- Joshua Vergara , Android Authority
With its best in class display, incredible camera, and refined software, LG has succeeded in creating one of the best smartphones of 2014.
- Vlad Savov , The Verge
The G3's greatest strength is its lack of weaknesses
- Removeable battery
- Beautiful, crisp QHD display
- MicroSD slot
- Wireless Charging
- Slight performance lag
- Plastic chassis
- Large dimensions
- Mono loudspeaker
LG turned a number of smartphone conventions on their head with the G2. With the G3, they are looking to secure a place in the upper ranks of the high-end smartphone market. But did their “best of everything” approach work? Many reviews seem to think so. Let’s take a deeper look.
One of the first things noted in many reviews, as well as one of the most touted features of the phone, is it’s massive 5.5-inch IPS display. The phone is the first of its kind from major companies to sport a QHD display at nearly 540 pixels-per-inch. Reviews were divided as to if this had a major impact on image quality. Vlad Savov of The Verge says, “the G3 renders everything beautifully, but I cannot discern any advantage from the extra pixels” while TechRadar states, “The QHD screen is something that has to be seen to be believed.”
While reviews might be divided on the impact of QHD, all reviewers agree that the display is sharp, clear and plenty bright. Perhaps Engadget properly describes the issue when they say, “All told, while it's a great display, it's a bit like having an HDTV in 2004. Great if you can get the content for it, otherwise it's just a good TV.” As content continues to climb in resolution, the benefits of a QHD display will likely become more apparent.
Of course, wrangling all those pixels requires some considerable power. With a quad-core Snapdragon processor and 3GB of RAM, the specs would appear to be up to the task on paper. In real performance, tests indicate that this is mostly true. Nearly every review pointed out one minor flaw in performance--a slight delay in the interface. Engadget notes, “Everything opens quickly, and the scrolling is plenty smooth, but there's just the tiniest of moments between moving your finger and the menu following along.”
Then you’ve got the issue of the size of the screen. 5.5-inch displays are typically reserved for phablets and other larger devices. However, several critics noted that the unique curved design of the phone and ultra-slim bezels on the screen help to mitigate the phone feeling overly large. Engadget says, “the G3 is easily the most comfortable handset of this size I've encountered to date. That said, it's definitely still going to be a stretch for some people.” While most noted it can be held with one hand, they also recommended two-handed operation for a secure grip.
This brings us to the most debated element--the phone’s case. LG opted for a plastic removable back with a metallic finish. TechRadar was quick to note concern where Gareth Beavis remarked, “the fact that the battery is removable might be a big win for some, but it comes at the cost of feel in the hand. The result is that despite being made of a more refined material, the LG G3 actually feels cheaper in the hand than the G2.” PhoneArena had a slightly more positive opinion, stating that the smooth polycarbonate used for the exterior of the G3 "may not be decidedly premium, but it's still a notch above your typical plastic finish. It's really like you're getting the best from both worlds.”
Lastly, there is battery life. With a 3,000-mAh cell, the phone boasts on the largest batteries in the smartphone market. A removable cell also makes it possible to carry a spare and swap batteries for power users. Unfortunately, the QHD display and high-end processing does appear to require more power from the battery. Average battery life across benchmark tests rated from a scant six hours up to a full day of average usage. PhoneArena states, “the G3 will last you through a day of moderate usage, but don't expect wonders from it.”
In all, LG G3 reviews indicate that the device lives up to the hype and is more than a worthy successor to the reputation of the G2. The bleeding-edge specs push the limits of smartphone technology, though there are a few quirks to be found. However, for most, it seems the good outranks the bad by a significant margin. CNet says, “The G3 is the perfect new gadget for ‘early adopter’ types who want the latest and greatest.” while Engadget says, “LG has almost produced a power user's dream.”
Reviews (8.6/10 Avg. rating)
A classy, top-rung smartphone with Quad HD screen
On paper, the G3 looks like it’s got the chops to land some knockout blows on its premium smartphone rivals. In reality, though, we’re not convinced the pixel-packed screen is of any practical benefit; it’s more about one-upmanship than useful technological advancement. While the pin-sharp clarity makes a stunning first impression, LG has had to compromise screen brightness and battery life as a result.
Make no mistake: the G3 remains a good all-round handset, and we love the quick-draw camera, but with the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 delivering a mor... Full review
Great but not must buy
The G3 is a great phone. It has a pretty nice design, chart topping specs and is still somehow manageable despite the 5.5-inch display alluding to otherwise. But at the end of the day, LG is marketing the G3 for it’s camera and display. And when it comes to both, neither are really massive upgrades over the other. The camera, save for focusing, produces the same quality images. Similarly, the display, while higher resolution, isn’t something that most will notice. Add to that the lower brightness and overall poor image quality compared to a good 1080p display means LG has seemin... Full review
The best phablet to date
LG’s G3 is the best big-screened phone to date: the very small bezels around the screen and curved plastic back make its 5.5in screen eminently useable. The even weight distribution made me confident about using it in one hand, although it may still be too big for some people.
The quad HD screen sounds great in a specification list - 534 pixels per inch! - but doesn’t actually look noticeably different from smaller full HD screens such as the Galaxy S5’s 5.1in screen. The pixels aren’t visible in suitably-written apps; what is there beyond invisibility?
The best minus the beauty
Is LG the best smartphone today? The answer however is a bit tricky. Without any doubt, it is one of the best smartphones in terms of processing power like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Also, it is perhaps the second best in camera quality, next to the iconic Nokia Lumia 1020 which has obvious advantage with a 41 megapixel camera. Connectivity wise too it has everything that one could with for (apart from dual SIM).
The only drawback is its looks. Its plastic rear panel make it look a bit cheaper than some of its competitors like HTC One M8, iPhone 5S, and the Sony Xperia Z2. I... Full review
The LG G3 takes every notable smartphone fad of the last several months and expands upon it. A big screen isn’t enough, so it has to stuff a phablet screen in a smartphone body. Full HD resolution isn’t enough, so it has to go Quad HD. A strong camera with the usual autofocus isn’t enough, so it has to bring lasers. Some of these excesses backfire a little more than anticipated, but the G3 is something like the definitive Android phone of 2014 — not because it’s the best, but because it has everything.
And by and large, it does everything well. It&rs... Full review
More than just a lot of pixels
It’s as well built as the latest HTC One and more discretely stylish than the Samsung S5
A killer phone with a whole lot of pixels
A phone with great specs, but real-world issues
The G3 boasts no shortage of compelling qualities. The device has a big, beautiful display in a sleek and nicely designed body. It has decent battery life, expandable storage and some genuinely useful features like a tap-to-wake option and limited-use guest mode.
At the same time, however, the phone's software is bloated and convoluted -- and while you can hide or disable many of the UI-related sins, the out-of-the-box experience leaves something to be desired. Equally important, that overly ambitious foundation is likely to blame for choppy performance throughout the system.
Feels modern, fast, and very well thought out
What LG has accomplished here is nothing less than a top-tier smartphone. The G3 doesn’t upset the smartphone hierarchy apple cart, but the G3 is a device worth comparing to the best products released by HTC, Samsung, and Apple. The G2 suffered from having decent hardware bogged down by terrible software, and LG has come back this year with significant improvements to both.
The LG G3 well worth considering as your next smartphone, just not necessarily for the reasons LG is using to sell you on the device. The G3 is a capable smartphone with a screen that failed to adequatel... Full review
The worst phone I have ever had the misfortune to own
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Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- LG G3 Manual (PDF)
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