It's the OmniBalance design that ties the entire range of Sony smartphones together but the latest Xperia flagship is the one in charge of the lineup after all. The dual-glass finish is a fan favorite but, no matter how you feel about Sony, the Xperia Z2 is well among the best looking flagships, a couple of seasons in a row.
To be fair, the plastic build doesn't take away much from the LG G3 - in terms of either looks or resistance to wear. The G3 is put together exceptionally well, almost as good as unibody - the battery cover fits snugly in place and yet it is easy to remove. The faux brushed aluminum finish quite reminds of the HTC One (M8) - compliments don't get much better than that.
The two phones have an almost identical footprint, but the LG G3 is lighter, being made of plastic. The LG G3 offers a slightly bigger display, too.
Here's the rundown. Sony's design involves an aluminum frame that's left exposed on the sides, with two slabs of scratch-resistant glass covering both the front and rear. It may be a fingerprint magnet (less so if you get the white version), but the Xperia Z2 is one of the most attractively designed devices in the market. The extra smooth glass-covered front and back mean the Xperia Z2 lays flat on a table, completely wobble-free.
LG's inventive design involving a rear control deck takes a while to get used to but works - and it has been improved in the G3. Yet, it's the massive 5.5" QHD display that commands all the attention, all the more impressive with those super slim bezels. The removable battery cover looks like brushed metal - one of the most convincing impressions we've seen.
The Sony Xperia Z2 has IP58 certification for dust and water resistance, which LG had arguments against. The company's primary concern is IP quality standards are not clear from a user's point of view and they may have a point. But most users will appreciate the extra protection against the elements - after all, a flagship smartphone is no small investment.
Since the G2, the main navigation controls have moved on the screen, while the power/lock and volume rocker are located below the camera lens at the back. The layout has been refined since its initial implementation and both the volume rocker and power/lock button are pleasantly textured.
Sony takes the more conventional approach of placing its physical buttons on the right side of the Xperia Z2, but it also relies on virtual controls provided by the Android OS. The side buttons are nice to press and positioned comfortably within reach. A proper shutter key with half press is a nice extra.
The 3.5mm audio jack is exposed on both devices - still waterproofed on the Z2. The microUSB 2.0 port on the Xperia Z2 is sealed with a flap for the sake of water resistance. This can be a bit of a nuisance - having to undo it each time you charge the phone or connect to a PC. Sony has a solution to the charging problem - but you need to buy the special dock.
The 13MP camera on the LG G3 has OIS, laser-assisted autofocus and a dual-tone flash. The Xperia Z2 boasts a bigger sensor with a resolution of 20.7MP, as well as slo-mo videos at both 1080p and 720p. The LG G3 has its single speaker at the back, while the Sony Xperia Z2 has a pair of front stereo speakers.
You can undo the back panel of the LG G3 and get access to the user-replaceable 3,000mAh battery. The microSIM and microSD slots are around too. The Xperia Z2 on the other hand doesn't let you remove the 3,200mAh battery. The microSIM and microSD slots are placed on the sides of the phone under flaps.
Winner: Sony Xperia Z2 - but hardly a walkover. Both phones are very attractive - and the ultra slim screen bezels may actually tip the scales in the LG G3's favor. It is the water and dust resistance, a physical shutter key and stereo speakers that give Sony a certain edge. The LG G3 has done well to offer expandable memory and a user-accessible battery, which its predecessor woefully omitted. Now, this one was really tight.