Flagship smartphones from five of the biggest mobile phone makers compared. With the usual thinner, smarter, lighter, bigger, and the inevitable speed bumps from one generation to the next, how do these flagship smartphones compare with one another.
The Top 5 Best Smartphones
The market maybe flooded with smartphone manufacturers with their endless supply of smartphones of all shapes and sizes, a handful of more established manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of mobile technology to come up with their flagship smartphones.
We take a look at a comparative review based on specifications of the top 5 best smartphones in the industry from smartphone giants; Apple, HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony.
The Five Corner Shootout
Apple iPhone 6 vs HTC One M8 vs LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z3. Here is a look at the spec by spec comparison [IN OUR COMPARISON]:
Processor, Memory, Storage
Only the iPhone 5S has a future proof 64bit processor. Sony Experia Z3, LG G3 and Samsung Xperia Z3 shares the same quad-core processor , the Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core Processor running at 2.5GHz. The HTC One (M8) has a slightly slower processor at 2.3GHz using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801. The only phone with 3GB of RAM is the Sony Xperia Z3. The others uses 2GB RAM except for the iPhone 6 which seems to be content with just the 1GB. In terms of expansion, all except for the iPhone allows additional storage memory in the form of microSD supporting up to 128GB.
- Apple iPhone 6: A8 processor with 64-bit architecture and M8 motion coprocessor, 1GB RAM, 16/64/128GB Storage [NO MICRO SD]
- HTC One (M8): 2.3GHz Quad-core processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB Storage + microSD (up to 128GB)
- LG G3: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 2.5GHz Quad-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB Storage + microSD (up to 128GB) [HIGHEST CLOCK SPEED]
- Samsung Galaxy S5: 2.5GHz Quad Core, 2GB RAM, 16GB/32GB Storage + microSD Slot (up to 128GB) [HIGHEST CLOCK SPEED]
- Sony Xperia Z3: Snapdragon 2.5GHz Qualcomm Quad-core, 3GB RAM, 16GB Storage + microSD Slot (up to 128GB) [HIGHEST CLOCK SPEED & RAM]
Apart from the iPhone 6 (not the iPhone 6 Plus), all smartphones in our list has pretty big screens, 5-inch or bigger. We looked at the Top 5 Best Phablets not too long ago and the Top 10 Phabets in 2015 on our sister blog. It has smartphones with screen sizes up to 6.4-inch, starting from 5.7-inch. These big screen flagship smartphones are not that far behind with the biggest at 5.5-inch. Vendors are starting to blur the lines between their smartphones and phablet, with Full HD resolution and super bright and sharp screen. All with the exception of Apple iPhone 6 with lower than Full HD resolution and LG G3 with Quad High Definition or 4K 2560 X 1440 display.
- Apple iPhone 6: 4.7″ (1334 x 750), 326 ppi or 5.5″ (1920 x 1080), 401 ppi
- HTC One (M8): 5.0″ Full HD 1080 (1920 x 1080), 441 ppi
- LG G3: 5.5″ Quad HD (2560 X 1440), 538 ppi [HIGHEST RESOLUTION]
- Samsung Galaxy S5: 5.1″ FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080), 432 ppi
- Sony Xperia Z3: 5.2″ Full HD display (1920×1080 pixels), TRILUMINOS Display and X-Reality for mobile
Most smartphones that we have used do not last more than a day of semi heavy use. Vendors are putting power management features in place to turn off un-used features and notifications, introduce deeper sleep (leaving only minimal phone functions) as well as the ability to turn the colours on the display to black an white to save every drop of juice on the battery and to maximise the battery life per charge. On the other hand, vendors are also squeezing bigger and higher capacity batteries into the only thin packages. The best talktime is on the iPhone 6 Plus, and the best standby time is on the Sony Xperia Z3 with its stamina technology.
- Apple iPhone 6: 1810mAh (talktime 14 hrs(3G), standby 250 hrs) or 2915mAh (talktime 24 hrs (3G) standby 384 hrs) on iPhone 6 Plus [BEST TALK TIME]
- HTC One (M8): 2600mAh (talktime 14hrs(2G)/20hrs(3G), standby 271hrs(2G)/496hrs(3G))
- LG G3: 3000mAh Replaceable with Wireless Charging Support (talktime 19hrs(2G)/21hrs(3G), standby 565(2G)/553hrs (3G))
- Samsung Galaxy S5: 2800mAh (talktime 21hrs, standby 390hrs)
- Sony Xperia Z3: 3100mAh (talktime 16 hrs, standby 920hrs) [BEST STANDBY TIME]
Smartphones are already replacing point and shoot digital cameras. With clever camera features, high pixel density sensors, flash, lenses, effects and editing software as well as ease of sharing, it makes sense to use the camera on the smartphone instead of carrying another camera. Features include dual shot, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detectio, image stabilisation, HDR, Panorama. Sony Xperia comes up on top with a 20.7MP rear camera while both LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy S5 have 13MP and 16MP sensors respectively. The HTC chose Dual 4MP Ultrapixel sensor each that can do some pretty clever stuff. However, the actual output quality of the images may differ as there are other factors at play when it comes to taking a good image such as lense, lighthing and software optimisation.
