I wanted the G3 because it really improved upon a great phone from 2013, the G2 from LG by fixing a few things and changing a few others. Plus, why not get a new smartphone every 6 months, amiright? Anyway, here are 5 additional thoughts to consider about the G3 as part of my review.
- The size and button configuration are going to be the only major roadblocks: While LG did an amazing (some might say magical) job of putting a 5.5″ QHD display in as small a form factor as they could, this is still a big device. Part of the “magicalness” of LG’s design puts the lock/vol up/vol down buttons on the rear of the phone, which does seem more intuitive, but only after you’ve used it for a while. If you are a fan of larger display smartphones, this should be high on your list (along with the soon to be released Galaxy Note 4, due out next month) – its sporting a bigger display than its main rivals the Galaxy S5 (at 5.1″) and the HTC One M8 (at 5″) but its roughly the same footprint as both.
- The QHD (1440p) display is amazing, but there really isn’t a use for it (for now): The display is one of the best out there in terms of sharpness and clarity – it’s not as bright as an AMOLED screeen (like the Galaxy S5) or some would say as accurate in color reproduction as other 1080p LCD panels (such as the HTC One M8) but it really is near the top in terms of viewing tech. However, there really isn’t much content out there to take advantage of the full power of this display, and probably won’t be for at least until 2015. While QHD is the direction most content production is going, we aren’t quite there just yet. So could you get by with a smartphone with “only” a 1080p display? Sure.
- LG’s new software setup is almost good enough to let it ride as is (almost): Everyone knows that the Two Tech Geeks are into the tinkering and the modding of just about every little detail of their phones. And on the G2, to remove both the hideous amount of bloatware and remove the almost comical icons, buttons, and other built in systems settings, I flashed a brand new custom ROM and put a new launcher on it as well (I personally prefer Nova Launcher myself) – LG not only listened to their customers issues with their hardware, but with their software as well. The new LG UI is lighter, less comic and more muted/earthtone-y, and features more intuitive and user friendly options. Now, for me, that’s still not enough, and back on the G3 goes Nova Launcher – but for those new to Android or looking to upgrade from an existing phone, I think you’ll find the stock software to be very cool and work in every way that you would expect it to.
- You never know how handy a removable back and battery are – until you need them: I’ve owned many (many) smartphones, and the only one that didn’t have a removable battery was the G2. Thanks to its impressive performance and terrific battery life, I never really needed to swap one out. But when one tinkers around with tech, occasionally one may have a need to do the proverbial “battery pull.” When you don’t have a way to do this…it can be a little scary at first. I found ways around it with my G2…but I’m really glad that my G3 has it. Even if the battery life is surprising good (which it is) there is some comfort in knowing that I have the ability to swap out batteries on an as-needed basis, whether its for charging purposes, or due to technical difficulties (including those I cause myself)
- Laser auto focus on a smartphone sounds like a gimmick – but it really works: I’ve said in my earlier review that the G3 camera was merely “as good” as the G2’s; for the most part, in terms of image quality, I stand by this. But after using the camera on the G3 more and more over the last few weeks I can tell you one thing – its a heck of a lot easier to use than the camera on the G2. The laser auto focus is fast and correct, and LG’s new camera UI literally takes point and shoot to a whole new level. The old saying goes “the best camera is the one you have with you” and the speed and clarity with which the G3 takes photos is a huge plus. Bonus point – the vol down button comes pre-set with a long press (even with the screen off) to launch the camera. This makes capturing those spur of the moment pics that much easier, and consequently, more rewarding.