The LG Optimus G and the Samsung Galaxy S III are the best Android can currently offer. Picking between a smartphone that came to the market five months ago and one that is just arriving might have seemed easy at first, but after the somewhat surprising finding in this review, things are less clear cut.
The LG Opttimus G chipset is so vastly powerful that we expected it to swim laps around the Galaxy S III Exynos, but the smartphone was obviously let down by its software support. The LG flagship managed to win on many occasions, but the differences were pretty minor.
The only place where the Optimus G was able to give its competitor a real trashing was GPU performance at 1080p resolution. On the other hand, the LG Optimus G lost the web browsing performance battle, which is one of the most common applications of smartphones these days.
The 13 megapixel camera came as another disappointment to us. LG made quite a big deal about it, but as we found out it's not able to offering any real life advantage over the Samsung Galaxy S III 8MP shooter. Even worse - the Optimus G video recording comes seriously short of the Galaxy S III footage. Don't get us wrong - the LG Optimus G does some pretty good photos and decent videos, but if we had to pick one of these two for its overall camera performance it would probably be the Galaxy S III.
Where the LG Optimus G comes out on top is design. It's all subjective, of course, and it might be that the Galaxy S III has been around longer so we are getting a bit bored with it, but we find the LG smartphone to be better looking than it. The extra gig of RAM is also a nice thing to have and makes the Optimus G more future-proof than its competitor.
So on which of those two should you spend your hard-earned cash? It depends what you are looking to get from the deal really.
If you are going SIM-free and it's value for money you are after, then by all means go for the Galaxy S III. Judging by the current pre-order prices the Optimus G will cost notably more than its competitor when it launches. The Galaxy S III will let you save about 150 euro and still give you impressively solid smartphone experience and even treat you to a newer Android release. Not to mention that the microSD card slot allows for extremely cheap memory expansion.
On the other hand, if money is no object for you (which is usually the case with those looking for high-en smartphones) or your carrier has helped even the field with its subsidies things are looking far more favorable for the LG flagship. It might not be able to assert its dominance over its competitor now, but once LG releases its Jelly Bean update, it should become a real beast.
There's just no way the Galaxy S III can fend off the attacks of the newer chipset forever. The LG Optimus G has a sharper screen of slightly higher resolution too, which while lacking the wow factor of the Galaxy S III AMOLED, is far better for productivity and can really help put those four Krait cores to good use.
So it seems we are one software update away from the moment when the Galaxy S III finally gives up its throne and the LG Optimus G succeeds it. It up to LG to deliver that quickly and make its flagship the power user's dream device before the holiday shopping spree begins.