LG G3 review

8.3

Daniel Bader

July 29, 2014 9:04pm

I don’t envy the decisions made inside the walls of manufacturers like LG. After proving deft at creating high-end smartphones that excel in practically every area, further improvement is to be found in the nooks of refinement, not the broad strokes that we saw in years past.

With the G3, LG has fashioned a beautiful smartphone that proves customer consideration is the highest form of flattery. By revising the shape of the divisive G2, its successor adds a removable battery and expandable storage, as well as a larger, higher-resolution screen, with few obvious sacrifices. But drawing down on the device in more detail, we discover that LG might have been a little too ambitious in some areas. Is it enough to bring down the whole package? Let’s find out.

Specs

  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with custom LG skin
  • 5.5-inch 2560×1440 pixel (QHD) IPS display
  • 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC
  • 3GB RAM / 32GB internal storage (plus microSD)
  • 13MP rear camera w/ Laser Auto Focus + dual-tone flash
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • 4K video capture
  • 3000mAh removable battery
  • LTE 700 / 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600
  • 149 grams
  • 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm

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Device & Display

The industry’s standardization from WVGA to 720p was stratospheric for screen quality improvements; less so from 720p to Full HD, but still significant. Call me a cynic, but let’s hope the QHD revolution never quite comes about.

LG is one of the first manufacturers to offer such a high-resolution display, and the 2560 x 1440 IPS panel certainly gives a beautiful first impression. But use the device for a few minutes and you’ll notice a few obvious corners cut to maintain similar battery uptime to its predecessor. Not only does the G3 lack the outstanding maximum brightness of the G2’s superlative 1080p panel, but it also sacrifices the ultra-wide viewing angles usually afforded by in-plane switching (IPS). Colours are also not quite as vivid as LG’s typically-rich palette. In fact, the maximum brightness is extremely disappointing, coming in around 70% of the G2’s max. This is also exacerbated by LG’s software-based dimming algorithms which, in order to save battery cycles, slowly dims the screen over time.

But these corners are cut in the name of progress, and progress’s name is density: the QHD panel is the sharpest I’ve ever seen, a proverbial piece of paper underneath a sheet of scratch-resistant glass. The effect is not stark when compared to a 1080p panel, but there is no questioning LG’s veracity that humans can tell the difference past 300+ pixels per inch.

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Unfortunately, at least at this early juncture for QHD displays, the sacrifices are simply too high. OEMs like Samsung and HTC likely conferred with their suppliers (though Samsung produces its own displays through a subsidiary) and determined that QHD panels weren’t ready for primetime in mid-2014, and spending enough time with the G3 confirms it. Not only is there not enough content available to take advantage of the extra screen resolution – almost all pieces of video content, if optimized for HD, are limited to 1080p or a similar widescreen resolution —  but Android appears to be unsure of how to treat it.

Some apps are simply unavailable to download, as developers have limited the Play Store availability to devices with resolutions optimized for the service. Moreover, LG employs a liberal coat of artificial sharpening around certain fonts, ostensibly to make them more readable; instead, I was constantly distracted by a halo around rendered words.

It’s difficult to impugn LG for attempting to further the industry, nor is it entirely fair to blame the lack of content, or developers’ myopia, on the Korean company, but they should have seen this coming.

Things are certainly better elsewhere on the device: the G3, despite employing a removable back cover, feels far nicer to hold than its predecessor, and thanks to minimal bezels on the screen’s perimeter remains compact despite having significantly more real estate than the Galaxy S5, Xperia Z2 or One M8.

The divisive rear volume/power button combination has returned, but both are more effectively delineated and therefore easier to distinguish while in the pocket. To mitigate situations when the lack of forward-facing buttons prevent important functions, like turning on the screen or lowering media volume, from being performed, LG turns to software: KnockOn once again makes an appearance, allowing users to double-tap anywhere on the screen to cycle power, and on the status bar at any time to turn it off, even when in third-party apps. And, by default, a volume slider sits below the brightness controls in the notification shade, but it can be turned off quite easily.

Despite continuing to use plastic, LG’s flagship feels considerably more adult than, say, Samsung’s Galaxy S5. It also feels less prone to slips than HTC’s One M8, which proves that aluminum’s cold precision is not always ideal for a smartphone.

I have to admit being quite taken with LG’s fashion sensibilities: the G3’s dual-toned front and concentric rear panel comport themselves well with the company’s considerably more toned-down Android palette. I’m not wholly satisfied with the screen – though certain elements, like the wonky colour calibration and obnoxious levels of sharpening can be fixed in software, or later hardware revisions – but its remaining attributes make up the difference.

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Software

LG has taken a few cues from Google, Apple and the flat, minimalist design movement of the past year with its software. More importantly, LG is now compliant with Android’s on-screen navigation, ensuring that developers don’t have to work around the strange choices of the G2.

