Notebookcheck

LG G3 Smartphone and LG G Watch Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by A Kammel), 07/18/2014

Hot potato. The LG G3 has received much acclaim and we cannot deny that we looked forward to the first smartphone with a WQHD display. Still, although LG does a lot right, some technical problems with the screen, average battery runtimes and especially heat dissipation issues prevent it from taking the top spot among high-end smartphones. The G Watch is an interesting gadget.

For the Original German review, see here.

The competition did not sleep either, but the LG G3 might still offer enough superlatives to be at least on par with the other high-end smartphones. The display is even larger than that of its competitors, measuring 5.5 inches, but its true killer feature is the enormously high resolution of 2560x1440 pixels, making the LG G3 the first smartphone with a WQHD panel. The camera not only sports 13 megapixels, it is also supposed to come with a revolutionarily fast laser auto focus system that supposedly even works under unfavorable low-light conditions. The recent Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 may very well allow the G3 to take the top spot in terms of performance. While the battery may not be larger than that of its predecessor, the LG G23000 mAh is still more than what most of its competitors offer - still, the high-resolution display of the LG G3 might lead to increased power consumption and thus reduced battery life.

Our test device is the last Android flagship smartphone to reach the market in 2014. Its competitors, the HTC One (M8), the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Huawei Ascend P7 and the Sony Xperia Z2 have all been available for some time, but they must make do with "just" a Full HD screen. Other flagships are the Nokia Lumia 930 powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 and the Apple iPhone 5S. All of these are strong contenders for the top spot, with a lot of improvements when compared to their predecessors. The LG G3 is definitely in the right company here, although it does have some weaknesses, as we will show.

In addition, we want to take a closer look at the optional LG G Watch powered by Android Wear, one of the first smartwatches powered by the new, heavily modified Android smartwatch OS. We were also able to spend some time with the LG Lifeband Touch.

Case

How we test - Case

Sexy design
Sexy design
Thanks to the rounded sides, the LG G3 is comfortable to hold.
Thanks to the rounded sides, the LG G3 is comfortable to hold.
The battery can be swapped, and the G3 can be charged wirelessly.
The battery can be swapped, and the G3 can be charged wirelessly.

Although the LG G3 is made from plastic, it sports a beautiful chassis. The plastic also helps keep the weight down (at a mere 149 grams). Only the Samsung Galaxy S5 (145 grams) and the Huawei Ascend P7 (124 grams) are even lighter (~5.3, 5.1 and 4.4 ounces respectively). Due to the large display, the dimensions of the LG G3 exceed those of most of its competitors, but thanks to the ergonomically shaped rear panel (quite similar to that of the HTC One), the G3 is comfortable to hold. The LG G3 is available in the following hues: Titanium, white and gold.

Overall build quality is great. The display covers almost the entire front of the device, leaving a good impression mainly thanks to the small bezels around it. There are no uneven clearances, and the G3 is highly torsion-resistant (though it does make some noise when bent) as well as pressure-resistant: Even when a lot of force is applied to the narrow bezel, no image distortions could be noted on the screen. Although the rear panel is made from plastic, it does indeed look like metal - which should not come as a surprise as LG claims to have included fragments of metal into the plastic to yield a more premium appearance.

The rear panel can be taken off, revealing the replaceable battery below as well as the MicroSD and micro SIM card slots. The repair specialists of uBreakiFix claim that the LG G3 is well suited to small repairs as it is rather easy to access all major components. Still, such maintenance should always be performed by professionals. Thus, the chassis of the LG G3 impresses on all fronts - with great looks, many maintenance options and a high build quality.

Connectivity

How we test - Connectivity

The port at the bottom of the LG G3 is a so-called SlimPort which allows for USB 2.0 compatibility (micro USB), is capable of charging the device and supports any SlimPort HDMI connector for external resolutions of up to 1080p (1920x1080 pixels). Still, MHL 3.0 support for playback of UHD media would have been preferable. The port does support USB OTG allowing connection to external hard drives or input devices.

The MicroSD card slot supports cards with up to 2 TB (SDXC), the theoretical maximum of the SDXC standard. Actual SD cards are available with up to 128 GB.

The LG G3 ships with neither a fingerprint sensor nor a heart rate sensor - then again, these might not be more than oddities for most customers. Unfortunately, the LG G3 arrives without any IP certifications.

Top: Infrared port, microphone
Top: Infrared port, microphone
Nothing to find on the left hand side.
Nothing to find on the left hand side.
Bottom: SlimPort, microphone, audio jack
Bottom: SlimPort, microphone, audio jack
Nothing on the right hand side, either - except for the latch of the back panel.
Nothing on the right hand side, either - except for the latch of the back panel.

Software

The G3 runs on Google Android 4.4.2 KitKat, with LG's own UI on top. Luckily, the changes are subtle and mostly positive. An optional simple UI, e.g. for elderly people is available too (being called "Easy Home"), with all major elements being unified on one strongly simplified home screen. The navigation buttons can be customized in terms of both their color and their order.

