LG G3 review: At Rs 47,990, a solid flagship Android smartphone

Price

47,990

Tech2 Rating

9

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LG G3 now in India
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By Roydon Cerejo /  23 Jul 2014 , 08:25:42

They say all good things come to those who wait and it seems like the G3 was quite worth the wait after all. With a launch price of Rs 47,990 for the 16GB version, the G3 is here for to satiate your flagship hunger. Here’s our review of LG’s flagship after a week’s usage.

Design and Build

Like all the current flagship Android phones, the G3 is a well-done evolution of the G2. The display size is larger at 5.5-inches but LG has managed to keep the dimensions closer to a 5-inch phone, which is highly commendable. This is now the second phone in India to sport an Ultra HD resolution of 2560 x 1440, pushing the pixel count to a maddening 534ppi. It’s an IPS LCD display and the brightness levels are very good making it easily legible outdoors. The colours don’t seem too accurate however when compared to Full HD IPS displays or AMOLED displays. The difference is only noticeable when compared however.

Stunning design and build
Stunning design and build

The phone feels elegant and premium to hold albeit quite slippery. This reminded us of the HTC One M8 a lot. Like the G2, there aren’t any buttons on the sides, just the IR blaster on the top and the USB and headphone jack down at the bottom.

The metallic back looks quite stunning
The metallic back looks quite stunning

The back portion sports a brushed metal finish, which looks and feels very plush. It is removable as well and the battery can be taken out, just like in the S5. The rear mounted buttons feel a lot more ergonomic as well when compared to the G2. It’s easier   to find the right button you’re looking for without fumbling too much.

The ports at the bottom
The ports at the bottom

There’s a mono speaker grille down at the bottom on the back, but the clarity and volume level is every bit as good as say, the Xperia Z2. Only difference being, it won’t do stereo.

The G3 looks and feels very grown up. It’s the second best looking flagship out there after the HTC One M8 and doesn’t feel cheap or shoddily put together in any way.

Features

Along with the new design, the interface has also undergone a major overhaul and finally, LG delivers a very aesthetically appealing UI. The new ‘flat theme’ is visible through the menus and icons. We really like the colour scheme and the look of the toggle switches and animations. Functionality-wise, LG has stuck with their tried and tested apps like QSlide and Quick Remote and has added a couple more to the mix.

The new interface looks slick
The new interface looks slick

You now have the option to lock personal files in your gallery so only you can view them. Smart cleaning scans your storage and lets you delete unwanted temporary files to make room for more space. The recent apps view is also presented differently, making it easier to see your previously opened apps.

Some of the extra apps bundled along
Some of the extra apps bundled along

The G3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset and it comes with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on which model you get. The phone isn’t strapped for power and there are oodles of it at any given point in time. We did find the 16GB version (which has 2GB RAM) start to stutter and choke a bit after a couple of days of usage. This would happen when animating the Smart Notice notification or sometimes, homescreen widgets would take a while to load after exiting an app. The cause of this could be the free RAM that’s available, which on average, hovers around the 400MB mark. It would be wiser to get the 32GB model which has 3GB of RAM.

Media

Media playback was spot on, both with the features and output. The re-designed player looks slick and is great to use. Apart from the equalizer presets, you can also adjust the pitch and speed of playback. You can throw music to a media server through the app as well and switch to the music video of the song you’re listening to.

In the 16GB model you have about 7.38GB of usable space. Don’t worry though as you can expand this up to 128GB via a microSD card. For days when any amount storage is not enough, FM Radio is also present.

Music playback is very good
Music playback is very good

Video playback is also excellent and you can playback up to 4K content as well. There’s no separate video player app but you can sort videos directly through the gallery. The loud speaker produces loud and very detailed sound, even at full volume. It’s just a shame it’s not stereo.

Connectivity

The LG G3 is one of the few phones in India to support 4G LTE when it rolls out. You also get quad-band 3G and 2G and the rest of the goodies like Wi-Fi ‘ac’, Bluetooth v4.0, IR, GLONASS, NFC, wireless charging and USB OTG. LG doesn’t include too much bloatware thankfully as you only get some handy tools like ThinkFree Viewer and some added security features like McAfee Security. You also get more LG apps through LG’s SmartWorld app store.

The multi-window mode in action
The multi-window mode in action

Camera

The 13MP OIS camera from the G2 has been tweaked and fettled about to deliver better pictures. We now have a laser-guided auto-focus which is really fast in locking focus in objects. The new interface is also much simpler to use and navigate through. Low-light performance is very good and better than the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, leaving it on par with the HTC M8. 4K video recording works well and you can even do slow motion at 120fps. What’s missing is a Full HD at 60fps mode.

The new minimalist look is very cool
The new minimalist look is very cool
Macro shot
Macro shot
Outdoor shot
Outdoor shot
Indoor shot
Indoor shot

Battery life

You’ll be happy to know that the 2K display doesn’t make as much of a dent in the battery life as the Oppo Find 7. You can still expect a full days’ worth of usage and then some. It’s not as good as the battery life of the G2 but it’s not terrible either.

Battery life is surprisingly good
Battery life is surprisingly good

Verdict and Price in India

At Rs 47,990, the LG G3 is a good pick as far as flagship Androids go. It has a rock-solid feature set backed up by very good design and build quality which makes it highly recommendable. The 2K display is not going to change your life to be honest and truth be told, we wouldn’t have minded the G2’s display as well,  which was quite brilliant to begin with. The reason we recommend the G3 over the others is for the camera, 4G that (will) work in India and premium look and feel.


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