Would you buy the LG G3? Is it everything you hoped it would be?

May 30, 2014

lg g3 hands on (4 of 31)

Another flagship has joined the race, and this one is pretty special. It has a Quad HD screen (a first among big brand names), a laser-guided focusing system that’s mostly found on DSLR cameras, and a “metallic skin” design that looks like brushed metal, without the drawbacks of aluminum.

The LG G3 was a bit of a surprise, coming late to a party dominated by devices from Samsung and HTC. But now that it’s here, is it all that you dreamed it would be? Are you impressed with what it offers, or were you hoping for more? What surprised you the most in a good way, and what disappointed you?

Join us in our Friday Debate, sound off in the comments and vote in our poll.

Jonathan Feist

That is one nice display. Do you remember me talking about not wanting a large screen phone? What about when I said I though such ppi resolution was a waste? I take it back. I think. No, I must stick to my opinions, who needs a 5.5-inch display with more pixels than they could count in a week?

Let me be honest, the LG G3 suffers from ‘too little, too late’ for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with this phone, especially the upgraded RAM in the 32GB version, but I lost all excitement when LG failed to put the phone on sale, well, now!

I am still eager to put the G3 in hand, especially want to give the updated rear buttons a go with their ‘meatier ka-chunk’ that I hear people talking about. But mostly, I, like most, want to see what a mobile phone with a display beyond Full HD looks like.

It should speak measures that this is all I have to say about the G3 at this time. I simply see another wonderful Snapdragon 801 powered device with a screen larger than I actually need, running another skinned version of Android that I would likely install a different Launcher over top of.

I applaud LG for bringing a solid device offering to the table. I am honestly considering purchasing this phone, but, you know that ‘new car smell’ you get when you buy exciting stuff? Yeah, that is already gone. Just give me the phone and I’ll go on my merry way.

Joe Hindy

There is a lot the LG G3 is doing that the competition isn’t. The laser-auto-focus feature, the 2K display, the buttons on the back, the insanely large footprint of the screen on the front of the device, and the unique knock code to unlock the phone.

These days, specs are pretty much in a state of parity. You can’t do better than the best chipsets available today anymore. It wasn’t like a couple of years ago when the quad core processor was brand new and there were 3 or 4 makers actually pumping them out. So to gauge the phone on specs alone has become an exercise in futility. Yes, it does have the same specs as the S5 and the One M8 but I prefer to think of it as this: it has the best specs available to date.

I’m a big screen, big battery kind of guy. I play a lot of games on Android for both enjoyment and, you know, that’s kind of what I do around here. So the G3 fits into my wheelhouse perfectly. I definitely want one of these and since there is a 5.5″ phone with a 3000mAh+ battery available that isn’t an embarassment and isn’t from Samsung, I’m stoked that I may not have to lower my screen size to get away from Touchwiz. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love Touchwiz but I’ve also been using it since the Note 2 came out and it’s time for a change.

I dunno how well the phone itself will do. They need to market it correctly obviously and they need to convince phablet fans that this is the real deal and can compete with the Note line up. It’s way better than the Note 3. However, fans of the Note series will likely wait until the Note 4 and since Samsung has a good 5 months before that’s due to be out, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them do something to try to compete better with this phone.

Is it flawless? No. The slim profile and plastic build materials means this thing will break before it hits the ground if you drop it. It’s definitely not meant for the average blue-collar user who does things like construction. That said, I do think this sits with the Xperia Z2, the S5, and the HTC One M8 as the best phones available right now and really that’s all I expected out of LG.

Now, I just need to figure out how to get my hands on one!

Robert Triggs

The LG G2 was probably be favourite smartphone from the big OEMs last generation, and LG looks to have done it again with the G3.

The QHD display is stunning, although we’ll have to see about battery life, and the G3 competes with the best in every other hardware segment too. CPU, RAM, and storage are exactly what you’d expect from a top tier handset, and the camera features build on the already highly impressive LG G2. LG has also made some decent improvements to its software features, arguable the one area where LG has previously lagged behind the competition.