There’s little to set apart the G3’s skin from the hoards of other slightly heavy-handed, change-for-change-sake approaches to Android, but the OEM appears to have learned from its mistakes. (The G2 had one of the ugliest, skeumorphic-heavy Android skins we’d ever seen.)

Thankfully, the G3 ships with many of Android 4.4’s best features in tow: Immersive Mode makes an appearance in LG’s media apps, hiding UI elements when necessary, and the company makes prodigious (and surprisingly effective) use of coordinated navigation bar translucency. To that end, the experience is not too dissimilar to what one would find upon first turning on a Nexus device.

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As usual, though, LG has thrown in a few elements to add “value” to the Android experience. A couple of Quick-branded apps, like QuickMemo+ and QuickRemote, are back, along with a retinue of QSlide windows, a variation on the “small apps” theme that the company has been pushing since the Optimus G, still of questionable value. QuickMemo+ is certainly better-looking than its predecessor, but it still relies on one’s fingers for annotation, something that Samsung achieves with far more precision using its S Pen-powered Note series.

The company has overhauled a few formerly-neglected areas of the software experience, too. The keyboard, in particular, is notable for its usability, especially since its customizability — the ability to dynamically resize it for one-handed use — is actually useful. I’ve decried the state of OEM keyboards before, but LG’s is easily the best of the bunch — that is, when it doesn’t lag like the last bike in a peloton.

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Smart Notice, an extensive aspect of the company’s marketing materials, has yet to impact my G3 usage. Ostensibly a context companion for on-device maintenance, a cross between CCleaner and Google Now, Smart Notices appear on the home screen when a call is missed or storage is running low. It’s rarely useful — in fact, I only saw two Smart Notices throughout my time with the G3 — but it’s unobtrusive and unobjectionable. Like Google Now, Smart Notice could improve over time, but it’s up to LG to make that happen. While I appreciate the warning that it might rain later on, I’d like to see something a bit more… informative.

LG has certainly improved the overall experience here, but when compared to its most obvious challenger, Samsung, the company continues to show seams where they shouldn’t be. Areas of the UI, like the wordings of certain prompts, or the insistence on forcing its own font, NewSmartGothic, rather than Google’s much-cleaner Roboto family, continues to irk. Features copied from Samsung, like Dual Window, lack the developer support to ensure compatibility with apps outside the immediate Google ecosystem, limiting its usefulness.

And where LG does attempt to be generous in its options, like the ability to launch the camera when the screen is off by holding a volume button, lack customization. I don’t want to open QuickMemo+ when holding the up volume button, but my own choice, like Instagram. No such luck here.

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Don’t be fooled: we used an unlocked G3 on TELUS. This is no indication the carrier will be picking up the device.

I never thought I’d say this, but when using the G3 I found myself missing the Galaxy S5’s comparatively mature software experience. Leaving behind the aesthetic similarities — both have flat, colourful textures with ample translucency — Samsung’s advantage is twofold: animation and usability. The former ensures that the experience, regardless of hardware, remains smooth throughout. I found the opposite true of the G3: it stutters in the strangest places, and as a result lacks a consistent feeling of elegance.

In terms of usability, LG doesn’t seem to have the hang of designing for Android; it always seems to be a year or two behind the competition. When I use TouchWIZ or Sense, when I load up a Moto X or Nexus 5, I feel like these designers, animators and developers have summited the mountain; LG’s designers, animators and developers are still a couple thousand feet below the peak, pushing against the prevailing winds of “change for change sake.” It’s not bad, but it’s not good enough.

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Performance

Like the G2, the LG G3 is a very fast smartphone. In spite of the higher-resolution screen, which forces the occasional app to hiccup, crash or throw an incompatibility message, everything I threw at the Korean company’s latest flagship ran at full clip. LG surely tested the Snapdragon 801’s Adreno 330 GPU against the screen resolution and found few issues.

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Performance is relatively close to the top devices on the market right now, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. Due to the higher-resolution screen, certain GPU-limited games displayed lower scores, but this does not end up translating to poorer real-world performance.

The G3, as spritely as it is, doesn’t feel as fast as the two aforementioned devices, owing to a modicum of jitter and inconsistent animation speed. Some of this is purposeful: LG slows the frame rate of various animations in order to save battery life. Think of this as the equivalent of the Progressive vs. Interlaced argument when 1080p TVs were first produced: while LG maintains a 60Hz refresh rate throughout the proceedings, the screen will dynamically decide to refresh only once every two milliseconds, a trick of the eye to lower power consumption while maintaing visual efficacy.

Most people won’t notice it, and besides, the dense screen more than makes up for it in many respects, but performance is still affected.

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Camera

The camera module is either unchanged from last year’s model, or is a variation of the same one, which is not a bad thing. While the lens, with its F2.4 aperture, lets in slightly less light than Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Apple’s iPhone 5s, both of which sport an F2.2, and considerably less than HTC’s One M8 and Nokia’s Lumia 1020, each with F2.0 lenses, the G3 has an ace up its sleeve: image stabilization.

