241 of 262 people found the following review helpful
LG G3 : A Dream LG Smartphone!! ( Updated Review 14th August 2014 )
, 2 July 2014
This review is from: LG Electronics G3 4G Smartphone 16 GB (UK SIM-Free, Android, 5.5 inch) - Black (Wireless Phone)
Please find my updated thoughts at the end of the review. Thanks
When it comes to gadget purchases i can be an impulsive guy. I see the one that catches my eye and I prone to buy it without hesitation ( of course going through the early reviews ). This exactly is one of the reasons I have two many of them and I just love living with them. Given my history ( Reviews on Amazon ) please do not be surprised that I now am a proud owner of the LG G3 ( my 4th phone in less then 12 months ) and ready to share my thoughts with the wider community. Let's get into it without wasting anymore time.
Build Quality --> Top Notch ( 5/5 )
Build quality has never been LG's biggest asset. I don't remember the last time LG carved out a flagship phone with top build quality. G2 was ok but not the best built phone of 2013. Well welcome to LG of 2014 and we have a sturdy and quality handset in the form of LG G3. The chassis at the back of the G3 almost catches you by surprise as if it was metal. Well they deceptively have been able to make it look like that & the brushed metallic finish on a polycarbonate body almost matches that of the HTC One M8. It's the best finish to a plastic back I have ever witnessed & experienced. Kudos to LG for making something so profound & elegant. It makes you feel why Samsung couldn't achieve all that despite of having a bigger stature then LG in the Android world. Despite of the metallic finish it surprisingly doesn't attract any finger prints plus it gives you a very reassuringly comfortable non slippery grip. Even the feel to the volume rocker and power button has been much improved too. IR blaster sits at the very top right side of the phone and 3.5 mm jack sits nicely along with the micro USB charging port at the very bottom. The SD Card ( expandable up to 128 GB ) slot is a very welcome addition and rests inside the removable chassis right on top of the Micro SIM Card Slot. My only minor gripe would be with the LED Notification light which is not as bright as it was on the G2. All in all it's a great feel in the hand and doesn't feel like a big phone. My M8 at 5" is actually taller then this 5.5" mini monster the LG G3 :D. The overall build quality has massively improved over the G2. Well done LG!!!
Screen Quality --> Very Nice ( 4.5/5 )
Quad HD ( twice the amount of 720P ) is the future in screen technology and that's exactly what LG has put in the G3. Is it too early when most of us are happy with 1080P screens already ? Yes and No. Yes because I have my M8 next to my G3 and frankly speaking the difference in day to day stuff is hardly noticeable. No because somebody had to do it eventually so it's good that LG has taken the lead. In fact right after LG launched the G3 in Korea Samsung launched the QHD version of the S5 which most people are not even aware of in Europe and the rest of the world. So Kudos to LG for beating Samsung on that front.
Screen quality is amazing on this 5.5" IPS LCD and you get wowed by that edge to edge screen once you turn the phone on. You guys must be wondering then why 4.5/5. Reason because there are somethings I didn't like on the G3 screen. Firstly the screen,despite having a pixel density of 534 ppi and a mind boggling resolution of 2560*1440, is still on the warmer side. Contrast ratio is also only at 830:1 whereas on the G2 it was at 1330:1 resulting in whites being slightly washed out. Reason is obviously because of the pixel arrangement which I don't want to discuss here as many of you would get confused. You notice these minor differences only when you put the G3 next to the other flagships of 2014 like the M8 or the S5 which both have better contrast ratios and much more brighter screens. Nevertheless the screen is still sharp and has plenty to offer for majority of the people. Only the most critical ( like myself lol ) would raise a finger or two. But despite of all that I am thoroughly enjoying my G3's screen and have downloaded a few 2K videos from YouTube and they look amazing. You really have to download 2K quality video to do justice with the screen.
Performance & Call Quality--> Admiring ( 4/5 )
G3 comes with the best possible hardware available at the time of writing.