The other huge factor is the price. Although I don’t think we have anything official yet, the expected price range of £400-450 puts this handset a full £100 cheaper than the Galaxy S5. That’s a huge bonus point in my book.

Not only all that, but the G3’s design really leaps out at me. LG seems to have struck the perfect balance of materials, aesthetic looks, and form factor. Those ultra slim bezels really do the large display size justice too. If you ask me, no other current flagship comes close to the G3 in this department.

Say what you will about slow innovation these days, but taking the handset on its own, I’m very impressed. I am seriously considering an upgrade.

Gary Sims

It looks like LG has upped its game once again with the G3. It has got the specs, the looks and some nice innovations. The 2K display is awesome and the laser focus is a neat addition.

However, there are some aspects of the G3 which are difficult to get excited about – another device with Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and lots of RAM., yet another skin on top on Android.

But having said that, the 2K display is clearly something that makes the phone different to many of the current flagship offerings, and the laser focusing could boost the phone’s allure.

Is the G3’s 2K display significantly better than say the display on the Samsung S5? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, in terms of resolution it is brilliant, but in terms of the overall experience I doubt it is significantly better.

And here is the thing, will users pay the premium for the extras? Clearly this is a flagship device, and it isn’t LG’s only offering. But when it comes to taking money out of their pockets and handing it over, will the 2K display and the laser focus convince consumers that the G3 is what they want? That remains to be seen.

Pricing is really the key point. The OnePlus One offers consumers the same processor plus 64GB of storage, for less money. Sure, the OnePlus One “only” has a HD display, but I don’t think consumers are struggling with screen resolution problems.

The OnePlus One and the LG G3 are both 5.5 inch devices. LG certainly has worked hard to keep the device’s overall dimensions as small as possible. The legendary thin bezels are certainly cool. The OnePlus One is longer than the G3 by 6.6mm but the OnePlus One is actually thinner.

Other than the price, my real concern for the G3 is the choice of a 5.5 inch display. Flagship smartphones just keep getting bigger. Clearly there is a market for very large screen phones, just look at the Galaxy Note range. But the Galaxy Note range (and others) cater to a certain segment of the market. Currently I am sporting a 5 inch device, and I am testing a 5.5 inch device and really for me the jump from 5 to 5.5 is too much. The Galaxy S5 might be acceptable at 5.1 inches but 5.5 is just too big especially if I need to pay lots of money for it. I will say the same for the OnePlus One, I would have preferred the device was only 5 inches, but at that price, who cares!

So bottom line: Neat display, great design and some cool features. But is 5.5 inches too big? With other devices around that are much cheaper, will consumers pay the premium?

Would you buy the LG G3?

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How does the LG G3 compare with other Android flagships?

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Comments

  • Who cares anyway

    I would personally want to buy it as soon as I can if I didn’t have one year still left in my contract

    • poop

      Haha, in the same boat here on Verizon.

      • Who cares anyway

        I myself am on AT&T

  • Xavier_NYC

    Depends on battery life and lag. A lot of people were complaining about it not having the 805 SOC but they fail to realize it doesn’t support the radios that mobile phones need. But if battery life is great and there’s no lag it exceeds my expectation..

    • John Garlits

      Battery performance is a huge factor that nobody has reported performance testing for yet that I’ve seen. I also would like to hear more about rootability before buying, though if this is a very popular device, it’s more likely solutions will be found.