Significantly improved from last year, the optical image stabilization module, meant to keep the camera sensor from transferring minute vibrations to the finished product, ensures blur-free photos even in low light. And then there is the laser-assisted autofocus, which explains the small black depression on the opposite side of the dual-tone flash.

Both these features lead to significantly better photos than would otherwise be possible with such aging camera optics. Last year, we found the G2 to produce good but not exceptional photos in most lighting conditions; its colours tended towards smudgy flatness in anything but the most ideal lighting conditions, and low-light shots were smudgy but redeemable. The G3 improves things in a number of ways, and has quickly become my most dependable Android camera.

Optical stabilization means that I can take better photos while moving, or in low light, because the sensor itself does not vibrate at the same intensity as one that is not stabilized. In poor lighting conditions, it allows the lens to capture more light by keeping it open longer with minimal blur; in good light, it means being less precious with time-sensitive photos.

While both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 boast of sub-300ms autofocus, LG promises speeds 25ms faster. In real-world testing, it was difficult to tell the difference between the three devices in well-lit areas, but the G3’s autofocus was able to better discern foreground subjects in murky light more often than the S5 or M8.

As usual, LG throws a number of features at the user, but these are wonderfully hidden behind a one-touch default UI that promises great photos with no effort. Though the sensor has a 4:3 aspect ratio, LG purposefully fills the 16:9 wide screen of the phone by cropping the sensor to 10MP. Tapping the screen automatically focuses and captures the photo, not dissimilar to the Moto X or BlackBerry 10. But a toggle brings back all of the menu items and manual controls — or it would if there were any.

Users can change resolution, set a timer, show a grid, toggle voice commands and HDR — that’s about it. There are no manual controls to speak of, which is unfortunate because the optics are good enough here to warrant them. If the HTC One M8, with its pitiful 4MP sensor, can offer full manual controls, the least LG could do was bury them somewhere in the app.

There are some camera modes that users will be interested in: Magic Focus is LG’s play on combining multiple shots at various focus regions to allow users to adjust depth later on. Unlike Samsung’s iteration, LG actually takes five exposures, which is both a blessing and a curse: the former because it allows for more granular focus choices; the latter because it takes far too long to complete the process. While the foreground object usually stayed relatively in focus, the multiple exposures, when composited, show a slight echo, since the background likely changed in the intervening three or four seconds.

lgg3cameracomparison-1

In a direct comparison with Android’s other imaging leader, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the G3 does far better with photos with slower shutter speeds. As you can see above, the same photo generated shutter speeds of 1/30 on the G3 and 1/33 (time in seconds) on the GS5, but LG’s stabilization ensured minimal blur (see insert at 100% zoom).

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In this daylight shot, which was taken at roughly 1/800th of a second on each device, both camera sensors take advantage of their high megapixel count and sharpness to capture a staggering amount of detail. The Galaxy S5 arguably has an edge here, as its 16MP sensor (here cropped to 12MP to maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio with the G3) seems to display smaller text with slightly more clarity.

The G3 tends to expose the shot slightly better, with more accurate white balance and cooler colours; the Galaxy S5 is famous for “OLEDing” its photos, lending its results extra reds and yellows that need to be toned down in post.

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As for low-light performance, the G3 performs about as well as the iPhone 5s, slightly better than the Galaxy S5 and considerably worse than the HTC One M8. While its f/2.4 lens lets in less light than the Galaxy S5’s f/2.2 shooter, Samsung’s flagship lacks optical image stabilization and tends to blur far more easily. A shot taken at 1/10th of a second on the G3 is much sharper than the equivalent GS5 shot at 1/20 or, as seen above, 1/30.

The G3 lacks the manual controls of the HTC One M8 and the myriad shooting options of the Galaxy S5, but I’d take it over each of those. It is probably the most well-rounded Android camera available today: fantastic, sharp, accurate shooting in the day and usable, relatively bright photos at night.

Like most Snapdragon 801-based devices, the device also sports 4K video capture at 30fps, which happens to be smooth enough to share with friends. At 30Mbits/sec H.264 MPEG-4 part 10 codec, the quality is very high. It doesn’t reach the heights of the Galaxy S5’s 47.8Mbit/s encoding quality, but the G3 finds a compromise between quality and size.

Unfortunately, like the GS5, Xperia Z2 and other Snapdragon 801 devices, there is a five-minute limit on 4K capture, but that should be overcome with the Snapdragon 805.

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Battery Life & Connectivity

Everything is compromise. You hear it all the time in the tech industry. Make something thinner, and the battery capacity diminishes. Make something sharper, and battery life suffers. While the G3 has the same 3,000mAh 3.8V cell as its predecessor — though this one is replaceable — it does not withstand the rigours of daily use quite as well. LG certainly made some display considerations to offset the increased number of pixels, but ultimately they’re not enough, even with the more power-efficient Snapdragon 801 SoC, to keep up with the G2.

