LG’s G3 is with no doubt the most awaited flagship smartphone by the company so far. With just a peak at the LG G3, it was clear that Android has got a new leader. With its 5.5-inch Quad HD display, 3GB RAM and new laser-assisted autofocus it even makes Samsung Galaxy S5 seem like an old smartphone. Here’s my review of LG’s flagship phone.
Build and Design
The back of G3 is made of plastic but the brushed metal finish on the back gives it a premium look. The curved back makes it easier to hold in hand. G3 has the same button placement as its predecessor LG G2. There are no buttons on either side of the phone; Volume and Power/Lock buttons are on the back of the phone. The build quality of the buttons on G3 is premium and feels better than that of the G2. Since the G3 is wider than some other phones, back button placement makes sense, as they are easy to reach. You can get used to the back button placement really quickly.
These volume buttons also act as a shortcut while the phone is locked. Long pressing the volume down button opens the Camera app and long pressing the volume up button brings up the Notes app while the phone is locked. It would be better if we could customize the apps that could be accessed through these shortcuts.
The speaker on the G3 sounds a little louder but it is not significantly better than any other flagship smartphones out there.
Overall build of the phone is excellent. Being a smartphone with 5.5-inch screen, it is very difficult to use the phone with single hand. I have normal sized hands and it is difficult for me to reach the top of screen to access the notification center while using LG G3 with one hand.
On the bottom of the phone there is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB charging port. Front of G3 is almost complete display with very thin bezels that make the phone look amazing.
Most flagship phones that launched this year came with a 5-inch or 5.1-inch display but LG has packed a 5.5-inch QHD display on the new G3. With a resolution of 1440×2560 pixels, the pixel density of the screen comes to 534ppi which is mind blowing. This display is significantly sharper than the 1080p displays and it looks great while watching videos or playing games. Colours on the G3’s screen are not as vibrant as on Super AMOLED screens of Samsung devices, the contrast ratio is not great and the screen feels slightly warmer compared to HTC One (M8) or iPhone 5s but the overall experience of this display is good. Right now there isn’t lot of content that can take advantage of this big QHD screen, we will truly enjoy this QHD screen when the apps and games start taking advantage of it.
What I like most about the display is the super thin bezels that run around the screen of this smartphone. These thin bezels make this phone feel more attractive.
Processor, GPU, RAM
LG G3 has Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor at its heart, which is clocked at 2.5Ghz. The RAM that you get on this phone depends on the storage option that you choose, the 16GB variant comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB variant has 3GB of RAM. It also has Adreno 330 GPU that helps the phone run any games and other tasks smoothly without any stutter and without dropping any frames. Overall performance of this phone is very smooth.
Playing games for sometime did make the phone really hot and that was a concern since the phone actually did not let me increase the brightness of the screen because it was too hot. This is the only problem I had while using this phone.
As we said earlier the G3 comes with 2 options of internal memory – 16GB that has 2GB of RAM and 32GB that has 3GB of RAM. This smartphone has a support for microSD (SDXC) cards of upto 128GB. One welcome feature of this phone is that you can move the apps from internal storage to microSD card; this is good news for those opting for 16GB variant.
The 13-megapixel camera that LG has packed in this phone has some unique features like Laser-Assisted autofocus that helps in extreme fast focusing, advanced Optical Image Stabilization (OIS+) and Improved HDR mode. The camera app on the LG G3 is very simple and intuitive. The main camera can shoot 4K videos at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps and 720p at 120 fps (slow motion). It has a dual LED flash for taking better images in low light conditions.
Front facing camera has a 2.1-megapixel sensor. You can take a selfie by making a fist gesture with your hand in front of the front facing camera, this way you can take a selfie without touching your phone.
The images and videos taken with G3 are really good and the OIS+ feature works really well while taking videos. The camera is quite accurate in contrast, colours and exposure. Thanks to the laser-assisted autofocus this phone has one of the fastest focusing camera on a smartphone.
G3 comes with the latest version of Android KitKat 4.4. LG has taken minimalistic approach with the LG Skin that runs over Android. I like the look of this skin better than the skin that came in with the LG G2 last year. Best feature of this LG Skin is the Keyboard, if you have big hands and large fingers then you can make the keyboard taller and that makes typing a lot easier. There is also a dual window mode for using two apps at the same time. Knock code for unlocking the device is also a good feature that worked well for me.
LG G3 managed to play all video formats that I threw at it, which is great because this screen is perfect for viewing lot of videos while you are on the go. The built in video player has a subtitle support out of the box.
To power this large QHD screen and latest processor, LG has put in a 3000mAh battery. I am impressed with this battery because having to power a 5.5-inch screen that has 534ppi and super fast processor I got a full day’s worth of heavy usage (4 and half hours of screen-on time) before having to charge the battery again. One important thing is that the battery is user replaceable and sits under a removable back cover. If you feel that 3000mAh battery won’t be enough to get you through your day, then you can carry an extra charged battery.
LG Quick Circle Case
It’s not that we have not seen cases with window cut-outs before, but LG’s Quick Circle case lets you access many of the phone’s features without the need of flapping open the cover. The Quick Circle case lets you view notifications at-a-glance, check time and weather information, control music playback, check unread text messages, review your call log, make and receive calls and take photos.
I am not a fan of putting cases on smartphones but this is no doubt one of the best flip cover case, if I absolutely have to put a case on my G3 I’ll definitely go with the Quick Circle case.
In India the 16GB variant with 2GB RAM is priced at Rs.47,990 and 32GB variant that has 3GB of RAM is priced at Rs.50,990.
There is no doubt that LG G3 is an amazing Android smartphone. It has a massive screen with great resolution, beautiful elegant design, great camera, and might be a bit bulky for few people out there but it’s a great phone and a worthy successor to the LG G2. With the price starting at Rs.47,990, it is one of the costliest smartphone out there, but if you are ready to spend that much on an Android smartphone then look no further, LG G3 is the one for you. I would recommend you to get the 32GB version because for Rs.3,000 more you will get 16GB of extra storage and 1GB of extra RAM.
Let us know in the comments section what you think of LG G3 and will this be your next smartphone.