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LG G3 Hands-on and Overview

We are live from LG’s satellite event in San Francisco, where the company showed off the brand new G3 to US press. We have been fortunate enough to receive hands-on time with the device, and so far, Kellen and I are both loving the G3.

If you have not been paying attention, the G3 features a 5.5″ QHD display (2560 x 1440), Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB or 3GB of RAM depending on the storage option, a 13MP OIS+ rear-facing camera, special Selfie camera on the frontside, 3,000mAh battery, an absolute ton of proprietary LG software, and comes running Android 4.4. To say it is a top-tier device might be a bit of an understatement at this point. 

Check out the full hands-on video and picture gallery below.

Full impressions post coming from K and I shortly.

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  • Ana

    So, what will happen if I change the icon pack or the ROM? Will they be QHD? Or does it have to be a specal ROM or icon pack that says that it’s specifically made for that resolution? Since ROMs are going to be specific for the device, I guess they will come by default in QHD, but how is it when it comes to icon packs?

  • Jon Rojas

    I was planning on buying the white variant, but the black version is so beautiful!

  • InvaderDJ

    I find it weird that the RAM differs based on the amount of storage you get. I hope that the U.S. carriers standardize on 3GB of RAM, changing such essential specs like that make the phone ripe for discontinued software updates after awhile. I can just imagine the story, LG says that they can upgrade the 3GB version but the 2GB version doesn’t have enough RAM to give an optimal experience so they are going to skip it all together….

    Other than that I’m surprised at how nice the phone seems. The hardware looks awesome. I was prepared to hate the faux metal look of the back of the phone but on the dark gray/gunmetal version it actually looks pretty nice and all the hands on I’ve seen said that it fees great. Even the software seems much improved. LG has a winner on their hands I think.

  • nosedive94

    I don’t like that multitasking window, but everything else I don’t like is fixable with a custom launcher.

  • chominggirl

    I can’t believe on it because of http://goo.gl/QBaHdV

  • needa

    i like how they did a strip of black at the bottom of the screen. it makes for better looking proportions.

  • ETPhoneHomeT

    Almost dropped it at 2:26. Kind of slippery? Too big for my tastes.

    • ETPHT

      That part made me laugh. At that very moment he’s defending the size as reasonable to navigate as he then drops it mid-sentence.

  • Godzilla

    I love everything about this phone except for the size ( I think I could get used to it though) because I dont really want anything bigger than the S4. The only other thing that bothers me is why do you have to buy the 32GB version to get more RAM? Stupid.

  • chris125

    Well according to an and tech it uses the same sensor for the camera as the g2. Not that impressive and camera samples haven’t really wowed me. Appears its all software so not really a huge upgrade over the g2

  • chris125

    Well according to anandtech it uses the same camera sensor as in the g2 from last year, so looks like all improvements are software based. Looking less and less like a monster phone. Samples don’t look that impressive

  • Scott Loucks

    Sorry but I was cringing a little bit, then picked up my Moto X and had a sigh of relief. So comfortable.

    • dogulas

      Save us Moto. You’re our only hope.

  • Such

    Since LG’s putting a removable battery in the G3 does anybody know if there’s going to be a standalone battery charger ala Samsung?

    • Justin Hall

      good question.. i imagine that’s something to come eventually.

    • Godzilla

      Third party

  • Cathrine Jhones

    A big change is the inclusion of wireless charging which we’re all for and want to see more of in smartphones http://goo.gl/QVImks

    • jpxa

      Um, I’d like the inclusion of you as a optional wallpaper. Jeez.

  • Bill

    Does this have 4K video???

  • duke69111

    I hope this comes with the stock android browser and not chrome like the verizon g2 did.

    • shooter50


      • duke69111

        The video above showed the stock android internet browser on the phone. The Verizon G2 came with Chrome browser only, which lacks the ability to use the QSlide feature. The stock android browser is better than Chrome in my opinion.

        • Swankieltd

          Stock android browser hasn’t been updated in awhile and is slowly dying in favor of Chrome.

  • Turb0wned

    These phones are way to big.