Homescreen
Homescreen
All settings are easy to find
Easy Home UI

There are a number of ways to unlock the LG G3, ranging from a simple swipe on the display to the well-known games of connecting dots or scanning one's own face. A new, LG-specific function, the Knock code, a series of three to eight knocks with longer or shorter pauses in between is capable of waking the phone from standby. A guest mode is available too, locking some content, even when the device is being connected to a PC where, perhaps, certain photos or folders can be hidden. QSlide, QuickRemote, QuickMemo and Dual Window celebrate their continued appearance on LG's flagship devices, offering even more useful input options.

LG's app suite is completed by two new applications, Smart Notice - offering information about the weather or the current location, and giving advice based on this information (e.g. "pack an umbrella") - and Smart Cleaning - a system settings tool intended to optimize memory use by listing unused apps, old downloads and temporary files.

Those who do not like the preinstalled apps can uninstall these - except for McAfee Security (the icon and the installation routine remain on the device). The LG G3 supports App2SD functionality, allowing for unproblematic transfer of apps to the MicroSD card. The Sony Xperia Z2, on the other hand, does not even support this function while issues occur when using it on the HTC One and the Galaxy S5.

LG Health and Smart Tips are integral parts of the LG G3.
Knock Code is a clever way of protecting one's smartphone.
Smart Notice gives advice.
The storage optimizer comes with a reminder.

Communication & GPS 

In terms of wireless modems, the LG G3 comes with all current standards worthy of a flagship device, ranging from a Wi-Fi module that supports the IEEE-802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards, transmitting in both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz. Its effective range was fine too, with great reception indoors, allowing for an issue-free browsing experience. A dampening effect of -74 to -79 dBm (2.4 GHz) and -73 to -78 dBm (5.0 GHz) could be measured when being two rooms away from the Fritz!Box 6360 router. Outside, with just one wall but a distance of 25 meters (~82 feet), the dampening was even lower with -75 and -74 dBm (5.0 and 2.4 GHz), leading to decent connectivity.

In terms of mobile Internet, quad band GSM, quad band HSPA+ (up to 42 MBit/s download and 5.76 MBit/s upload speeds) and LTE Cat. 4 (up to 150 MBit/s download speeds, supporting three frequency bands) are supported. Its competitors support more LTE bands: Ten (HTC One), six (Xperia Z2) or at least four (Galaxy S5). Still, most commonly used frequencies in Europe - with the exception of the 900 MHz band - are supported, although more bands which the LG G3 does not recognize (2000 MHz and possibly 3500 MHz) might become available in the future.

Both NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 are on board, with the latter modem being capable of connecting to several Bluetooth devices at once (actually, seven). Then again, this is necessary since the LG G Watch smartwatch is connected via Bluetooth - if e.g. a Bluetooth is to be used simultaneously, more than one device has to be connected. Unfortunately, using multiple devices via Bluetooth puts a lot of strain on the data stream, leading to connection issues (a general Bluetooth problem). And while streaming music files poses no problems, streaming Full HD video and audio at the same time exceeds the capabilities of the LG G3, leading to a slight lag between both signals.

GPS test (indoors)
GPS test (indoors)
GPS test (outdoors)
GPS test (outdoors)

GPS/aGPS and Glonass are available, yielding an indoor satellite fix within a little more than 90 seconds (still an acceptable value). Outdoors, lock-on happened almost instantaneously.

Comparing the LG G3 to the Garmin Edge 500, a dedicated GPS bike computer led to decent, yet not superb results. Whenever a lot of interference is to be expected (e.g. in the forest), the LG G3 fared noticeably worse than the Garmin device - and also worse than the iPhone, which is still the best non-dedicated GPS device that we have tested.

LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Telephone app of the LG G3
Telephone app of the LG G3

Telephone Functions & Speech Quality

The telephone app of the LG G3 looks minimalistic, emphasizing the number pad. Several tabs on top allow for quick access e.g. of the contact list or the call history. All of this is easy to use, thanks in no small part to the large display size of the LG G3, increasing the actual size of all UI elements.

The speech quality is fine, too - for both sides (with a slight advantage to the smartphone side). The speakerphone works well as long as there is little ambient noise (which ultimately leads to hiccups), barely distorting one's voice unless set to maximum volume. The included headset is decent as well.

Webcam picture
Webcam picture

Cameras

Refraining from the tendency to include high-resolution front cameras, the LG G3 ships with "just" a 2.1 MP webcam (1920x1080 pixels) - still, this is one of the better front cameras that we have experienced.

One of the highlights of the LG G3 is the main camera at the rear of the device, yielding up to 13 megapixels. This is 4160x3120 pixels when the ratio is set to 4:3 and 4160x2340 pixels when using the widescreen ratio (16:9). In addition, the camera comes with an optical image stabilizing system, which is a big deal especially when recording movies. The laser auto focus is another novelty (so far, the LG G3 is the only smartphone shipping with it). It works really well, quickly finding its target, and it even sports nine different auto focus points.

The camera shutter can be activated either by pressing the touchscreen shutter button or by using the volume rocker at the back of the device. The latter does not work too well, and it even comes with the danger of covering the optical system. A separate camera button would have been splendid, especially in order to refocus quickly.

Daylight photos work really well, with a great contrast ratio, natural-looking colors and very sharp details without much noise.

LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Sony Alpha 57 (reference)
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020

In addition, the LG G3 supports Real HDR, showing a live preview of the expected high dynamic range results - which are mostly impressive, even though only two shots with different shutter times are being used. HDR can also be set on "auto", but manual activation leads to better results.

LG G3 (HDR off)
LG G3 (HDR off)
LG G3 (HDR auto)
LG G3 (HDR auto)
LG G3 (HDR active)
LG G3 (HDR active)
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3
LG G3

The panorama function works well, yielding decent pictures with a high resolution (38.6 megapixels, 17,728x2176 pixels) and smooth transitions that lack any obviously harsh cuts.

Panorama shot taken with the LG G3
Panorama shot taken with the LG G3

Under bad lighting conditions, the dual LED flash system can be quite helpful, but without it, noise becomes a major issue, with some parts of the image developing a painting-like look without any sharpness.

Low light (no flash)
Low light (no flash)
Low light (no flash)
Low light (no flash)
Low light (flash)
Low light (flash)

Videos are recorded in Ultra HD (UHD, 4k, 3840x2160 pixels), in addition to 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) and 720p (1280x720 pixels), yielding sharp movies with a lot of detail. Thanks to the optical image stabilization system, shaking is not a big deal. For 720p videos, a slow-motion mode with 120 frames per second is available (as known from the iPhone 5S). The results speak for themselves.

UHD video, recorded with the LG G3
Slow motion video, recorded with the LG G3

Warranty

LG offers 24 months of (non-expandable) warranty for its flagship smartphone.

Accessories

The LG G3 ships with a modular power adapter (9 Watts, 5.0 V at 1.8 A), a USB cable, a headset and a quick-start guide. Optional accessories such as the Quick Circle cover and the wireless charging station WCD-100 (69 Euros; ~$93) are sold separately. Thankfully, we have been provided with the G Watch and the Lifeband Touch as well, which is why we want to talk about these devices in more detail below.

LG G Watch
LG G Watch

LG G Watch

The LG G Watch is one of the first smartwatches to use Google's new Android Wear OS optimized for wearable devices. The G Watch is capable of communicating with every smartphone that ships with Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 4.3 or higher. The quadratic IPS display comes with a diagonal of roughly 4 centimeters (1.65 inches) and 280x280 pixels. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2 GHz. 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of flash storage are built into the device as well, as are a gyro sensor, an acceleration sensor and a digital compass. The battery is rather large at 400 mAh (compared to other smartwatches), supposedly lasting up to three days, and actually managing to stay alive for 1 to 1.5 days even when used a lot. The smartwatch is waterproof and dustproof according to IP67.

The LG G Watch is rather bulky.
The LG G Watch is rather bulky.

The "Always on" display is actually truly on at all times, getting dimmed after a few seconds of inactivity while still showing at least the time. Thanks to its array of sensors, the watch notices when the arm is being raised in front of the face, increasing brightness for a short period. Unfortunately, while there are six brightness levels to choose from, no ambient brightness sensor has been built into the device, forcing the user to change it manually from time to time. In addition, while low levels suffice indoors, even the highest settings are close to illegible in direct sunlight. The watch looks rather plain and bulky, but it is not too heavy at 63 grams (~2.2 oz). The silicone wristband - while appearing to be quite robust - may not be the right fit for a watch priced at 199 Euros (~$267), but luckily, any 22mm wristband can be used.

Dimmed down, we don't stand a chance of seeing anything on the screen.
Dimmed down, we don't stand a chance of seeing anything on the screen.
While active, the contents of the screen can actually be made out.
While active, the contents of the screen can actually be made out.
The LG G Watch on a cloudy day.
The LG G Watch on a cloudy day.

New notifications arriving on the smartphone are displayed within small info screens on the watch, being accompanied either by a certain sound or by vibration. This is a great time saver, allowing the smartphone to remain in one's pocket on many occasions. Those who own a Bluetooth headset can use the watch to accept calls directly on it. Emails and SMS can be written via voice-to-text, while most third-party apps do still have to be updated to be compatible with Android Wear.

Voice-to-text is one of the key features of Android Wear, with the command "Okay Google..." as the initial phrase after which messages, reminders, calendar entries or alarm clock settings can be dictated. Even asking what the weather is like and where the next supermarket can be found works well, including navigation options being offered in the latter case (the route has to be accepted with a single press of a button). This can truly be useful, especially in unknown places. Overall, voice control works well, especially when speaking clearly and slowly - although it might result in some strange glances whenever used in public.

Charging cradle of the G Watch
Charging cradle of the G Watch
The G Watch with its cradle.
The G Watch with its cradle.
The G Watch in standby mode.
The G Watch in standby mode.
The main menu of the G Watch.
The main menu of the G Watch.
A Google Now card screen.
A Google Now card screen.

The "Always on" display is the only way to communicate with the watch next to its microphone. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not been able to implement an "Always on" audio processor as well - thus, the smartwatch does not react to voice commands while in standby. Still, the main usage scenario for the G Watch will most likely be that of an expanded notification center for one's smartphone. Most features of the smartwatch only work when paired to a smartphone (with the exceptions being the watch and the step counter). Several watch faces are available for download; many more are supposed to follow. Overall, the LG G Watch is a more-than-decent first generation Android Wear product, with the well-working voice control system being our most positive surprise.