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I certainly had no trouble getting through a full day of use from the G3, but couldn’t quite eke the 36+ hour uptime of its predecessor. On average, the device lasted between 16 and 18 hours every day, not too dissimilar to the G2. But in our video looping tests, where the G2 died after 10 hours, the G3 lasted only seven and a half. Good, but certainly not the best we’ve seen.

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Last year, the G2 was the first Category 4 LTE device released in Canada, and combined with Rogers’ 2600Mhz network we saw speeds upwards of 120Mbps in the downlink (150Mbps being the max).

This year, things are a little different. While there are more bands on the phone, we weren’t able to reach those startling heights, likely because those once-empty Band 7 towers are now being used in full force. The results we achieved, both on Rogers and TELUS, speak more to the saturation levels of the incumbents’ LTE networks in dense cities like Toronto than any limitations of the hardware.

What has improved over last year is the quality of the mono speaker, which has seen an ample boost in amplification, and the clarity of the earpiece. The former was already good on the G2, and despite being relegated to the device’s rear, it can make quite an impact. It’s not HTC One M8-levels good but it’s certainly an improvement over most tinny, sibilant smartphone speakers.

A Few More Notes

  • LG won’t be carrying the optional Qi wireless charging cover in Canada, but importing one should work
  • No TELUS model for some reason — at least not yet
  • Unfortunately, it’s just the black model at launch

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Competition

It’s hard to look at the purchase of a smartphone in a vacuum anymore, especially with so many competitive Android devices currently available. The LG G3 clearly has an advantage over every other flagship in outright specs — its 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, 5.5-inch QHD screen and 13MP OIS+ camera especially — but the company lacks the brand name recognition of Samsung and the design prowess of HTC.

The Galaxy S5 certainly has the most features, and offers water resistance, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor that the G3 lacks. It’s also slightly smaller, and its Super AMOLED screen, despite sporting fewer pixels, is brighter, more vivid and easier to see at an angle. The latest version of TouchWIZ, too, is more mature than LG’s Android skin, and feels both easier and more fluid. It also has slightly better battery life despite a smaller 2,800mAh cell.

The HTC One M8 doesn’t have a great camera, but it feels noticeably faster than the G3 in day-to-day use. Its screen, too, is outstanding, with better outdoor visibility than the G3’s IPS display. HTC really seems to care about software, too, and Sense 6.0 is a dream to use; this should be the benchmark for all Android manufacturers going forward.

Then there are devices like the Sony Xperia Z2, which has an outstanding camera (though not better in all scenarios than the G3 despite better optics), a streamlined Android experience and excellent performance, but feels bulky thanks to its waterproofing. The Moto X, too, is poised to receive an update over the coming months, as is the Galaxy Note 3, which will likely be Samsung’s first QHD device for North America. These are all great smartphones, and worth considering.

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The End

I’ve been hard on the G3, because I had high hopes that the device in many ways failed to meet. I loved the G2 — even more after I could install a custom ROM like CyanogenMOD — because it came out of nowhere and exceeded many of my expectations.

The G3 is certainly an improvement over its predecessor, but the software feels incomplete, more a new coat of paint than the bottom-up renovation it sorely needed. And its main selling feature, the 2560×1440 pixel IPS display, disappoints, with haphazard text rendering, distracting artificial sharpening, poor brightness, and a demonstrably negative effect on battery life.

Areas in which the device excels, such media playback, photography and system performance, show LG at its height. And no one in the industry does screen-to-bezel ratios like LG; the G3 is about as compact as a 5.5-inch smartphone is ever to get.

Disclaimer: this review was completed on a pre-release handset. While the experience is in line with what retail users can expect from the phone, certain areas of the software may be different. We will update the review with new information if necessary.

8.3

Final Score

8

Design

7.5

Software

8.5

Display

9

Performance

8

Build Quality

9.2

Camera

9

Connectivity

7.5

Battery Life

  • David Foggia

    MobileSyrup has does some of the best reviews. They don’t use g*y cliches or end them with “if you get the phone, you will for sure be happy (or some other synonym of happy)” like some *cough* android central. They are to the point and say their opinion. You guys and DL are great at reviewing.

    Anyways, I love my m8 but standby time is really bad. Wastes a ton while I’m sleeping. So I was wondering what the G3 standby wastage is like? Not that I plan on buying a G3

    • Zed

      I have the M7 (rooted and custom ROM) and I realized that either Google Services OR 4G kills my battery. As such I try not to use Google Now (and such) and stay off 4G when not needed. It does wonders to my battery (double/triple life time). Give it a shot

    • WP74Life

      Same 4 me !!

    • David Foggia

      If I went to sleep for 8 hours with WiFi on my m8 would waste about 15-20%. Idk if its just on WiFi or something else. Might be a system bug

    • David Foggia

      Yup ikr. I’m thinking its a bug (more like praying its a bug) because I’m too lazy to send it in and be without a phone for a couple of weeks.