    • inklenotrump


  • King of Nynex

    I’m in the market for a new phone since I’ve run my G-Nex into the ground. IThe fact that there’s no buttons like Samsung products really intrigues me. I hate how Samsung jacks up the stock experience so much.

  • chris125

    Hopefully it is just pre-production software, but MKBHD said after awhile of using the phone it wouldn’t let him increase the brightness past a certain point.

    • shooter50

      Unfortunatey this is the same as the G2. Once it gets hot, it dims the screen and its something that drives me crazy. I was hoping the G3 wouldn’t do this since the LG flex doesnt dim like that. If this is truly the case with the G3, I will pass despite the fact that I want to love this phone. The S5 doesnt dim when hot, so I’ll stick with that and the Flex

      • needa

        they should be working on ways to cool the smartphone through hardware… not software.

        • dogulas

          Personally, I think if you’re not going to make the phone waterproof, you might as well put vents in the back. Not necessarily a fan (probably unnecessary) but places for hot air to escape.

          • needa

            indeed. they can drill a slew of itty bitty holes in it, then put on the waterproof coating also. like they did the og razrs and i assume just about every flagship produced.

  • bogy25

    So fast – wow – almost dropped the phone too lol

  • SerenityNow

    Question for Kellen – you’ve been ranting lately about phone sizes being too big and I agree with you. So considering that the G3 is the same height as the HTC One M8 and wider, what does the form factor feel like in your hand compared to recent phones like the M8, GS5, Xperia Z2, etc? My biggest complaint with the M8 is that it’s too tall, but I’ll readily admit it’s also got some weight to it because of the aluminum build. Does the relative lightness of the G3 help mitigate the height/width issues?

  • mcdonsco

    No mention whether that back is really metal or plastic? At this point I’m assuming plastic but…?

    • Ray


    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Plastic, with a special “metallic film” coating, so it’s technically a composite like the Kevlar back of the Droid series.

  • ryan

    Is it a Metal back?

    • Detonation


  • Jose Gonzalez

    Anyone else upset that sprint is getting gold exclusively?

    • Mike Aurin

      If I was a Sprint customer I would be upset…

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio


  • Such

    How’s the output on the speaker? Does the 1 watt label make a difference or is it just marketing jargon?

  • Mike Keck

    Speaker impressions!! Get it done

  • k

    Erica Griffin in the background :p

  • Ray

    Winner Winner chicken Dinner

  • MichaelFranz

    Probably most of us have Nova or some 3rd party launcher with touch gesture. I dont mind having to shimmy because I either do it out of habbit of just do a swipe down on the display to open the notification panel, double tap to open the app drawer. It seems ultra fast an smooth veyr much like the S5 when browsing through the phone and UI.

    • landon

      Speaking of Nova Launcher, a new beta build got pushed to the playstore. It’s alive! 😀

      • Ray

        thanks DL now

      • MichaelFranz

        REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLy…..here’s to hoping for OK Google support 🙂

        Edit: awww…not yet

    • stang68

      Are you trying to justify buying the device? lol

      And don’t think we didn’t notice the lag when Kellen hit the multitasking button 😛

      • MichaelFranz

        any skinned device is going ot have some small bit of lag. Honestly i turned the animations on my S5 to 0.5 instead of the standard 1.0 and i barely notice any lag now. it’s been much better. That and moving back to dalvik form ART. the ART just isnt as polished unless its run on a more pure stock UI. Like a motox/droid or nexus

        • jer85008

          ART is buggy as hell still and there are way to many apps that won’t run using it, agreed. And this was on a N5.

        • my moto x on ART is awesome

    • nosedive94

      The only thing that can’t be fixed by launchers and other apps is that god-ugly multitasking window and the offputting white background that appears on the Android nav buttons in some places.

  • sincityjohn44

    Looks nice

  • jbdan

    shimmey little! It really looks awesome. Chins look even smaller than the renders. Handful of screen!

  • Colin Huber

    The UI design honestly reminds me of Touchwiz.

    • John

      *with flatter icongraphy *minimal lines *lighter colours
      Basically different.

    • K

      But without the touchwiz lag

      • stang68

        Note the press of the multitasking button


        • Ray

          Stop trolling geez

    • Woe, Is [S]unjΔy

      Their old UIs were like TouchWiz but not this.

