Wednesday 27 August 2014

Review of the LG G3 Phone

Over the last month or so I have been using the LG G3 phone which only launched a couple of months ago and is hailed as being one of the most impressively speced handsets on the market. It features a near bezel-free design, a 5.5-inch Quad HD display with a Snapdragon quad-core processor, 2GB of ram and a 13-mega pixel rear-mounted camera.

So what did I a devoted iPhone user and novice phone reviewer think? Well, in a nutshell I was far more impressed with it than I thought I might be. Let me tell you about it -

The screen resolution is fantastic
It is an absolute joy to watch a video or look at pictures on this phone. The quad HD screen really does what it is supposed to and you can see the difference from my iPhone 5C. The resolution on this screen is 538 ppi, which is what is commonly used to print high-end glossy art books

One touch photography
The 13mp camera is so easy to use, you have the option of no buttons and you can have the full 5.5" screen to look at and then tap with your finger to focus and shoot. Or alternatively tap the 3 dots and the controls appear on screen. There are a few nice options like magic focus, voice activated photo taking or selfies taken when the photo recognises your hand in front of the screen, so you don't have to worry about pressing the button and looking good! Also the OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) function reduces blur and shaking, with the laser measuring the distance to the object instantly to create clear and exquisite pictures. I also love how easy it is to share pictures straight from the camera roll, no need to go into Instagram or Google + (or any other social media site) you can share directly with just a few tiny actions.

Take a look at a couple of the pictures I took on the phone (with no enhancement) -

and just so you can see the quality of the images taken with the front facing camera, here is a selfie -

The phone looks really good
Available in three different metallic colorways, the LG G3 looks the business. One side is completely glossy screen the the other is the metallic finish. Sadly the metallic finish is on polycarbonate and whilst this makes the phone light and I believe has connectivity benefits too, it just feels a bit light and cheap to me. I also got a couple of small scratches quite easily.

Another benefit is that the back is really easy to get off the phone and this means you can insert a Micro SD card to increase memory capacity (up to 128GB) and change the battery if necessary.

It is a very big phone though, with a 5.5" screen it is practically a small tablet and I suppose it just comes down to personal preference. For watching videos and viewing images and web pages it makes things a lot easier but for storing the phone in a pocket or being really portable it is not so good.

Easy to use interface
Considering I've never used an LG phone before I was surprised how intuitive I found the phone to use, the controls at the bottom of the screen are pretty much the same as on my girls Samsung Tab 2 tablets. It was really easy to set up using the wizard which came up first time I plugged it in to charge and arranging the home screen was just like using my iPhone.

It all looks very ascetically pleasing with muted colours and I could add my own photos as wallpaper and screen save as you would expect.

The on/off switch and volume controls are on the back which at first I did not like but once I read I could tap the screen twice to turn it on and tap the status bar twice to make it go to sleep I was happy.

Intuitive keyboard
I was surprised how much of a difference it made to me having letters and numbers on one page of the keyboard, rather than having to toggle between the two. Something so simple but so helpful. It is also good that the keyboard gets to know you and the way you type, so it starts to predict your common typing errors and will start to allow for these. Auto-complete and auto-correct are easy and quick as well.

Not too fussy
By this I mean the phone did not come pre-installed with tons of apps that I don't want and can't delete. I love the fact I can really customise this phone to have just what I want on it. I can delete the pre-installed apps if I so desire and the Google play store is easy to use and download from. It would be better if there was some kind of password attached to downloads though.

Good enough battery life
The LG G3 has a 3,000mAh cell battery which can handle the strain the high resolution screen and fast processor puts on it. Using it for the whole day for social media, web browsing, texting and note taking meant the battery lasted me about a working day (8 hours) and then it needed a full charge again.

Decent sound quality
The 1 watt speaker with boast amp is good enough for a phone, it made a change to not need to add bluetooth speakers for decent quality sound.

Fast working and plenty of space
You could feel the quality of the processor on this phone as internet browsing is so fast and the phone comes with 16GB of memory as standard and you can add in a Micro SD card to take that up to 128GB if you need to.

Smart Notice
Can you believe that this phone tries to pre-empt what you might need, based on previous behaviour and interactions with the phone? It might ask you if you want to call someone back whose call you missed or if you want to switch wi-fi on. It is very clever and a little unnerving too! I did smile when it reminded me to take my umbrella out with me and then of course I didn't and got rained on!

Knock code
When you set up your LG G3 you are encouraged to set a knock code, which will wake the phone up and also act as a pass code to give you access to use it. You basically have a 4 quadrant grid and need to tap in 4 places to break the code and I like the idea of this but I kept forgetting the knock code so I had to turn it off and put a traditional number password on, I suppose that is because it is what I am used to using.

In all the LG G3 is a really great phone. If you like a big high-resolution screen, effective and easy to use point and click camera and lightweight phone then this could be for you. A new LG G3 is currently retailing for £357 on Amazon.

As mentioned at the beginning I really am a novice at this tech thing and can only give a perspective on the parts of the phone that I have experienced. If you want to read some more in-depth reviews of the LG G3 then check out Tech Radar or Know Your Mobile.

Disclosure: I received the LG G3 handset free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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