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Google Nexus 5 Vs. LG G2 - Sibling Rivalry

The Nexus 5 and the G2 are extremely powerful phones, and both are manufactured by the same company, LG. This Buzzle article puts the two phones through their paces and pits them against each other.
Google Nexus 5 vs. LG G2
Did you know?
The Nexus 5 is the second Nexus phone manufactured by LG, the first being the Nexus 4.
The Nexus 5 is the latest in Google's Nexus lineup of phones. It is a pure Android phone, and packs some serious hardware under the hood. Developed by LG, this phone is every bit a premium device and carries a heavily subsidized price tag. Although the phone is cast out of almost the same mold as the Korean conglomerate's flagship device―the LG G2―the company seemed to have meted out step-motherly treatment towards its love child with Google.

The LG G2 was launched a month ahead of its Nexus sibling, and seems to have gotten a slightly larger chunk of the company's inheritance. The spec sheets of the two devices are almost identical, with the LG G2 sporting a different form factor and packing a few additional goodies. So, does the Nexus 5 have enough firepower to dethrone the LG G2―possibly the top smartphone of the year―or does the G2 make short work of the Nexus? Let's find out.

Image Source:
google.com/nexus/5/
lg.com/us/press-media


Google
Nexus 5
google nexus 5
Click for
360° View
Operating System
Android OS, v4.4
(KitKat)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
16/32 GB
Screen
4.95"
True HD IPS+ LCD
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~445 ppi)
Primary Camera
8 MP
3264 x 2448 pixels
Secondary Camera
1.3 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Battery
Li-Po 2,300 mAh
Price
USD 349/399
LG
G2
lg g2
Click for
360° View
Operating System
Android OS, v4.2.2
(Jelly Bean)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
16/32 GB
Screen
5.2"
True HD IPS+ LCD
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~423 ppi)
Primary Camera
13 MP
4128 x 3096 pixels
Secondary Camera
2.1 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Battery
Li-Po 3,000 mAh
Price
USD 380/450


Design and Construction

Google Nexus 5

nexus 5 dimensions

Solid conventional design and build.
The Nexus 5 feels great in the hand and has a solid grip, thanks to the soft-feel plastic used at the back. The phone sports a rather conservative look and measures in at a perfectly pocketable 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm, and a weight of just 130 g. The front is taken up by a large screen with very little bezel around it. The back features a non-removable panel, and the main feature here is the camera, which has a rather large accent around it with a solitary LED flash just below it. The power button to the right and the volume rocker to the left are made out of ceramic. These are easy to reach and have a good tactile feedback.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

lg g2 dimensions

Innovative button layout.
The LG G2 breaks the mold with a very innovative design, and chooses to place the power button between the volume keys, at the back of the phone. These buttons are made out of metal, and are placed at the center where our index finger naturally rests while holding the phone. Moving the hardware keys to the back makes room for a rather large screen with almost no bezels that fits into a small frame (138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm). The non-removable back panel is made out of high-quality plastic, which provides good grip. The phone feels real small for its large screen and feels very solid, and is very pocketable, with a weight of 143 g. The phone's camera sits just above the hardware keys at the back.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
Both the phones are made out of polycarbonate, and do not feel cheap whatsoever, unlike their Samsung counterparts. While the Nexus 5 looks good in its standard candy bar form, we can't help but be wowed by LG's out-of-the-box thinking. While most people might complain about the awkward button placement on the phone, it actually is a lot more intuitive to use and becomes second nature for you after spending some time with the phone. The soft-feel plastic used on the Nexus 5 does a better job of keeping away the nasty fingerprints as compared to the glossy plastic on the G2, which almost looks like the fingerprint database of the FBI! While it finally boils down to personal choice when it comes which phone you choose, we rate the G2 a little higher than the Nexus purely as the button placement goes a long way in enhancing the usability of the phone, provided of course, we keep our prejudices away.


Hardware and Storage

Google Nexus 5

Top-of-the-line hardware.
On board the phone is some of the most powerful hardware available in the market today. The phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with a quad-core Krait 400 CPU, clocked in at 2.26 GHz. It also has 2 GB of RAM to handle multitasking. This translates into some amazing performance, and the phone is one of the snappiest devices on the market. The phone does comes in 16/32 GB variants, and does not have a Micro SD card slot.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

A complete powerhouse.
The G2 has identical hardware as the Nexus 5 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2 GB RAM). It is available in 16/32 GB versions, and does not support Micro SD card expansion. Packing some of the most powerful hardware ever on a mobile phone, the phone is undoubtedly one of the fastest phones around.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
The two phones almost seem like twins that were separated at birth, as they have the same hardware on them. The phones have the same storage options, and neither of them have the option to expand the memory using a Micro SD card. This is something that we have come to terms with, as most manufacturers these days choosing to leave out Micro SD card slots on their phones. Your only other option with both these phones is to look toward the sky (Cloud storage). Both these phones are blazing fast, although the Nexus seems to ever so slightly ahead of the G2 in terms of performance. We are clearly nitpicking at this point as there is almost no way to differentiate between the performance of the two devices. The slender lead that the Nexus enjoys is more to do with the software than the hardware, although it should pretty much be even ground once the G2 gets a software upgrade.