- Snapdragon 801 Chipset clocked at 2.5 Ghz coupled with 2GB of RAM
- Adreno 330 GPU
Performance as you would expect is respectable. Everything from apps to other items opens fairly quick but it's not all glory. In day to day use there is definite lag under the finger which is not visible on my HTC One M8. To me M8 is the benchmark of Android at it's very best. Lag is visible specially when you get into the app drawer & swipe across screens to go through different apps. But other regular stuff like Whtsapp,Viber,Skype,YouTube,browsing was silky smooth & responsive. I never felt like as if the phone was slow or laggy. Performance on the gaming was outstanding too. I played several big titles like GT Racing 2,Injustice Gods Among Us,RoboCop,Fruit Ninja & many more & found no issues whatsoever. Strangely enough one of my favourite titles Real Racing 3 was missing from the Play Store. Could be a compatibility issue & I hope it comes back in near future. Apart from the occasional hiccup here & there the performance seems to be on par with other flagships from 2014 but I would definitely like LG to fork out these minor issues with an update ASAP as it's simply not acceptable for a phone as powerful as the G3 to lag.
I generally don't mention keyboards in my reviews but I have to admit here that the keyboard on the G3 is one of the best I have ever used ( trust me I have used quiet a few with Google & SwiftKey Keyboards being one of my favourites ). For the first time in a long time I haven't replaced the standard keyboard on an Android phone. LG have done really well with there keyboard & it's fast,responsive & accurate with outstanding levels of auto correction. You can even adjust the height of the keyboard which is simply awesome & this is one of my favourite features on the phone. Having bigger or smaller hands for typing is not a problem anymore & any size of hands can easily type on the G3 keyboard. You can even reduce the width of the keyboard for one handed use. Brilliant LG!!
Call quality on the G3 is quiet loud & crystal clear. I had no issues with making or receiving phone calls whatsoever. Signal strength on my Three network was absolutely fine with no problems whatsoever.
Sound Quality --> Amazingly Improved (5/5)
Now this is one area where I wasn't happy with the G2. There were big claims too at the G2 event last year in 2013 but this year the claims are more meaningful & actually showing results. The sound from the G3 speaker is very loud indeed & it certainly seems to be a 1Watt speaker with a built in Amplifier ( as LG claims ). In fact I was surprised to see that the speaker on the G3 was nearly as loud as the BoomSound speakers on my M8. I only wish LG had somehow put the speaker/speakers at the front of the G3 as the sound gets muffled when the G3 is lying flat on a table. If you turn the phone around & play music then it gets seriously loud & depending on the audio quality can actually sound crisp too. Even with headphones on the sound is very loud & clear as opposed to the G2 where the same pair of headphones actually disappointed me. G3 certainly has improved in the sound department & I am glad that the sound,both internally & externally,is not a problem anymore on the G3.
Whether you are playing games or watching videos on YouTube or going on a long journey ( headphones plugged in ) you will be a very satisfied customer & content with your money well spent.
Camera --> Best Ever In A Smartphone (6/5)
Yes this is how good the camera on the G3 is that I was forced to give it 6/5. The laser auto focus may sound gimmicky but hell it actually works people. It's one of the fastest focusing camera I have ever used in a smartphone. It focuses very quickly & before you know it the picture is taken. The G3 allows you to tap on the focus area to both focus and take the photo in one go saving time and allowing you to take picture after picture with no wait. All this means is that you will never miss those important moments which often need to be captured instantly. Apparently this laser focus technology has been taken from LG's Robot Vacuum Division & is also the same technology used by the Police in there speed guns. Now this is one area where most camera phones struggle & kudos to LG for addressing to all these essential areas of photography & giving us a bloody fast focusing camera. Well done LG!!
The ever present OIS+ ( Optical Image Stabilisation ) thankfully works this time around. On the G2 a steadier hand was needed instead of the OIS ( non functional ) & on the G3 OIS+ seems to be effective. Even during a bit of movement the G3 is able to take clear snaps which is good news because that is what OIS is for.
Picture quality was outstanding too. I was in Central London the other day on a training course & ended up taking a lot of photos both indoors & outdoors. The quality was simply outstanding even though I did see some over saturated colors but then which phone manufacturer doesn't do it these days. I even ended up shooting 4K video & it was excellent as well. Pictures & videos look outstanding on that Quad HD screen.
