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DL Answers Your Questions About the LG G3

LG G3

On Friday, we received an LG G3 to review, but we know many of our readers don’t feel like waiting for us to pump out a full review, which usually takes 1-2 weeks. To help kill time, we opened up the DL hotline, giving you a chance to ask us anything you wanted to know about the phone.

Clearly, everyone wants to know about four major things – the display, battery life, how it feels in hand, and LG’s new skin.

We have had the device for four days now, and have a pretty good feel for everything this Korean model of the G3 has to offer, so check out our answers to your top-rated questions below.

How’s the Quad HD display? Worth the hype?

I think that’s the biggest question concerning this device? Does a smartphone actually need a QHD display? With a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the G3 has the highest resolution of any smartphone released in the United States. Sadly, but not in a bad way, it’s painfully obvious to notice this fact. As of this writing, content to consume on a QHD display is limited, especially for smartphones. While you can find yourself a 4K wallpaper, which will look great, anything else you view (apps, games, YouTube videos, MLB At Bat streams) won’t take advantage of this hardware.

Maybe in a few years, when QHD becomes the new standard, and mobile app developers and content creators are making higher resolution a priority, these types of displays will be useful. However, like all things that were first of their kind, we need to start somewhere. I applaud LG for taking the leap into QHD, getting the ball rolling on introductions of new technologies for smartphones.

In terms of purely looking at the display, it is easily one of the best viewing experiences on a smartphone I have ever had. My fingers are crossed that more higher-res content is created for G3 owners to enjoy.

How’s the battery?

It is hard to say exactly how the battery is, since we have been given a Korean model, which is running on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. When not on WiFi, I am pulling speeds of 13MB down and 3MB up, which seems a tad slow in comparison to what I am used to. I am thinking the device is not optimized for the networks here, and that may directly relate to lower-than-expected battery life. However, when on a mix of WiFi and LTE, this device surprised the heck out of me. From the mornings around 9am to 11pm, the phone handles a full charge, with about 15% battery remaining. With the device featuring a QHD display, I was surprised at how well it kept a charge. Of course, your milage may vary depending on usage, network connection, and things like that.

It “only” has a Snapdragon 801. How’s performance?

I have been surprised as to the criticism of the Snapdragon 801. After seeing a few reviews of the device, it seems that everyone was hoping for a Snapdragon 805, meaning the 801 could never live up to expectation. Thankfully, my experiences have been nothing but positive in terms of performance, as the G3 feels responsive, handling mobile gaming like a champ. Even after seeing a few benchmarks posted on other sites, I found my results to be much different. Here are the results.

While a faster processor and more powerful GPU might have been nice, I feel that anyone who decides to pick up the G3 will be pleasantly surprised with its performance.

How does it feel in hand?

For being 5.5″, it’s completely manageable. Unlike the Galaxy S5 and One (M8), this device features little bezel, plus it has a very ergonomic feel to it. It feels right. While there will be plenty of people who claim it’s too big, I’m not one of them. Coming from a One (M8) and Nexus 5 as my daily drivers, the G3 feels awesome. My best answer would be to go feel the phone for yourself when it is launched in retail stores.

LG G3

Is it water resistant like the Galaxy S5? 

No, please do not dunk this phone in your pool, as it is not waterproof or even water resistant.

How’s the camera? 

The camera is so nice, we did a separate camera comparison post which you can read here. We placed the G3 against the Galaxy S5, One (M8), Nexus 5, and iPhone 5s. The results won’t surprise you, unless you thought the G3 camera was somehow going to be bad. To sum up that post, the G3 cameras is awesome. It has super fast auto focus and great color reproduction.

How is the rear-facing speaker?

While LG promoted the speaker at the G3’s unveiling, something only HTC is known for doing with BoomSound, I don’t find it to be all that awesome. Being a BoomSound fan myself, there is no doubt that those dual front-facing speakers beat out any other smartphone in terms of audio quality. The G3 does get loud, but the sound is rather harsh on the ear, featuring nothing but high ends. Even after bumping a few rap tunes, low end on the G3 speaker is hard to come by.