      WHERES AN UPDATE HTC!

    • Katherin

      My G3 is also nice for battery life. Actually, I purchased from US.
      If someone is considering G3 to buy, I recommend to check actual working sample in the store, not based this personal review. I am really happy with my G3 and it is almost perfect phone ever. Cheers!

  • JB

    The display only getting 8.3 seems like a mistake. Im no lg guy, but their displays are literally the best on the market.

    Also how can the LG display get lower than the iphone which doesn’t even do 720p.

    Would love to hear that explanation. Cheers.

    • Jesse Laurin

      try reading the article before you criticize the points given, they go quite into depth about why it received the rating

    • Jonathan Leduc

      Yes they did, but I agree with the first post, the screen is amazing to look at. All reviewers on every other website say it. Not all apps are optimized for it and videos are locked at 1080p, but it remains that if you just look at the preloaded videos on the phone, your jaw drops to the floor and you realize how good the screen is.

      If my boots are good up to -50 degrees but I never go out at, -50, it doesn’t mean my boots are “not really that good since the full power is not even used”.

      The display is the best on the market today. It’s that simple.

  • jellmoo

    I have an upgrade with Bell available and I am *strongly* considering getting a G3 upon release (rumour has it this Friday?).

    Does anyone have any feedback? I’m considering between the G3, the S5 and the Z2. The G3 seems to hit my main criteria:

    – Big screen with good screen to device size ratio
    – Nice amount of internal storage (the 16GB internal storage on the S5 and Z2 is a turnoff).
    – A decent camera that takes quick shots without having to fuss too much with the shot

    • jackjiarocks

      What about the HTC ONE M8?

    • jellmoo

      Really not a fan of the device. The camera just doesn’t cut it when you want to zoom, and I just cannot wrap my head around the wasted space on the bottom of the device.

      I’m sure it’s a great pick for a lot of people, but it just doesn’t tickle my fancy.

    • Nadefrenzy

      As a sammie fan, i’d ask you to opt for the G3 over the rest. S5 is not a bad phone by any means but damn it’s just so boring (for me anyway).

      Sony on the other hand is very indecisive it seems. The Z2 is just now out and the Z3 is already having leaks being posted all over the net.

      G3, albeit not the best phone, to me seems like the best out of the bunch.

      I’d personally wait for the Note 4 ( with the G3 being so close to the Note 3’s screen size and all), but maybe that’s not for everyone.

      EDIT: S5 has the best camera and developer support. Z2 has imho the best look. G3 has the sharpest and biggest screen (not necessarily the best).

    • jellmoo

      My big issue with the S5 is the built in storage. If Bell carried the 32GB model, it would likely be the front runner.

    • jacob

      You do realize that the G3 has a better camera than the S5 ? You should read the review !

    • jay

      Ok just get a one plus and don’t sign a contract

    • jellmoo

      I do like the OnePlus One and would consider one if it was a little smaller and had expandable storage.

    • Steve Bauman

      I recently picked up the Galaxy S5 two days ago (actually moved from a Note 3), and it’s a fantastic device. I think you should weigh out what’s most important to you. Would you prefer water resistance or a nice screen (G3 or Z2/S5)? Would you prefer a glass body or plastic (Z2 or G3/S5) etc? I think any android flagship right now is awesome, you won’t lose with any one you choose.

  • Eric Tang

    Thinking of getting it though, but I currently love my Z2 and the OnePlus…

  • Steve Blow JobZzZz

    still plastic painted to look like metal. no.

    • mgg_g3

      you need to hold one in the hand to understand the result. G3 plastic is better than M8 metal. But that is just me.

  • MobileRoamer

    Sorry but the GS5 is still the best all around, then a little ways down the Z2 with the M8 a close third. LG made a huge mistake with the 2K resolution with the Snapdragon 801. It Simply cannot handle that resolution efficiently. What good is this display if you’re gonna force me to dim it because it’s overheating. SMH.
    Samsung was smart to wait for the Snapdragon 805 to release it’s 2K AMOLED screen. No competition there. In the end, LCD should not be around anymore. AMOLED has now matured to be THE DISPLAY to have. The brightest and highest contrast, Pure blacks (makes every other display look like it’s showing GREY), and most accurate colors (in the proper display mode, just look at Displaymate’s real review for insight) And because of this, I say bring on Note 4. My money couldn’t be more ready.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      I’m sorry. Half the planet still hates amoled. So lcd won’t die anytime soon.

    • southerndinner

      Half the planet? The S5 was rated the best screen in the world not long ago. I doubt that’s changed.

    • mgg_g3

      I have the G3 and I do not think the S5 is all that good. I did a lot of comparing with friends and G3 is doing quite well no matter how much they praise Amoled. The only thing they got for them is blacks and that is a real advantage in blacked out theme, menus and such. Anything else is a shade of light …

  • bembol

    It seems this whole 2K display did more harm than good.

