Reviewed: hands-on with the LG G3

Mobile & tablets

by Michael Moore| 15 July 2014

Could this be the best Android phone ever made?

The Android market has become an increasingly crowded place over the last few years, as manufacturers flock to get their devices out into the most popular operating system around today. This means it takes a lot to stand out, particularly with Samsung's recently released Galaxy S5 looming large over the industry. Enter, then, LG, which released the incredibly popular G2 smartphone last year to widespread critical acclaim. Now, a year later, comes the G3 - but does it have what it takes to dominate the Android market? Here's our verdict...

G3 Main

First impressions

LG has clearly learnt a lot from its production of the G2, and there's no denying that its latest device looks particularly impressive. The huge 5.5in display is very nearly edge-to-edge, with minimal bezels on the sides and small sections on the top and bottom housing the camera and speakers.

The G3 boasts probably the best smartphone display currently available - a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, giving 538ppi -which places the LG G3 higher up the definition scale than both the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

The back may feel metallic but it's actually mainly polycarbonate with some metal mixed in, meaning it feels very smooth but also sturdy. The slightly curved back means that it's easy to hold and should allay any fears that you won't be able to reach across the entire of that immense screen.

G3_BACK

At just 9mm thick and weighing only 149g, the G3 doesn't feel at all cumbersome, although some jacket or trouser pockets may struggle to confine the huge screen. What will immediately stand out to first-time users, especially those who didn't experience the G2, is the power and volume level buttons, which are located on the back of the device, just under the camera. Although this may seem odd at first, you quickly get used to not having to stretch to the top or side of the device for the power button, which is now easily in reach using your natural method of holding a device.

G3 side

Hardware

As one of the most advanced smartphones currently available, it's perhaps no surprise that the LG G3 packs some serious hardware under that metal/plastic shell. Powering the G3 is a Snapdragon 801 from Qualcomm, which is clocked at 2.46GHz, meaning it comfortably outpowers many of the existing phones on the market today. This is backed up by a serious amount of RAM, although how much depends on whether you buy the 16GB or 32GB storage version - the former comes with 2GB of RAM, whereas the latter packs in 3GB.

If you still feel the need for extra storage for all your photos and videos, then the G3's built-in microSD port offer the opportunity to expand this to up to 128GB.

Keeping all of this ticking over is a huge 3000mAh replaceable battery, which is bigger than that found in either the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8. This sort of power is to be expected when dealing with such a powerful processor and pixel-packed screen, but over an average day, you'll probably see much of the battery run out. However the G3 is extremely fast to power back up - recharging from 3% to 100% in under an hour. LG has included a range of battery management apps and tools to ensure you get the most out of your device - including a clever battery saver mode which can be customised to conserve power when your battery goes below a certain level, although it's nothing like the Ultra mode seen on the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Usefully, the G3 also supports wireless charging out of the box, so anyone with a QI-compatible charger should be able to use this to power up their device.

 

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