There was one theme pushed by LG Mobile at their event in London today to introduce their new G3 flagship phone – it was Simplicity. To be more precise, it was about making complex tasks simple. The event also represented a change in design language for LG, both internal and in their Android interface. Let’s take a look at the phone.
LG G3 Features
If I had shown you the G3 without any manufacturer badges, you’d never have known it’s an LG. That’s a good thing. If there was one knock against the G and G2, it was that they had great specs, but they were a little difficult to tell apart from Samsung. You won’t be making that mistake here. On the outside, there is a new metallic finish to the case in 5 different colors: black, silver/white, gold, violet, and burgundy. The back of the case is curved to fit the natural arc of your hand.
The phone is centered around a 5.5″ display. While the G2 has been inching towards the phablet size, being 0.1″ smaller than the original Note, the G3 has leaped squarely into that arena. The screen is the same size as the Note 2 and LG’s own Optimus G. Fortunately, at 146×74.6×8.9mm it’s much closer in physical size to the G2 and GS5 than it is the phablets. The Note II in comparison is 151×80.5×9.4 with the GS5 being 142.×72.5×8.1mm. If last year’s flagship phones were already trending on too large, the G3 might be just enough to push you over the edge.
That screen itself might be the best in the business. It’s 2540×1440 also known as quad HD. Quad HD has a similar relationship to 720p as full HD has to 4K. QHD is double the dimensions of 720 in every direction, making it 4 times as many pixels. In a 5.5″ display, that comes out to a mind boggling 534 pixels per inch and 11 million sub pixels. That’s almost double that of a full HD smartphone screen. LG’s IPS displays tend to be among the best in the business. In fact, this looks to be the best screen on any phone to be made up to this point. The CPU is a 32-bit 2.5GHz quad core Snapdragon 801. If you were looking for this to be the first 64-bit Android handset, you’ll be disappointed.
The L3 has a 13.1MP camera sensor with Advanced OIS+. The new OIS is 20% more effective. The lens is F/2.0. What might be the big breakthrough here is the laser autofocus: it’s almost instant. It’s also a one step interface for the focus. With video, it’s been upgraded from Full HD to QuadHD The camera has a new selfie mode which starts a timer by holding up your other hand. The sound has been enhanced as well. It features a 1 watt powered speaker system with amp. The battery is the same 3000mAh as the G2, but the phone employs 3A adaptive battery optimization to make more itself 20% more power efficient. For charging Qi wireless is present. If there is one thing missing, it’s biometrics.
While the G2 had great hardware, LG’s Android skin was not held in high esteem. LG has started from scratch with a new flat skin running on top of Kit Kat for the G3. LG says it’s been redesigned to be simpler and easier to use. If this is true, it’s very welcome. There is a new, almost personal assistant-like notification feature called Smart Notice. Smart notice will give you reminders, location based tips, and even monitor your battery life. The skin also includes a new standard keyboard. It can be resized to fit your preferences. The G3 steps it up on security. It has a knock code which uses an area based code instead of a keypad pin. Content lock encrypts your files, even on your computers, so only you can see them. There’s also a Find My iPhone-like kill switch feature.
A number of accessories were also announced. First is the Circle case. At its core, it’s a folio-style case, but there is a circular cutout at the top. This allows a mini-UI that allows you access to some features of the phone. The company also played up the Tone Infinim Bluetooth headphones that were developed with Harman Kardon. LG featured the their G-Watch, which the company made very clear isn’t tied only to their own phones. Lastly, not an accessory per se, but LG announced the G3 could be paired with their GPad tablet to transfer voice calls to the tablet.
LG will release the G3 in its home market of South Korea tomorrow, May 28th. All 4 major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) have announced they will carry the phone later in the summer. Pricing was not given.
LG has a device here which answers a few questions, but poses a few more. Chief among those is whether it’s a bit too big. At the same time, it may have the new benchmark as far as smartphone screens. They also made needed steps forward in phone and interface design. Spec for spec, it looks competitive with any phone on the market.
The most important question is what you guys think about the G3. Leave us a comment and let us know.