What is it?
The LG G2 was the Android phone of the year for me. It was smooth, beautiful, felt good in your hand, boasted a great screen, had the very clever placement of the buttons at the back with the Knock feature, and a mighty good camera. Quite frankly, I found little to complain about it.
LG have come back even stronger now, with the G3, which boasts a bigger screen, with four times the resolution, an even better camera with dual flash, laser focus, and many more features.
The trick is to focus on the simplicity of things, and that is definitely LG’s mantra with the G3, as it was with the G2.
So, as you may imagine, I read a lot of reviews and articles about what technology, mobiles, and the sort.
One of the biggest complains I have read about the G3 is its size. Yes, the problem is often stated by people who use iPhones, and iPhones are a lot smaller than most smartphones these days, but, it is a popular opinion.
I have to disagree. My normal phone is the Galaxy S4, and while the G3 is definitely bigger, I do not find it to be any bigger than normal.
In fact, you may find that the 5.5″ screen of the G3 is actually 0.2″ bigger than the original Galaxy Note. Yet, as far as dimensions go, it is thinner and smaller. All thanks to a screen that goes as far as the edges, or very close to them.
So, well done LG for packaging something with such a big screen in the smallest possible package that I have tried.
Look and feel
Thin, beautiful, slick, metallic finish. I like how it looks and feels, and fits well in my hand.
The screen at front goes right to the edges, with an extremely thin bezel, a speaker and front camera on top, and the LG logo shining among a brushed metal finish.
The back features a similar slick metal finish, as well as the flash/laser/camera plus the back buttons.
The bottom has the ports, and the top features a microphone and the IR blaster for remote control usage.
Okay, read up about the G3 and the first thing they will talk about is the screen. Oh yes. It is good, it is great, it is awesome. Quad HD is definitely part of what makes this phone look good, and the demo videos as well as images let you see it in all its glory. 5.5″ is a good size too, meaning most websites, as well as videos, look good, and you don’t really need to squint your eyes.
However, being so technically advanced is not really a good thing. Unfortunately, a lot of apps are still not compatible with the screen, which means they won’t work. An example is Virgin Media’s app, which just won’t download on the device. There are other apps that have similar issues, and while the problem is probably down to the app maker rather than the device, it could have been good if the device could cater for such apps.
More about Apps
While I am talking about apps, I have to also mention that some apps do misbehave, and can be jittery and funny at times. The issue is definitely not lack of power, as this phone packs enough of a punch. I believe it is to do with how apps deal with the screen issue again.
Other funny business which I have noticed is that when Chrome loads a website, it often goes blank. Once again, I imagine it could be something to do with the screen, but I can’t say for sure.
I have noticed that other people have made similar comments, so it definitely isn’t just me.
The LG Apps
Much like their neighbouring company Samsung, LG throw in some apps too. However, unlike their neighbouring company, LG know how to do this. LG pack in apps such as Box, McAfee Security, LG Smartworld, etc. However, these apps are non-intrusive, and McAfee Security is actually not even installed, and comes as an option. There is an Update Centre to control all this. Frankly though, I prefer to choose my own apps, and would rather not have any pre-installed, but I guess every manufacturer likes leaving some kind of a mark on what they make.
Of course, there are other features packed in to the OS, which appear very subtly on top of Android. These I love.
There are pop ups for notifications, something the new Android has already taken on board. You have QuickSlide, Quick Memo and Battery Saver Mode. There is a ‘forced’ LG Health monitor if you swipe left on your home screen, which I am not a big fan of, as well as some Smart Tips.
Yes. This is perhaps my favourite feature. Since the buttons are hidden at the back, a double knock on the screen wakes it up, or puts it back to sleep. You can even program a ‘lock’ knock to unlock your device. This features on the G2 originally, and is being taken on board by a lot of other phones.
The phone features a 13MP camera, with built in OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), Dual Flash (much like iPhone) for better colour balancing, and a laser based focus mechanism.
I have used the camera over and over again, and it works great. I wish it would load a little quicker, but perhaps that is just me being fussy.
Following are a couple of photos taken in good sunny conditions.
One of an ice cube shining in the sunlight, showing how it can focus easily on nearby subjects.
And the next one just showing the same day, but looking over South Park in Oxford, showing infinite focus and sharp light contrasts.
Colour balance is quite good too. Just a picture showing a bike with some old leaves, as found in the sheltered area of Oxford’s Railway Station.
My main interest though, was in the laser assisted focus. How well does it do in the dark? The following is an example image, taken around dusk, with focus on the first board.
I won’t say it is extremely sharp, but for the light conditions, it is really good.
Of course, if the light is good, the image is great, even at night…
Another feature LG have packed in is the keyboard, which has been produced in partnership with Swype. It works, and it works well, with abilities to use it single handedly if you find the screen too big.
I did end up shifting back to SwiftKey soon after, but that was mainly because of what I am used to.
You have heard of this one before. Samsung introduced it ages ago. The screen knows when you are looking at it, and would not fade, and would not turn off as long as you’re looking.
It sounded like a gimmick, and as far as Samsung’s original efforts went, it felt like one too.
Not the case on the LG G3. It works. It works well. If you are looking away, a ‘Face Detect’ icon appears on the notification bar, and if you look back, you’ll notice the phone knowing that you looked. Oh yes. It knows. And it works. And in a very subtle way, it makes this feature really useful.
It features a 3000mAh battery. I have charged it almost daily, but it has lasted me most days comfortably.
More information about the LG G3 can be found on LG’s website at the following link:
It isn’t the cheapest of phones, being flagship and feature packed and all. However, it lives up to its predecessor, and it lives up to my expectations. Will I buy it? Yes!