LG Lifeband Touch
LG Lifeband Touch

LG Lifeband Touch

The LG Lifeband Touch is no Android Wear smartwatch, but a splash-proof fitness tracker available in three sizes while being priced at 180 Euros (~$242, initial market price). A solid 50 grams (~1.8 oz) plus high rigidity makes for a rather noticeable (and somewhat bulky) fitness gadget, as does its unusual design. The acceleration sensor and the altitude meter are supposed to measure the distance covered, but we would not expect it to be terribly precise.

The LG Fitness app on one's smartphone is the central UI element of the fitness tracker, communicating via Bluetooth 4.0 LTE with the device. iOS devices (v. 6.0 and above) and Google Android devices (v. 4.3 and above) are supported while Windows Phone is neglected. The app stores personal information (height, gender, weight) and synchronizes it with LG's servers (thus facilitating the switch to another smartphone), calculating the recommended calorie intake based on this data. The app also allows for other devices - such as a heart rate measuring chest strap - to be administered. We were provided with a Polar H7 that works flawlessly together with the other devices - we connected the LG G3 to the Lifeband, the Polar H7, the LG G Watch and a Teufel BT Bamster. Still, the latter was a bit too much, reducing available bandwidth for the other devices to such a degree that the connections became unstable.

The OLED display is not too bright.
The OLED display is not too bright.
Nothing can be made out in direct sunlight.
Nothing can be made out in direct sunlight.
Chest straps (such as the Polar H7) can be connected to the Lifeband.
Chest straps (such as the Polar H7) can be connected to the Lifeband.

The small two-color OLED display is capable of controlling music playback on one's smartphone in addition to notifying about incoming calls and messages. And while the display is nowhere as brilliant as the AMOLED panel of the Samsung Gear Fit, its simplicity allows it to reach much better battery runtimes of up to five days (with the Bluetooth connection likely being the main culprit here). The LG Lifeband Touch is definitely a nice gadget for people with an active lifestyle, but it only costs 19 Euros (~$25) less than the much more capable G Watch.

Input Devices & Handling

Power button and volume rocker are located at the rear of the device.
Power button and volume rocker are located at the rear of the device.

Most input into the LG G3 will occur via the 5.5-inch capacitive touchscreen which comes with multi-touch support (for up to 10 fingers at the same time) while working reliably, quickly and with great precision, even at the edges. Letting one's fingers glide on top of the screen feels superb, plus there is an anti-smudge coating against fingerprints - and while these do still occur all the time, they are at least easy to clean away.

LG relies on onscreen Android keys once more (they can be re-organized to one's liking). There are no physical buttons on the sides, just on the rear - as with the LG G2. While it may take some time to get used to this design choice, it is not a bad one: Both volume keys (separated by the power button) come with additional functionality. While the LG G3 is in standby mode, a pre-defined app can be started directly via one of these buttons. In the case of the plus button, this is Quick Memo while the minus button starts the camera and serves as a shutter release button, too.

Even the so-called "Smart Keyboard" comes with enhanced features next to its more-than-decent standard layout. The key sizes can be changed in the settings menu, and another key with an additional special character can be shown right next to the space bar - a feature we like a lot since we missed the "comma" key in the standard layout. In landscape mode, the keyboard can also be split in half (a feature familiar from Windows 8) allowing for typing with two thumbs. And on top of all that, the screen can even be optimized for one-hand usage. Overall, the LG G3 is a joy to handle, with lots of innovative and non-gimmicky extra features.

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
One-hand usage
One-hand usage
Split keyboard with an additional special character
Split keyboard with an additional special character

Display

How we test - Display

The LG G3 has the first WQHD smartphone display.
The LG G3 has the first WQHD smartphone display.

The most distinct highlight of the LG G3 is its 5.5-inch WQHD IPS-LCD panel with 2560x1440 pixels - a first for smartphones. With its aspect ratio of 16:9 this comes down to a superb pixel density of 534 ppi, which is supposed to cause a true "wow effect". Unfortunately, those with a Full HD device will not be so easy to convince. Even though the picture is truly extraordinarily sharp, it takes some mighty close distance to notice that. Then, however, it is actually possible to read an entire news page of any newspaper - including all text of all the articles (although being tiny). Still, we do doubt that such an extreme resolution is necessary at the time of this writing, especially since it takes its toll in terms of power consumption and heat dissipation.

The screen gets dimmed time and again.
The screen gets dimmed time and again.

If the display is set to 100 percent screen brightness (while browsing the web or using the camera), the system dims it down to 90 percent to keep the smartphone from overheating - although its peak brightness of up to 417 cd/m² is not even top-notch. Only the Galaxy S5 (up to 401 cd/m²) is darker, but it makes up for this with its extremely high-contrast SAMOLED display. Plus, the brightness curve of the LG G3 is non-linear. The dimming to 90 percent becomes just 296 cd/m², not enough on a sunny day. Brightness homogeneity, on the other hand, is quite good, reaching 89 percent.

