LG G3 review: Dream catcher

Late as usual but ever so strong. In an industry where timing is almost as important as quality, LG’s highly anticipated G3 flagship makes landfall in the second half of 2014, a couple of months after the flagships of the other major players. Such a late release could mean LG is dangerously close to missing the last train into buyers’ pockets, especially if they are already filled with Samsung Galaxy S5’s and Sony Xperia Z2’s.

But perhaps that’s not quite the sentiment we should approach the LG G3 with. The extra time has given LG’s engineers more opportunities to perfect the hardware and offer software features not found in other top flagships. More screen and even less bezel, with resolution to spare – the QHD display, along with a laser autofocus camera could be the right trump cards to play so late in the game.

LG G3 official photos

Winning the QHD arms race rates differently depending on who you ask (Oppo did announce its Find 7 flagship, but the G3 is first to the market), so it really comes down to whether or not the LG G3 brings enough to the table to make up for the late start. We’ve got an entire review ahead of us to see if that’s the case, but for now let’s take a closer look at the key features and potential deal breakers.

Key features

  • 5.5″ QHD (1440 x 2560px) TrueHD-IPS LCD, 534ppi, Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with the latest Optimus UI v
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400 processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB/3GB of RAM
  • 13MP camera, phase detection/laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, OIS, 2160p video recording
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • 16GB/32GB of built-in storage, expandable via a microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation with a secondary microphone
  • Dolby mobile sound enhancement
  • 3,000mAh user-replaceable battery
  • Proprietary back panel control deck
  • IR-port and NFC

Main disadvantages

  • No IP-certified dust or water resistance
  • No microUSB 3.0 port

LG has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into their latest flagship, making it one of its most robust offerings to date. Expandable storage and a user-accessible battery are finally on the asset side of the balance sheet. That leaves us with a single major omission, dust and water resistance, which can be found in flagships from competing Sony and Samsung. LG has its reasoning for choosing to forego this – something we’ll get to in more detail as the review unfolds.

Most importantly, the design team did splendidly in keeping the bezels on the 5.5-inch screen to a minimum, and kudos to them for that. Nevertheless, it’s still a 5.5″ device that stretches a bit beyond LG’s previous G2 flagship, which we loved so much. The good news is, LG has had plenty of time to optimize one-handed operation with its G Pro series of devices (the first of which is also a 5.5-incher), so usability on the big screen likely won’t be a huge issue.

LG G3 from our studio

Up next we’ll dive right in to the hardware features of the LG G3, including a look at its design aesthetics, handling, and layout of controls.


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