LG G3 first impressions: Incredible display and camera knock off my Xperia Z2

LG G3 first impressions: Incredible display and camera knock off my Xperia Z2

Summary: I just bought a Sony Xperia Z2 last month, but after testing the new LG G3 for a few days I am ready to buy one as soon as it is available on T-Mobile.


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  • Xperia Z2, HTC One (M8), and LG G3

    LG announced the LG G3 a couple of weeks ago and sent along a Korean model for me to test out. Even though this device isn't optimized for the US and I can't read half of what is loaded on this device, the experience has been so good that I put my new Xperia Z2 up on Swappa for sale already.

    When I get a hold of a US carrier model I will post a full review, but for now I included some product shots, a couple photos I took with the LG G3, and a few screenshots to give you a feel for the device. Please let me know if you have specific things you want me to try and I will make sure to answer those questions in my full review.

    The LG G3 boasts one of the best displays we have ever seen before on a mobile phone. It's a 5.5 inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. With a 538 ppi, I doubt you can find a visible pixel anywhere on it and love the way that photos and movies look.

    I bought my Z2 due to the high quality design and construction, 20 megapixel camera, and waterproof capability. In preliminary tests I found the camera performs better on the G3 than on the Z2, which is one reason I decided to make the switch. I am also finding it is better for me to buy an official T-Mobile device that supports Wi-Fi Calling capability.

    Other reasons I like the G3 over the Z2 are the in-hand feel, edge-to-edge display (Sony wastes too much room at the top and bottom of the display), optical image stabilization, removable battery, and infrared port.

    I almost bought a G2 last year, but didn't like the fingerprint magnet glossy plastic and the design of the rear buttons where I kept hitting the volume instead of the power button. Thankfully LG improved the back with a nicer quality plastic that has a brushed metal look and finish. I am testing out a white model and think it looks great.

    The buttons are still on the rear, but they have been improved so that I no longer hit the upper and lower volume buttons while I can also easily find the center power button. I am becoming a back button believer as I find my fingers naturally lie on them when I hold the device. While I like having a dedicated camera capture button, you can hold the down volume button and rotate the G3 to launch the camera from a display off state.

    The ability to tap and turn on the screen was also improved with Knock Code where you create a custom tap code from three to eight taps in four quarters that helps to make your device more secure.

    There are plenty of settings and options on the LG G3 for you to fully customize the device. Settings are well organized and there doesn't seem to be too many to overwhelm the user. I hope to try out their QuickCircle case to test out this option and setting in the future too.

    The one I am testing has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot. I am hopeful that the T-Mobile G3 has this capacity available too since no flagship Android device should launch with 16GB.

  • Back of the Xperia Z2, HTC One (M8), and LG G3

  • LG G3 in hand

Topics: Mobility, Android, Reviews, Smartphones

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  • Crapware

    I got quite annoyed by my S4 when it not only came with a ton of unremovable crapware installed out of the box, but someone at Samsung decided that it would be a good move to install even more unremovable crapware with every update.

    Because of this I have to ask: How's the (unremovable) crapware situation on each of these phones, without root?
  • How does this reconcile with your Windows 8.1 article from Friday?

    There you stated Windows 8.1 was your new daily driver. Now you're implying you'll be back to Android with the LG G3.
    • This is my secondary phone at the moment

      I usually have a couple phones with me to test out apps, features, etc. My T-Mobile SIM is in my Nokia Lumia 1020 as my daily driver and an Android phone is in the bag ready to go when needed.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • that's the thing though.

        I didn't read your article before but most of us can't fan out a stack of smartphones and pick from like a deck of cards. That's why its important to pick the one best, for us. At this point, all of the top companies have quite mature smartphones. So its more about ecosystem, screen size and price

        If I had money to burn I might purchase different types of smartphones because i'm interested in mobile devices.

        I'd get an iphone but
        a. screen too small
        b. too expensive (I only buy flat-out)
        c. I don't like apple and don't want to support them.

        I'd get a windows phone but:
        a. doesn't have some apps I need
        b. I don't like MS and don't want to support them.
        c. too expensive (for the higher end ones)

        So there are definitely some political views in my choices, but I dont' pick android based phones just because I dont' like apple and MS, I do need and want the android OS for many many reasons, other than pure asthetics or app availability.
        • Great points. I too would go with Android if I only had 1 to pick.