385
cd/m²
405
cd/m²
392
cd/m²
371
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
391
cd/m²
384
cd/m²
416
cd/m²
391
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 417 cd/m²
Average: 394.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 417 cd/m²
Black: 0.96 cd/m²
Contrast: 434:1

Resolution? Great. Brightness? Average. Black levels? Mediocre at best, reaching just 1 cd/m². Not only OLED devices fare much better, but the IPS-based (LG-made!) Google Nexus 5 (0.49 cd/m², 957:1) and the HTC One (0.54 cd/m², 878:1) leave the G3 far behind. With its subpar black levels, the LG G3 reaches a rather poor contrast ratio of just 434:1.

Moreover, while color accuracy is quite decent - pure white has just a slight bluish tint - both grayscale rendition and mixed colors were off by a lot (dE 6 in both cases). While this is not too noticeable during daily use, keen eyes will see it. Both the iPhone 5S (mixed color accuracy: dE 3 sRGB) and the Galaxy S5 (mixed color accuracy in photo mode: dE 2 AdobeRGB) produced much more natural colors, with the latter device actually managing to cover almost the entire AdobeRGB color space.

Color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
Color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (target color space sRGB)
Color Checker (target color space sRGB)
Color Checker (target color space sRGB)
Color Checker (target color space AdobeRGB 1998)
Color Checker (target color space AdobeRGB 1998)
Grayscale rendition (target color space AdobeRGB 1998)
Grayscale rendition (target color space AdobeRGB 1998)

During outdoor use, the LG G3 fares rather well. Its display is not quite as reflective as that of many competitors. Still, the mediocre contrast ratio and the automatic dimming of the screen - when the device gets too warm, which happens easily - are an important negative factor. When we took our test videos on a warm and sunny day with the brightness manually set to 100 percent (the touchscreen was already quite warm), the screen brightness suddenly dropped by quite a large amount making it hard to see anything, even in the shade. According to the settings menu, the display was throttled down to just 11 percent! When we tried to rectify the situation, we were not allowed to move the slider past the 90 percent point. Using the LG G3 for prolonged periods in direct sunlight can thus be problematic.

No issues in the shade.
No issues in the shade.
The LG G3 on a slightly cloudy day.
The LG G3 on a slightly cloudy day.
Reflections are kept in check.
Reflections are kept in check.
The LG G3 is a lot less convincing in direct sunlight (here at 100 percent brightness).
The LG G3 is a lot less convincing in direct sunlight (here at 100 percent brightness).


The viewing angle stability of the IPS screen used by the LG G3 is superb. No complaints here! Even extremely flat viewing angles are no issue, with just a minimum amount of brightness loss beyond approximately 30 degrees.

Viewing angle stability of the LG G3
Viewing angle stability of the LG G3

Performance

How we test - Performance

A glance at the specs shows that the LG G3 uses the newest and best in terms of hardware, yielding the full power of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC with four Krait 400 cores clocked at 300 to 2450 MHz. The predecessor (the Snapdragon 800) clocked at a slightly less speedy 2.26 GHz, but then again, improvements can be found in most every regard, including an increase of ISP frequencies to 465 MHz and a new clock speed of the integrated Adreno 330 GPU of now up to 578 MHz. Power consumption, on the other hand, is not supposed to have increased. While our test device came with 2 GB of RAM, the 32 GB (in terms of memory) variant ships with 3 GB of RAM.

AnTuTu v4 at an ambient temperature of 22 degrees Celsius.
AnTuTu v4 at an ambient temperature of 22 degrees Celsius.
AnTuTu v4 at an ambient temperature of 6 degrees Celsius.
AnTuTu v4 at an ambient temperature of 6 degrees Celsius.

In theory, the LG G3 should be every bit as good as the Samsung Galaxy S5 when looking at  benchmark results (they both sport the same SoC). In reality, however, the 28,257 points yielded by AnTuTu v4 are considerably less than those 37,353 points of the "king", the S5. The main culprit here is the excess heat the device produces. Apparently, the cooling system is too weak to deal with it under full load. And indeed: Repeating the test at an ambient temperature of 6 degrees Celsius yields a much better result of 36,204 points. Otherwise, the LG G3 falls behind in all other benchmarks, too. Even the predecessor (the LG G2) often storms ahead - except the onscreen value of GFXBench due to the much higher display resolution of the G3. Unfortunately, all of this is noticeable in real-life system performance as well, with some tiny lags when scrolling on the UI and some time before the home screen reappears after demanding apps are closed.

AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG G3
28257 Points ∼66%
HTC One M8
19844 Points ∼46% -30%
LG G2
22397 Points ∼52% -21%
Google Nexus 5
22379 Points ∼52% -21%
Huawei Ascend P7
23864 Points ∼56% -16%
Sony Xperia Z2
33346 Points ∼78% +18%
Samsung Galaxy S5
37353 Points ∼87% +32%
Linpack Android / IOS
Single Thread (sort by value)
LG G3
281.32 MFLOPS ∼28%
HTC One M8
337.474 MFLOPS ∼33% +20%
LG G2
415.017 MFLOPS ∼41% +48%
Google Nexus 5
95.049 MFLOPS ∼9% -66%
Huawei Ascend P7
83.168 MFLOPS ∼8% -70%
Sony Xperia Z2
261 MFLOPS ∼26% -7%
Samsung Galaxy S5
355 MFLOPS ∼35% +26%
Apple iPhone 5S
518.44 MFLOPS ∼51% +84%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
LG G3
608.905 MFLOPS ∼25%
HTC One M8
575.654 MFLOPS ∼24% -5%
LG G2
730.159 MFLOPS ∼30% +20%
Google Nexus 5
273.81 MFLOPS ∼11% -55%
Huawei Ascend P7
254.016 MFLOPS ∼10% -58%
Sony Xperia Z2
570 MFLOPS ∼23% -6%
Samsung Galaxy S5
678 MFLOPS ∼28% +11%
Apple iPhone 5S
931.38 MFLOPS ∼38% +53%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG G3
15911 Points ∼9%
HTC One M8
13856 Points ∼8% -13%
Huawei Ascend P7
7433 Points ∼4% -53%
Sony Xperia Z2
18076 Points ∼11% +14%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼11% +15%
Apple iPhone 5S
14012 Points ∼8% -12%
Apple iPhone 5S
14012 Points ∼8% -12%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG G3
17029 Points ∼4%
HTC One M8
15928 Points ∼4% -6%
Huawei Ascend P7
6599 Points ∼2% -61%
Sony Xperia Z2
20239 Points ∼5% +19%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼5% +15%
Apple iPhone 5S
17861 Points ∼5% +5%
Apple iPhone 5S
17861 Points ∼5% +5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG G3
12939 Points ∼22%
HTC One M8
9521 Points ∼16% -26%
Huawei Ascend P7
13330 Points ∼23% +3%
Sony Xperia Z2
13155 Points ∼23% +2%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼26% +17%
Apple iPhone 5S
7987 Points ∼14% -38%
Apple iPhone 5S
7987 Points ∼14% -38%
GFXBench 3.0
on screen Manhattan Onscreen (sort by value)
LG G3
7.3 fps ∼0%
HTC One M8
11.2 fps ∼1% +53%
Sony Xperia Z2
12.5 fps ∼1% +71%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.7 fps ∼1% +60%
off screen Manhattan Offscreen (sort by value)
LG G3
11.3 fps ∼5%
HTC One M8
10.5 fps ∼5% -7%
Sony Xperia Z2
11.6 fps ∼5% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.8 fps ∼5% +4%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG G3
941 Points ∼20%
HTC One M8
957 Points ∼21% +2%
LG G2
819 Points ∼18% -13%
Google Nexus 5
521 Points ∼11% -45%
Huawei Ascend P7
599 Points ∼13% -36%
Sony Xperia Z2
919 Points ∼20% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼20% 0%
Apple iPhone 5S
1368 Points ∼29% +45%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG G3
2323 Points ∼14%
HTC One M8
2785 Points ∼17% +20%
LG G2
2210 Points ∼14% -5%
Google Nexus 5
1613 Points ∼10% -31%
Huawei Ascend P7
1796 Points ∼11% -23%
Sony Xperia Z2
2619 Points ∼16% +13%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼18% +24%
Apple iPhone 5S
2449 Points ∼15% +5%

Legend

 
LG G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
LG G2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB SSD
 
Google Nexus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Huawei Ascend P7 HiSilicon Kirin 910T, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 5S Apple A7, PowerVR G6430, 16 GB iNAND Flash

The browser performance of the LG G3 is pretty good, beating most of its competitors. All benchmarks were run with the pre-installed stock browser based on Google Chrome 30. Even in real life, browsing the web feels smooth and quick, with only the iPhone being faster.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1097 Points ∼18%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
515 Points ∼8% -53%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (29)
712 Points ∼11% -35%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
794 Points ∼13% -28%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
829 Points ∼13% -24%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
835 Points ∼13% -24%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
855 Points ∼14% -22%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1164 Points ∼19% +6%
Apple iPhone 5S
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1775 Points ∼29% +62%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3892 Points ∼10%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 35)
4345 Points ∼11% +12%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (1.6.28)
3875 Points ∼10% 0%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
2775 Points ∼7% -29%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4414 Points ∼12% +13%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3131 Points ∼8% -20%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
629.3 ms * ∼16%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 35)
900 ms * ∼22% -43%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
545.2 ms * ∼14% +13%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (1.6.28)
408.7 ms * ∼10% +35%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
1042.7 ms * ∼26% -66%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
814.8 ms * ∼20% -29%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
716.3 ms * ∼18% -14%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
951.1 ms * ∼24% -51%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
594.2 ms * ∼15% +6%
Apple iPhone 5S
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
413.1 ms * ∼10% +34%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7279.7 ms * ∼12%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 35)
7163 ms * ∼12% +2%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
27066.8 ms * ∼46% -272%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash (1.6.28)
6302 ms * ∼11% +13%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash (Android 4.4.2 KitKat)
16134.7 ms * ∼27% -122%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
10014.5 ms * ∼17% -38%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
7852.3 ms * ∼13% -8%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7739.2 ms * ∼13% -6%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
8990.4 ms * ∼15% -23%
Apple iPhone 5S
PowerVR G6430, A7, 16 GB iNAND Flash
5995.9 ms * ∼10% +18%

* ... smaller is better

Our test device comes with 16 GB of flash storage space, with 10.5 GB remaining for the user after the G3 boots up for the first time. Luckily, both MicroSD card support and a larger variant with 32 GB are offered for those in need of more memory space.