Graphics and Display

Google Nexus 5

A mesmerizing multimedia experience.
A 4.95-inch True HD IPS+ display dons the front of the device. The screen is bright and vibrant and has decent sunlight legibility. The pixel density of 445 ppi is one of the highest found on a mobile, and makes for a delightful multimedia experience. The display is protected by a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. Graphics are powered by an Adreno 330 GPU.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

Beautiful from edge to edge.
The 5.2-inch True HD IPS+ display on the phone is one to behold. A high pixel density of 423 ppi adds icing to the cake as images and videos look great on the almost bezel-less display. A layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 2 on top should give you just a bit of insurance from scratches and accidental drops. An Adreno 330 GPU handles all the graphics on board.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
The screens on both these devices are simply drop-dead gorgeous and have some of the highest pixel densities found on any phone display. The Nexus 5 has a brilliant screen and a pixel-rich display, which makes it ideal for reading e-books and viewing multimedia. The LG G2, however, walks away with the cake as it sports a larger screen and an almost end-to-end display, which often gives you the impression that you are holding just a screen. Both the phones had no trouble whatsoever handling HD games, and the gaming experience on these devices was top-notch.


Camera and Optics

Google Nexus 5

Great camera plagued with software issues.
The phone's 8 MP camera with OIS sounds good on paper, but has drawn a lot of flak due to its lackluster performance. A software update though, should help solve the problem. Videos are recorded at 1080p@30fps, and capture good detail and color. The camera UI is rather intuitive and simple to use.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

Photography with the goodness of OIS.
The 13 MP camera on the LG G2 is a great camera and does a good job of capturing low-light images thanks to OIS on board. The camera app has a lot of features and almost seems like a ripoff of the one on the Galaxy S4.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
The LG G2 wins hands down here with a superior camera, some neat camera tricks and the option to use the phone's volume down button as a hardware shutter key. Add to that, the ability to shoot 1080p videos at 60fps, and we have on our hands one of the most capable cameras found on a phone. The Nexus 5, on the other hand, has been plagued by camera issues right from day one, but Google claims that a fix is on the way. We have our fingers crossed, and hope the camera is able to perform to its true potential soon.


Software and Customizations

Google Nexus 5

The flavors of KitKat.
The phone comes with the goodness of a pure Vanilla Android experience. It runs on the OS's latest KitKat (v4.4) flavor. This is one of the lightest builds of Android, and uses a lot less phone resources as compared to the other versions. Also, the fact that there is no bloatware on top, along with the impressive hardware, make this an absolute beast of a device. The new Android launcher is great and there is a deeper Google Now integration found throughout the phone.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

Jelly Bean and a bag of tricks.
The phone runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It features a heavily skinned Optimus UI, which brings in a lot of cool features like KnockOn, QSlide, QuickMemo, QuickRemote, etc. The seemingly endless animations through all the transitions on the phone are wonderfully supported by the powerful hardware on board. The phone is expected to get its share of KitKat soon, and should bring in a lot of performance enhancements.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
This again comes down to personal choice. If you want an unadulterated Android experience which is amazingly fast and fluid, then Nexus 5 is the way to go. If instead, you want Android along with a ton of features and loads of eye candy, then LG G2 is the perfect choice for you. We prefer the Vanilla Android experience on the Nexus as we find the software tweaks on the G2 to be rather gimmicky. Once the phone hits KitKat though, things might just change for it.


Battery Life

Google Nexus 5

A one-day wonder.
The phone is powered by a 2,300 mAh battery. This is just enough power to see the phone through a day of moderate use on a single charge. The integrated wireless charging option on the device is a real nice touch.

Buzz Rating:

LG G2

Power-packed performer.
Powered by a massive 3,000 mAh battery, the phone sails through a day of heavy use and then some more on a single charge. Wireless charging is available only on the Sprint version of the phone, which is quite a pity.

