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 Specifications|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC|
|CPU Core||Krait 400 (4-core) @ 2.46 GHz|
|GPU Core||Adreno 330 @ 578 MHz|
|Memory||2 or 3 GB RAM|
|Display||5.5-inch Quad HD IPS (2560 x 1440, 538 ppi)|
|Storage||16 GB / 32 GB|
|Battery||3,000 mAh (removable)|
|Camera/s||Front: 2.1 MP Rear: 13 MP w/OIS Plus & Laser Auto Focus|
|Expansion Ports||microSD slot, USB 2.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n/ac 2x2 MIMO Cellular: 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21 Mbps (3G) Other: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC|
|Dimensions||5.76" x 2.94" x 0.35" (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm)|
|Weight||5.25 oz (149 g)|
|Operating System||Android 4.4.2 KitKat w/new LG UI|
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 G2
As 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 5
The 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 M8
It 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.