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Hands-on Video of the LG G3 Quad HD Android Smartphone

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

LG announced their latest flagship phone, the G3, last week, and we got a chance to go hands-on with it at the launch event.

This past Tuesday, LG finally showed the world their latest smartphone, the G3, after multiple leaks and even teaser videos from LG themselves all but gave away everything about it. We were at the launch event, and were able to spend some time with the phone, the first to be released with an incredibly crisp Quad HD 2560 x 1440 display. One important thing to note is that the demo units we were able to test were Korean market models running international software, which are not 100 percent representative of the hardware North America users will see.

You can check out our hands-on video and pictures of the LG G3 below:
 

LG G3 First Look Preview

Specifications


LG G3 Specifications
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC
CPU CoreKrait 400 (4-core) @ 2.46 GHz
GPU CoreAdreno 330 @ 578 MHz
Memory2 or 3 GB RAM
Display5.5-inch Quad HD IPS (2560 x 1440, 538 ppi)
Storage16 GB / 32 GB
Battery3,000 mAh (removable)
Camera/sFront: 2.1 MP Rear: 13 MP w/OIS Plus & Laser Auto Focus
Expansion PortsmicroSD slot, USB 2.0
ConnectivityWi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n/ac 2x2 MIMO Cellular: 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21 Mbps
(3G) Other: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Dimensions5.76" x 2.94" x 0.35" (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm)
Weight5.25 oz (149 g)
Operating SystemAndroid 4.4.2 KitKat w/new LG UI
Price$TBA

External Hardware Tour

The front of the LG G3 is dominated by the 5.5-inch Quad HD 2560 x 1440 IPS display, and the minimal bezels around the panel mean that the front of the phone is nearly all screen. LG says that it is 76.4 percent screen.

Here are the backs of the Metallic Black and Silk White versions of the G3. You can see the new back button design here, with a recessed circular power button instead of the raised oval one found on the G2.

At the top of the screen is the earpiece; you can see in this close-up how crisp the 538 ppi display is.

At the bottom front, the lower bezel is not too tall because the G3 uses on-screen buttons. On the G3 they are in the stock Android order with 'task-switch' on the right, and 'back' on the left.

At the top of the G3 is the IR port. In this picture you can also see the extendable antenna for the Korean model's DMB TV service.

At the bottom, we find a USB 2.0 port and headphone jack. It is surprising that LG did not equip the G3 with USB 3.0.

From the side, you can see that the LG G3 is reasonably slim for a 5.5-inch phone, at 8.9 mm (0.35").

The G3 has a single mono speaker on the back of the phone. It is a pity that LG, like Samsung, still hasn't realized (like HTC and Sony have) that stereo speakers, especially front facing ones, are a good feature to have.

The rear camera on the G3 has the same 13 MP sensor as found on the G2, but LG has improved the optical image stabilization, adding stabilization to the z-axis too, and calling it OIS+. You can also see the other stand-out camera feature of the G3, the Laser Auto Focus sensor that is supposed to allow the G3 focus on a subject in 276 ms, which is faster than the blink of an eye.

Internal Hardware Tour

Unlike last year's model, the G2, and its cousin, the Nexus 5, the G3 has a removable back so you can access the battery, SIM, and microSD slot.

Here is the microSD slot, which looks like it can be accessed without having to remove the battery and reboot the phone.

The G3 has a 3,000 mAh battery. While this is pretty big, unfortunately, it has the same capacity as last year's G2, a phone with a much lower-resolution screen. It will be interesting to see, once we get a unit to test, how much the G3's Quad HD screen affects battery life, and if the software features that LG has implemented to mitigate the screen's power consumption work.

Compared to Other Smartphones

We'll be posting a more detailed specification comparison article soon that will compare the G3 to the top Android phones currently available, so we won't be covering any of the internal hardware differences below. We just want to give you an idea of how the G3 sizes up physically with some other devices.

LG G3 vs. the LG G2As you can see, the G3 looks very similar to its predecessor, the G2. Both have the LG's unique rear controls, and both have very minimal bezels around their screens. Of course, the G3 is going to be a bigger phone simply because it has a 5.5-inch screen, whereas the G2 packs a 5.2-inch display. The additional size is found mostly in length since the G3 is the same thickness and only 3.7 mm wider than the G2.

