After launches by Sony, Samsung and HTC we finally get to see LG’s latest offering, the G3 smartphone. On display at a London press launch, we’d already heard a lot about the phone, including a sneak peak by LG online. At last the phone was here, so did it match the build up?
The first feature to smack you in the face when you pick up the G3 is its screen. The display measures a huge 5.5 inches, which is very nearly more phablet than smartphone. However, it edges into the handset category thanks to some extra slim bezels, and a back designed to be 9mm at the thickest part, and 3mm at the thinnest. This design gives it a comfortable grip in your hand.
We didn’t just love the screen for its size. This is the first Quad-HD display to be seen anywhere in the world on a smartphone. Images are crisp and clear with the resolution of 1440 x 2560 ppi.
This resulted in exceptionally sharply rendered edges, making icons and text smooth and crisp. Text was a little small at this resolution sometimes though. Colours are rich and vibrant. The Gorilla Glass 3 cover is set slightly into the display panel and the small gap makes it seem like you’re pushing right into the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system.
This is always going to be a sizeable phone. But the unusual design, using the curved back to slim it down may make it more comfortable to use than the Sony Xperia Z2.
Phones such as the HTC One (M8) and the iPhone 5s were a success based on their use of top-of-the-range technology with a styling based on ease of use as well as looks. Samsung never managed this ideal mix, with the worst example being the plasticky case and faux-chrome edging on the Galaxy S5.
LG has upped its game for the G3, using a finish that looks like brushed metal, and almost feels like it, but is made of plastic. It is hard to tell how this will wear. If LG avoids chipping or the shiny patches with use that plastic can get then it will be a good move.
With only a brief period to use the G3, we couldn’t do a thorough test. Responsiveness was good though, on par with other smartphones at the top end. App instantly appear, web browsing is smooth – all very similar to the Z2, M8, and S5.
The G3’s camera was worth a good look. LG reckon it takes under 300 milliseconds to focus. Not even your brain can send a message to your hand that fast. There’s an infrared laser on the back akin to Police radar guns. Focus is much faster than any other smartphone on the market at the moment.
It isn’t easy bringing out a top end smartphone right now. Competition is the toughest it has ever been. But LG has managed to get in there with a handset that appears to be the best smartphone so far in 2014.
In the UK LG are putting the G3 into shops as of the 1st of July, with it available for free with monthly contracts of around £38.
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