Don't know what I should do... Nexus 5, LG G2 or Note 3

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Sensamic, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Sensamic, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013

    Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Ok, so tomorrow a local store will receive 16GB Nexus 5 and I've been considering buying it since last week and still haven't decided what to do. Hope you guys can help me. Most of you have used these phones recently.

    I've got the SGS3, so I'm looking for the best upgrade possible. Nexus 5 would be unlocked, and LG G2 and Note 3 under contract (so I could get them for 140$ for 32GB compared to 339$ of the Nexus 5 16GB only).

    Advantages Nexus 5:

    - Stock android, which can be customized to my precise liking (thanks to Xposed framework, GravityBox, custom kernels to add double tap to wake, etc).
    - I would be going from 4.1 (or 4.3) to 4.4 and will get great new features in the future with the following updates.
    - I prefer the build quality to the cheap plastic feel of the SGS3, Note 3 and LG G2.
    - 2GB RAM with no skins taking up 500MB or more.
    - No problems for rooting and such.


    - Bad battery life. Seems like only 2:30 screen on time. That's absolutely no improvement over my SGS3. Camera is also no big improvement over my SGS3.
    - Many problems users are having: speakers, button rattle, bad camera, etc.
    - Only 16GB. I can't get the 32GB model.
    - More expensive than LG G2 and Note 3.

    LG G2 advantages:

    - Good camera with OIS and 60fps video recording.
    - Super battery life.
    - Double tap to wake.
    - Only 130$ for the 32GB model.


    - Reading the XDA forums it seems many people have problems with OTA if they root. Can't unlock bootloader (they bypass it). So it wouldn't be too root friendly. There's almost no development with custom ROMS or kernels. Very very little.
    - Probably won't get updated after 4.4. I would be going from my SGS3 4.3 to just 4.4. No big improvement in software to be attached to during 2 years under contract.
    - Cheap plastic body.

    Note 3 advantages:

    - Super battery life.
    - Only 140$.


    - Knox. Forget about your warranty if you root. Some users lost their warranty on XDA after root.
    - Too big.
    - Again plastic body from Samsung which I'm tired of.

    So what do you guys think? I have to decide today if I'm getting the Nexus 5 so I can buy it tomorrow. There will be few units for sale so I have to hurry.

    I think i'm between the Nexus 5 or the LG G2. The Note 3 is too big and Knox sounds like trouble.

    There's three improvements over my SGS3 I'm looking for in my next phone:

    - Camera.
    - Battery.
    - Software.

    I would like an all day battery life, like the 6 hours screen on time of the LG G2 and Note 3. Maybe with a custom kernel I could get 3-4 hours from the Nexus 5. Software is also very important, since the Nexus 5 is the fastest and smoothest of all of them, and can be customized completely and will have updates with new features. I also love love love the on screen buttons of the Nexus 5.

    But then I think updates are not that important on a phone (for that I have my Nexus 7), and the most important stuff is battery and camera (LG G2).

  2. CyanLite macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2013
    The battery on the Nexus 5 isn't the best but it's definitely better than the SIII. It has audio tunneling, GRAM, and envelope tracking all to increase battery life out of it. Check Anandtech's review, unlike most reviews, they actually do a standardized test.

    But without a doubt the G2 lasts longer than the Nexus 5, it's all about which stuff are more important than the others.

    The camera also got vastly improved with the 4.4.1 update..

    If development is important to you, get the Nexus 5. G2 is absolutely terrible in that department. Development allows for crazy exciting features to work on a completely stable ROM.
  3. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    The G2 was VERY easy to root, and this is from a semi-noob who hasn't rooted in a while. There are also some very nice ROMS for it. Before I sold it I was running cyanogenmod on it and it was quite awesome, no complaints. In the end i sold it mainly because I just couldn't adjust to the rear buttons.

    I had the Nexus 5 for a bit, I hated the camera and speaker but now that they fixed those I would opt for it again. The battery life never seemed terrible to me at all, it would get me through a full day, but it wasn't a powerhouse like the g2 which easily lasted 2 days pushing it hard.