      • KapteinStein

        G3 Google play edition would be great! Hope LG will be developing community friendly so that alle the bells and whistles will work with custom roms like the camera lazer or the battery optimizations (if they are software based)

      • Xavier_NYC

        I did see this video not sure how real it is but claims more than 7 hours of on screen time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OmJstTTaP8

  • Nathan Buffington

    I would LOVE this phone. One thing I would be worried about is the large size, but I feel like I could overcome that. My main problem is going to be the price. I buy phones unlocked (for the 30$ TMo plan) and all these stupid flagships are so damn expensive the only decent phone I can get for a reasonable price is the Nexus 5. I’m waiting for them to pull off a $400 price tag on one of these, then it’ll be mine

    • Cuauhtemoc Sosa

      Everything you said. Had the Nexus 5 I’m thinking Oneplus next, I have the G2 which I got from Swappa for about $340 so probably no G3 for me.

  • KapteinStein

    I’ve been excited about every flagship phone this year until they came out and were all lacking in some department.
    -Sony z2: overheating 4k, fingerprint nightmare and no ois, non removable battery
    -Samsung galaxy s5: looks like s**t, touchwiz lag
    -HTC one m8: useless camera for my needs, non removable battery etc.
    (-oneplus one: can’t be bought and the company is playing games with their customers, no ois, etc etc..)

    LG g3 however seems to have it all. Granted, it’s not waterproof and the jury is still out on the battery, but everything else is great.
    Amazing camera technology, beautiful big screen in a relatively small form factor, 3gb ram 32gb memory and expandable, removable battery etc etc….
    The g3 ticks all the right boxes for me! Hope they release drivers etc so I can put a working cyanogenmod on this baby! It will be what the oneplus one should have been (or I dreamed it would be with all the hype).

    • Matti M

      This right here is WINNING. Exactly my thoughts, coming from a Samsung Galaxy S3 MINI/HTC ONE M7 user.

      I WISH that HTC ONE had removable battery but it would not be good for the build quality i think, and the camera is not good, specially the pictures it takes.

      LG G3… It’s a GO! if the battery lasts for quite long

    • peter

      Oppo Find 7 beats or equals it in all departments and is far cheaper. Well done Oppo a Chinese phone maker giving the big boys a kick up the arse

      • Andrew White

        Agreed, but will buy the G3 in white as a gift for a family member so I get to use it.
        Personally, even though I am a fan of LG and do own last seasons G Pro 5.5″ (which I have dropped many times without issues), I definitely want fast charging and a 50mp camera….Oppo Find 7 all the way.

    • arcwindz

      Yes, you hit the mark with all those flagships!
      Removable battery, sd card, great camera, and top specs. But (there is a BIG but) the battery seems too small for a 5.5 inch display, not tested yet, but it can definitely be bigger.
      Also a 5.5 inch screen is too big even with small bezels and I’m not a big fan of the rear button too.

      • KapteinStein

        Have not really gotten familiar with the rear buttons yet with my brief encounters with the G2. I remain an optimistic sceptic. I did find a review somewhere online from a British guy who had a korean version for a few days. He did report that the battery needed charging every day, so about the same as the current flagships, but worse than the G2 :/

    • xoj_21

      its missing amoled screen and wolfson DAC , maybe a xenon flash for me >(

      • KapteinStein

        I would of course love that as well, and a camera button too. We just can’t seem to get it all :P that was what the Oneplus was for but it turned out to be just another phone with tons compromises…

    • Adon

      Exactly.

    • Oli72

      Totally agree. Nexus 6 for sure.

  • Sabik Biswas

    Yes…Absolutely I Want To Buy…It Has All The Things…That I Want in My Phone….Amazing Looks and Great Specs…

  • Brandon Tunnicliffe

    Well unfortunately this is now a Phablet, not a phone, which could put quite a few people off. And the G2 Mini didn’t provide a great experience to those wanting smaller phones. I feel LG have made the 2K display for a wow factor, but I think they have made the screen size too big now, reducing the competition against the S5 and M8

    • JonDuke19

      You do realize that the M8 is actually taller than the G3 right? And the S5 is not really that smaller. They trimmed down the bezels to make it the size of a 5 inch with a 5.5

      It’s the same with the GPad. I own it. It got a 8.3 screen on a body of a 8inch tablet. It’s quite amazing how they achieve that :o

  • kleinerSK

    Already preordered :)

    • JonDuke19

      Where are you from? o_0

      • kleinerSK

        Germany, pre ordered on amazon .. release is rumored to be mid June to beginning of July, hopefully earlier ;)

  • dogulas

    Too big. But I still haven’t made up my mind if I want to put up with it and just get it when I’m due for a new phone. They should have kept it at 1080p and made it smaller. But then fewer people would be talking about it. So I don’t blame them. I hope it’s a home run.