One of the specialties of the Snapdragon 801 is its eMMC 5.0 support allowing for twice the data transfer speeds of the previous eMMC 4.5 standard. In fact, the eMMC in the LG G3 is always faster than that of its competitors, although it still seems to be a 4.5-standard drive with linear read speeds of up to 200 MB/s and write speeds of up to 50 MB/s. Of course, it would be interesting to see whether the 32 GB variant makes use of another type of drive.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
167.46 MB/s ∼94%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
33.32 MB/s ∼19% -80%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
62.09 MB/s ∼35% -63%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
74.9 MB/s ∼42% -55%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
83.53 MB/s ∼47% -50%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
88.41 MB/s ∼49% -47%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
111.49 MB/s ∼62% -33%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
23.83 MB/s ∼41%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10.74 MB/s ∼19% -55%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
18.03 MB/s ∼31% -24%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
15.52 MB/s ∼27% -35%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
19.05 MB/s ∼33% -20%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
19.51 MB/s ∼34% -18%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
17.42 MB/s ∼30% -27%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
20.98 MB/s ∼100%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
9.94 MB/s ∼47% -53%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
10.98 MB/s ∼52% -48%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
9.88 MB/s ∼47% -53%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
8.5 MB/s ∼41% -59%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10.53 MB/s ∼50% -50%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
16.65 MB/s ∼79% -21%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.44 MB/s ∼46%
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1.13 MB/s ∼36% -22%
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.42 MB/s ∼45% -1%
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.84 MB/s ∼27% -42%
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1 MB/s ∼32% -31%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.88 MB/s ∼28% -39%
LG G2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
1.34 MB/s ∼43% -7%

Games

Even though the LG G3 may exhibit some throttling issues due to the enormous excess heat of its SoC, the performance of its Qualcomm Adreno 330 is still more than enough to play any game available on the Google Play Store. No lags could be noted, even under extreme quality settings - neither when battling zombies nor while racing against other cars.

The superb touchscreen and the issue-free sensor array make it even more fun to play games, especially on such a large high-resolution display.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Plants vs. Zombies 2

Emissions

How we test - Emissions

Temperature

The LG G3 is one of the hottest flagship devices - literally. Many of our surface temperature records fell during this test, with up to 39.0 degrees Celsius (102.2 °F) being reached at the front, even while the device is idle (some of its competitors remain cooler under load). Under load, up to 42.2 degrees (108 °F) are reached. And while we usually try to measure this value with maximum screen brightness and activated wireless while running the Stability Test app for at least one hour taxing both CPU and GPU, the LG G3 automatically reduced its display brightness to 90 percent. Obviously, the display alone produces so much excess heat that the chassis is not capable of dissipating this amount while under load. The coolest smartphones in our comparison are the Nexus 5 (max. 36.5 degrees; 97.7 °F) and the Ascend P7 (max. 37.9 degrees; 100.2 °F), with only the Xperia Z2 (max. 41.1 degrees, 106 °F) also exceeding the 40-degree (104 °F) mark.

Max. Load
 41.4 °C37.9 °C35.2 °C 
 42.2 °C38.4 °C36.3 °C 
 40.8 °C36.3 °C35.4 °C 
Maximum: 42.2 °C
Average: 38.2 °C
33.4 °C37.0 °C40.2 °C
34.0 °C37.6 °C40.5 °C
34.9 °C37.2 °C40.5 °C
Maximum: 40.5 °C
Average: 37.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  37.5 °C | Room Temperature 23.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

RightMark Audio Analyzer
RightMark Audio Analyzer

There is a one-Watt mono speaker on the back of the LG G3. It comes with a bass amplifier that is supposed to lead to vivid highs and strong bass. Unfortunately, though, the small speaker sounds distinctly average once its volume exceeds 50 percent, with some distortions of the highs, which can get quite nasty sounding. While bass is quite audible, it also sounds rather dull.

The supplied headset sounds a lot better, yielding clear mid range and strong (yet not too strong) bass, even though the Right Mark Audio Analyzer claims that the audio jack never exceeds average power levels.

Energy Management

How we test - Energy Management

Power Consumption

The LG G3 draws a lot more power than its predecessor, the LG G2. Even when idle, 0.6 to 2.3 Watts are required, with only the Xperia Z2 (0.7 to 2.2 Watts) coming close. Both the Nexus 5 (0.3 to 1.0 Watts) and the Galaxy S5 (0.3 to 1.1 Watts) fare much better.

Under load, this value climbs to up to 9.1 Watts. Again, this is with the display automatically dimming down to 90 percent! With 100 percent, even more power consumption should be possible. Still, even 9.1 Watts beats anything the competitors achieve, with the Nexus 5 reaching up to 8.4 Watts. The Galaxy S5 draws up to 6.2 Watts - the iPhone 5S fares best (up to 3.8 Watts). The S5 comes pretty close to the specifications of the LG G3 and yet it draws 33 percent less power. This must be the effect of the WQHD display. The ultra-high-resolution panel seems to get not only very warm but also to draw a lot of juice.

Despite the higher power consumption levels, the G3 comes with the same 11.4 Wh battery as its predecessor (3000 mAh, 3.8 V). Although this is - when compared to the other smartphones - still a large battery, it obviously cannot compete with the superb runtimes of the G2. The included power adapter is actually not quite strong enough, yielding "just" 9 Watts (1.8 A, 5 V).

