If you are on the fence about buying a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or the LG G4, let me shed a bit of light to help you decide. Without a doubt, both Galaxy Note 4 and LG G4 are the top 2 best phablets on the market today.
Probably the biggest difference between Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G4 is the S-Pen stylus and pressure-sensitive screen. The Note 4 is the fourth iteration of world’s first phablet-type of device and its S-pen can do lots of things like draw, access full-sized websites more accurate, and allow you to use your phone all without your hands. Of course, this is a unique feature only found with Galaxy Note 4 (other copycats have something like S-Pen but no pressure sensitivity) and many artists can swear by their new found abilities of making art on the go. On the other hand, the LG G4 lacks this very feature that makes phablets cool to carry around. But if you don’t need the S-Pen, the LG G4 is probably the next best alternative without the added weight.
For size, the Galaxy Note 4 sports a 5.7-inch screen while the LG G4 has 5.5-inch screen. The Note 4 simply is a bigger/heavier device while the LG G4 is shorter/narrower. If you want a phablet-type device but you think Note 4 is too large for your hands, the LG G4 may be the perfect size while the Note 4 may be perfect size if you want bigger screen.
The feel on the Galaxy Note 4 is very good, the metal bezels give you that solid feel when you hold the phone.
The LG G4 doesn’t give you that solid feel but a different feel that allows your hands to naturally wrap around the back with its curved back. G4 does feel a lot thinner due to its rounded/tapered edges in comparison to the Note 4. Now, if you use a case, the LG G4 may have better overall feel.
Screen is bright on both the Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G4. While the Note 4 scores much higher around 600 lux in my light meter tests compared to around 420 lux for the G4, I feel like the G4 is actually brighter in the sun. While the AMOLED technology on the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge are much better than LCDs, the Note 4 has yesteryear’s AMOLED from end of 2014 and it’s not as bright in real life testing with naked eye. But to a normal user, you will probably not notice any difference between the two, the differences are negligible although the Note 4 has much better viewing angles.
Overall, both offer full 1440P (2560×1440 pixels) resolution with nearly identical PPI (pixels per inch) and you can’t go wrong with either of them.
The power button and volume buttons on the back of the LG G4 is one of my favorite features, allowing you to quickly turn on/off and change volume on your phone. Now, the LG G4 does lack physical buttons for Recents and Back which I feel sometimes is annoying when switching from an app that automatically removes the soft keys.
If you tend to like using physical buttons, you may like the Note 4 a bit more as they are already ready to please your buttery fingers.
(Above is an example when viewing videos, you must swipe up to access soft keys while Note 4 has physical buttons to save you 0.2 seconds.)
Both Note 4 and G4 have IR blaster for using your smartphone as TV Remote, which I use on a daily basis while couch-potating in my new sofa. But the Note 4 does offer more sensors including fingerprint/heart rate sensors. If you absolutely need those, the Note 4 may be a better bet.
As for performance, the Galaxy Note 4 seems much faster in overall usage and Antutu benchmarks also reflect that as my Note 4 with stock Android 5.0.1 Lollipop gets around 50K marks while the LG G4 tops at around 47.4K with stock Android 5.1. Overall, I find games and CPU-intensive apps run a bit faster on the Note 4. Although Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor on the G4 is newer, it’s a new 6-core processor that Qualcomm has been playing with while the Snapdragon 810 on the Note 4 is a proven beastly CPU. It’s like muscle-cars with high torque versus import cars with turbo.
But overall performance on both of these devices are very satisfying, faster than anything most phones out there except the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge.