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    October 26, 2015

    LG G4 vs Huawei P8: Birds of a feather

    In the last couple of years, things have drastically changed in the Android flagship market. Just the other day, Samsung owned the flagship market within Android, with few others really putting their hands up as a valid challenger (the HTC One being the only one coming to mind).

    These days, however, things have changed drastically. There are now many Android flagships vying for that top position, and rightly so. There are plenty of great Android phones out there right now, many with flagships specs at a fraction of the cost you‘ll pay for the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S series.

    These are two of those examples, and top dogs in their own rights. So let‘s see which comes out in top between the Huawei P8 and the LG G4. Before you look at our comparison review, check out our reviews of Huawei P8 and the LG G4.

    Design and Build

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    The design language of these two devices couldn‘t be further apart. Huawei went with a full metal uni-body design, where LG have a largely plastic design. Our review unit also carried the leather back cover, which feels brilliant in the hand.

    The build quality of both these devices are top notch, even though they are so different. The metal body of the Huawei P8 feels remarkably grippy for such a thin device, and the chamfered edges do give it a classy feel. Those edges have come under some strain though, and they can pick up a couple of scratches here and there. The LG G4 on the other hand, feels larger in the hand, but more comfortable due to the curved back. The leather back cover feels premium and subtle all at once, and makes the back placed buttons even easier to use.

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    The LG G4 has a removable back cover, of course, which means you have a microSD card slot and removable battery. The Huawei P8 has microSD card expansion, but thanks to the uni-body design, no removable battery.

    When it comes to one handed use, these devices feel very different but are similarly easy to use. Both are easy to handle, and comfortable when making phone calls. The largest difference to get used to is the different placement of buttons.

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    The Huawei P8 only has a volume rocker and power button. That power button, though, is a thing of beauty (you have to see it close up). The LG G4, on the other hand, has the volume rocker and power buttons on the back of the device. Both devices buttons are great to use, but we feel the P8‘s design works better for most people (even though we‘ve come to love the LG placement).

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    Overall, we can‘t pick between the two devices in terms of build quality in everyday use. In terms of materials, you can argue that the P8 has a more premium build, thanks to the full metal design. But there is something special about that leather back on the G4. Objectively, the P8 design is a smidge better in terms of overall quality, so we‘ll give this one to the Chinese firm.

    Screen

    While the full HD 1080p display of the Huawei P8 isn‘t a market leader in terms of resolution (compared to the Quad HD displays on the Galaxy S6 and the LG G4), we have always maintained that for a screen this size it isn‘t needed and in this case it still holds true. Its 5.2-inch screen is bright, colourful and responsive and is definitely one of the best 1080p panels you‘ll find on the market.

    A Full HD display is the perfect amount of pixels on a smartphone display, but some advances have been made with the QHD displays this year. Even though the P8‘s display is one of the best 1080p screens out there, you can‘t deny the beauty of LG‘s larger, 5.5-inch display. It fits a larger display into a small package, due to small bezels, and is markedly improved over that of the LG G3. This display is only shaded, albeit slightly, by that on the Galaxy S6.

    User Experience

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    Both of these devices now run Android 5.1 Lollipop, either out of the box of via a quick software update.

    This is LG‘s most refreshing UI to date and is very easy to navigate and to understand. It includes some unique touches throughout the software experience which sets it apart from other Android skins out there. They have had the tendency to stuff their OS with too many “˜features‘ in the last couple of years (very much like Samsung with TouchWiz), but they have definitely cleaned their act up in this iteration.

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    The difference in performance as a result is also apparent, and we applaud LG for making things more intuitive while trying to make all the aesthetics more akin to that of Material Design within Android 5.1 Lollipop.

    The Emotion UI tries to differentiate itself by being very different from anything else you will see on Android. With rounded-edge icons it has a bit of a retro style. Also, the tones are much more mature, markedly darker, but can also be tweaked in the theme engine.

    It is definitely not like anything you‘ll find on other Android devices. This can either be to its advantage or detriment, depending on whom you ask. Emotion UI has been improved over the years, but it still lacks the polish of some other skins on the market. The UI is without a doubt the most divisive part of the Huawei P8. While we did get used to it quickly and started to enjoy it, it doesn‘t offer many unique features to set it apart. Overall, the LG skin is a more polished effort.

    Performance

    In terms of power Huawei uses its home baked Kirin 930 processor inside the P8, and its 64-bit architecture and eight core setup along with 3GB of RAM. The LG G4 comes with a hexa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM.

    The chipsets are very different in design, but in everyday use they perform very similarly. Both have no trouble handling everyday tasks, and even intensive ones like gaming. However, the heavy skin on LG can sometime hamper performance if you have opened a lot of apps.

    That being said, you shouldn‘t have any complaints with either of these devices. If we had to pick a winner in the category, however, it would be the P8 for more consistently performing smoothly.

    Camera

    The rear-facing 13-megapixel sensor can‘t match the LG G4 or Galaxy S6 for resolution, but Huawei claims its “œworld‘s first“ 4-colour RGBW imaging sensor. It is said to cut noise in low light conditions by 78% while providing 32% higher brightness and contrast levels.

    Exposure on the P8 was great, better than most other Android devices. As most Android devices, it tends to slightly oversaturate colours, but just the right amount to make the photos extremely enticing.

    Photos in general are of a high quality, with a good level of detail although colours aren‘t quite as accurate and vibrant as on the LG G4. Barring the Samsung Galaxy S6, the G4 is possibly the best mobile camera currently on the market.

    It is definitely one of the best experiences you can have on a smartphone camera. With the quick launch shortcut using the volume down button, to the slimmed down camera interface, you really have nothing to complain about here.

    LG has also included the ability to save a process RAW image files, which is a great addition for the highly astute photographers out there. The laser autofocus also makes it the fastest shooter out there. While the P8 has a really good camera, it simply can‘t keep up with the LG G4‘s.

    Conclusion

    Both these devices are great to use on a daily basis, and you really can‘t go wrong with either. They are both rock solid when it comes to build quality, performance and overall usability. We definitely rank both these device over the Galaxy S6, but choosing between them is difficult.

    They are priced very similarly, but are completely different in design and software. The quality of the P8‘s build is slightly better and it performs slightly better, while the G4 has a brilliant camera and much sharper screen.

    These devices are so closely matched it is difficult to make an objective decision. The Huawei P8 is a solid device at a reasonable price, although not much less than the LG G4, and overall we feel the LG G4 is a better overall proposition.

    Follow Theunis on Twitter: @Theunis_BWB

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