  • Steveo

    How’s the camera? One of my only gripes with the moto x…

    • K

      The G2’s camera was superior to the X. So I can only imagine this one would just obliterate it.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I’d say that statement is correct, but that fact is also kind of inherent. Last year’s technology, in smartphones at least, is rarely competitive with current devices. LG was actually already competitive with the G2 vs. the GS5 and M8, so the G3 is probably the reason that we would see these so-called “Prime” devices in summer, to get Samsung and HTC’s development cycle back in sync with that of Qualcomm.

  • Alec
    • Mind. Blown.

      I’ll never be able to look at the LG logo the same again (just like the FedEx logo) 🙂

      • sc0rch3d

        that damn arrow

      • SG

        just like the amazon logo

    • dannyWHITE

      Time to eat up the competition!

      • Biff Johnstone

        Not with the Adreno 330 driving that QHD. Laaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggg.

        • calculatorwatch

          Actually it looks totally fine so far so maybe wait before you make that call.

          Not every company is as inept as Samsung when it comes to making their UI run smoothly.

        • Adrynalyne

          Considering it showed little to no slow down in the video, I’d say you are trolling.

      • Android_Silver_Phones_Tablets

        its display is STUNNING.
        its UI is not unique enough and its “metallic” design is actually CHEAP AS HELL, it’s ugly.
        Only the gray version is looking slightly – SLIGHTLY – better.

        +G3 is not bad, sometimes even very good, but it is not enough to start “eating” SAMSUNG, which is almost a synonym of Android.

        if SAMSUNG releases S5 Prime in June, then G3 is almost doomed.

        Android Silver smartphones.
        Android Silver Tablets.
        Android Silver wearables.

        • SG

          stock UI is rarely used if you are aware of launchers.

      • michael arazan

        Queue Namco lawsuit 3..2..

    • Woe, Is [S]unjΔy

      I never realized that the LG logo looked like a PacMan.

  • Defenestratus

    Hrmmmmm first impressions of Kellen whipping around the screens is that I detects teh lag.

    • The Narrator

      Didn’t see any lag, and look at MKBHDs video of it gaming. Flawless.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        He has gaming videos up? Wtf? ***mosey’s over to YouTube**

    • SG

      the lag is most likely in the upload from the camera thats recording the video .. not the g3 itself

    • No lag. So far, very nice performance experience.

      • Justin Hall

        Tim.. whats up with the purple and burgundy colorways?!?! any news on that??

        • Arian

          Honestly those colors sold me on the device.

    • rawr

      Shame that the people you allegedly saw lag from just told you there wasn’t any. Should probably delete your lies. Also you should probably be running around outside instead of typing. Dogs shouldn’t be typing.

  • Derek Duncan

    Google Play or unlocked?!

    • SG

      google play to avoid that verizon tramp stamp on front bezel

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Google Play to not have the same device at all

        • B Brad

          GPE/Google Play Edition for me. Didn’t see anything particularly worthwhile in the videos, google now handles much of the customized functionality that I’m interested in.

  • Brandon Nicholson

    Do they have all of the colors there?

  • The Narrator

    That thing is gorgeous.

    • stang68

      Device looks amazing. But that software…

      • The Narrator

        Much cleaner.

        • Dat Lag

          PC Mag:

          “Smart Notice and home screen transitions went a little more
          slowly than expected; I can’t tell if that was timed on purpose, though,
          or if processing complex 4K-resolution transitions is really dragging
          down the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor.

          I’m also cautious about the phone’s vaunted laser autofocus,
          though. The G3 has a 13-megapixel camera which is supposed to be
          super-duper fast to focus. When I was handling it, though, it didn’t
          seem to be instantaneous by any means; focusing took a noticeable time
          like on any “normal” smartphone.”

    • OF

      Heh. First time we can actually agree 🙂

    • M Goose

      I wish LG would have made that fake metal black look less plastic like.

      The old chip is another story.

    • Steve

      Does it have sapphire glass and a liquid metal body?

      • dogulas

        Liquid magma body actually.

  • SeanPlunk

    How does the screen look compared to the G2?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      I don’t really think it’ll be comparable.