    The note 3 really intrigues me. I'm ready to pull the trigger on one just as a "tablet" device to augment my iphone 5s. It's too big to use as a daily phone for me, I use my phones one handed most of the time, but as a tablet that is pocketable I don't think it can be beat.
  4. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Because I'm not a fan of skins, I'd recommend the Nexus 5.

    Only pain point for me is the battery life - which I'm sure I could tweak more....though I really don't have the inclination. Other than that, the camera is fine, though somewhat inconsistent and everything else is pretty stellar.

    I prefer the update schedule and vanilla Android over other devices, and the fact that its unlocked and cheap off-contract make it my go-to Android device for the foreseeable future.
  5. Dave.UK macrumors 65816


    Sep 24, 2012
    Kent, UK
    LG G2. One of the best phones ive ever owned. Battery life is just amazing.

    Rooted mine, was very easy - took minutes.
    As for the skin, LG have done a superb job, although I do use Nova launcher.

    Dont know if you've held the LG G2, but it really dosent feel like cheap plastic. I came from the Galaxy S3 and this phone feels so much better. Nice and sturdy.
  6. Beeplance macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    The G2 would probably excel in 2 of the aspects that you want, primarily battery and camera. It's around the same size as the Nexus 5 as well, maybe a bit wider. Perhaps the only aspect it lacks is in software updates, which as everyone would know by now, that it won't be able to compete with the Nexus 5 in terms of timely software updates.

    I still suggest you try out both first before spending your money. And by trying the phones I am not referring to the in-store units which has been pressed a million times.... see if any of your friends have these 2 phones and see what they think and most importantly, what YOU think. :)
  7. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Let me show you guys something.

    Been playing for 20 minutes with my SGS3 to check how fast battery drains. Wi-Fi was on for just 4 minutes, 3G off, sync off, brightness at max, BT off, Google now off.

    All I did was watch 2 videos (7 minutes in total), visit one website and the rest of the time just going around the UI.

    My battery was at 99% and in those 20 minutes it fell down to 90%. Wow. It's worst than I thought. I don't use that much my phone now that I've got my Nexus 7.

    I don't want another phone with this crap battery for 2 years. Right now I'm leaning towards the Note 3 or LG G2. I like the Nexus 5 much more. That's obvious. But I also want the biggest battery possible.

    At least I got my Nexus 7 to get updates, but on my phone I guess there are other priorities too apart from updates and stock Android.
  8. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Galaxy Note 3. It isn't made by a joke of an OEM, like LG.
  9. Fireblade macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2011

    After 2 years of Galaxys, which are great smartphones, I love everything on my G2.
  10. viskon macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    This happens to me on my S4 too. The battery drops 10% within the first 30 minutes off charger. But it still lasts me the whole day and then some.
  11. appledes7 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2011
    I have a Nexus 5 and I can get 4 hours SOT over the course of 24 hours. But that was after a couple days of trouble shooting and installing a custom kernel. If you don't want to do that, then I recommend the G2.

    It has GRAM (which I have not seen anything definitively saying the Nexus 5 has this BTW), and a few other features to improve battery life. Oh ya, and a huge battery.

    You seem to be talking about battery life a lot. And if the Nexus 5, regardless of battery life is your favorite phone, then the G2 should be the phone you go for. It really is the best of both.

    Although I must say, the Nexus 5 camera is decent. OIS can actually be a downfall at times because it leaves the shutter open too long and introduces motion blur in objects.

    Speaker is not in a great place on the phone IMO. Power button rattling has been fixed (I did an RMA).

    Seriously, if you have no problem being on contract and no matter what plan on keeping this next phone for 2 years, go with the G2. It meets your biggest complaint, which is battery life. And the camera is better, and the software provides more camera features.
  12. Sensamic, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Ok, so guess which phone I ended up buying today?? :D:D

    The Nexus 5!! I went to play with the G2 and liked it, but wanted to just try the Nexus 5 because not every day I have the chance to. I've never seen a Nexus phone in person so I was really curious to see if it was that good.

