Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

LG G3 review: Good phone, but not a worthy successor to the G2

LG G3 Review The LG G3 costs Rs. 47,990 for the 16 GB version and Rs. 50,990 for 32 GB version.
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Posted: August 7, 2014 1:53 pm | Updated: August 7, 2014 8:59 pm

Coming a year after the success of the LG G2, the LG G3 was among the most awaited phones of 2014. The phone has thankfully come to India soon after its global launch, indicating that the Korean company has finally woken up to the potential of the Indian smartphone market thanks to the popularity of its Google Nexus 5. But is the LG G3 a worth successor to the G2 and can it be relevant at a time when the Indian market and consumers seem to be veering towards more value for money Android phones like the Asus Zenfone 5 and the Xiaomi MI3.

Specs: 5.5-inch Quad-HD (2560x1440p; 538ppi)| 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor | 3GB RAM | 16GB internal memory + 64GB external | micro SIM | 13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, Full HD video recording | 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, DLNA, NFC, Miracast | 3200mAh battery | Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Price: Rs. 47,990 for the 16 GB version and Rs. 50,990 for 32 GB version

Design: The LG G3 has a very simple, but functional design. Like in the G Flex, the volume and power buttons are on the rear flap where your finger naturally rests and this makes the phone very easy to handle despite its large frame. Above this is the camera, flanked by the two LED flashes. The rear flap has a very stylish brushed metal finish which also seems to give it a better grip. A metallic ring holds the phone together. However, this rim juts out a bit from the level of the display and is a bit of an irritant on the ear when you are making long calls.

Screen: This is definitely the hero feature of the phone. There is just one other phone, the Oppo Find 7, that has a Quad HD display in the market. Try playing one of the pre-loaded 2K videos and you will see how this display is stunning. But there is nothing much else that you can use this spectacular display for as Quad HD content is not easily available. Still, you will enjoy streaming videos or watching movies on this display. For a change the speaker quality of the phone is also very good and lives up to the expectations of a 2K screen.

Performance: With a top of the line 2.5 GHz processor you would expect the G3 to be a stunner in the performance department. But then this phone ends up being one of those students who is always in the top five, but never really tops the class. That is because there seems to be a slight reluctance at times to do stuff, a pause that is just short of becoming a nagging lag. That is why strangely this phone has a benchmark score below its predecessor, the LG G2. Even that is a great score, but we would expect things to get better after a year. To the phone’s credit is the fact that it does not heat up whatever it has been asked to do.

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Camera: The G3 camera packs a lot of new features. For instance it has a laser auto-focus, which is among the fastest I have used. It also comes with one touch click option which combined with the multipoint laser AF makes this among the fastest clickers around.

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That does not mean the pictures are always stunning. They are when the light is good and when you are near the subject — in fact, this camera is near stunning in macro. But when the subject is a away and the room is not well lit the results lack a lot of detail, which is disappointing. The dual flash is a big help when you are shooting in low light. But remember even the smallest blemish in the photograph gets accentuated on the 2K screen.

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Storage: The review unit was a 16GB version of which users get only 8.2GB. This means you will need to add a good micro-SD card, especially if you plan to carry around content to play on the 2k display of this phone. Thankfully, the external slot supports the largest cards in the market now.

Software: The G3 comes with a lot of good software tweaks which LG has perfected over the past few months. Among them is Knock Code, which in my books is the best way to protect your phone. There are many other tweaks that you see spread across the UI, which in itself is not much different from stock KitKat. The open apps screen for instance has a gridview instead of the traditional list. Plus, there a dual window mode which is good when you are multitasking along with the phone. The smart notification is a also very intuitive and keeps prompting you to do stuff that lets you make the best use of the phone. LG claims there are very few pre-loaded apps, but still it has ended up using half the storage space which is surprising.

Battery: The battery is good enough to last through a regular work day, that is if you do not play a lot of videos on the 2K screen. I managed to squeeze 12 hours out of the 3000 mAh, which meant I did not need to charge the phone while in office or in the car.

Connectivity: No issues with connectivity.

Verdict: The LG G3 is a good top-end smartphone, if you haven’t seen or used the LG G2. Anyone looking to upgrade from the superb G2 are in for some disappointment. For others this phone has just about enough to justify its premium billing. For me this phone is a missed opportunity for LG… it could have offered a lot more.

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