Tuesday 27th May saw the launch of the LG G3, the latest flagship smartphone from LG, and What Mobile was fortunate enough to be in Battersea, London, to witness it.
The fanfare wasn’t for nothing, either, as LG revealed what is genuinely a very impressive device. The first half of 2014 has been one of the strongest years for phone launches that we can recall – the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8 have all been dazzling devices which would lead be clear market leaders in any other launch window. Fortunately for you, the consumer, there’s not much to choose between any of them.
If you couldn’t handle the embarrassment of riches presented to you prior to yesterday, your headache is about to grow. The LG G3 is a handset which can go toe-to-toe with any of the year’s big three Android releases. Let’s take a look at the specs.
With the device in hand, the most immediately noticeable factor is it’s size – but not for the reasons you might imagine. Much was made of the G3’s 5.5-inch display before launch. That’s a big display – 0.3-inches bigger than the largest of the bunch (the Xperia Z2) and a whole half an inch larger than the smallest (the HTC One M8). If you were worried it would be uncomfortably large, then you can put your mind at ease. LG has done a remarkable job of squeezing a massive display into a device barely any larger than its rivals. It measures in at 146.3mm x 74.6mm x 8.9mm, which may not mean much out of context, but look at it this way: it’s just 1.3mm wider than the Xperia Z2, 0.3mm shorter than the One M8, and you get an even bigger screen!
The quality of the display itself is equally remarkable. It’s 2560 x 1440 pixels, otherwise known as Quad-HD, for a staggering 538 PPI. The Samsung Galaxy S5 has what’s widely regarded display on the market with a PPI of 432, so you could say it’s pretty sharp.
A bigger, sharper screen means greater power drain, so there’s also a 3,000 mAh battery to back it up. The higher-ups at LG claim that the battery is 20% larger than normal to compensate for the 20% extra battery usage brought on by the G3’s display, so in theory you should get as much juice out of it as any other flagship Android handset.
It runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, which has a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, the same as you’d find in the Galaxy S5. In other words, it’s one of the most powerful devices on the market.
Interestingly, the G3’s memory varies depending on which variation of the device you choose to purchase. The model with 16GB of in-built storage has 2GB of RAM, whilst the 32GB variant has a whopping 3GB.
Of course it’s also 4G LTE-ready and comes running the latest Android software, KitKat 4.4.
Speaking of software, the G3 has some interesting touches to help distinguish the user experience. Knock Code is an interesting one – it allows you to both wake and unlock the screen by tapping out a four-point code onto the devices blank screen. It’s a little like the tap-to-wake function found on the One M8, except it offers the security of a password, too. There’s also Smart Keyboard, which offers some nice features the stock Android keyboard lacks. It’s customisable to suit the size of it to suit the size of your hands, the autocorrect learns from your mistakes, and it offers a variety of tweaks to make the typing experience as streamlined as possible.
Software is also a large part of what makes the G3’s camera so fantastic. Whilst its 13MP lens is as good as those found in most other leading smartphones, its the technology behind it which sets it apart. Its laser autofocus focuses and captures images in just 0.276 seconds – that’s faster than it takes for the human brain to command the hand to tap the screen. The optical image stabilisation is 20% better than on its predecessor, the LG G2, too.
There’s a 2MP front-facing camera designed for selfies (as every smartphone seems to claim nowadays). Due to the large size of the phone, and the fact that the buttons are all located on the rear face of the device, it could be tricky to take selfies the conventional way. This is why with the G3 you simply wave at the screen when you’re ready for your selfie and the G3 starts a timer to take the shot – no buttons required.
It’s also capable of recording 4K video (to match its 4K display) with additional noise-reducing technology for clearer recordings at loud events.
It’ll come in a choice of five colours: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet and Burgundy Red, and so far there’s no word on a price. As for a release date we only know July. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all the info as we receive it.