    First impressions are... awesome!! :D:D The phone's design is amazing. Love it. Looks so good in person. The build quality is really good. It's too light for my taste. It feels really fragile because of this. The soft back is awesome. Love it. Love it.

    No problems at all with buttons. I think the speaker is the new one. Seems big to me.

    Screen quality is sooooo good. The G2 was good today too but the I didn't like the brightness level at all. Anything below 100% was bad for my taste. I really like IPS over AMOLED. The screen of the Note 3 seemed really dark even at max brightness. IPS is so much better, and the colors are really nice.

    Overall amazing first impressions. I will try this phone for two weeks and decide.

    It's build 312K, so latest I think (December).

    It was really hard to not buy this phone to try it out. Really impressed. So snappy, fast and fluid.

    Now I'm gonna unlock it and root it. Oh, the beauty of Nexus. Gonna install Xposed framework and Gravity Box to customize this beauty to my liking.

    Also must say that after playing with the G2 on the store I knew my next phone had to have the on screen buttons. No way I was going back to hardware or capacitive buttons (Samsung). So it was the G2 or Nexus 5.
  13. CyanLite macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2013
    Nexus 5 does have GRAM, check the Anandtech review.
  14. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
  15. appledes7 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2011
    I just checked. Went through the page on display analysis, battery life, and performance, did fine in page and did "gram" and it showed no results. I'm not saying it doesn't have it, I just said I didn't find anything that said it does have it.
  16. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    Good choice with the Nexus 5. I was in your situation and did the same.
  17. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    I think the Gram is a G2 thing only.

    I'm very happy with the Nexus 5.

    Only two downsides: I wish the screen was 5.2 like the G2 and I feel the phone needs more weight (this can be fix with a case).

    Everything else is perfect. Can't wait to see what Android brings next year :D
  18. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    I dont think my Nexus 5 is too light. I had a GS3 before it. I do have a Slim Armor case on it and it feels a bit heavy actually but it doesnt bother me at all.

    My other choice was also going to be the G2. I actually really like the back buttons on it and liked how i could rearrange the on screen buttons. I would of moved the back button on the right side had i got that.
  19. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    I also had the SGS3. The weight is actually the same between that and the Nexus 5 (I think I compared both in gsmarena), but the SGS3 feels heavier in the hand. A little extra weight would be perfect for me.

    I've rearranged the on screen buttons on my Nexus 5 thanks to Gravity Box. That'd the beauty of the Nexus line. You can customize everything.

    I added some extra toggles in the notification panel (one for taking screenshots for example), the battery percentage in the status bar, 5 quick access to apps in the lockscreen, etc.

    I have it modded exactly to my liking.

    In the next few days I will flash a custom kernel to add the double tap to wake feature (which I already have in my Nexus 7), and that way I won't ever have to use the power button again.

    Right now I'm at 62% battery with 2:30 hours screen on time and 4:20 hours with battery. Quite good. My SGS3 wouldn't last that long.
  20. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    Gravity Box lets you rearrange your on screen buttons? Would you mind explaining that to me? It doesnt do anything i see but have a bunch of tiny boxes float around. Looks pretty useless really.
  21. Sensamic thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 26, 2010
    Yep, there's an option there to change the navigation bar. It's the third option from top top down, right after status bar options. It's navigation bar options I think. You need to check the box inside and then reboot. Then you'll be able to change stuff. I moved the back button to the other side, just like in the SGS3.
  22. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    This is where I am confused. Where do I find these options? I can't find any.

  23. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    It's under navigation bar tweaks, about 3/4 down the screen.

  24. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV

    OK, but where do I activate these options? There are no three dots and I haven't found how to get to these options/settings from my screenshot. It does nothing when I touch the screen and why I said it looked useless.
  25. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

    Jun 26, 2012
    Looks like we're talking about two different things. The GravityBox in my screen cap is an Xposed Framework module which requires root. Your screen cap is of an app from the Play Store that just happens to have the same name.

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