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LG G3 Hands On: Its Plastic but Powerful

With a refined user interface and simple yet smart design, the LG G3 is certainly the worthy successor of the LG G2.

LG G3 has been announced for India with much fanfare by none other than the legendary Bollywood actor - Amitabh Bachchan (a signature bearing limited edition of LG G3 too announced).

LG G3
LG G3

To be noted that this is the first time, LG has introduced two models of its flagship smartphone; the G3 has been released in 16 GB and 32 GB versions which cost Rs 47,990 and Rs 50,990 respectively. We managed to get our hands on the LG G3 unit. Here are our thoughts on the first look of the LG G3.

Design

LG could not stop harping on the "Simple is the new smart" design philosophy at the launch. Indeed, the company has won several accolades and awards for the LG G2's design. The skeptics tried to bring down the rear button design in the G2 but it got appreciated by many consumers.

LG G3
LG G3

The new LG G3 brings improvement in the design compared to the LG G2. Yet again, LG has managed to incorporated maximum screen real-estate and minimum bezel. So the front of the G3 offers minimum bezel at the top and bottom. The sides get a subtle metallic accents.

LG G3
LG G3

The rear of the G3 gets a little face-lift with a gentle curvature. LG has used a new "brushed metallic skin" effect on the back panel to give it a premium look. However, at the end of the day, the removable back panel is made out of plastic and one can gauge that by holding the device in the hand. Measuring same as the G2 - 8.9 mm, the new G3 is slightly taller at 146.3 mm and also puts on a bit at 149 grams.

LG G3

In terms of looks, LG G3 does look modern with revised Rear button design with circular wake/sleep button and textured volume keys just below the camera. The LED has been used as boundary running around the volume buttons. Below the back panel lies the removable battery and a micro-SD card slot. While many flagship smartphones are making slimmer devices with non-removable battery, LG has decided to stick with the basis. However, unlike other Sony and Samsung's flagship, the LG G3 does not boast of splash proof or dustproof properties.

LG G3

We found the design of LG G3 improved and the brushed metallic application at the back gave better grip compared to glossy back bearing G2.

Hardware

The highlight of the LG G3 is the Quad-HD resolution bearing display. LG has bumped the screen size from 5.2-inch in LG G2 to 5.5-inch in LG G3. The G3 offers 2560x1440 pixel resolution support which is four times the HD resolution, for crispest possible images and text. The G3 has a 5.5-inch True HD-IPS + LCD display that offers insane pixel density of 538 pixels per inch. This display also gets some protection with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 technology. Viewing angles are certainly great and colours looked pleasant on it. The screen did make us go wow for a while but then only prolonged usage would help us understand and experience more of the Quad HD resolution. However, the text does appear crisp at its best.

LG G3
LG G3
LG G3

LG has powered the G3 with the new quad-core 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 mobile chipset paired with fast Adreno 330 GPU to deliver high level 3D graphics. LG is offering the 16 GB G3 model with 2 GB RAM while the 32 GB G3 comes with 3 GB RAM. The additional 1 GB RAM in the 32 GB model does offer about 50 percent more memory bandwidth in theoretical sense. Indian models will get the Stereo FM Radio with RDS support. Besides, this smartphone has Dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE with A2DP, DLNA, NFC, Infrared Port, micro USB 2.0 with Slimport features, USB on-the-go, USB host and GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS support.

Software

LG G 3 comes with the LG UI on top of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat with the usual set of LG only features such as Knock Code, QuickMemo and so on. LG has taken good care to include as few as possible pre-loaded apps apart from the usual Google Mobile Services app bundle. One of the new features is the Smart Notice notifications that are basically suggestive reminders to several recurring activities.

LG G3
LG G3

For instance, the Weather tracking widget will ask you to carry an umbrella in case of expected showers or too sunny weather. Similarly, it will ask you if you want to add a frequently called number to contacts book. Apart from that, there are usual reminders for calls and calendar entries. LG has also integrated the Smart Cleaning that allows the user to use simple tool for wiping out the unnecessary data cache of the apps and other unused files from the system to add more space.

LG G3

LG has also introduced resizable Smart Keyboard that offers better input rate with more accurate next word prediction and user's text input behaviour.

LG G3

LG has taken care to make the user interface appear minimalistic in every possible app, even in the camera app. Also, the user has more control to remove the unwanted applications.

Camera and multimedia

LG also talked quite a lot of the Laser Auto Focus of the camera and the Optical Image Stabilisation Plus feature for better images. Unfortunately we were not allowed to capture and transfer images from the display units. However, the 13 megapixel has certainly been optimised to be used best with the laser autofocus which basically throws a thin red light to detect the subject. Camera app has been tweaked to become more minimalistic and offer quick capturing method. Even the front facing 2.1 megapixel camera offers a decent self portraits which can be further edited with bundled tools.

LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3

Audio was fairly loud on the LG G3 and the slit of the speaker grill at the back certainly shows some great potential to deliver better sound output. However, due to commotion around us, we could not easily determine the quality of the rear speaker.

Verdict
LG G3 offers simple yet sophisticated user interface and has an easy to use design. LG has priced the 16 GB model of G3 at Rs 47,990 while its 32 GB model is priced at Rs 50,990. This smartphone will have to face tough competition with Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2 in India. Design change and minimalistic user interface indeed are attractive. But at the end of the day, it is the overall experience and battery life which puts the final seal of being the top device.



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First Published : Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 00:00