The LG G3 is now official: say hello to the world's sharpest phone display

"Simple is the new smart" - that's the message that resonates throughout the entirety of LG's marketing machine, at least as far as the brand new (and finally official) G3 flagship is concerned. We won't pretend to quite grasp what LG's angle is here, but we'll very much go through its impressive new flagship point by point. 

Arriving last on the scene, LG has had time to study and learn from its Android rivals, whose flagships are already on the market. Only time, however, will tell if that's an advantageous position to be in. Either way, the G3 is posited to launch quite the challenge in the flagship space, as it seemingly has the entire package.

Design: a step forward

Design-wise, the minty-fresh G3 is every bit the worthy flagship we were expecting it to be, and it's definitely making good use of the very solid foundation laid by its critically-acclaimed predecessor, the G2. In fact, one of the most sought-after aspect of the G2 -- its industry-leading, compact physical footprint -- has a seat on the G3 juggernaut of a train, which comes with the impressive 76.4% screen-to-body ratio. Indeed, despite its intriguing, but large, 5.5-inch screen, LG has managed to fit the G3's glass into a super-compact body that measures in at 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm (5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches), and weighs 149 grams (0.35 oz). That's an impressive (and important) feat that may help LG sway and win over the hordes of people that shudder at the thought of the phablet form factor. 

Speaking of form, the G3 has seen a small evolutionary step forward with its metallic-looking, matte plastic design. The bottom side of the phone has now taken the shape of a more aggressively-rounded arc, and one could argue that the G3's façade is even easier on the eyes when compared with its predecessor. At the back, we have another set of changes, with the G-line's now signature rear buttons sporting a new, less-pronounced look and tactile-friendly mesh texture finish. The rear also makes room for two other openings, but more on those later.

The LG G3 will come in five color options: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet, and Burgundy Red.

Display, processor, battery, and the need for these to be viewed together

Without a doubt, the 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 (QHD) pixel resolution display on the LG G3 is its most standout feature. The LG-made IPS panel in question is truly astounding with its picture clarity, thanks to those 538 pixels per every inch. What's more, the company claims the unit is 100% true to the sRGB color space, meaning that, in theory, it can reproduce every color packaged into the standard. That said, this doesn't necessarily mean a perfectly color-accurate image in practise, and this sure isn't the first time we hear such a claim.

Obviously, the topic of QHD displays on smartphones has been widely-discussed already, and quite a few people have voiced their concern. Indeed, in most use case scenarios, you won't really be able to make much of a difference, as your eyes will be unable to discern as fine a detail. Furthermore, the panel will require a lot of horse power out of the 2.5GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974-AC) chip, especially when playing games, though synthetic benchmarks don't paint a concerning picture. 

But pushing the processor also means higher power draw, which is an uncomfortable thought, especially now that we're finally entering the promised land of battery efficiency. However, according to LG at least, the removable, 3000 mAh cell of the G3 has gotten rid of some of the metal inside, and has seen to it that it's replaced graphite instead. This, along with alleged further optimizations, will apparently let it keep the lights on past midday. Let's hope so.

Improved camera with laser beam-guided auto focus

Star Wars geek or not, there's no denying the cool factor inherent to lasers. And the G3's camera unit has that, believe it or not. Indeed, the 13-megapixel shooter (1/3.06'' sensor) makes use of a laser beam-guided auto focus that will help it measure the distance between an object and itself, thus outputting properly-focused shots in a a more consistent manner. Even in low light scenarios. As far as we're aware, this is an industry first, so we're unsure of how exactly it will play out.

Oh, and for those wondering, the G3 uses the OIS+ image stabilization tech that debuted with the G Pro 2, and largely improved on the original OIS gizmo in the G2.

There are other changes and improvements too. For example, the camera software will now instantly snap a photo as soon as you tap to focus. What's more, the 2.1-megapixel front-facing selfie cam has seen improvements in image sensor and aperture size (f/2.0), though LG didn't go into too many specifics. In terms of video, the unit supports 4K resolution capture Lastly, LG claims the software will use the G3's microphones to analyze the environment and pick an optimal audio level when shooting video in order to provide clearer sound with clips.

A redesigned, flatter UI with new features

The current LG Optimus interface is not beloved by everyone, and for a good reason: it can be truly cluttered with options both gimmicky and useful, not to mention that its cartoonish looks are not everybody's cup of tea. This latter fact feels especially pronounced now that most manufacturers have transitioned to flatter interface designs. The good news here is that LG, as rumored, has taken cue, and the G3 will be shipping with a redesigned version of the interface, with -- surprise, surprise -- flatter, cleaner looks, and a less imposing heap of quick options and the like. 

The new, Android KitKat 4.4.2-based software also brings a few new features to the table, most interesting of which is Smart Notice. Initially identified as LG Concierge during the G3 rumor phase, Smart Notice is something of a context-aware personal assistant with natural language capabilities. In simpler terms, the feature will remind you of things like missed calls and that you'll probably want to return them, or suggest you grab an umbrella, as you're in for a rainy day.

