Apple and Samsung have undeniably dominated the Western smartphone market over the past couple of years, and the release of their latest phones always sends ripples through the technology industry.
The media blitz around the devices has meant that many people have forgotten to check out LG's and HTC's respective G4 and One M9 handsets.
This is a little sad as, while the handsets don't appear to be big upgrades compared with their 2014 predecessors, the G4 and One M9 come with a number of subtle upgrades that make them seriously impressive smartphones in their own right.
Design and build
Visually the G4 has a more atypical design than the One M9. It has the same button placement as the G3, with the physical controls on the rear, and has a slightly curved chassis similar to LG's G Flex handsets.
This makes it look slightly more distinctive than the One M9, which merges elements of HTC's One M7 and One M8 handsets.
Specifically the One M9 features a rounded metal back that wraps around to the Gorilla Glass front, along with 'Boom Sound' speakers and right-hand power and volume controls.
While this makes the G4 sound like the more exciting handset from a design perspective, we favoured the One M9 when using the two smartphones. This is mainly thanks to the M9's use of metal as opposed to plastic.
Comparing the metal One M9 with our review G4 unit, which has a smooth finish, removable polycarbonate backplate, we found the HTC phone noticeably more top end and solidly built.
Despite LG's atypical button placement and supposedly ergonomic curve, the G4 and One M9 are equivalently comfortable to hold, largely owing to their similar size and weight.
The G4 measures 149x76x6.3-9.8mm from its narrowest to deepest curved part, and weighs 155g. By comparison the One M9 measures 145x70x9.6mm and weighs 157g.
Winner: The One M9
The One M9 and G4 don't feature radically different displays to their 2014 predecessors. LG has loaded its handset with a 5.5in, 1440x2560, 538ppi, Quantum IPS LCD screen and HTC has used a 5in, 1920x1080 pixel, 441ppi Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen.
By comparison the G3 featured a 5.5in, 1440x2560, 534ppi True HD-IPS+ (in-plane switching) LCD capacitive touchscreen display and the One M8 a 5in, 1080x1920, 441ppi, Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen.
However, testing the two we found the LG G4's screen a radical improvement that easily outclasses its predecessor and the One M9.
The G4's display is noticeably sharper, largely down to LG's new Quantum tech and use of the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) display standards.
According to LG, the Quantum tech gives the G4's screen 20 percent greater colour reproduction, 25 percent more brightness and 50 percent better contrast than the G3.
The DCI colour gamut was set up by a group of film companies and is designed to replace the traditional sRGB gamut used by most companies. It improves colour quality by using a wider range of colours to create more realistic images than sRGB.
Comparing the G4 with the One M9, we found the LG phone's display noticeably brighter and with better calibrated colours than the One M9, which has a 'cooler', slightly blue feel.
That said, it's important to note that the One M9's display is far from terrible and is generally more than fit for purpose.
While not as bright as the G4 screen, the One M9 screen never looks dim in its automatic setting and is easily sharp enough. Colour levels, while slightly cool, are not oversaturated and are still reasonably impressive.
Winner: The G4
Next: Operating system and performance