LG G3 ReviewLG G3 9.2
Armed with a punchy earpiece, the LG G3 is a fine handset to make calls with. Loudness is pretty decent on the incoming side, while voices tend to sound clear and easy-to-comprehend. On the other end of the line, things sound in a similar manner – your callers will mostly enjoy the conversation due to your voice sounding relatively clear and natural.
Whether because of the large panel with high resolution, or something else, the LG G3's 3000 mAh juice pack delivers a sub-par performance in the battery department. It lasted for only 6h 14 min in our custom battery life test, which puts it behind handsets like the Galaxy S5, Xperia Z2, and One (M8) – pretty much every 2014 flagship thus far. Overall, it's not really such a bad result – the G3 will last you through a day of moderate usage, but don't expect wonders from it.
Of course, we should keep in mind that there are quite a lot of factors in play when it comes to battery life, so it'll be normal for the handset to last slightly longer for some users, and slightly less for others. Meanwhile, the statistics provided by LG itself paint a mostly positive picture, with 3G talk-time listed at 21 hours, and 3G stand-by time at 23 days. A nice touch by LG here is that the G3 has built-in wireless charging, but in order to take advantage of this, you'll have to purchase a wireless charging dock separately.
We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.
Charging timeView all
The LG G3 is a remarkable Android smartphone, there's no doubt about that. It's probably the most technologically-advanced smartphone at this point, which alone is a great achievement. The question is, does it come off as an offering that's well-rounded enough in order to become a best-seller in this highly-competitive market?
By the looks of it, LG has most of the boxes checked. In the design department, the G3 doesn't only prove to be extremely efficient in terms of screen-to-body ratio, but it also throws a hint of elegance and style – something that you don't quite get with its biggest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S5 (although its perforated back might appeal to some). True, it's mostly a plastic phone, but it looks and feels good to the touch, so we guess it's function over form for LG and the G3.
The display is one of the features that make us see the G3 as more technologically-advanced than most of its rivals. The massive, 5.5" size, along with the staggering QHD resolution is an imposing configuration. Although, we're still unsure about the benefits of QHD, especially when sticking with 1080p could have improved performance a bit. There's also some room for improvement in terms of color reproduction, but if you can live with some oversaturation, it's not really that bad.
Considering the other aspects of the device, we're pleased with the overall user experience, and the software design. It does pack a bit too many bells and whistles for our taste, but thankfully, it's just well-organized and doesn't leave us with the feeling that we're working with a cluttered device.
The 13 MP camera? Well, it's very, very good. The shooter isn't industry-leading, but it can definitely go head-to-head with most other phone cameras and put up a fight. Yeah, it does have the tendency to slightly overwarm things, but hey, that isn't anything new! If you can look past that, you'll be delighted by the immersive photographs that the G3 creates.
At the end of the day, we're quite happy with the LG G3. It's a rather big phone. Probably too big and wide, even with its extremely efficient bezels. However, we also enjoy the benefits of the larger-than-life screen, so we definitely see it as a tradeoff that many would be willing to do. This is not the best phone of 2014, as some would rush to say. But it's definitely one of the best Android handsets thus far. A bit too geeky, and a bit too pumped up, but still great across the board. Those who buy it would definitely have a wonderful time with it.
- Massive screen with great resolution
- Elegant design
- Well-organized user interface with a plethora of features
- Exhibits some UI lag
- Some gimmicky features
- Lack of stereo speakers
1. Jinto (Posts: 415; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)
Congrats PA, your first QHD phone review!
The G3 is a beast.
And a better deal that the SGS5 because I believe the g3 is $550 while the s5 is $700
8. akki20892 (Posts: 3812; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Now, LG is master of bezels... Can't beat them....
LG getting better n better everyday.... Their phones are awesome.... Great work lg. Keep it up.
66. Feanor (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
Everybody goes crazy about slim bezels. If the phone has slim bezels, then it's the best. Did anyway notice the contrast output of the screen? This review agrees with the one from GSMArena; appalling contrast ratio. In this case who cares about bezels?
82. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)
The poor contrast ratio is a huge turn off, especially if you do a lot of reading on your phone. The display max/minimum brightness is also bad.
160. Jillxz (Posts: 148; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
No problem for me and most people. Never even notice it.
144. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 295; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Handling the phone is also important, not just the screen. Slim bezels are just as important as screen quality.