  • Chris

    I agree with the first guy. I thought it was going to be released next week in the US. What is this crap they pull. “HERE IS OUR NEW AMAZING PHONE!!!!! You can buy it in two months…”

    Yeah, screw that. I’ll be passing and waiting for the Flex 2 or Note 4

  • sweg

    No.

  • Jeffrey

    I’d like a 720 resolution screen with the best processor, a good battery life, 3 gb of ram and as less bloatwares as possible. 2 k display? Come on! It’s useless. Is it what we want or what manufacturers want us to want so we think that we need to upgrade our phone?

  • rogue3

    Gary Sims, I think the (rather glaring) difference between the G3 and OnePlus One is that the G3 will be much, much easier to get. From everything I’ve heard, the stock of the OnePlus One is low and availability is still in “invite only” mode. Maybe if they crank up production and build a stronger marketing campaign, it can compete with the G3.

    • Andrew White

      Better screen and camera on the G3. Apples and oranges!

  • TheDude

    Holding off for HTC Max 2

  • Adon

    Loving it,nice spec,Gorgeous exterior,love the 5.5inch screen ,while keeping the same overall size as the HTC M8 and Sony Z2. Actually the Sony Z2 is slightly taller,both Z2 and M8 weigh more G3. But the G3 is wider,its thicker than the Z2 but slimmer then the One.
    BUT i have to wait until July EARLIEST to buy it,SERIOUSLY LG more waiting,they might as well add the 805 Snapdragon as rumour,because by then Samsung and HTC WILL have there 5.5inch Versions “Prime editions”. And the want to see just how nice the Red and Blue Version look. Add to that the S5 Mini and M8 mini,5 more steps LG step up more. I’ll Buy the G3,love it.

    • Xavier_NYC

      805 doesn’t have the proper radios for mobile phones, HTC Prime is dead (via eveleaks and AA) also pre-orders are already up in some countries.

  • Will S.

    A year ago, I couldn’t imagine myself being impressed with an LG device, but recently LG have definitely surprised me. Many thought the LG G2 was a Galaxy S4 knock off, but it was better in soo many ways! And the G3 takes things to a whole new level, the design, the features, the screen – really looking forward to the reviews!

  • Karl Mose

    The plastic body is really disappointing, I hoped we could have another android phone manufacturer join HTC in making high quality phones. But sadly it wasnt ment to be :(

    • brendan soliwoda

      There is another phone maker that makes high quality phones and they are called Sony.

    • trivial

      im glad they didnt make it metal like HTC, its a bad material for a phone we dodged a bullet here

  • MrMagoo

    Well as far as the last Vote goes, I don’t think it’s ahead by a mile. But I think it’s right there over the top. The others are great phones don’t get me wrong. But having owned HTCs and Samsung devices, the G2 has been an amazing phone and also has been my favorite by far. If the G3 pushes in the same direction…. they do have the edge in my book.
    Happy G2 owner :-)

  • john

    Get rid of the back buttons and they’ll win me over. It’s just too uncomfortable and ugly for my liking.

  • Noel

    This phone is a home run in nearly every department u look. I need one more thing to make this phone really complete for me….a GPe G3. The only other thing is getting used to the size…my guess is after a week or so playing with the phone, that will be resolved. I hope Google and LG will announce a 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage model GPe G3 soon before ppl start buying…cuz i am gonna get one. This is as complete as it gets.

