HTC One vs LG G2 (Updated)

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HTC One vs LG G2

 
I recently “upgraded” to an LG G2 after owning the HTC One for about 6 months. I usually go through phones once every 6-8 months. Yes, I am one of those who needs the latest and greatest. However, I held to the HTC One hoping HTC would address their most discussed defect – the purple/pink camera hue.

The Difference: 

Info Graph from Android Central

Design


Whether or not you are an Android fan, you have to notice the HTC One design. Made with pressed aluminum, the phone is a beautiful piece of hardware. At the time, the phone’s side bezels were one of the thinnest. However, LG came along and created a phone with almost no side bezel and a plastic body to cover the back of the phone.

 

4 UltraPixels vs 13 Megapixels


The UltraPixels idea was a good start to a mixed execution. For the most part, majority of the pictures taken with mobile phones tend to be close to midrange. Also, people tend to take pictures indoors or in places where there is poor lighting. The UltraPixel technology allows up to 330% more light per pixel, which makes the phone adequate for low light settings.
Theoretically, by addressing this in their camera they would have an all-around camera that could void carrying a point and shoot. Sadly, HTC decided to allocate 4 megapixels with this technology. This means there is very little room for zooming it or taking mid-range to landscape shots. Also, viewing these photos in large would be grainy because of the lack of pixels.
Having owned the phone, I really did enjoy the UltraPixels when I first got it. In low light settings the phone was excellent. The pictures came out clear and I did not have to use my flash. Daylight pictures were pretty good too. At times I did have to play around with the settings. What I mean by this is that I used HDR, Night, Macro, and Landscape settings when taking pictures. I know most people do not this, but I do.
One thing I really grew fund of was Zoe. Zoe is a feature that lets the user video 3 seconds and then allows them to edit and/or pull a photo/frame out of the video. Since it was a video you could edit people and objects out of the frame, as well as stitch moving shots.
Zoe also could let you select videos and photos to create a small 36 second video with your selection of filters and music. 
I really wish more mobile phone camera suites went this way. Consequently, they seem to be going the way of Samsung. 
LG decided to stick the G2 with a 13 megapixel Sony sensor that does well in low lights, but is no HTC One killer. Though it does an ok job in low light settings, it does suffer from a poor post processing. The logarithm they are using to process the shots tends to render the images too soft at times. When you zoom in you really feel as if the picture was a painting rather than a photo.
I used other apps and they at times rendered better photos because they use their own logarithm. I would advise you try different camera apps if you are having the same results I am under low light settings.  Also, the G2 doesn't come with the option to use a grid. This is something I use a lot and miss.
You do get 12 presets with the G2, while you get about 7 settings to select from with HTC. Both phones come with image stabilization hardware.

Video:

HTC One’s video settings are different. HTC does include a slow motion setting, which I used and liked. However, the quality was set to 720p.
The G2 has the ability to shoot 60fps. This is pretty neat because it gives the video more realistic movement. However, this is something no one can take advantage of unless they own a 4K TV.
The G2 also has a tracking option that tracks the object you select it to. Every time the object moves the video tries to adjust and re-focus. It’s a pretty neat feature. It also tracks the audio of the object you attach it to.
LG G2 - Ultra Wide 10mp

HTC One
Sorry about the finger. LG G2 Ultra Wide 10mp

HTC One
LG G2 using Macro Ultra Wide 10mp
HTC One using Macro. I had a hard time getting it to focus.

 
LG G2
HTC One


















LG G2 using HDR Ultra Wide 10mp
HTC One HDR
LG G2 Indoors under medium to low light shot. 10mp

HTC One under medium to low light shot
 
LG G2 in a  room with almost no light. 10mp
HTC One in a  room with almost no light.

Boom Sound

HTC’s decision to allocate 2 speaker grills in front of the phone was an excellent idea. The sound comes at you rather than away from you. Sadly, this is something other phone manufacturers have not pursued. LG’s decision to place the speaker at the bottom is not the best. If you hold the phone on a wide angle one’s right hand will cover the speaker holes.
Not only is the One's speaker placement ideal to media, it also uses quality speakers that project a full sound. On the G2, I found the speaker to be loud when playing music. However, the sound was mostly highs. There was a lack of definition unlike the sound found in the One.