My only gripe about the review is giving it a Con for not being waterproof. That's stupid. "Waterproof" is not a common feature, so it shouldn't be mentioned as a Con if it doesn't have this feature. Having to deal with the stupid USB flap cover thing is a turn-off, and that flap will eventually snap off anyway.
149. bob_monkeywarts (Posts: 236; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
Slim bezels are good on a phone with such a massive display. If the LG G3 had bezels as thick as the iPhone, then the entire phone would be huge. But if you take away the bezels, then you have a much smaller phone with a big display. If someone said, "Wow! the iPhone has thin bezels this year!" It wouldn't really matter, it would just make the iPhone the size of your fingernail.
148. bob_monkeywarts (Posts: 236; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
Best high-end phone maker: LG. Best low-end phone maker: Motorola. It's a fact.
11. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
so far ONLY PhoneArena Mentioned this TRUTH!
REAL Thin METAL ON THE BACK OF G3!
Good Review !
The smooth polycarbonate used for the exterior of the G3 may not be decidedly premium, but it's still a notch above your typical plastic finish. It's your typical plastic affair, but LG does note that there's a matte anti-fingerprint finish on top, as well as an extremely thin film of metal in the back cover, so it's supposed to be just a bit more than 'simply plastic'. As a whole, it does well in replicating the look of the brushed metal finish of the HTC One, while delivering the warmth and relative non-slipperiness of plastic. Its matte coating also does very well in avoiding those nasty smudges that are so typical with glossy plastic. It's really like you're getting the best from both worlds.
19. oister85 (Posts: 442; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
Don't forget s5 is water resistant, and that's a huge feature you can't not ignore.
21. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4747; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
You are right, the LG G3 is an EPIC phone, where Samsung beats it with the S5 is with the water/dust proofing.
Both are excellent phones but to me the Samsung is all around the better device because of the water/dust proofing.
When the LG G4 comes out then I will certainly bet it will be water/dust proof for sure.
GREAT review Ray S!
154. William13 (Posts: 27; Member since: 10 Mar 2011)
As someone who sells these phones everyday and deals with constant feedback, I can tell you the S5 isn't a better all around phone than any other premium phone. Sure it has a great screen and camera and it's waterproof, but limiting the phone to 2GB of RAM is absolutely absurd. After about 2 months, every user that has the S5 comes in like clockwork complaining that their S5 is lagging, or the battery life is horrible. First place I check? Running apps, and even without their additional installed apps, the S5 is using about 1GB of that RAM out of the box with all of Samsung's bloatware. Every Samsung fan coworker of mine can't help but agree that the S5 sucks in usability, even if your average user doesn't understand RAM.
158. KFear (Posts: 139; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)
I wouldn't confuse customers so much on RAM usage. Don't have them freak out about running apps either. KitKat manages those on it's own. They aren't really "Running", per say. But it is good to clean that out at the beginning of each day. I feel that Android now managers memory quite well. Remember the 2.1 days of android. Geeeeesh
162. jgalvez21 (Posts: 21; Member since: 29 May 2014)
s5 also have wolfson at least the exynos version.
45. pwnarena (Posts: 1089; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
and don't forget the sharp aquos 32sh (featured here before) is also water resistant but it has bezels smaller than that of lg g3.
49. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4747; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
Yeah but the Sharp is not sold worldwide like the Samsung's, LG's & Sony's are.
75. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 475; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
I hate my s5 waterproofing. That usb flap is annoying and feels so cheap and flimsy, im sure it wont last. I regret buying it tbh. Still prefer samsubg but i have to admit im dissappointed with my s5
76. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4747; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I personally like the Sony Xperia Z2 WAY better than the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Should have bought the Xperia Z2...
+1 to your honest comment.
56. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
REMINDER! REMINDER! REMINDER!
"Note that for this review, we're using the Korean version of the LG G3, which may exhibit some subtle differences in comparison with the international model."
LG can easily fix any bad issue from this review model
77. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
GsmArena battery test for G3 IS DOUBTFUL!
according to GsmArena LG G3 managed @ 9;57 hours in VIDEO PLAY BACK and there is still a 10% remaining of G3's battery.
IPS LCD Display is actually doing better in Browsing than on a Video play back?.
then HOW COME? G3 Manged ONLY 6:40hours in browsing?
105. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 480; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
I can't answer that question. Maybe you should ask GSMA for that.
118. Diezparda (Posts: 525; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)
I hope they are wrong, because G3 maybe my next phone. The verge said the same thing about how good G3 battery life is.
121. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 480; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
I kind of get now. It's not just the screen that you're powering. You're actually using the antenna as well. You are browsing the web and powering that pixel-dense and that must be the ultimate reason why it's very easy to deplete the battery. If many reviews agreed with GSMA's scores, then maybe G3 is not really that power-efficient. That is a shame though, my P6 got only 10 minutes less on their battery test.
111. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
OIS (Advanced OIS)
Small camera sensor
qhd (bad for battery and soc)
113. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
116. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 480; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
Not having an ISOCELL camera is not a con.
OLED is a matter of personal preference.
QHD is both a con and a pro. (Pro side is the sharpness, con is the average contrast ratio, being such a battery hog)
120. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
isocell have better color, better dynamic range, better detalization. watch link
oled have ideal black color, ideal contrast, ideal viewing angle, ideal response speed, all much better than lcd
oversaturaturated colors only on bad calibrated displays
qhd bad for battery and soc. I do not see any difference between 400ppi and 500ppi, a lot of people do not see any difference between 300ppi and 400ppi.
122. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 480; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
Dude, the reason why the S5's ISOCELL camera is excellent is that their image processing is very good as well. It's not just the sensor that's good, it must be the software as well. Look at Z2's camera. It's a monster on paper but not on the field.
Not everyone likes AMOLED displays. You should accept that. And finally, not everyone is like you who is contented with a 300-400+ppi displays. Pixel peepers will agree with you. I personally am fine with my phone with 312 ppi. It's enough not to see individual pixels.
Not everyone will agree to your "facts".
123. sar44 (Posts: 278; Member since: 14 Apr 2014)
Facepalm. You are troll? Such images are obtained immediately at that moment. With more accurate colors, better dynamic range, better detalization. Watch link, also watch tests and reviews. Where is your proof? Z2 have usual BSI sensor.
About screen i answered.
126. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 480; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
Yeah yeah sure, the ISOCELL is better. Also, the G Pro is much much smaller than the S5! And M8's camera is 16 MP! Awesome, right?
I shouldn't have wasted my time on explaining.
132. refillable (Posts: 834; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)
Leave this guy alone, The only guy who deserve to fight with him is 'LGisGood'.
136. 3rdDegree (Posts: 211; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)
Haha this review is ridiculous. I don't see a lack of stereo speakers as a con. Just because one company implements them on their phones, it becomes an industry standard? Last I heard, the handset wasn't bulky. In fact it's similar in form to most of its competition which is a true testament to the design team at LG. And lastly we arrive at IP certification. Personally, I couldn't give two f*cks if my phone wasn't water proof / resistant. I doubt the average consumer will as well. Just like hardly ever using the loudspeaker, I will never accidentally drop my phone in water. LG justified their choices concerning the IP standard, props to them for not blindly following the "leader"
And PhoneArena is still using the same opening in their reviews, about how LG is still not up there with the big dogs. Ever since the original Optimus G back in 2012, LG had become a force to be reckoned with. So in conclusion, PhoneArena need more authors, who are unbiased.
139. partylikeaninjastar (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jun 2014)
Don't take it so personal? Listing those cons is essentially saying, "Well, we couldn't find much wrong with this phone, but feature X and Y would have made it even better than it actually is." Read between the lines: those cons (except for the dim screen which actually is a problem) are saying that this is the phone to get if you're okay with owning a large phone.
165. craigy72 (banned) (Posts: 41; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
Interesting here in the UK according tohttp://www.comparephonemarket.
co.uk: G3 is £499.99 and the S5 is £494.95
2. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
One of the best smartphones this year. Keep it up LG. :D
12. ihavenoname (Posts: 1652; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
I'd not be so sure, after all they are (most likely) going to make it cheaper. However, if it comes as a Android silver device, you might be on a right track.
15. Jinto (Posts: 415; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)
The nexus 5 got a 9.5 score, mainly cuz of the price
140. partylikeaninjastar (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jun 2014)
Doubtful. The G2 was a better overall phone than the Nexus except for its price. The only reasons why I got the Nexus 5 over the G2 was because I knew I could have it rooted within seconds of taking it home and also because of the price.
If there IS a Nexus 6 and it's similarly based on the G3 design, it will be a dumbed down version with problems of its own. But with an awesome price.
If they're still doing the Nexus line this year.
22. Scarambay (Posts: 72; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
A phone with a "just" good display and a cartoonish UI is being touted as one of the best smartphones of the year. Sure, why not!