- Apple iPhone 6: 8MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash. 1/3” sensor size, 1.5µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
- HTC One (M8): Dual 4MP (1/3″, 2µm pixels, dual LED flash) rear camera, 5MP front camera [HIGHEST RESOLUTION FRONT FACING]
- LG G3: 13MP Optical Image Stabilization with Laser Auto Focus, Dual Flash rear facing camera and 2.1 front facing or Selfie camera
- Samsung Galaxy S5: 16MP (1/2.6″, Phase Detection AF) rear camera, 2.0MP (1920 x 1080) wide angle front camera
- Sony Xperia Z3: 20.7MP camera with auto focus, 2.2MP front-facing camera 4K video capture ISO12800 Max. [HIGHEST RESOLUTION REAR FACING]
- Apple iPhone 6: bottom facing stereo speakers
- HTC One (M8): HTC BoomSound front facing stereo speakers with top and bottom speaker chambers and amplifier [BEST SOUND]
- LG G3: 1-watt Speaker with Boost Amp
- Samsung Galaxy S5: Single rear facing speaker
- Sony Xperia Z3: Sony 3D Surround Sound technology (VPT), Clear Audio+, xLoud Experience, DSEE HX, Hi-res audio [DIGITAL NOISE CANCELLATION]
Simply packing a phone with bigger numbers; faster processors, more memory, bigger storage, bigger screen, more resolution and more sensors are something that every vendor does. So how are vendors differentiating between themselves, the start to include
- Apple iPhone 6: Report of body bending with iPhone 6 Plus, protective case is strongly recommended
- HTC One (M8): Corning Glass and Brushed metal unibody frame
- LG G3: Lightweight Metallic Design, scratch resistant with anti slip texture, Floating Arc design makes the sides thinner
- Samsung Galaxy S5: Corning Glass Plastic IP67 (Ingress Protection) certified dust and water resistant [DUST & WATER RESISTANT]
- Sony Xperia Z3: Rounded aluminium frame, durable tempered glass panels, waterproof and dust tight (IP65 and IP68) to 1.5 m for up to 30 mins [DUST & WATERPROOF]
Note: IP stands for Ingress Protection, IP rating is a test certification to measure a device’s resistance levels to both dust and water. The ﬁrst digit in the two-digit IP rating indicates the level of protection against solid objects, including tiny dust particles. The second digit indicates how resistant the device is to water.
Where phones are dust and waterproof, the micro USB port, micro SIM slot and memory card slot must be closed tight in order for this to work.
- Apple iPhone 6: 4G LTE, 802.11abgnac WiFi dual band, BT4.0, NFC, lightning port
- HTC One (M8): LTE, 802.11abgnac, DLNA, BT4.0, microUSB 2.0
- LG G3: 802.11abgnac, Miracast, SmartShare, BT4.0
- Samsung Galaxy S5: LTE Cat 4 (150/50mbps), 802.11abgnac VHT80, MIMO(2×2) with download booster (LTE and WiFi simultaneous reception), NFC, BT4.0, USB3.0, IrLED, DLNA, microUSB 3.0
- Sony Xperia Z3: 4G LTE, 3G, 802.11abgnac, NFC, BT4.0, DLNA, microUSB2.0, 3.5mm audio jack with Digital Noise Cancelling (DNC), GLONASS, aGPS
Sensors are pretty standard on smartphones. Common across all phones include accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass and barometer. Finger print or biometric readers are available on the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5, while the Galaxy S5 also comes with a heart rate sensor built-in. With the exception of the iPhone 5S, all phones includes NFC (Near Field Communication). The other feature absent on the iPhone 5S and the Xperia Z2 is the infrared blaster for remote control, while this won’t go amiss.
- Apple iPhone 6: Barometer, three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity ssensor, ambient light sensor, finger print identity sensor, NFC
- HTC One (M8): Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, infrared port, NFC
- LG G3: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, infrared port, NFC
- Samsung Galaxy S5: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, hall, RGB ambient light, gesture, infrared port, fingerprint, heart rate sensor, NFC [LOADED]
- Sony Xperia Z3: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Dimensions & Weight
- Apple iPhone 6: 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm, 129 g [SLIMMEST] or 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm, 172 g (iPhone 6 Plus) [HEAVIEST]
- HTC One (M8): 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm, 160g
- LG G3: 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm, 149g
- Samsung Galaxy S5: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145g [LIGHTEST]
- Sony Xperia Z3: 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm, 152g [SLIM]
- Apple iPhone 6: Space Gray, Gold, Silver
- Apple iPhone 5S: Space Gray, Gold, Silver
- HTC One (M8): Silver, Gold, Black
- LG G3: Black, Gold, White
- Samsung Galaxy S5: Black, White, Gold, Blue
- Sony Xperia Z3: White, Black, Green, Copper
- Apple iPhone 6: iOS8(& updates)
- HTC One (M8): Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
- LG G3: Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)
- Samsung Galaxy S5: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
- Sony Xperia Z3: Android 4.4 (KitKat)
- Apple iPhone 6: Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor built into the Home button, free Apple Apps (iWorks, iMovie, GarageBand, iPhoto and others)
- HTC One (M8): brushed metal body, wrap-around unibody frame, fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, Photo Effects (Duo Camera and Ufocus), great sound from front firing stereo speakers
- LG G3: 4K HD Bezel free edge to edge ultra sharp screen packing 538 ppi is the highest resolution screen in comparison to the rest. Curved backplate with non-slip texture. Camera with Advanced OIS+ (optical image stabilisation) using laser to measure object distance instantly for clearer, brighter photos. Smart Keyboard and Speaker with Boost Amp
- Samsung Galaxy S5: camera with super fast auto focus, finger scanner, biometric screen lock, camera with superfast auto-focus, Emergency Mode, Ultra Power Saving Mode, S Health (heart rate sensor), Quick Connect, Private Mode, Kids Mode, Download Booster (using both 4G and WiFi) for browsing and download, dust and water resistant. Works with Samsung’s wearable technologies.
- Sony Xperia Z3: Premium design in highest waterproof rating for a smartphone in a super slim body and sturdy aluminium frame, the xperia is both durable and beautiful. The camera incorporates Sony’s know how from their line of Cyber-shot and Handycam technologies.
This article was first published on Colour My Learning and has been adapted for our audience here at Colour My Living.