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Using Knock Code on the LG G3 - feature focus

The LG G3's Knock Code lets users unlock the phone straight from sleep state through a combination of taps. Our feature focus looks at the pros and cons.
June 14, 2014

I’ve been enjoying my time with the LG G3 so far, and we’ve gone through the usual run of tests, including camera shootout and other top features. Here, we focus on the Knock Code, which is LG’s take on lockscreen security.

Basically, this implementation of Knock Code is pretty much the same as with recent LG devices, and will also make an appearance if/when the LG G Flex and G2 get updated. You can unlock the device from lockscreen, or — more importantly — from sleep state, with the right combination of taps on the screen.

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You can use a combination of three to eight taps, set on to a 2×2 grid. It’s somewhat like keying in a PIN onto a numeric keypad, but without the numbers. And of course, the main advantage here is that the knock combination can be as small or as big as you want it to be, although you might have to run into trial-and-error when doing the taps on a smaller area.

Setting up Knock Code

The Knock Code can be setup under Settings > Display > Lockscreen as part of the LG G3’s lockscreen security options. As fallback, the phone also asks you to setup a backup PIN, so you can still unlock the phone in case you forget the Knock Code combination or it does not work somehow.

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Some quirks

Knock Code has a few quirks, however, and this is especially evident when launching apps from sleep state using other shortcuts. For example, the LG G3 lets you launch the camera from standby with a long-press on the volume down button at the back of the device. You can also launch Smart Notice by long-pressing on the volume up button.

The camera works fine, and you can take photos straight from sleep state using this shortcut. However, when you need to preview your recently-taken photo, you will be asked to tap the Knock Code. While that’s usually standard security for smartphones, what’s annoying with this implementation is that the phone defaults to portrait mode, which makes it a hassle to unlock, if you’ve taken photos in landscape mode. This is a minor nuisance, but an annoying one, nonetheless.

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Final thoughts

The Knock Code does its job at securing the phone and enabling fast access straight from lockscreen. There are a few instances when it might get into the way of an otherwise seamless smartphone experience, but perhaps all in the name of security.

From my experience, I like how LG’s Optimus UI enhances the otherwise very good core Android experience. Do standby for our full review of the LG G3, the Korean company’s latest flagship device, which I believe knocks it right out of the park with a great 5.5-inch screen, high resolution display and attractive design.