The new LG G3 is a mouth-watering and visually gratifying experience with all the ingredients for success, except price, writes RACHEAL DANE.
It’s only natural to have huge expectations of LG’s flagship phone and it does well to meet them. It’s powered by a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and comes in two iterations, a 2GB version with 16GB built-in flash storage, and a 3GB version with 32GB built-in flash. Together, the processor and RAM pack a heavy punch, carrying enough horsepower to handle almost anything thrown at it.
The G3 is running KitKat 4.4.2, the latest version of Android, which went live only days before the phone’s launch. LG has tinkered with the software to make it stand out among similar versions on different phones.
It’s been made more beautiful through its simplicity and a more geometric user interface. The bright colours have been replaced with more mature tones. The icons are primarily made up of squares and circles.
The KnockOn feature is a neat addition, which allows the phone to be awakened or put to sleep through a couple of taps on the screen. LG has included the QSlide or Dual Window option to make multi-tasking convenient. In a bid to offer a user-friendly experience, G3 comes with the Smart Keyboard, which injects a heavy dose of convenience into typing.
Security is a major concern for most Android users, and LG seeks to address this to some extent through Guest mode, which allows the phone to be shared with accessibility to limited apps only, and a kill switch, which can disable the phone permanently.
Display is where the LG G3 truly shines. With a massive 5.5-inch QuadHD LCD display, the phone offers a visual experience that has never been offered before, at least not by a major cellphone manufacturer. The resolution of 2560 x 1440, with an impressive 534 ppi pixel density, allows G3 to outdo its 1080p global competitors. Everything from color accuracy and contrast to viewing angles is improved. The IPS display has just the right amount of brightness to keep the screen visible and useful even on a sunny day.
Even though the G3 is a 5.5-inch phone, it is built in such a way that it feels like a 5-inch phone. The design may fall short of being drop-dead gorgeous, but it’s still sleek and curvaceous, carrying a substantial amount of visual appeal. The front of the phone is mostly occupied by the display: 76.4 percent to be more precise. The bezels have been kept slim, with LG sticking to the rear-mounted buttons with which users are all too familiar, courtesy of the G2.
One drawback of the G3’s design is its plastic body. At first glance, it may be confused with a metallic body, but unfortunately it’s not. But it’s one of the best-looking fake metallic bodies yet. Even the back panel of the phone is plastic, though it has a textured pattern. Fortunately, it doesn’t have that typical slimy feel to it, remaining impervious to fingerprints.
While you’ll still need to keep a DSLR handy for serious photography, the G3’s camera is great for capturing everyday memories or sudden moments that are worth sharing with others. The camera uses laser to focus when taking photos, which leads to a faster and better focus, even in low light or when taking pictures of subjects of uniform colour.
The rear camera has a 13 megapixel sensor and an f/2.4 lens with OIS+ (optical image stabilization), a refined version of OIS. The front 2.1 megapixel camera is described as a “selfie camera” by LG. The result may lack crispiness, but it’s not bad by any standards. A really neat feature of the “selfie camera” is the new gesture control setup, which makes it possible to trigger a three-second countdown by holding the hand up and making a fist.
With all the horsepower under the hood, a strong battery is not just a luxury for G3, it’s a necessity. A 3,000mAh replaceable battery provides enough juice to keep the phone running an entire day without needing to top-up, with LTE switched off. It’s a huge battery, and offers decent performance on a phone that carries a strong processor, massive screen and QHD display.
It’s hard to say how the LG G3 will fare in the market. The paint is still rather fresh on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8), but neither of the two phones match up to LG’s latest offering in terms of performance and display – bearing in mind Samsung’s Note 3 is designed to compete in this form factor. However, the G3’s design and price tag may keep it from asserting its dominance over its Android counterparts as well as other smartphones.
* Racheal Dane is a content marketer at www.stealthmate.com, and a technology writer. Follow her on Twitter on @RachealDane