    I’ll find out in a few days when I pick up my G3 and compare it to my S5.

    • Guest

      2k*

  • Columbo

    Sounds to me like the race for “MOAR PIXELS” finally got out of control and backfired.

  • Abdi Mohamed

    I would agree that lg operating software is
    Going in the right direction as far as user experience is done.

    I like the lg g3 as a product of that sets the standard on actually providing top spec available now , rather then drawn out process of a device with single nice feature surrounded by ‘meh’ construction.
    Lg done right .

    Good review, nice read.

    Cheers!

  • Whitney Warren

    Does the Canadian version have QI charging? Supposedly the US version does not.

    • silver_arrow

      Daniel says nope, though the Wireless Wave twitter says yes.

    • johentie

      i guess we will find out in two days..
      Still have my charging pad form Nexus 5.. if not i’ll save it for the moto 360.. already got the Device Cradle with extra battery charging slot from Korea….

    • Daniel Bader

      The Canadian variant, despite what Wireless Wave says, does not support wireless charging. I got confirmation from LG Canada. Sorry!

    • mgg_g3

      Mine has only NFS on the back. I think you need the round case to get the Qi.

  • jclgan

    If G3 had kept a 1080p screen with those “battery-saving software optimizations,” it would have been beastly. I think the upgrade to QHD was too hasty, compelled by the Asian market preference for “bleeding-edge everything”. MobileSyrup isn’t the only site to report that performance has been compromised in favour of that display – future-proof in one instance, but still held back by using “current” tech. I wonder how the LTE-A version would fare, considering the 805 also has a much beefier graphics processor. Alas, western shores likely won’t ever see it b/c our wireless infrastructure is inferior.

    Was tempted to upgrade by the G3, but TELUS’s refusal to carry anything other than iPhones, Galaxies, and the One M8 has me jaded. Might have to wait forthe Galaxy Note 4 reveal to see if they can come up with a more cohesive package, or pray that the Nexus 6 or Moto X+1 lives up to their reputations.

  • walt

    nice try mobilsyrup, but 8.3? this phone is better than that.

    • Max Fireman

      You biased?

    • Jonathan Leduc

      They biased

    • mgg_g3

      I agree … the phone is better than 8.3 for sure. They measured hype and expectations, no wonder it did not get high marks.

  • walt

    Just say buy a samsung ro a htc.

  • Daniel Bader

    Yes, thanks, must have been updated after I wrote the copy.

    • johentie

      Np glad i can contribute ; >

  • Daniel Bader

    Thanks, updated.

    • KiwiBri

      Daniel, any info on a OnePlus One review. I just got my unit in myself and about to start to transition to it. Some things will lack after haveing a HTC One (M7) – Stereo speakers/FM Radio but I’d love for you guys to do a review and see how it compares to the “flagships”

    • Daniel Bader

      Working on it!

  • KiwiBri

    No FM Radio in Canada
    No wireless charging in Canada
    Shame.

    Btw – are you doing a Oneplus One review?

  • jay

    What do we talk about? I am willing to pay 700 for a phone however but I don’t need. Before I signed up for a contract to get the S3 for 99$. Was happy for a while put cyanogenmod on it and so on. Now I have an one plus and don’t need to sign a contract anymore. Maybe will get the next one again. So every year a good phone for a good price and happy

  • d094

    From what I read if you flip this to ART all your performance problems and lag go away. As for design, I think this is one of the best. They squeezed and extra 1/2 inch into the same size body as the S5. My next phone will probably be the Note 4 but the LG is definitely a consideration, too bad about battery life.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      Actually, don’t listen to this review and read others. Battery life on this phone is one of the best. Most reviews tell you that.. All except this one..

      With my m7, I’d get home from work at about 30% battery. With this phone, I get home at above 60%.

    • KiwiBri

      Again! I agree. I came from a M7 as well and I had to charge it on my desk in the afternoons so I could make it to bedtime.

    • KiwiBri

      Battery life is a non issue!!!

  • Tyrone_83

    Since Verizon model comes with a 3200mah and all of the Canadian carriers are getting the 3000mah one I’m just wondering if you could use the bigger battery in Canadian version no problem.

    • mgg_g3

      you can order one from china … 3800 … (just saying)

    • Tyrone_83

      and possibly damaging your phone since it wasn’t optimized

  • Latest Mobile

    I was seriously considering getting this phone. But after this review, it seems like its worth waiting another 6 months for a G4 or Htc m9.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      This review is Bs.
      I drove to the states on the release date in July and never regretted dishing out 600$ US plus gaz for it. It’s seriously a great device.

    • mgg_g3

      It is always worth waiting … as long as you have time and a usable device.
      I had a G1 for more than 2 years before the jump to G3. I am more than happy with my choice.

    • KiwiBri

      I didnt listen to this review and I got the phone. (See my comments above). Its way better than this review makes it out to be.