LG G3 vs. the Nexus 5The Nexus 5, with its 5-inch display, is a considerably smaller phone than the G3, so if a 5-inch device like the Nexus is the upper limit for how big of a phone you are comfortable using, then you might find the G3 a tad too big.


LG G3 vs. the HTC One M8It is interesting that the HTC One M8, a mainstream 2014 flagship phone, is approximately the same size as the G3, when the previous two phones from last year are smaller. Clearly, the trend is for bigger and bigger phones. However, while the 5-inch screened M8's overall dimensions are close to the G3, it is quite a bit narrower. The comparison shots clearly show that there is a lot of wasted bezel space on the M8 (of course, partially due to its front-facing stereo speakers, one big hardware advantage it has over the G3).

So as you can see, the LG G3 is quite an attractive and impressive piece of smartphone hardware. Unfortunately, it's hard to form a proper opinion about the phone in the brief hands-on time we had with it at the event. For example, we did not really get a chance to dive into the G3's software or tests its performance. Luckily, we should be getting a review unit soon to test out extensively, so check back with us soon for more news about LG's latest Android smartphone.

Follow Alex Davies @AlexBDavies. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.


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  • 0 Hide
    DrBackwater , June 3, 2014 8:12 PM
    Can you run efficient playstation 2 emulators on it? if not let me know lol.
  • 0 Hide
    airborne11b , June 3, 2014 8:27 PM
    I won't buy any smartphone now unless it has front facing stereo speakers.
  • 0 Hide
    DrBackwater , June 3, 2014 8:30 PM
    Quote:
    I won't buy any smartphone now unless it has front facing stereo speakers.


    I want a decent smart phone that runs efficient playstation 2 emulators, or a phone that's just a psp built in running of android and speakers too, and magnetically encased water repellent.

    If not then just keep selling me the same shit each year that I don't buy.

  • Display all 16 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Scar89 , June 4, 2014 4:53 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I won't buy any smartphone now unless it has front facing stereo speakers.

    I want a decent smart phone that runs efficient playstation 2 emulators, or a phone that's just a psp built in running of android and speakers too, and magnetically encased water repellent.

    If not then just keep selling me the same shit each year that I don't buy.

    Considering it hasn't been that long since the PS2 emu for PC is able to at full speed on high end pc's, I think it will be quite a while until it is running on phones at a decent speed or at all. Just try running the dolphin wii emulator. It runs, but not pretty.

    But I agree, these new phones aren't really compelling me to fork out and upgrade from the S3. The water resistance on the S5 looks nice, but I also want front speakers, HTC has these but it is missing removable battery/water resistance, this LG looks nice but they could have added water resistance and front speakers too. Argh
  • -2 Hide
    icemunk , June 4, 2014 5:24 AM
    Quad HD; which means for times more pixels than 1280X720 - not Quad full-HD, but Quad old HD.. so many marketing terms..
  • -1 Hide
    swordrage , June 4, 2014 6:31 AM
    Quote:
    Quad HD; which means for times more pixels than 1280X720 - not Quad full-HD, but Quad old HD.. so many marketing terms..


    Well, 4k? UHD? Duh!!
  • 1 Hide
    teh_chem , June 4, 2014 6:58 AM
    So many unnecessary pixels requiring dynamic scaling of GPU and CPU performance for FPS to maximize battery life. How about just stopping with these absurd PPI displays that bring nothing more to the device? As a G2 user, I can honestly say 'meh', and also I have no idea why they decided to go backwards, and put the external speaker on the back of the phone...

    Wonder if LG has finally ditched their asinine continual auto-refocus? It makes almost all of their phone video recording since about the Optimus G virtually useless because the focus is always changing, giving you 75% of your video being out of focus.
  • 0 Hide
    sparkyman215 , June 4, 2014 7:46 AM
    Damn that is a sharp as hell screen
  • 1 Hide
    icemunk , June 4, 2014 8:54 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quad HD; which means for times more pixels than 1280X720 - not Quad full-HD, but Quad old HD.. so many marketing terms..