I compared the low light performance of the G3 with my M8 & I was surprisingly shocked to see that G3 actually matched ( in some cases outperformed ) the "Master Of Low Light" HTC One M8. Now this is an outstanding achievement by LG & apart from iPhone 5s I have seen no other phone giving the M8 run for its money in low light performance. The Camera on the G3 is shockingly awesome & if you are a photography enthusiast then don't look beyond the G3. It's simply the best & easiest to use camera you will ever see on a smartphone. Simple !!!
Battery Life --> Not As Bad As They Say (4.5/5)
Well well well !!!! Yes the Battery life on the G3 & the terror it's been striking into the hearts of most potential users. The thought of a Quad HD screen playing havoc with the battery life can of course be a nightmare for some but not for a daring company like LG. It's nowhere near as bad as it could have been. LG has fitted a removable ( Thank You LG ) 3000mAh battery into the G3 which on a good day can return decent screen times both on WiFi & 3G/4G before needing a recharge.
My daily usage included Whtsapp,Viber,Skype,emails,listening to music on my way to work,Appy Geek,text messaging & a few odd calls & the phone was able to cope up all day. Of course gaming & streaming videos will drain the battery out much quicker but the phone can certainly last you a day provided you keep the brightness levels around the 70% mark max. Go any further & the battery will start to drain quicker because of the pixel dense screen which is understandable. Most people will either keep the Auto Brightness switched on or will keep the brightness between 60-70% which is obviously ideal.
LG promised in there G3 event that the battery life will not be effected by the Quad HD screen as the G3 software was optimised & that certainly seems to be the case. LG also promised that the phone would return a similar standby time to a 1080p phone & that too is the case here. My G2 has excellent standby times & G3 easily matches the standby times of the G2. I left my phone fully charged one night & got up after 9 hrs 47 mins & the battery was still 100%. That did bring a smile to my face as my M8 had lost 3% in the same time left along fully charged too. M8 performs admirably better in day to day use of battery life as compared to the G3 but combining there pros & cons they both return almost the same performance on battery life. Unfortunately the G3 can't match the supreme battery life of the G2 & that was never to be expected because of the QHD screen on offer with the same battery size of 3000 mAh. Nevertheless the battery on the G3 is respectable & should last you a day without a problem.
I was very confused like you are right now after reading several mixed reviews about the battery life but I am very satisfied with battery performance now that I have used the phone for a few days & you can take my word for it. Keep the brightness under control & refrain from gaming & video streaming & the phone will last you almost all day. Moderate use can even make it go beyond a day.
Using the camera did see the battery drain more quickly and the battery wouldn't last beyond a day if you were a snap freak. It happens on most phones anyways & nothing to be worried about.
LG G3 is the real deal Android super Smartphone. It has an incredible & vivid screen,decent battery life, good performance and a damn bloody fast camera.Yes the phone is plastic but this is the best premium plastic you are going to get and the LG engineers have done well to make such a large screen smartphone seem as small as it does.
The LG Software has enough innovative features in there to outweigh the bad & that's one of the reasons why I got the phone. I often fancied the Galaxy Note but when I saw this 5.5" beauty in a small chassis I simply couldn't resist the charms of the G3. For those looking for a big and bright smartphone with fast performance, a great camera and one of the best screens in this size then the LG G3 matches anything on the market today.
My opinions are based totally on my experience & can differ from others. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have & I will try my best to help. Thanks
P.S : Once the phone starts to get updates I will update my review accordingly. Just to let you guys know that my phone is locked to Three Network & I got it as an upgrade. Thanks
Update 14 August 2014:
Received a system software update ( 54.91 MB ) last night with the following enhancements
- Power Optimization
After installing the update I charged the phone fully overnight and been using it all day today. The first thing I noticed was the improvement in the battery life department. It has definitely improved a bit and the overall screen on time has increased too. Secondly the screen is auto adjusting the brightness once you turn the screen on (without even enabling the auto brightness option). I keep my brightness at 70% at all times and it does dim a little itself once you turn the screen on. It's not annoying but I can see LG is definitely trying to save more on the battery life. I wasn't unhappy with the battery life before but more screen on time is good news I guess for all us G3 owners out there. The lag in the app drawer has reduced as well but not completely gone yet. So performance rating will remain at 4/5 till LG improves it further. Apparently there is another update in the makings which the sim free version has already received. I will update my review further once I get more updates. Thanks
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?