LG also took the chance to advertise its improved keyboard, which it now calls Smart Keyboard. Unsurprisingly, Smart Keyboard learns from your typing habits like many third-party solutions do, which then allows it to offer relevant next-word suggestions. Lastly, LG's security layer, now dubbed Smart Security, will include features like the G Pro 2's Knock Code (lets you unlock the device when you correctly reproduce a pre-set pattern of taps anywhere on the screen), Content Lock (hides files you deem important from prying eyes), and Kill Switch. As its name suggests, the Kill Switch is a last resort, anti-theft mechanism that will see your G3 completely disabled, and its contents wiped remotely.

Price and release date

LG is keeping mum on pricing, and it hasn't been very descriptive when it comes to a proper release time frame, either. That said, we're told to expect two versions of the LG G3 to embark on a global marathon starting May 28th in South Korea, and eventually grace the waves of some 170 carriers worldwide -- one with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, and another with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM (this one could be for the South Korean market only).

Of course, information in demand often manages to find its way to the public, and third-parties have already shed some light on the above essentials in LG's stead. For starters, the four major US carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- have already confirmed that they will be carrying the G3. What's more, we can confirm that one European country -- Bulgaria -- will see the G3 made available to consumers as early as June 26th, meaning that we should see the new flagship start flying off the shelves in certain regions around the globe in the coming month. Lastly, the first clues as to the price tag we can expect to see dangling off the G3's side have also been provided by UK's Clove Technology e-tailer, which has the handset for grabs at £499, including VAT.

Related phones

  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Awesome phone!

8. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Now I want that phone!! Don't tell my Z2 haha

24. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Nothing about water and just resistance? Where is that LG guy who proclaimed to be a worker in LG korea? he was saying g3 will be water and dust certified...

2. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Phone looks good.

3. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

Truly a nice looking device. M8, Z2 and now the G3, super phones indeed.

4. MarkArigayo

Posts: 240; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

The new star has born....

5. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Not impressed honestly, unlike last year.

15. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1277; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Exactly... Even LG's G2 with snapdragon 800 + 1080p display will have better performance than G3's Snapdragon801 + QHD, as both are having same GPU adreno330, but G3 pushing more pixels... So go for G2 instead of G3, imho...

26. user996

Posts: 221; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

adreno 330 in snapdragon 801 is 40% more powerful than in snapdragon 800 so about same performance may be

6. maddy996

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

such a great job by |g,specially tha side bezel totally like it and waiting to play with it. .. :-*

7. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 2014

Ok another 801 processor big deal I'm waiting till a phone has a processor that no other phone can have for a few months that makes a phone different from other androids the display ok it's nice and crips but 2k-4k would of been nice to be the first theses phones are all the same getting really bored I'm Done spec chasing.

11. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

In the world of tech, spec chasing is very normal way of life :/ it really sucks but that's just something we have to get used to live with.

16. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Here's what you can do: buy the Note3 or S5 Exynos non LTE and install custom Rom and Kernel, overclock the A15 CPUs from 1.9ghz to max 2.7Ghz. "Be warned battery will rinse 35% more and phone will reach 55+degres and you won't be able to touch the 4 square inch area, but what also you can to is put a cover on" Their you go the phone will be way much faster than the S805.

9. Epicness1o1

Posts: 312; Member since: May 30, 2013

Ohh yeah

10. abhishek0061

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

Its simple awesome but camera should be better tha 13 mp U have to learn from them samsung

12. Takeharu

Posts: 288; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

So it's basically an OPPO Find 7 with the LG skin on top. Cool.

13. coldfire

Posts: 8; Member since: May 06, 2014

Well I think Samsung should learn from lg............ They should bring OIS and laser beam to their smartphones... Would be useful in low-light senarious where samsung camera phones really struggle a.k.a suck

14. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I want that grey one that looks silverish!!

17. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

Still not the phone with the best screen-to-body ratio. And if you consider the softkeys eating some space on the screen you get almost the same size as the Galaxy S5 (without the water resistance)

18. farhad_per

Posts: 128; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

Nice design but I think it's alittle wide and 5.5 is in phablets class I wish it was 5.2..! Adreno 330 isn't very good for QHd screen..! Want to see scores....! And specially battery life..!

19. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Since it's plastic made to look like metal, does it automatically get all the hate like Samsung does from the metal phone fanboys?

20. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Wow...looks awesome...I may buy this if the OPO phone does not pan out...

21. OmarKS

Posts: 31; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

awesome, truely awesome. But the 16gb model could have 1080p screen. Also, I hoped for IP cirtification :(

22. Scomii

Posts: 25; Member since: Nov 22, 2013

Oppo Find 7 still rules gona buy that when it becomes intentional. Hope it goes international soon.

23. livyatan

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

Looking past the fanfare and initial hype the fact stands out - apart from the screen size and resolution, this is the least improved flagship compared to previous generation. Basically its predecessor can still put a hell of a fight against it, considering that it is more compact, and has the better pixel /processing power ratio!

25. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Someone that harps about Flat UI being copied has missed this article.....shocking. I like the large removable battery.....wonder if someone will make even larger replacements...

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