[Review] 10 days with LG’s newest flagship – the G3

While I’m not ready to give my full review of the “latest and greatest” Android flagship to hit the market, I have spent 10 days now with the G3 as my daily driver.  So what you will be getting in this installment from the Two Tech Geeks is more like a first impressions and mini-review, with a little more in depth info to follow in the coming days.  But for now, sit down and hold on – you are about to be taken for a ride by one of the most powerful Android devices to hit all the major carriers in some time.

I’m gonna try something new: in the past, you’ve gotten a chance to hear my thoughts on how new devices we’ve reviewed Look, Feel, and Work.  Sometimes that’s not good enough to describe all the things I like (or don’t like) about a particular device, so I’m going to try a more expansive thumbs scale – each of the Two Tech Geeks have two thumbs, so I’ll have essentially 5 points to give:  2 (geek) thumbs up, 1 thumb up, no thumbs, 1 thumb down, or (the worst of all possible worlds) 2 thumbs down.  If you stuck with me this far, then good on you.  So let’s dive in:

2 Thumbs Up

The specs are cutting edge for mid year 2014, with the G3 sporting a Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and an astonishing Quad HD 5.5″ display (2560×1440) – just for fun LG tossed in a 3000mah battery and an external micro SD card reader supporting sizes up to 128GB.   Its almost like someone at LG said “what does everyone say the superphone of the future should have?” and then went and put all the replies into one device.  Needless to say, this thing is a monster.  The display boasts amongst the highest ppi count of any device on the market, and has an almost unnatural sharpness with text to it.  Several other sites have commented on this “artificial sharpening” effect in greater detail, but suffice it to say you wont miss any detail of anything that’s viewed on this screen.  

Improvements to the internal specs weren’t the only upgrades LG did.  Most folks biggest gripe with the back of the G2 was the way the polycarbonate picked up fingerprints and oils like a magnet.  The metallic skin on the back of the G3 corrects this problem, and the so-called “floating arc” curve to the back makes for a much more pleasant user experience.  And even though it is a fair bit larger than the G2, LG did an amazing job of jamming this 5.5″ display into a form factor not much bigger than the Galaxy S5.
 1 Thumb Up
*Battery Life
*Overall Size

The battery life of a necessity took a hit coming from the G2.  The battery capacity is the same from G2 to G3 (3000mah) and even the optimization of the S801 can’t help the sheer size and pixel count of the G3’s display.  Now, this doesn’t mean the G3 gets terrible battery life; in fact, far from it.  Its in the “almost but not quite as good” as the G2, but all but the hungriest power users will get a full day off of one charge, and still have juice left before throwing it back on the charger.  I’m typically seeing between 4-5 hours of screen on time and usually 16-18 hours off of one charge, which is slightly less than the G2 but still well into the “very acceptable” territory for battery life of a flagship phone.  Especially one where you are getting an upgrade in most ways from the G2.
Overall size of the G3 is impressive based on the screen to size ratio, with it comparing favorably to the Galaxy S5 in footprint, even though the S5 bears with it only a 5.1″ display.  It IS big, don’t get me wrong, and its more of a 2 handed device than a 1 handed.  This may turn off some folks, and there is a segment of the market that won’t go above a 5 inch display in their phone.  Still, there is a demand for large screen “phablet” phones and if you are one of these, the G3 might be right up your alley.  The camera is excellent, and compares favorably to the G2, but it isn’t an upgrade really, and the OIS+ is impressive but benefits video takers mostly, not still shooters.  It garners only one thumb up for being only “just as good” when so many other things about the G3 are better than its predecessor.
I would move on to the no thumbs and thumbs down, but honestly, there really aren’t any other things to dislike here.  Things like keys on the back of the device, laser auto focus, and colors available are all personal preference items, or items that are mostly irrelevant to how well the G3 does what it does.  It’s available on all 4 major carriers and should honestly be a strong candidate for “Smartphone of the Year – 2014.”  I will take a more detailed look at how the G3 does what it does in the days to come.  Anyone who isn’t put off by the footprint, size, and form factor should absolutely be impressed by LG’s G3, and I encourage everyone to check it out.   Cheers!

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