How does the display do in direct sunlight?

The G3 display can be set very high, so viewing in sun should not be a problem. However, I think the One (M8) does a bit better in direct sunlight, as its top brightness setting is ridiculously high.

Phones in sunlight

How is LG’s skin?

You know, it’s not that bad. LG’s skin has been evolving, much like Samsung’s TouchWiz, and it’s only getting better. While their launcher is basically unusable, as it tends to lag up just a tad, the overall settings menu, gallery app, camera app, and other necessary system applications all look just fine. As a major non-fan of OEM skins, LG has done alright in my book. However, a two finger pulldown is not present, even though the phone is running Android 4.4.2. I enjoy the pulldown to view all of my system toggles, so for me, this was a con.

Does it feature wireless charging?

The device does not come out-of-the-box with wireless charging capability. You will need to buy LG’s QuickCircle case for that functionality.

How much storage is available to user out of the box?

I was given the 32GB model, then after downloading my apps and setting the device up, I have about 21GB left. The system data takes roughly 6.5GB right off the bat, so be aware of that if you plan on purchasing a 16GB model. This move is nothing new from companies, and Samsung is still the worst, usually taking around 8-10GB of storage with their skin and applications.

If you have any follow-up questions, I can answer them in the comments below.

  • Guest

    My dad said a verizon guy told him it would be 200 and would also come with a tablet.

  • gu

    “When not on WiFi, I am pulling speeds of 13MB down and 3MB up, which seems a tad slow in comparison to what I am used to.”
    I wish I get your slow 13 megabytes per second down and 3 megabytes per second up on LTE. That’s 104 megabits per second down and 64 megabits up.

  • Shawn

    Why isn’t anyone doing a water resistance test on this phone? I understand LG didn’t get it IP certified but we still would like to know how well it handles water. I never saw an IP certification for my XT912 but it can go underwater for a quick dunk without issues.

    Please, water test this thing! Drop test would also be a nice addition while you’re at it.

  • Ana

    Soo, when can we see your full review, droid life :) ? I’ve been waiting patiently haha.

  • mortuus

    Horrible crap phone it has so many flaws,, the screen is a big joke in sunlight and brightness and contrast is even better in G2, just that is has a high resolution doesnt make it a good phone… i dont see why anyone would buy this crap over a S5 or a Z2, atleast those are also waterproof and the lower resolution is better, not like anyone can see difference on tiny 5inch screens anyway from 1080… rofl..

    • JoshGroff

      As if it needed more over the S5 than just not running TouchWiz… You might be able to notice a difference aside from text crispiness, but yeah the screen resolution isn’t that big of a deal. The 3GB of RAM is definitely an improvement for multitasking.

  • Jeffrey Fazal

    Still I am not satisfied with the answer of its battery life. It is really confusing. However, according to me, its 3000mAh battery, after fully charged on qi charger is expected to be run throughout the day.

  • Ana

    Can you include something in youe full review regarding your experience wirh heat and maybe compare it to other phones on that matter? Thanks!

  • feztheforeigner

    I was for sure going to buy it. But… No wireless charging, no sell.

  • edude03

    Is the bootloader unlockable?

  • MannyLegacy

    Sooo,……Who thinks that this would be a good upgrade from my Galaxy Nexus??

    ………..Although at this point I think any phone would be a worthy upgrade lol

  • Synacks

    The question about the speaker still remains unanswered. We ALL know nothing compares to the Boomsound HTC speakers. But how does the G3 hold up against the GS5 and other phones? I can tolerate the GS5 speaker but I CANNOT imagine and would ever pay for anything worse than it.

    Please respond!

