Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
LG G3 - Top features and thoughts
After a myriad of leaks that told us almost everything we needed to know about the smartphone, the LG G3 was finally unveiled. Despite the leaks, I was still very excited to get my hands on the latest LG flagship, and the phone certainly didn’t disappoint. Well, it’s been a few days since its launch, and after pondering it over a bit, here are some of the features that I am most excited about. Let’s take a look!
Quad HD Screen
You can’t talk about the LG G3 without marvelling at the display and the screen experience it offers. A resolution of 2560 x 1440 makes this device a behemoth in both size and of course, sheer pixel density, with the 5.5-inch screen boasting a massive pixel density of 534 ppi. LG is one of the industry leaders when it comes to display panels, so it’s not surprising that this beautiful screen performed really well, even in the short time I got to spend with it. The sharpness is through the roof, with great clarity in text and media.
Of course, the biggest question that most potential buyers will have is whether it makes a huge difference when compared to the current crop of 1080p displays. The short answer is no, not by a long shot. The LG G3 may offer you the opportunity to be on the bleeding edge, but there is no doubt that you’ll have the same amount of fun on any of the other current flagships available, that feature 1080p screens.
Overall, this screen is a great addition, which is surprisingly easy to handle as LG continues to achieve really thin bezels on all of their devices. The LG G3 has a lot to offer, and in many ways, this Quad HD display is more like just a cherry on top of the sundae that is the entire package.
Design aesthetics is always very subjective, but while the LG G2 was a pretty great device all around, I was never a big fan of the glossy plastic that it was completely made up of. If you thought the same way, then you probably agree that this design change in the LG G3 is kind of a big deal.
Granted, a lot of the leaked press shots and renders led us to believe that the G3 would feature a metal build, but while that brushed design is definitely there, it is a finish put on top of some hard plastic. It’s a pretty interesting misdirection on the part of LG, and in many ways they were lucky that the plastic hybrid turned out to be pretty great, as this plan did have the potential to backfire.
So yes, this isn’t a metallic build, but it is a big step in the right direction, especially for anyone that wasn’t a fan of the glossy plastic from before.
OIS (optical image stabilization) is definitely a big deal, and is the feature made quite a bit of difference in the LG G2 and Nexus 5, so it’s no surprise that LG has continued to refine it. On the LG G3, it’s all about OIS+, an enhanced version of stabilization, that was first introduced on the G Pro 2. Back during MWC 2014 when we got our hands on the LG G Pro 2, we found the OIS+ to be quite a good performer, and a good upgrade from the camera experience offered by the LG G2.
What is also exciting is the updated camera application, which has a more streamlined look, but still brings a lot to the table. All of what you’d expect are available here, including dual camera shots, 4K video recording, and a slew of options to help you cater the shot to your liking.
The front-facing camera might only be a 2.1 MP shooter, but it has a f/2.0 aperture that should make self portraits easier to shoot. The hand/fist gesture helps eliminate any fidgeting with the on-screen camera shutter button, and even the volume down button on the back was responsive and easy to trigger.
And finally, another new addition the camera experience is the laser based focusing system. While I did kind of wonder what it would be like to shoot far away subjects with it, the main takeaway here is that focusing speed on the G3 should be leaps and bounds better than the super slow focus that plagued the LG G2. What was otherwise a good camera was hindered by the time it took to finally get the right focus, and that is an issue that has been dealt with this time around.
LG’s overhaul of the UI is another reason why I’m excited. The interface of the G2 was really way too bloated, which was very noticeable when you pulled down the notification menu, only to find very little space actually left for your notifications.
Now, the entire UI has been given a flatter look and has been cleaned up with circle-centric elements, especially in the notification dropdown. But there quite a few additions baked in this time around as well. Multi-window makes it debut on a flagship LG device this time, which was a feature that was available only with the G Pro 2 and G Flex. Knock Code, which is one of the better ways of securing and easily getting into the device, also returns.
The Smart applications have yet to be put through its paces, but they do look promising. Optimization of your device might sometimes be a pain, but LG’s Smart Cleaner looks for apps that haven’t been used in ages, and recommends removing them. Also interesting is Smart Notify, a widget version of Google Now cards essentially, that should be an attractive way of getting that information, as long as it doesn’t get too intrusive.
I really enjoyed what I saw in the UI of the G3. It already looks a lot better than previous iterations and does come with some good features. That said, it still seems somewhat bloated, even if everything that used to be in your face is better hidden. Of course, as was the case with the LG G2 where you could turn off various elements to clean up the interface, the same can be done here, but the point is that it was more work that had to be done to simplify what should have been simpler already.
It’s not that big of a deal, and even less so this time around, but it’s just a way of illustrating how LG still has a little ways to go. The good news is that they’re definitely heading in the right direction though.
First party accessories
This is in no way an implication that LG is the only one that puts out great first party accessories for their devices. After all, there are the S-View covers for Samsung devices, and the great Dot View case of the HTC One M8. But I might venture to say that LG is more consistent and more practical with their accessory offerings.
For example, the LG Tones headset that you see me wear often are some of the best and easiest headphones and wearable tech I have. The QuickCircle case is an attractive looking cover that still keeps a good amount of functionality through the large circle at the top. And of course, there is the LG G Watch, which we have yet to get our hands on, but should be a good development in the growing world of wearable tech.
Basically, what got me during the presentation was that all of the accessories that were presented near the LG G3 looked like things I would actually use, and that is definitely something to be excited about.
And so, there you have it, the top features that I am looking forward to with the LG G3, while also including some of my more grounded thoughts by looking at the possible other side of things. All said and done, I can’t wait to get my hands on this smartphone and put it through its paces, so stay tuned with the Android Authority as we continue to bring you more fantastic LG G3 coverage!