Android User Interface: Sense vs LG

HTC has managed to make the Sense UI a simple yet powerful skin. At first people complained about Blinkfeed, but as soon as you set up everything you kind of get used to it. I like the fact that you can set Blinkfeed to update only while on Wi-Fi or with regular mobile data. Sense is more than a skin as it is also integrated into Zoe and other features in the phone.However, as layered and intertwined as it is to Android, it really doesn't cause the HTC One to lag.
LG decided to basically just skin their device. There really isn’t anything different or distinguishing from the G2 asides its double tap feature. If the phone has the screen off, you can double tap on the screen and wake it from sleep. LG decided to give the users a lot functions in the pull menu bar. This makes reading it cluttered at times.

Battery: Big Foot vs Goliath

Another way UIs affect the phone is in battery life. HTC has done a great job fine tuning Android and Sense to become very battery efficient and offer users zero lag performance. This is something that has been stated by many users and reviewers. Fine tuning software for performance and efficiency leads to extra battery life. However, as great as it is… it cannot hold a candle to the G2. In this scenario LG and their 3,000 mAh battery is Goliath vs HTC’s 2,300 mAh battery.
Even if you don’t fine tune your software as efficient as Sense, the G2's extra 700 mAh  makes a difference. Also, using Snapdragon 800 vs. Snapdragon 600 makes a bigger difference in processing power and battery efficiency.

Screen: Little bezel vs. Littler bezel

I’ve noticed when it comes to screen preference people love saturated screens. They don’t really care about color accuracy. They just want their screen to be bright and full of color. Sadly, this makes any picture you take and anything you view not true to eye. The HTC One’s screen is simply amazing. The colors are mostly true and only a little bit saturated.
The G2 has a nice screen. In fact, it is better than nice. The colors are bright, vibrant, but suffer from a bit of over saturation. The phone, which shares similar physical dimension as the HTC One, also manages to add .5 more screen space and barely have a bezel.

Button Placement:

The G2 manages such a thin bezel by moving the volume button and power buttons to the back of the phone. This is an odd placement for the button; however, it makes sense. I tend to place my index finger on the back of the phone in a way were it would interact with the buttons.
 The HTC One has the buttons on the right side of the phone and the power button on top of the phone.
Humans are animals of habit.  It does take some time to get used to the button placement. I have myself at times gotten confused, but I get better at using the G2 each day.

IR Blaster:

I found LG’s Quick Remote software to be a lot more complete and easier to navigate. HTC’s software is not bad. In fact, it’s pretty good, but I didn’t find it to be as good as LG’s.

 Feel:

The HTC is made out of aluminum and it has a heft to it that makes it feel premium. On the other hand, the LG is made out of plastic and has a light feel to it. 

The Little things:

Sadly, none of these phones come with an expandable micro SD card slot. LG has made it clear that their phone has a music decoder far better and beyond the norm. According to their site, "Studio Master files, supporting 24-bit, 192 kHz Hi-Fi playback for FLAC and WAV files." These files are generally in the 100mb+ range and would take up a lot of storage. The hard drive space is fixed at 24gb of usable space. Also, HD video and pictures can rapidly take up whatever is left of the storage. 

If you are taunting your phone as a phone that is also a camera, why not implement a shutter button? Make it easier for the user to take pictures. Make a shutter button that works like a point and shoot. This can be said about the HTC One too. It seems the Sony Xperia Z1 is the only one who got the memo on this and listened to common sense. 

HTC Pros:
1.       Zoe
2.       Sense UI
3.       Design
4.       Low light shooting
5.       Boom Sound

LG Pros:
1.       Screen to phone dimensions
2.       IR Software
3.       Battery Life
4.       Camera
5.       Screen double tap 

     Updates:

      11/15/2013 : The Auto Brightness on the phone is atrocious. I would recommend downloading an app from the market that deals with this. Seriously! This is just horrible. I downloaded Velis Auto Brightness

     Updates:

     12/1/2013 : I've been using the phone A LOT these last 2 weeks.
Here are a couple of tips:

     1. Big Battery Drain

      Disable Wi-Fi & mobile network location Settings ->Location access ->Uncheck Wi-Fi & mobile...
I noticed this to be a big battery drain at times. Unless an app requires it, leave it off. If you use Maps or a GPS app you can usually click on cancel as it is not really needed.

     2. Night Time Shooting

     Many people have complained about the refresh rates on the screen while trying to shoot at night or under low lights. The phone's algorithm tries to depend on software rather than hardware (OIS) first. Which is odd, since you have image stabilization built into the phone. This causes the camera to delay when you press the shutter. Also, the night/low light photos come out as if they were painted.
 
      


 HTC One Test Shots HERE
Shots with the LG G2 under several conditions and edited with Snapseed.




Captured using Vignette Photo App, since the stock app was horrible and then cropped.

More Camera Shots under different light conditions:
Here is under a cloudy day.
Here at sunset/night time





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