  • Goran Mihajlović

    I keep my Z30 on minimum brightness all the time and the only time I cannot see the screen is under direct sunlight. It works just fine outside otherwise. Jacking up the brightness, I get no problems under any light conditions.

  • Jake

    Maybe you should stop using your phone outside and quit missing out on life.

    • Steve Bauman

      Not sure how using your phone outside means you’re missing out on life. Please enlighten.

    • Jake

      He said the screen was garbage in sunlight. If there’s sunlight and you’re using your phone, I believe you should enjoy the sunshine and go play outside or walk in the park or something, not have your face stuck in your phone.

    • Steve Bauman

      You’re missing the point of some people needing to actually use their phone outside, such as for people who need to tend to business matters, contacting family, meeting up with friends etc. Believe it or not, some people actually need to to important things on their phones, and can’t exactly enjoy the outside when there are more important issues to deal with.

  • Latest Mobile

    Does the canadian unboxing includes quadbeat earphones?

    • Jonathan Leduc

      I didn’t even get earphones in my box from AT&T. I’d say don’t hold your breath.

    • mgg_g3

      No earphones … sadly.

  • Jonathan Leduc

    I’m sorry, can we get a review from someone who’s not sold to Samsung?

    I’ve read about 10 reviews for this phone and this is by far the most negative one. Add that to the fact that it’s been said in all other reviews that the LG skin is way faster than touch wiz (that’s no big feat since everything is) and this is obviously just a big Samsung ad.

    Honestly, I like this website, but things like this make me mad. All other sites agree that the HTC m8 is faster than the G3 and the S5 comes in third. Most of the Vs articles of video pick the G3 and some pick the m8, but none of them ever picked the S5.

    • southerndinner

      lol they’re every bit as hard on Samsung as any other blog site.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      Seriously? On every other sites I’ve been on, everyone is agreeing the S5 comes third to the G3 and mainly the M8.

      If you listen to this site, the S5 is the ultimate phone.

    • KiwiBri

      Agree with you. I am glad I didnt listen to this reviwer and I got the phone. Its been better than this review made it to be.

    • Daniel Bader

      Jonathan, a review is inherently subjective. I don’t like the G3 as much as the S5, but that does not discount the fact that it’s a great phone, and one that will certainly be better suited for many people than Samsung’s flagship. That’s the beauty of a free market. I’m giving my opinion of the G3 based on my time with it. Just because you disagree with my take doesn’t make my take wrong.

      And I just want to clarify: an 8.3 is not a “bad” score. It’s actually a pretty good score. It’s an A in any class, and most people would be pretty happy with that score.

    • Jonathan Leduc

      I agree. It’s based on your opinion. But you’re supposed to review the phone for what it is, not for what you think it is compared to your favourite other phone.

      An 8.3 grade is good.. Except even old iPhones got a higher grade and their screen are way far from what Lg and even Samsung are producing now.

      The fact that your review is the only negative review I’ve seen so far is making it even worst. Everyone States there were some things that were wrong.. Nothing is perfect, but you started your tests with two things, a love for Samsung and standards that were way too high because of what you’ve heard before. When you have a website with such a fan base, you can’t allow your decisions and tests to be altered because of things like that.

      Your review will impact directly the choices of the readers. Most of them will see how negative this is and buy something else. Then, they’ll be Pissed cause the lg was better and hate this site.

      So, to me, this review is wrong. I’m even wondering if you played with the phone for only 10 minutes before writing it. You get lower benchmarks and lower quality than everyone who’s touched the phone before you…

    • Drew

      Well, I’m not buying that summation. It’s a horrific score. An ‘8.3’ or 83/100 or 83% is a ‘B’ on any grading scale. You need 90’s or 9’s for an ‘A’ not a 8.3. It’s an “A in any class..”, except yours. And aside from the screen, why is an ‘8’ given for build quality? Build is rock solid…

  • Dabora

    If you are considering G3, I recommend to check other review, not this one. Only this review is negative while as others choose G3 as the best phone of this year.
    Phone Arena and Android forum is much better than this site.

  • Richard Wangly

    A few corrections to make:
    “it means being less precious with time-sensitive photos”
    “It also has slightly better better life”
    “the G3 is much sharper than the equivalent GS5 shot at 1/2o”

    • Daniel Bader

      Eep, thanks!

  • Latest Mobile

    This is by far the worst score for this phone i have seen, unlike other reviews which actually said the battery can sustain 12+ hours under moderate browsing time (Android Authority). And the display is one of a kind and its almost as bright as the GS5. Even if the colors aren’t as vivid as an Amoled Display, the colors are still great to look at and the 2k wallpapers lg included is first class.

    • AlphaEdge

      Hard to tell from Android Authority’s battery “opinion” how long the battery would last, as they don’t offer any comparative specifics: “I managed to get past the 12 hour mark with plenty of battery life left, after a day that included long spurts of gaming, plenty of music listening, and camera usage.”

