REVIEW: New LG G3 A 5/5 Android Smartphone

Written by David Richards     04/08/2014 | 15:38 | Category name i.e.PORTABLE DEVICES

The smartphone is cluttered with major technology Companies such as Google, Samsung, Apple, Sony and Microsoft spruiking a host of new offerings, so it was refreshing to get our hands on the new G3 which is a very impressive smartphone.

REVIEW: New LG G3 A 5/5 Android Smartphone
At SmartHouse we get to see the good, the bad and those that are really cutting through the clutter that often clouds a consumer's judgement decision.

The most common questions I get are what is the best smartphone platform, iOS, Windows or Android? Followed by what is the best smartphone.

Earlier this month we got to see the new LG Electronic G3 smartphone which goes on sale today.


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Without any question of doubt this is the best smartphones in the world today. It's fast, has an extremely user friendly user interface and is designed around what people use as opposed to trillions of other gadgets that one is less likely to use. 

The head of Avis said to me one day that the only way that the Company got to #1 in the car rental market was by "trying harder".

They had to deliver what customers wanted and what they delivered had to leave a lasting impression. 

It is crystal clear that the LG designers of this device have seriously come to grips with the marriage of leading edge hardware and the software that makes this device a standout smartphone. 


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The G3 Dial Pad

Simple things like clear type, easy to navigate screens and a contact system that delivers information in an easy to read form are a standout when compared with other smartphone brands. 

It has a beautiful display, power and an easy to use camera. 

The single biggest asset is that LG has taken the clutter out of the Android OS without compromising the performance or the functionality of the device.


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The G3 Notifications Bar

This is very noticeable when you open something as simple as the contact list or when you pull down the notification bar.

The LG camera is another example where simplification has delivered better functionality.  

With the camera you can click anywhere on the screen to shoot a picture. 


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The laser autofocus, measures the distance between camera and subject and instantly the image is ready to shoot, there is none of the lag often found on smartphone cameras. You can also refocus part of an image after you have shot a picture, something popularised by the Lytro light field camera but which has started becoming 
available on today's smartphones.  

The 13-megapixel camera produced impressive images. Close-up focusing seemed quicker than with the Galaxy S5, and low light performance was very good.

The below picture was shot in low light as dawn was breaking over Balmoral Beach in Sydney NSW.


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A beautiful sunrise captured at Balmoral Beach with LG's 13 megapixel camera.

On the down side the G3's 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera is limiting and selfies look a bit more "ordinary" especially when doing a group shot. 

At SmartHouse we voted the LG G2 the smartphone of the year for 2013. The 2014 LG G3 is way better, smarter and a lot more comfortable in the hand.

The G3 has no physical buttons on the front or sides. 

The power and volume buttons are on the back of the phone and this makes using this smartphone a lot easier. 

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Security coupled with convenience has been improved, 
letting you set up a specific knock code to unlock the phone instead of a personal identification number or swipe pattern.

Another standout feature is having the ability to double tap the screen for the phone to switch on out of the power save mode. 

This is excellent when one is driving and the screen has powered down. I also liked the 5.5-inch display screen which is bright without compromising battery power. 

LG's display technology is called Quad HD and it has higher resolution than the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8) without being a drain on the battery.

It also delivers a significantly better picture quality than the iPhone 5S with its Retina display. The LG technology delivers more pixels per inch than any of its competitors.


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Google Chrome Browser on LG's G3

The G3 has a very thin bezel and when you play back images or video they really do bleed out to the edge of the screen. The colours are realistic and vivid and when compared with a source image are extremely close to the original colours. 

With both Samsung and Apple set to join HTC with all new aluminium smartphones I believe that there is real value in having a plastic back like the G3 especially if you have a metal back cover that adds additional weight. 

The G3's plastic back nevertheless has a "brushed aluminium" effect delivering a premium look, and has an authoritative feel about it when in the hand. 

A big plus is the return of a microSD card slot, as this allows one to add additional storage. I have inserted a SanDisk 64GB card and instead of dropping images into my Dropbox, I can now drop them into the SanDisk microSD card. 

Phone calls are as good as any other smartphone we have tested, with the playback of audio excellent, especially if you want to play back a recording or listen to a video.

Under the bonnet is a quad-core Snapdragon 801 that runs at up to 2.5 GHz and is backed up by 2GB or RAM for the 16GB version. 


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Clean, clear and easy to read - G3's settings page

Just to confuse matters a little the Snapdragon 801 comes in a few variations, here we have the faster one that the Galaxy S5 uses, which is 200 MHz quicker than the variant in the HTC One M8 and the Sony Xperia Z2.

The full host of wireless connectivity you want in a smartphone is also in the G3, including a wide range of 4G connectivity bands, as well as Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. 

It also comes with an Infrared blaster and one of the more usable IR remote apps found in any smartphone, making setting up and using a home entertainment system from the G3 quick and easy.

While Samsung opted to kit out the Galaxy S5 with a microUSB 3.0 port, the LG G3 has a more standard microUSB 2.0 one.

This means you won't get the same blistering data transfer rates, but in all other respects the LG G3's microUSB port does the job. 

It has slim port compatibility, which means you can connect it to your TV with an adapter, and it's also USB on-the-go enabled so that it can read attached USB storage devices after purchasing an inexpensive microUSB to female USB adapter. 

With a large 3,000mAh removable battery the G3 has plenty of juice in the tank.

Despite having a QHD screen which I set at 70% brightness, I was able to get a full day out of the G3 this included web browsing, a host of telephone calls (at least 11/2 hours of talk time), listening to music and watching the odd video. 

I also had the location finder running and automatic updating of my emails and contacts which are linked to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM database via Outlook.

If you buy one of the new LG "Hole covers" you get the ability to display a watch face and time on a large circular screen, by flicking the screen you also get access to several application buttons for the camera phone or settings. 

The G3 also has wireless charging built-in. You will need to purchase the optional $69 wireless charging cradle, but once you do, you won't need to fiddle with microUSB cables again for charging again.


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The $69 optional wireless charging station for the LG G3.

Finally, there's also a Quick Note app that lets you jot a note or phone number on the screen, no matter what the screen is 
already displaying, and makes for a very handy feature. 

Verdict:

This is a 5/5 smartphone that delivers a massive amount of functionality, is well designed and above all has a UI and software design that is a treat to use, with no small icons or text that need me to reach for my glasses.

On the downside, I would love to have voice activation in my phone functions and contacts screen so that when I am driving, voice recognition comes up automatically. You can use the Google voice activation feature from the home screen, but it would be great to have a voice activation button inside the area where you search for contact information.  

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

This is a 5/5 smartphone that delivers a massive amount of functionality, is well designed and above all has a UI and software design that is a treat to use, with no small icons or text that need me to reach for my glasses.

Cons:

On the downside, I would love to have voice activation in my phone functions and contacts screen so that when I am driving, voice recognition comes up automatically. You can use the Google voice activation feature from the home screen, but it would be great to have a voice activation button inside the area where you search for contact information.