LG G3 initial impressions
|Image: Android Central|
We've seen Sony's Xperia Z2, Samsung's Galaxy S5, and HTC's One M8. Now it's time to take a quick look at the next major Android flagship of 2014, LG's G3. The G3 was quite possibly the most anticipated phone of the year thus far. The G2 of last year was a welcome break from the traditional smartphones we are used to, thanks in no small part to the rear-mounted power and volume buttons. With the G3, we knew we would be getting the same thing, but everyone was also intrigued by LG's 1440p screen that would be coming on the G3, and something to do with lasers. Ever since the LG-made Nexus 4 launched, people have been looking at LG in a different light. They are no longer known as that company that made that square phone (although, a successor is coming for some strange reason). LG are now very much a major Android OEM, and the G3 just cements their place in the spotlight.
LG are the best when it comes to this. The amount of bezel around the display is just so minimal, they can make a large-screened device smaller than other phones with a similar sized screen. At 5.5", the display on the G3 is not small, but because of the tiny bezels around the display, the phone is no larger than the One M8 or the Z2, both of which have 5" displays, and only slightly larger than the 5.1" Galaxy S5.
Still 13MP, but a better camera experience
I've always pointed out that megapixels aren't the absolute indicator of a camera's quality, which is why I'm glad that LG decided to focus on other areas of the camera instead of just increasing the megapixel count, which they didn't. The camera still has 13MP, similar to last year's G2, but this year the G3 comes with improved optical image stabilisation (dubbed Advanced OIS+), a dual-LED flash, and a new Laser Auto Focus that helps the camera focus faster than other flagships. Better camera experience without a megapixel bump. Good job, LG.
|Image: LG G3 Product Movie|
I'm a huge fan of wireless charging. Being able to charge your phone just by placing it on a charging pad, without the hassle of picking up a wire and plugging it in is a convenience that I really appreciate. While other OEMs like Samsung and Sony charge consumers for this convenience, I'm happy that LG continue to provide wireless charging on their phones. I really wish other OEMs would do the same.
The correct navigation button layout
Not too long ago I made a post about how we finally have a consistent user experience across all Android flagships (expect Samsung phones) with regards to the navigation button layout. LG already had on-screen buttons with the G2, and even though it was customisable, the "correct" Android layout just wasn't an option. That's changed with the G3, and we finally have the proper navigation button layout.
|LG finally gets it right. Image: GSM Arena|
As I've said before with regards to the Z2 and the One M8, I'm not a fan of overly large smartphones. And even though the G3 is smaller compared to other devices with a 5.5" display, and similar in size to devices with smaller displays, it's still a large phone. Hopefully the successors to the Moto X and Nexus 5 will be a bit smaller than what we already have this year.
|Smaller than other large phones, but still a large phone. Image: PhoneArena|
Now, this isn't really a "bad" thing, but I just think it's excessive and unnecessary for so many pixels to be in a smartphone display. LG said that it won't have a significant effect on battery life, thanks to their battery optimising 3A technology. With this technology, LG said users can expect similar battery life from their 1440p G3 as they would any other 1080p smartphone. But just imagine how much better the battery life would've been if LG had all this battery saving tech in the G3, and a 1080p display instead of 1440p. Battery life is the weakest link when it comes to smartphones, so what's the point of improving battery life, only to negate it by adding more pixels to the display?
The two problems I have with the G3 are personal preferences, and it's highly likely that other people aren't bothered by them. The software is an issue I chose not to write about, mainly because I have nothing good or bad to say about it. In any case, the G3 will probably be one of the best smartphones of the year. LG's G2 was one reason why the company was awarded the title of Most Innovative Company at this year's MWC, and with the G3 looking like a good candidate for phone of the year, LG might very well keep that title at the next MWC too.