LG G3: A great phone if you can live with the form factor


30 Aug 2013
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LG was slow to join the flagship party this year.
Of course the G3 arrived at the party earlier
than expected, but it seems to be the perfect
time. The HTC One (M8) was launched long
back and it’s been some months since the
launch of Samsung’s S5. With Apple’s big-ticket
launch still a couple of months away, this
device won’t get lost in the flurry of launches.
Let’s check out what the LG G3 has to offer:
Design and details
The phone is big but doesn’t feel so in the
hand. It provides a good grip with the sides
shorn of any buttons. LG’s signature power/
lock and volume buttons at the back of the
phone needs some getting used to but once
you get the hang of it, are pretty comfortable.
A caveat: You will either love or hate the
feature — there’s no middle path. Therefore it
will be best if you can try out the phone
before you buy.
The top edge of the phone houses the infrared
sensor and noise cancellation microphone
while the bottom edge has the headphone
port, the microUSB port and the microphone.
The 5.5-inch screen has an extremely thin
bezel on its sides while on top is the
notification LED and the 2.1-megapixel (MP)
camera on the left of the earpiece. The bottom
edge just has the LG logo.
The back panel is dominated by the shiny
power/lock button below the 13-MP snapper,
and the volume keys just above and below this
shiny button. The LED flash and focusing IR
sensor flank the camera. The speaker is at the
bottom left of the back cover.
The review unit was the 32GB version in white
and the back cover had a matte finish to it.
The battery of the G3 can be taken out, and
needs to be taken out every time one needs to
access the microSIM slot. The microSD
expandable memory slot is also housed here.
Interface and experience
The G3 boots up pretty fast and presents us
with LG’s customised user interface (UI)
running on Android 4.4.2. Unlike the G2, the
UI of which was infamous for its cartoonish
look, the G3’s interface is toned down to fit
right in board rooms. There are useful
additions such as colour-coding categories of
core apps such as contacts and messaging as
well as additions such as the Smart Notice,
which hangs just below the weather widget and
offers useful tips such as “It may rain in the
afternoon, so you may want to take an
That’s not all. If one swipes to the right from
the home screen, one gets to LG’s Health app,
where one needs to fill in details such as
gender, age, height and weight to be given a
BMI count, a target weight and a
recommended daily goal to burn calories. One
can then access a pedometer or record tracks
when one indulges in activities such as walking,
running, cycling, hiking and even inline skating.
While the app is an useful one, we feel
Samsung’s S Health has more options. But one
feels we can truly test the app only in
conjunction with a smartwatch, like the one LG
launched along with the G3.
LG has also bundled in an app called Smart
Tips which provides suggestions and links to
videos to how best use your phone. While it’s
useful to a certain extent, we don’t know if
users will stop by to watch the videos.
Another point to note is the clean interface the
G3 has, especially regarding the notification
bar. This has been massively stripped down
since the last time and is also customisable,
providing more viewing area. A very useful
feature we found on the notification screen
was the presence of sliders for brightness and
volume, very useful while using the phone in
landscape mode.
One also has the option of switching on or off
the QSlide drawer of apps. Very nice!
The icons themselves look nearer to that from
Apple’s than Google’s mobile OS, and that is
kind of nice. And there aren’t too many
screens to confuse you.
In case you're not quite comfortable locking
and unlocking the phone with the button on
the back, one can use the knock feature to
lock/unlock the phone. It's fairly simple:
Knock twice on the screen to unlock and knock
twice on any empty portion of the screen to
lock. The G3 also has a Knock Code feature —
just as one can set a pattern to lock/unlock a
phone, one can use a series of knocks on the
screen to lock/unlock the G3. It was a kind of
hit and miss in the time we used the G3.
LG still bundles in the usual suspects such as
ThinkFree Viewer, QuickMemo+ and Quick
Remote (which paired very easily with our
TATASky HD+ box but couldn’t be paired with
a Voltas AC). Also present is SmartWorld,
which has apps curated by LG.
The G3 also has the usual bells and whistles
about dual windows, gestures keeping the
screen on only if someone is looking at the
screen. QuickCircle case is another interesting
interface, wherein apps can be opened on a
small portion of the case with the cover
The headline feature of the phone is obviously
its 2560 x 1440 QHD (Quad HD) screen, which
packs in about 538 pixels per inch (ppi). The
only other phone in the market with this kind
of resolution is the Oppo Find 7.
The preloaded videos are a treat to watch on
the phone’s 5.5-inch screen, which definitely
features sharper pictures than the screen of
the iPhone 5S.The vivid colours and the
brilliant whites notwithstanding, the display
comes into its own when one views text —
which has never seemed crisper on a phone
screen. Viewing angles are also quite good and
the display doesn’t suffer even in direct
Playing Asphalt 8: Airborne on the G3 was a
fabulous experience because of the powerful
processor and the 3GB of RAM on the review
unit, the moment we came to terms with its
form factor — the phone shows it’s actually a
phablet only when held in landscape mode. We
pulled a HD version of Frozen from the home
media server and had a lot of fun watching the
movie in bed.
The G3 is one of the few flagship phones which
has an FM tuner on board. But the
speakerphone, while its quite loud, tends to
get muddied while listening to music at high
volumes, so we made use of the bundles
QuadBeat 2 earphones. While not audiophile-
grade, these cans deliver an enjoyable
Camera and battery
The camera interface of the G3 believes in
keeping things simple: Thus it has only a back
and options button on the main screen. The
options button gives access to the modes and
other menus, which don’t offer the kind of
customisation cameras on other high-end
phones do. That said, the laser-assisted focus
of the 13-MP snapper is extremely fast and is
great at taking candid shots. While some noise
is present in low-light snaps, the results are
quite good otherwise. Outdoors, close-ups are
great while, landscapes tended to miss some
details. The 2.1-MP front cam is great for
selfies, especially because a portion of the
screen turns white to make do as a ‘flash’ while
clicking them.
With a massive 3,000 mAh battery, the G3
shouldn’t need much charging, but the massive
QHD screen is a battery hog so we could
comfortably get through the day with regular
The LG G3, at Rs 50,990 (for the 32GB
version), is possibly the best phablet money
can buy right now but it will face stiff
competition from the S5, which is available
for less than Rs 40,000 online and the M8,
which wins the style battle by more than a
LG G3 (for 16/32gb)
Price: Rs 47,990/Rs 50,990
Display: 5.5-inch QHD
Processor: Snapdrapon 801 quad core 2.5Ghz
Storage: 16GB/32GB expandable via microSD
(up to 128GB cards supported)
OS: Android 4.4.2
Battery: 3,000mAh
Weight: 149g http://www.business-standard.com/article/technology/lg-g3-a-great-phone-if-you-can-live-with-the-form-factor-114072700659_1.html
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