Here’s the Hydra – LG G3 vs HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S 5

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We’re still waiting for Sony and Apple to join the high-end party for 2014 but, in the meantime, why don’t we take a look at the best smartphones on offer from HTC, LG and Samsung? All three handsets are impressive in their own right and they all boast similar specs so which one should you choose? There’s not a whole lot between them and if brand loyalty isn’t your bag making a selection can be an exercise in possible buyers remorse.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at which of this trio is worthy of being called your smartphone. At least, until September rolls around and a few new contenders hit the market like a rectangular shotgun shell.

  • LG G3
    Display: 5.5-inch quad-HD (1,440 x 2,560), 534ppi
    Chipset/CPU: Snapdragon 801/Krait 400 2.5Ghz quad (2GB RAM)
    Storage: 16GB/32GB (3GB of RAM)
    Camera: 13MP (4,160 x 3,120), dual-LED flash, laser autofocus, OIS/2.1MP (front)
    Connectivity: 3G, LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
    Battery: 3,000mAh Li-Ion
    Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
    SIM Card: Micro-SIM
    Features: KnockOn
    Dimensions: 146.3mm x 74.6 x 8.9
    We believe that every smartphone has its good points, somewhere, but with the flagships we expect every point to be a good one. LG’s G2 successor has this in spades, the interface is easy to use without deviating from vanilla Android KitKat much, it’s the fastest phone we’ve used this year (by a very small margin) and LG have taken some of our minor gripes from last year on board and updated the handset appropriately. It’s no wonder that the G3 is the highlight of our mobile year thus far.

    Who should buy it?

    Anyone who is keen on having the best screen on the market at the moment owes it to themselves to get their hands on LG’s G3. The camera features, like the dual-LED flash and the laser autofocus, make it a contender for the best smartphone camera on the market as well but mostly you’re going to be using the G3 because it’s fast, easy to use and – we cannot stress this enough – the screen cannot be beaten.

  • HTC One M8
    Display: 5-inch HD (1,080 x 1,920), 441ppi
    Chipset/CPU: Snapdragon 801/Krait 400 2.3GHz quad (2GB RAM)
    Storage: 16GB/32GB
    Camera: Dual 4MP (2,688 x ,1560), dual-LED flash/5MP (front)
    Connectivity: 3G, LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
    Battery: 2,600mAh Li-Po (non-removable)
    Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
    SIM Card: Nano-SIM
    Features: Ultrapixel camera tech
    Dimensions: 146.4mm x 70.6 x 9.4
    Briefly at the top of our list before being knocked from its pedestal by LG’s quad-screened wonder, HTC’s One M8 has loads of performance wrapped up in their brilliant Sense 6.0 UI. It’s got the legs to last you the day at least and, as usual, they’ve done some interesting things with the Ultrapixel camera setup. It’s a worthy successor to the One and deserves to stand in line with the rest of the devices here. If there’s every going to be an upset in the smartphone order of things, HTC is a likely place for it to originate.

    Who should buy it?

    HTC has its followers in South Africa, so if you’ve been missing the brand then this is a no-brainer. Otherwise, expect similar performance to LG’s G3 but with a metal-bodied smartphone on hand. Sometimes you just want something a bit more durable, you know? Otherwise the One M8 is the phone to pick up if you’re partaking in the selfie trend – no other company is going to offer that 5MP front-facing camera in a premium-specced smartphone. For a while, at least.

  • Galaxy S 5
    Display: 5.1-inch HD (1,080 x 1,920), 432ppi
    Chipset/CPU: Snapdragon 801/Krait 400 2.5Ghz quad (2GB RAM)
    Storage: 16GB/32GB
    Camera: 16MP (5,312 x 2,988), LED flash/2MP (front)
    Connectivity: 3G, LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
    Battery: 2,800mAh Li-Ion
    Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
    SIM Card: Micro-SIM
    Features: Fingerprint sensor, IP67 water and dust resistance (1 metre, 30 minutes)
    Dimensions: 142mm x 72.5 x 8.1
    Poor Samsung. Their Galaxy S 5 flagship isn’t a bad smartphone by anyone’s measurement and it boasts very similar specs to the other duo of devices shown here but it’s a tad slower than the G3, not as well-constructed as the One M8 and lags behind both with its own skinned version of Android KitKat. Those are the perils of being first to market though, Samsung gave everybody a heads-up on what they need to beat – though the company has included that IP67 rating. Now, that metal-bodied phone we’ve all been waiting for, Samsung?

    Who should buy it?

    Samsung’s front-runner is designed for the clumsy among us (you know who you are), who have a tendency to drown their handsets in inconvenient puddles or want to attempt some underwater photography. If you’re concerned about your phone security, have a mostly-Samsung home setup or just want to take advantage of the South Korean company’s range of fitness and smartwatches, it’s also a good choice. Why? The fingerprint scanner and baked-in interconnectivity for other Samsung devices (which actually works well), respectively. 

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