      Also Phone Arena’s review mentions 6hrs14mins battery test (about 1.5hrs less than Samsung G5), and even GSM Arena lists about 6 hours for battery, when browsing, almost half of the LG G2!

      The screen is obviously impacting the battery life, but to me it’s saving grace, is removable battery, as it’s easy for me to carry a spare.

  • AlphaEdge

    Can that auto-brightness dimming be turned off? I would never buy a phone with that fixed.

    • mgg_g3

      The auto-brightness works just fine, adjustments are fast and gradual. Yes you can disable it and keep it at the level you want.

  • KiwiBri

    Canadian model is like the AT&T model. Support PMA Qi wireless charging. Its a different standard.

  • mgg_g3

    I am getting tired of all these biased or sponsored “reviews”.
    Many of the features reviewed are easily corrected with specific applications and customization. Something like a launcher, keyboard, etc.
    I can’t agree with Software 7.5 and Battery 7.5 … in my book all of these need to be in the 8.5-9 mark.

    I love my G3. … just wished I had FM with it.
    I don’t ever want to go to a phone with flaps like S5 or Z2 … had that before and it is not worth it.

    • KiwiBri

      totally agree. Unfortunately if you got the D855 (international model) with FM, you loose compatibility with Nth American/Canada LTE services.

  • KiwiBri

    So, I sold my OnePlus and I got this phone a week ago. Only $150 more than the real cost of the Oneplus to Canadians is.. and its so worth it! Its fast and snappy. I did originally have some lag, but I rebooted the phone and its seems snappier now. (I also turned off one of the animations)

    The camera is AMAZING. One of the features I got this phone for. battery life is good. I was in out all day and needed to take numerous videos (1080p) and photos (13MPX) and had no issues. Off the charger at 7am, lasted all day until 2am the next morning when I had 7% left. I had taken a lot of photos and video thoughout the day, used maps and txt messaged friends.
    Oh, and I used it in Bright sunlight without issues.( Screen on auto brightness) I’m not sure what people are complaining about.
    This is a smartphone, and it works as advertised.

    One other thing, it feels really good in the hand, not too big.. infact feels smaller than my old HTC One M7 in OttoBox case !! lol!

    Hopefully LG can make even more changes and updates when they eventually release Android L on this.

  • Steve Bauman

    I definitely disagree with that. The S5 has an incredibly bright screen and is easily visible in direct sunlight, even with sunglasses on.

  • BB71

    Never have I found myself disagreeing with you more than now…..you give the Samsung Galaxy S5 a higher score when clearly they only marginally improve their handsets from year to year. Inferior quality and excesively high prices and does not even compare to what the G3 offers. Think I’m going to start getting my reviews elsewhere.

  • Walt

    I love my LG G3, its the best.

  • stevedion

    Only thing i disagree with is the low score for the software. I’ve been using the G3 for a few weeks (business) and love it. It’s very fluid (in Exchange Email) something TouchWiz lags with.

  • Hail Eff

    I personally think you guys gave this phone a fairly low score. I don’t own a G3, but I’ve used it for a test and for the experience, and I must say, I think the overall design and build quality are much better that what it scored here. I also agree the phone can’t handle its own display as well as it probably should, but I still think it looks wonderful compared to most other phones on the market right now.

  • salutcemoi

    Incomplete software?

    Because the writer’s beloved stock Android is more complete ?

  • Rob Jobe

    Anyone who has used the G2 will tell you knock on is one of the most brilliant features in use today for ANY device (to have such a small mention is ridiculous), To have more features built into the G3 with knock on makes this device even better. It seems like a small point, but it distinguishes the G3 among the competition. You don’t know how great it is unless you know. Spend any REAL time with these handsets and you will become a fan.

  • http://www.lead2xl.com/ Mitch McCrimmon

    I have been using the LG G3 for nearly 3 months now and, to me, it is the perfect smartphone. I paid $599 Canadian outright for it and there is no better phone at this price except maybe some Chinese models that may be nearly as good but cheaper. The things I like best about the LG G3 – 5.5 inch screen – great for digesting content, 32 GB storage plus SD card, 3 GB RAM, buttons on the back, minimal bezels hence elegant looking, weight at 149 grams is lighter than most other large screen phones, user replaceable battery, the SD card and sim card fit next to the battery, thus no slots or buttons on the sides – great for holding without worrying about touching a button accidentally, less expensive than the iPhone 6 plus and galaxy note 4. I honestly can’t see how LG could have come up with such a great package at such a reasonable price. They (and everyone else) has a hard act to follow. I admire Sony phones, although never had one, but the new Xperia Z3 is heavier, more expensive and does not look as nice with its wide bezels top and bottom – too tall and narrow like the new iPhones thus looking disproportionately long compared to width. No bloatware like Samsung. I also like the virtual home button. I think the physical home buttons on iPhones and Samsung are outdated and inelegant. Oh, I forgot to mention one of my favourite features – knock twice on the screen to wake it up. Unbeatable!