removes unnecessary buttons so you can concentrate on getting the right shot.
At the front is a 2Mp camera which can shoot video in Full HD which LG calls a 'selfie camera', not a front facing camera. However, LG has added the ability to take selfies with a hand movement. The pixels are bigger than the rear camera, the angle has been optimised for selfies and the screen can be used as a sort of flash in dark conditions.
Apple has clearly eschewed the megapixels arms race in speccing up the cameras for the iPhone 6. Whether that is a good- or a bad thing remains to be seen.
The main, rear-mounted camera is an 8Mp snapper that captures 3264 x 2448 pixel images. It has a 1/3in sensor, and offers face-detection, autofocus, and a dual-LED flash. Video is captured at 1080p and 720p, at 60fps and an amazing 240fps slo-mo.
Neither of these cameras is a world-beater, but both are better than just about any compact camera you ever owned. (See also: iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison.)
LG G3 vs iPhone 6 comparison: Software
Android vs iOS is a conundrum. Android isn't like it used to be: if you are new to the smartphone game there's no obvious winner. These are the two most popular and best mobile operating systems around so it's about picking which one is right for you.
In essence, if you are a long-term iOS user you are probably best off sticking with what you know. You have after all almost certainly spent a lot of cash on apps that you'll have to spend again in Android. But it is worth considering that your iTunes music files will work in Android, and Android offers the opportunity of shopping around for music, movies, books and TV shows. See also: Just another opinion about Apple's new iPhones.
iPhone 6: Specs
- Apple A8 processor
- 16/64/128 GB storage
- 1 GB RAM
- iOS 8
- 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
- 1.2 MP secondary camera
- 750 x 1334 pixels, 4.7 inches LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
- 129 g