    Well, 4k? UHD? Duh!!


    UHD is 3840 × 2160 so... nope. This is 2560X1440.. which is some middle-of-the-road resolution. Quite nice, but it is no UHD.
  • 0 Hide
    Chris Droste , June 4, 2014 9:43 AM
    unless this can improve upon or maintain the same batt life as the G2 I don't have a compelling reason to get this, even KitKat will screw with your add-on SD card storage abilities. As much as i like removable storage conceptually, i like the fully closed G2, the screen makes me smile, and I'm already craning my fingers in single-handed use.
  • 0 Hide
    MannyLegacy , June 4, 2014 11:27 AM
    Quote:
    unless this can improve upon or maintain the same batt life as the G2 I don't have a compelling reason to get this, even KitKat will screw with your add-on SD card storage abilities. As much as i like removable storage conceptually, i like the fully closed G2, the screen makes me smile, and I'm already craning my fingers in single-handed use.


    "My typical 24-hour cycle of checking Gmail and Twitter, browsing the web, and watching YouTube videos was no challenge for the G3, which consistently went from the morning of one day into the evening of the next. The Verge Battery Test confirmed these findings with a time of 7 ½ hours before reaching the 10 percent battery warning. It took 8 hours and 16 minutes to drain the phone completely. As with its screen, the G3’s battery life is akin to that of much bigger devices"

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/4/5778556/lg-g3-review
  • 0 Hide
    BranFlake5 , June 4, 2014 7:37 PM
    This is a phone done right.
    Removable Battery-Check
    SD Card Slot-Check
    Tiny Bezel, Amazing Screen-Check

    I will admit that this is overkill, a lot of the features are unnecessary and the resolution is very high, but why not? If we have the ability to give these things a go, let us at least give them a try.
  • 0 Hide
    DrBackwater , June 4, 2014 7:38 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I won't buy any smartphone now unless it has front facing stereo speakers.

    I want a decent smart phone that runs efficient playstation 2 emulators, or a phone that's just a psp built in running of android and speakers too, and magnetically encased water repellent.

    If not then just keep selling me the same shit each year that I don't buy.

    Considering it hasn't been that long since the PS2 emu for PC is able to at full speed on high end pc's, I think it will be quite a while until it is running on phones at a decent speed or at all. Just try running the dolphin wii emulator. It runs, but not pretty.

    But I agree, these new phones aren't really compelling me to fork out and upgrade from the S3. The water resistance on the S5 looks nice, but I also want front speakers, HTC has these but it is missing removable battery/water resistance, this LG looks nice but they could have added water resistance and front speakers too. Argh


    I still have a Samsung note 1, and yep it runs all the playstation games in pristine condition, like kill zone 1, star ocean, and maybe final fantasy 7. so no upgrading until Samsung note 10 releases.

    The point is, phones are just facebook messenging devices now, if only people knew the potential knew the potential things their phones can do, and they do (well android given most on apple devices have no idea what a phone is, and that's fair.) you sit on a train, wait for the light to change green at some random intersection, or go on holidays, or just work and what does every one do, connect to facebook.

  • 0 Hide
    swordrage , June 7, 2014 7:10 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quad HD; which means for times more pixels than 1280X720 - not Quad full-HD, but Quad old HD.. so many marketing terms..


    Well, 4k? UHD? Duh!!


    UHD is 3840 × 2160 so... nope. This is 2560X1440.. which is some middle-of-the-road resolution. Quite nice, but it is no UHD.


    That's what I meant. I thought you were complaining about this not being 4 times full HD and still being called quad HD.
  • 0 Hide
    Sikucluk , June 22, 2014 8:42 AM
    With all those LG G3's high-end specifications, I wonder the benchmark result exposed here as a buyer guide, compared to other smartphone in the same class.
    I expect benchmark result using Quadrant App
    http://siraru.com/benchmark-your-android-smartphone-using-quadrant-app/
  • 0 Hide
    Sikucluk , June 26, 2014 2:22 AM
    @jesse-pink. internet data connection and auto update drain more battery energy than others....