    A challenge to my beloved HTC (like the One M8 but lacking in some department)…can u match or top this?? Till they do…i am rolling with LG on this one..easy decision.

  • IulianPeride

    It has the best hardware released until now, best pixel density, a good battery and they made a good job with keeping reduced bezels for that that size of the display.
    Still this is no more a high end smartphone but it’s a high end phablet and it’s a “no” for me. The size is over the limit of everyday one hand usability and even if gs5 and m8 are bigger than their predecessors they kept a limit to it.
    G3 is not a competitor with m8 and s5 but it’s a competitor to galaxy note 3 and call me crazy but the lower price and the s-pen would make me choose note 3 over g3.

    • kleinerSK

      M8, Z2 and S5 are pretty much the same size despite the fact that they have smaller displays. The M8 is even taller than G3 yet has the smallest display of them. So in matter of current flagships, the G3 sports the biggest display at the same footprint.

  • Stephan Hall

    Here is another perpective. Yes, I think the G3 may be the best smart phone for the masses who can afford it! Also I’m a big time Nexus 5 fanboy … I admit. I like the unlocked boot loader, access to the largest support for rom customizations etc…. and first access to the new android updates. I’m posting this, however, not promoting Nexus. The G3, S5, Etc Etc flagships are terrible values when you compare what actually you get in new features versus the dollar. One can purchase a G2, Moto X or Nexus 5 and purchase a nice tablet and have change left over for what these flag ships cost. In everyday use ….. either of these phones would give excellent service. Sometimes I get the feeling that people in these forums buy a new phone for the “status” factor. I have heard that many do it “because they can”! Another reason I’ve heard is …because it’s there desire to enjoy the “latest and greatest”! And another is they are due for a new phone because there present one is done …which makes some sense. Finally …. buying a phone because it’s the “best” or “latest technology” is fine …. but it is very short lived!! Not saying I’m right and it’s my opinion …I understand that! But it is a valid perpective!

  • Stuart Chan

    Judge the size difference between LG G3 and S5 below and decide yourself whether the overall dimensions are big.
    If you like S5’s overall size because it’s 5.1″ screen, would you mind having that tiny wee overall increase for a 5.5″? For your info, G3’s dimensions are about the same as Sony Z1.

  • Stuart Chan

    Actual Size visualization of G3/One M8 and G3 /S5. G3 is tiny bit wider than One M8 but comes with 5.5″ screen and One M8 as we all know, a 5″ screen. Yes, I’m aware of the front facing speakers affecting the overall size of One M8 but in reality, you can’t remove them for it to look smaller.
    So if G3’s overall size with 5.5″ screen belongs to a phablet category, then One M8, Sony Z2, Z1 and possibly S5 could very well be in similar category.
    My question is if 2 phones with SIMILAR overall physical dimensions, would you prefer the one with a bigger screen?
    The answer lies in individual’s hand.

  • Stuart Chan

    Actual Size visualization of G3/One M8 and G3 /S5. G3 is tiny bit wider than One M8 but comes with 5.5″ screen and One M8 as we all know, a 5″ screen. Yes, I’m aware of the front facing speakers affecting the overall size of One M8 but in reality, you can’t remove them for it to look smaller.
    So if G3’s overall size with 5.5″ screen belongs to a phablet category, then One M8, Sony Z2, Z1 and possibly S5 could very well be in similar category.
    My question is if 2 phones with SIMILAR overall physical dimensions, would you prefer the one with a bigger screen?
    The answer lies in individual’s hand.

  • IncCo

    I like it a lot, but I’m not sure about the size, will have to see it in real life first.. might be a little too large.

  • simpleas

    I bet 90% of the people here was whining waaaa QHD is too much!

  • Stuart Chan

    Another size comparison (actual scale) between G3 and Sony Z2. Impressive for G3’s 5.5″ which looks a little smaller overall than Z2’s 5.2″.