  • jzwerlz43

    Compared to all the other flagship devices released this year thus far, do you think this is the best device to upgrade to from my galaxy s3? I take a decent amount of otitis since I hike and ski a lot so I love taking scenery photos so a good camera is a must for me and I also want on screen buttons in my next phone plus good battery and expandable storage. So the HTC one is basically out and as of now it would be between this and the s5. Opinions between the two? Or should I wait and see what the rest of this year has to offer. I’ll be getting a new phone most likely before I go back to school in August

    • J

      I’m kind of in the same boat. Both devices should easily capture scenic photos. However, the S5 is better for active lifestyles due to the water/dust resistance but those backwards capacitive buttons are a dealbreaker. If only Samsung would move to onscreen buttons and allow you to customize the layout like LG. My advice would be to wait a bit longer and see the full NA model reviews of the G3. I keep hearing that battery life is great from reviews but Korean users reporting it’s absolutely garbage. Hard to make a decision with such variance.

  • Ajith S

    I’ve got a Galaxy S4 right now. And I really like it! (TouchWiz and it’s ‘shortcomings’ are rather bearable.)
    However, I’m thinking of switching phones soon – would you recommend this as a worthy successor? (I’m also curious, since I’ve used handsets from HTC and Samsung, and an Apple at work – but never been close to a G2 or G3.)

  • Trey

    How is viewing angles in direct sunlight?

  • Parkerthon

    15% at night? I have a G2 and it runs easily 24 hours without a charge(with frequent use) and I’ve made it 48 hours with lighter usage no optimizations necessary. It would seem to me that battery life on this model is significantly less than the G2. Why is everyone glossing over this issue? QHD was completely unnecessary for a 5.5″ screen and is an expensive, battery sucking, marketing ploy that sacrifices other improvements that could have been made. Damn Koreans and their “mine is bigger than yours” spec wars. Looks like it’ll be one and done with LG phones.

  • Uncle-Tiny Bryan

    I have a Note 2 right now.. was looking at the M8 you think i should wait for this to drop?

    • [[[...babysmoker...]]]

      YES!!!

      • Uncle-Tiny Bryan

        right on i think i will than thanks

  • RoboCop

    it would be the only mobile device I could watch my GoPro content with tho. Using it as the viewfinder would finally be awesome. My Moto X can’t even handle the 1080p clips

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  • yummy

    Way to go LG, I will vote with my money

  • trob6969

    As much as I’d like to buy this phone, I’m afraid i might get ‘buyer’s remorse’ once the upcoming Note 4 comes out so I think I’ll wait to see what it has to offer before buying my next phone.

  • Mike

    Do you think the 2 gig ram version will be as snappy and smooth?

  • 7592601

    Are the front touch buttons customizable as they were in the G2?

    • Arindam

      yes they are

  • Ana

    So, if the content is not available in QHD the which resolution will be showed? 1080p? If you want to change icons, they will show in 1080p unless they are specifically built for QHD resolution? Thanks a bunch for these answers, making the wait a little more manageable!

  • Josh

    .

  • Afc

    Should I get the LG G3 or the Oppo Find 7 (premium version)?

  • Arindam

    My question is if i run any app or game or video which is obviously not 4k.. will those be stretched out (like iphone apps on ipad)??

  • Babbs

    Does “app2sd” work with this phone? I know the Samsung s3 doesn’t as its my current phone and extremely frustrating when you run out of storage!

    • tiger

      If you’re not rooting and running stock software, then NO. Kitkat pretty much did away with any access to SD card except to store your photos and ripped movies. Basically, 128GB SD capability is PURE MARKETING.

      • STICKY

        You are so wrong. I am currently using kitkat on my LG GPRO and have full access to my sd card. I can put games on it, not just internal storage. I can move them back. If Samsung doesn’t let you sucks to be you, LG lets you.Please do the research and try them your self before posting. Cause samsung pays alot of money to reviewers to give bad reviews for anything but Samsung. Apple does the same.

        • tiger

          Really? Apple pays folks to give bad reviews on cometition?? PROVE IT. Show me evidence. ONLY Samsung dude. Get your head out of your ass.

          As for LG software, prove it. This is GOOGLE: http://www.androidcentral.com/kitkat-sdcard-changes

          Now, again, do you have STOCK LG software straight from LG and your carrier? Or is it a ROM?

          • tr

            He doesn’t need to prove anything. If you’re too dumb to use Google search then he would be wasting his time on you anyways.

  • Viench

    Does tap to pay work with google wallet?