LG G3: Simple and Smart?
Image Credit: LGEPR via Flickr

LG G3: Simple and Smart?

 
 

The LG G3 has slowly but surely become one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year. Following what seemed to be an endless stream of leaks and rumors, earlier this week all eyes were on the Korean manufacturer and the official unveiling event of the LG G3.

During the press conference, the message that LG wanted to carry across was “Simple is the new smart,” but how and whether or not this applies to the G3 is debatable. The handset in question appears to be bringing quite a lot of interesting features to the table, and simplicity is not necessarily the keyword that springs to mind. Let’s take a closer look at what the LG G3 has to offer.

Hardware Specs

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The LG G3 is one of the first (and the company’s only) QHD (1440 x 2560) smartphones to be announced this year, boasting a 5.5 inch display and a pixel density of 534 pixels per inch. The panel is of the IPS + LCD kind and it’s being protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Digging a bit deeper under the hood we find that the LG G3 is being powered by a Qualcomm MSM8974-AC Snapdragon 801 SoC boasting four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.5 GHz and an Adreno 330 graphics chip. Oddly enough, the LG G3 will be made available in two main variants, one with 16 GB of built-in storage and 2 GB of RAM, and another with 32 GB of on-board storage and 3 GB of RAM. The latter might be an exclusive variant for the South Korean market, but only time will tell. Fortunately, the handset’s storage can be expanded by up to an additional 128 GB via microSD.

Last but not least, the LG G3 is being powered by a 3,000 mAh battery which, unlike on previous models, is user removable. The battery promises increased performance, as LG has replaced some of the metal used in the manufacturing process with graphite, and has also further optimized the power management systems.

Camera Setup

In a world where smartphones are oftentimes used as point-and-shoot camera replacements, the majority of handset manufacturers out there are striving to offer a good user experience in this regard. Each company seems to have its own strategy of differentiating itself from the competition: Samsung introduced a new ISOCELL sensor on the Galaxy S5, Sony continues its high MP legacy with its Exmor RS sensors, and HTC launched the One M8 with a unique dual-camera setup that comes into play during post-processing.

Interestingly enough, the LG G3 has its own secret weapon, and that is a laser beam that works in conjunction with the 13 MP main camera. Indeed, the G3 features a laser beam has the role of improving auto-focus, as it measures the distance between the sensor and the object of interest.

As expected, the LG G3′s main camera also comes with optical image stabilization technology which is similar to the one that made its debut on the LG G Pro 2. The unit takes advantage of a Sony IMX135 sensor measuring 1/3.06″, with a pixel size of 1.2µm. On the front panel, the handset comes with a 2.1 Sony sensor with an aperture of f/2.0.

Design

Every gadget enthusiast is now looking at the current and future flagship phones in hope that manufacturers will switch to a more premium build quality. HTC is currently in the lead in this regard, dominating the mobile segment with its all-aluminum unibodies, and Sony is not too far behind either, with its OmniBalance design language.

As far as the LG G3 goes, the handset in question doesn’t come wrapped up in a metal body, but the Korean tech giant has taken a few steps in the right direction. While the gadget’s internals are protected by a matte plastic shell, the material gives the impression of a metallic-looking sturdy handset. The LG G3 will be retailed in five colors, including Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Burgundy Red and Moon Violet.

One of the strongest design cues however is the impressive 76.4 screen-to-body ratio. This percentage allows the LG G3 to be a very compact smartphone measuring 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm, despite its 5.5 inch display. The handset is also rather light, weighing only 149 grams.

Software and User Interface

As expected, the LG G3 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 KitKat, but the OS itself is not really something to write home about. What’s very intriguing about the G3 is that it comes with a brand new user interface.

Over the past several years, the LG Optimus user interface had become stale, and fans of the brand have eagerly waited for the moment when LG will switch gears and bring modern design elements to its UI. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the Korean tech giant has done with the LG G3. The smartphone now comes with a fresher UI which brings flatter, cleaner icons and a more up-to-date overall look.

The new UI also includes a handful of new features, such as Smart Notice, which is a context-aware personal assistant with natural language capabilities. The application will remind the user of missed calls, make outfit suggestions based on the weather, and so forth.

LG has also introduced a new on-screen “Smart Keyboard,” which supposedly learns from the user’s typing habits to improve accuracy and text prediction. As far as security features go, the G3 comes with the “Smart Security” bundle which includes features such as Knock Code (debuted on the G Pro 2) and Lock Content, as well as Kill Switch. The latter is an anti-theft feature with the help of which the user can render the LG G3 completely disabled and wiped, for obvious security reasons.

Price and Release Date

Leaving the 32 GB / 3 GB of RAM model aside, the LG G3 packing 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage already begun hitting the shelves on May 28 and it will continue to expand its reach across roughly 170 mobile operators worldwide. The handset will also be released in the US via all four major carriers – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

In the U.K., the British retailer Clove Technology will also offer the handset, at the price of £499 (roughly $833) including VAT.

Overall, the LG G3 is one of the most promising smartphones to come out of the Korean tech giant’s factory gates for years. Can it take on the rest of the challengers? Only time will tell, but until the handset goes on sale in your area, let us know whether or not you’d be interested in buying it.

Vlad Andrici is editor for gforgames.com and writes about technology issues. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.

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