GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT
The G3 is no doubt the most compact phone of its class; it will not feel like you’re handling a 5.5-inch device. LG achieves this by shrinking the bezel around the display so that 76.4% of the device’s front face is devoted to the screen. Due to this, the G3 is just a tad larger than the current crop of 5-inch phones.
We must say LG did a remarkable job with the feel and handling of the G3. Its curved back—dubbed as the “floating arc design”— rounded corners and brushed metallic look made us fall head over heels with the phone.
To set the record straight though, the G3 does not actually have a metal rear cover like the HTC One (M8); it only pretends to. The rear cover is actually plastic with a metal film to pull off its brushed metal look. It also has a matte finish to help with handling and keeping fingerprints at bay.
LG has also made improvements to the rear button setup on the G3 for a better, textured feel. The clean layout also makes them easier to access.
Removing the rear cover gives you access to the micro-SIM and microSD card slots. The memory slot supports cards of up to 128GB, which augments the internal storage capacity of 32GB. Out of the box, the G3 comes with 24.43GB of available storage space remaining.
The star of the show is its 5.5-inch Quad-HD (QHD) display. With a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, the G3 boasts a whopping 534ppi, the highest pixel count of any available smartphone. Do the extra pixels benefit the user experience?
While there are certainly good things to say about
the display such as the true-to-life colors, sharper icons, text and images, do not expect the bump in resolution to improve the overall viewing experience by leaps and bounds.
Instead, LG gave its interface a major rehaul. What you’ll see now are simple, flat graphics with a clean, minimalist look. Overall, these modifications led to the emergence of a differentiated design language that LG can truly call its own.
Apart from UI design, LG also improved the typing experience on the G3 via its Smart Keyboard. Not only can you adjust the height of the keyboard, it has adaptive technology to learn your typing habits. When used, we actually found our typing to be faster and more accurate.
LG also has a virtual personal assistant, Smart Notice on the G3. It offers notifications on upcoming events, weather forecasts and prompts you to enable Battery Saver once the battery drops below 30%.
Like most recent Android flagship smartphones, the G3 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset. It comes in two configurations: 16GB internal storage with 2GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage with 3GB RAM.
Its performance in benchmarks is comparable to the competition, although scores are lower in some cases as the higher resolution display is more taxing on the processor. The G3 generally felt very smooth in its daily operation.
The 13-megapixel rear camera takes photos really fast thanks to its laser autofocus, which is the same technology used in the traffic police radar guns to track vehicle speeds. Image quality is excellent with accurate color reproduction and amazing details (at least on the G3 display).
When it comes to battery benchmarking, the G3 took a beating as the QHD display proved to be a huge power drain. The removable 3,000mAh battery lasted only about six hours, placing the G3 last in its class. Under normal usage conditions, our G3 managed 18 hours of uptime with two and a half hours of screen-on time.
Retailing at $868 (16GB) and $928 (32B), the G3 is priced lower than its competitors. Given the small price differential, there’s no reason not to opt for the 32GB model. It’s a shame about the battery life, but when charged, we were hard pressed to find any other fault with the G3.
The LG G3’s rear has a metallic finish that is somewhat similar to that of the HTC One (M8).
We liked the improved feel and texture of the rear buttons on the LG G3.