We have a clear favorite in terms of sheer resolution but contrast, colors, and sunlight legibility all play a part in screen quality, so we'll consider them all before the verdict.
The Xperia Z2's screen has Sony's Triluminos and X-Reality trademark features, while the LG G3 sports a True HD-IPS + LCD. The Xperia Z2 has a 5.2" screen of 1080p resolution and 424ppi. The G3's panel is of 1440 x 2560px, which at 5.5" comes out to a pixel density of about 534ppi.
Sony has fixed the viewing angle issues plaguing its screens and the Triluminos display on the Xperia Z2 looks great. The X-Reality engine (successor to the Bravia engine) lets you tweak contrast, saturation and sharpness of images.
The G3 is good at an angle as well, but it's brightness and contrast levels are unimpressive. At 100% brightness, for instance, the black luminance is among the highest we've seen, but at least whites are as bright as the competition's. Here's how it stacks up to other top flagships.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|Sony Xperia Z2||-||-||-||0.41||488||1195|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||0||274||∞||0||529||∞|
|Sony Xperia Z1||-||-||-||0.38||580||1513|
|Sony Xperia Z||-||-||-||0.70||492||705|
|Oppo Find 7a||0.33||280||842||0.68||580||852|
|Samsung Galaxy S4||0||201||∞||0||404||∞|
|HTC One (M8)||0.20||245||1219||0.46||577||1256|
|HTC Butterfly S||0.15||165||1117||0.43||451||1044|
|Apple iPhone 5||0.13||200||1490||0.48||640||1320|
The two screens offer similar sunlight legibility - they are both highly reflective and will make it a challenge to comfortably read outdoors on a bright sunny day.
Winner: LG G3. Despite its inferior color, contrast, and sunlight legibility, the bigger screen diagonal and the higher resolution still tip the scales in its favor. The QHD resolution may not be readily apparent when it comes to browsing the interface, but it does make a difference when you see the ultra-crisp text in webpages, and especially in watching QHD videos or playing games.
Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipsets and enjoy all the connectivity benefits that come with it. The Xperia Z2 beats out the G3 in the number of supported bands, especially when it comes to LTE, though both should have you well covered. The two flagships also enjoy the fastest mobile data around with Cat. 4 LTE (up to 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up), but even without an LTE network where you are, they'll still go quite fast at 42.2Mbps down and 5.76 up courtesy of HSPA.
Local connections are blazing fast as well thanks to dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n are supported too). Bluetooth 4.0 is available for connecting accessories. The Xperia Z2 has an edge with ANT+ support, which is a popular standard with short-range sports accessories.
Both devices come with microUSB 2.0 ports with USB OTG, USB Host and 4K video output. The LG G3 uses the Slimport for TV out, while the Xperia Z2 relies on the MHL 3.0 standard. That alone can possibly tip the scales for you, if you already have the extra adapter needed for either standard.
Both phones feature NFC for use with tags and easy pairing with most devices. The LG G3 also offers IR blaster to control electronic equipment at home, including TVs, disc players and even air conditioners. LG's QRemote app seems slightly more robust in this regard, but a software update or app store download could even things out in that regard.
Winner: TIE. The key features - 150Mbps LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, 4K video output - are evenly split. The LG G3's got an IR blaster while the Xperia Z2 features ANT+ support so picking a winner here would really depend on your use case.