          After finding a few apps that are missing on Windows Phone this past weekend (Regal Cinemas and Planning Center Online) there are limitations for me to use Windows Phone every day. I like WP as a communications device though, but completely understand the Android choice and thankfully can swap SIMs on a whim.
          palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
          • Any apps which allow you to export text messages?

            I like to archive them to my computer and I there wasn't a way to do so when I had my HTC 8x.
    • isn't the ppi here excessive?

      it seems that jobs is definitely wrong about what makes invisible pixel. back in iphone4 era people believe density over 300 ppi is a waste.

      so here you like g3's screen over z2's solely because of pixel density? if so i dont spot nothing different between 2k and 1080p with proper anti analyzing. or does it hit you because of better contrast or something?( where z2 has a good fame already)

      I personally prefer z2's design language and am ready to switch from z btw.
      • Like more for bezel and size, both great for viewability

        I like that the G3 doesn't have wasted space on the front. The displays on both are indeed excellent and I can't really tell a difference. Sony has too much waste above and below IMHO.

        The Z2 is a very well crafted machine and I will have to see if I get a decent offer for it or I may just keep it around. The waterproof design is also very nice to have.
        palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        • I don't know what you see in the Z2

          I have a Z1 and it's basically the same.
          I like the charging stand, only because having to undo the plug covers to charge it everyday would be annoying.
          I like the waterproofness.
          I like the camera.
          But thats about it.
          It has crappy onscreen buttons and pretty basic Launcher features which I find lacking compared to Samsungs always-swipable notifications and extensive customisations.
          No infrared remote, or S-pen, or multiwindows, or smart stay, no removable battery.
          I don't know what you see in the Sony phones, they seem pretty meh to me.
          Its all form over function.
          It's what an iPhone6 would be if it had Android.
    • If you have been following Matthew

      You would realize by now that he is a smart phone slut. He goes through them like hollywood actors go through wives.
  • I would have kept the z2...

    More because it is waterproof to an extent, which is more than I can say for the g3.

    That being said, those sorts of phones would be too big for my hands. z1 compact would be a better device for me.
  • LG G3 Serious Contender to Samsung, iPhone and WP....

    After weeks of WP and Surface garbage articles it is encouraging to see a true quality well featured product being released.
    • Surface garbage?

      Please elaborate, or are you just another MS hater?
  • 256 colours

    I see like all UIs one only needs 256 colours. Nice phone tho. Too bad about the UI.
    Arm A. Geddon
  • Reading

    I'm thinking of trading in my S4 for a phablet and the G3 is definitely in the running along with the Note 3. I'm wondering how the reading experience is as that's my primary purpose for a smartphone (besides using the phone to actually make calls). I love to borrow e-books from my local library and would like to have one device where I can do my reading and also take phone calls, texts and e-mails.
    • go directly to the 6.44-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra

      ...the largest-display phablet that fits in a shirtpocket (even with a slim case) and works on all TMobile and AT&T bands if you get the North American variants: C6806 or C6806 Google Play Edition.
      A coworker of mine uses a 4.8-inch Nexus 5 but just added a Nexus 7 tablet to his daily carry. WHY?
      • I almost bought an Ultra

        The dealbreakers were the excesively huge bezel on top and bottom, and yet no hardware buttons. No flash for camera or Torch function.
        And the camera is not as good as the Z1/Z2, and missing the camera button, so can't use it to take snaps underwater (but thats not a big issue).
        Apart fron that, the ULTRA is great!
  • the best Bookphone

    Right now....
    Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 with Cellular.
    2560x1600 screen 360ppi
    And take phone calls and SMS.
    Its just an 8.4" phone!
    If you just want a pocketable phone size bookphone then the Note3 for screensize, offscreen buttons (very important to save screenspace) and S-Pen (pen notes ON your ebooks) and multiwindow ability to allow easy research on content.
  • deal breaker

    I see onscreen buttons wasting screen space.
    Sorry, instant fail.
    Samsung wins on this point alone.
  • fantastic smartphone with additional package

    LG G3 has proved its mettle with high-end features as stated by the
    manufacturer...i lyk dis smartphone very much and looking forward to
    grab it at the earliest.Also,LG G3 is coming with an extra package of
    sponsored mcafee anti-theft feature.. for more