79. Sauce (unregistered)
Agreed! One thing that I'm laughing at though is the lack of hate comments because this was rated above a 9.
Fandroids hate to see that other brand rated above 9 and all hell breaks loose lol, but when it's their turn: crickets.
All I see now is "Samsung is better. GS5 is better. "etc etc etc.
Why can't haters accept the fact that this phone is sexily designed and well made (internally and externally)?
119. refillable (Posts: 834; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)
But, I'm laughing at your attempt to defend your favourite smartphone. iPhone is overpriced and likely to always be. It doesn't deserve to get 9.4, and we know why.
14. Jinto (Posts: 415; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)
iPhone 5s got 9.3 review scre while g3 got 9.2
64. adwienc (Posts: 136; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)
Oh c'mon, these ratings mean nothing, GSMAren doesn't give any ratings, so You can judge by yourself which phone is better and it's good way to write reviews. Highr score doesn't mean better phone. Nexus 5 got 9.5 cuz it was cheap but it doesn't make it better than G2 or G3. These ratings always were only to start fanboy wars. It all comes down to preferences.
103. BaffledTruffle (Posts: 480; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
That's why you shouldn't ever take PA's ratings into consideration. It's more subjective than objective, since it is based on what the reviewer thinks of a device, much like how would you rate it yourself.
Reading the review is all you need to do.
142. 3rdDegree (Posts: 211; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)
I wonder if PA ever reads these comments and strive to better themselves based on our comments. Hey PA, do you guys read our comments about the review process itself and listen to the criticism? If so, do you take the feedback on board?
26. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)
PAs rating sux. iphone is like a toy compared to this beast and gets a higher score. g3s cons are not iphones cons. typical iPA. this is why i trust gsmarena for a fair and unbiased review to any other site.
46. pwnarena (Posts: 1089; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)
don't forget the lg g2 got a 9.4.
9.2 is not bad considering that you get a dimmer display with bumped up resolution but with almost every other part similar to its predecessor.
6. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
G3 IS THE SMARTPHONE OF THE YEAR!
LG G3 has better battery life than s5 based on my personal experience
we did a test actual comparison here in Korea using the same carrier provider !
for the straight browsing S5 lasted for 8;06 hours
while G3 lasted for 9:21hours.
in video testing
we watched the same two movies(spiderman & hunger game 2)for both devices s5 & g3
s5 wentdown @ 21% while G3 @ 32%.
im using three korean phones Pantech vega iron, Samsung s5, LG G3
all great devices. but G3 is ahead of the two!
94. pyradark (Posts: 820; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)
Video playback: 12hrs.
Web Browsing: 11hrs.
Smartphone of the year your face
7. Anshulonweb (Posts: 430; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)
from this review and gsmarena review I think it is clear that Qhd screen is not that great....the contrast and brightness is just not flagship standard...... despite pixel density the screen is just average in other aspects ....
17. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
the most important are color accuracy, viewing angles, sharpness, overall quality of the display.
83. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)
1440p is pointless on a phone, it is a waste of battery life, it will lower gaming performance and the 1440p panels are not up to the standards of an FHD flagship in terms of brightness/color accuracy/contrast ratio/etc.
Multiple sources have already tested it, at normal phone viewing distance the 1440p panel has no advantage over a 1080p display.
135. gaara6775 (Posts: 738; Member since: 20 May 2014)
You're right. No need for 1400p panel there is not much content available for that high resolution. If this was 1080p panel it would have lasted almost 11+12hrs of video play back. Need more screen time than high resolution.
91. Furbal (Posts: 661; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Gorgeous phone, but can't ignore that dim screen. Being in the US SW the S5 and 1520 are actually readable in sunlight.
Brightness is more important than all of those to me...if you cant see it you cant read it.
Rest of the G3 makes me jelly being a s5 owner. May have to sell my nexus 5 to fund part of the g3 when it gets here...
141. partylikeaninjastar (Posts: 3; Member since: 11 Jun 2014)
While I like basically everything I've read about this phone, the QHD screen is what I dislike the most. Sure, it's cutting edge, but I'd rather have the standard 1080p screen and the better battery life that comes with it. Also, it sounds like this screen has a bunch of other cons that we all really wish we could do without (ie a dim screen).
|Display||5.5 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels (538 ppi) IPS LCD|
Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 8974-AC, Quad-core, 2500 MHz, Krait 400 processor
3072 MB RAM
|Size||5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches|
(146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm)
5.26 oz (149 g)
|Battery||3000 mAh, 19 hours talk time|