Buzz Rating:

Editor's Take
No contest here, the LG G2 is an absolute powerhouse powered by a massive Li-Po battery, which makes the most of the space available on the G2. We put the phone through some real heavy usage (HD games for about an hour and surfing the Internet through the day), but the phone just refused to die on us. This is easily one of the best batteries found on a mobile phone, although it does not 'maxx' out like some other Motorola phones. The Nexus fares alright, and most average users would be quite satisfied with the battery life. We were able to just about make it through the day with moderate usage (half an hour of HD games and using the Internet intermittently through the day) before we had to go looking for the charger.


The Good

Google Nexus 5

  • Vanilla Android experience
  • Android V4.4 KitKat
  • Great grip
  • High pixel density 445 ppi
  • Assured timely software updates

LG G2

  • Some handy software tweaks
  • Great battery life
  • Almost edge-to-edge screen
  • Intuitive hardware button layout
  • Great camera with OIS


The Not-so-good

Google Nexus 5

  • Ordinary design
  • Lackluster camera performance
  • Mediocre battery life

LG G2

  • Loads of bloatware
  • An absolute fingerprint magnet
  • No assurance of continued software upgrades

This is by far one of the most difficult choices we've had to make in a very long time. Both these devices are extremely capable and are, by far, the most powerful phones available in the market today. We have been raving about the fantastic screen, the hardware button layout and the fantastic battery on the LG G2 since we laid our hands on it. The biggest advantage that the Nexus 5 has is that it is a Google device and that means it would be the first phone to receive software updates. Besides, the pricing of this phone is unbelievable and should see its popularity surge to the top.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a phone with the latest software and frequent updates, a conventional clean-cut look and great value for money, then the Nexus 5 would be a great choice.

Instead, if you have the money to spare (and quite a bit of it, if I may add) for a phone with a gorgeous display, an innovative design, loads of software tweaks, and a great camera, then there couldn't be a better phone than the LG G2 for you.

For us, the LG G2 wins by the smallest of margins mainly for its screen real estate and the larger battery. As we have always maintained, at the end of the day, these are mere stats and figures, and the real way to pick a phone for yourself is by getting a hands-on feel of it. Whichever one of these phones you pick, you are bound to be extremely happy with your choice. Cheers.

Disclaimer: Prices mentioned are subject to change according to offer and location.
Which of these do you think is the better phone?
Google Nexus 5
LG G2
By
Published: December 6, 2013
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The Nexus 5 has the same run-of-the-mill uninspiring design. The screen on the G2 is quite a marvel in itself mainly cos it fits in a larger screen in a body about the same size as the G2. Google have themselves acknowledged that the camera on the Nexus is an unfinished product. About the volume down key on the G2 doubling up as a dedicated camera shutter key, you might want to keep in mind that this is in addition to the on-screen shutter key. We would prefer a hardware shutter key over an on-screen one any day, although that is in no ways to say that the implementation on the G2 is perfect (it is handy only when you hold the phone in portrait mode), but it is definitely better than nothing. Once you handle the phone you would realize that the buttons are placed exactly where your index finger naturally rests while holding the phone. Once you spend a little time with the device, handling the volume keys comes naturally to you and you almost never land your finger on the camera that sits a fair bit above the volume rocker (while testing we never got the finger in the wrong place while taking a shot). Wireless charging is a fun way to charge, but one that can be a rather expensive affair. Also this doesn't serve any purpose when you are constantly on the move through the day. We only wish the Nexus 5 had a beefier battery. We can recall a million instances where we called upon all the Gods to grant us just a few more minutes of browsing on our phone before our phone died on us. The Gods finally seemed to have been appeased as we have some wonderful marathoners when it comes to battery life in the LG G2 and also the Sony Xperia Z1. All things said and done though, there is no beating the Nexus 5, or any other Nexus device for that matter when it comes to value for money. The only thing you might want to keep in mind though, is that a few corners need to be cut to produce such a high-end phone at such a reasonable price. The Nexus 5 and the LG G2 are essentially the same phone but their packaging couldn't be more different. This is one instance though where you don't have a choice but to judge the book by its cover, as there's little to nothing to choose between the internals of these very capable devices. And yes, Vanilla Android does have its perks, but we find it to be a little too minimalistic. Peace out. - Alex Mathew [December 7, 2013]
all things being equal, nexus keeps away more fingerprints, yet you pick g2's design?
nexus has more ppi, and jst a quarter-inch smaller screen, surely not worth an entire point on a 5-point scale!
nexus' camera is great even now, n 5 mp doesn't make dat much difference wid mobiles anyway... and how is it a good thing to have the shutter key on the same plane as the lens? thats jst a recipe for botched shots with a sliver of finger in the view...
the battery could have been better in nexus, but wireless charging comes inbuilt, unlike g2!
as long as google doesnt implode, nexus' inbuilt sync with all things google make it better than anything in a similar price range!
- T [December 7, 2013]