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.6 / 1.8 / 2.3 Watt
Load 4.4 / 9.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Due to the increased power consumption rate and the lack of extreme energy saving modes (such as the ones of the HTC One or the Galaxy S5), the battery life of the LG G3 cannot quite compete with most other flagship devices. It takes last place in most of our tests despite its large battery (only the One M8 comes close, but it sports a much smaller one).

During our browsing tests, most other devices stay alive for around three more hours (a difference of approx. 30 percent). Here, the LG G2 (17:04 h) and the Nexus 5 (12:14 h) take the lead, with the rest of the pack at least exceeding 10 hours. Only the One M8 is comparable to the LG G3. In terms of video playback, the Xperia Z2 (09:58 h) and the Galaxy S5 (09:16 h) offer almost twice the runtime of the G3. In this test, the Lumia 1520, however, (14:22 h) beats them all.

Unfortunately, the same picture holds true in real life. Those who use their smartphone just as a messenger or for making phone calls and browsing the web from time to time will not have any issues making it through the day. But all those who use their G3 more intensively (including games and videos, or with a G Watch) will have to recharge in the afternoon or the early evening, especially if the smartphone is to be used outdoors a lot. For these people, an external battery pack or a spare battery might be useful.

The LG G3 supports the Qi standard for wireless charging. This works well, but it takes some time: Instead of the less than two hours it takes to load the device with the supplied charger, our Nokia DT-910 wireless charging station took its time - only after 4 hours and 15 minutes was the G3 back at 100 percent.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 12min
WiFi Surfing
7h 32min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 33min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 27min

Verdict

In review: LG G3, LG G Watch and LG Lifeband Touch. Test devices provided by LG Germany.
In review: LG G3, LG G Watch and LG Lifeband Touch. Test devices provided by LG Germany.

Without a doubt, the LG G3 is a great smartphone with superb design and lots of versatile (and yet simple) input controls. In addition, LG has managed to improve upon the already good predecessor (the LG G2) in many regards, implementing expandable storage as well as swappable batteries. The communication modules are top-notch and the integrated camera is one of the best that can be found in a smartphone right now.

So why didn't LG take the smartphone crown? They wanted to be the first manufacturer to build a flagship device with a Quad HD panel, and they are - but the ultra-sharp, beautiful display comes with a cost. Neither its brightness nor its black levels are impressive. The automatic dimming feature of the screen is annoying, especially outdoors. Most notably, the WQHD screen draws a lot of power, reducing battery life by quite a bit. Maybe a Full HD display would have been the smarter choice here (or some more fine-tuning) - so far, we do not think that the higher resolution of the screen justifies its drawbacks.

All of this excess heat has to go somewhere, and if the heat dissipation characteristics of the device are insufficient, its performance might suffer, possibly leading to the serious throttling issues of the otherwise super-fast Snapdragon 801 CPU that we observed. Anyway, the mediocre heat design leads to a negative mark in the ratings. Moreover, since Samsung, for example, manages to keep the same SoC in the Galaxy S5 throttling-free, this is already enough to justify a difference between both evaluations. Although the LG G3 might not take the top spot due to its teething troubles and such issues simply must not occur in such a pricy flagship device, it is nevertheless a superb smartphone which when paired with the LG G Watch yields a great duo.

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In Review: LG G3 and LG G Watch. Test devices provided by LG Germany.
In Review: LG G3 and LG G Watch. Test devices provided by LG Germany.

Specifications

LG G3

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB, LPDDR3-1866
:: Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 330, Core: 578 MHz
:: Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 2560x1440 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 multitouch points, entspiegeltes LCD-Display, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB eMMC 4.5, 10.49 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined Line In/Out, Card Reader: MicroSD up to 2 TB (SD, SDHC, SDXC), Sensors: Acceleration, proximity, ambient light, gyro, orientation and air pressure sensors, digital compass, NFC, aGPS/GPS, DLNA, Miracast, Wifi Direct, SlimPort HDMI, wireless charging (Qi), OTG
:: Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth, GSM (850, 900, 1.800 and 1.900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1.900 and 2.100 MHz), LTE (800, 1.800 and 2.600 MHz)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.95 x 146.3 x 74.6
:: Weight
0.149 kg Power Supply: 0.073 kg
:: Battery
11.4 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3.8 Volt, 3000 mAh
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 1140 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 1260 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 32880 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 33180 h
:: Price
549 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: 2.1 MP; main camera: 13 MP, optical image stabilizer, laser auto focus, LED flash, realtime HDR, Speakers: 1 watts mono speaker (with bass amplification), Keyboard: virtual, Headset, USB cable, power adapter, KnockCode, QSlide, QuickRemote, QuickMemo, LG Smartworld, McAfee Security, Guest Mode, Face Unlock, Easy UI, Dual-Window, Smart Keyboard, Smart Cleaning, Smart Notice, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Even the packaging looks like metal.
Even the packaging looks like metal.
The display diagonal measures 5.5 inches.
The display diagonal measures 5.5 inches.
The WQHD panel comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.
The WQHD panel comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.
Extraordinarily sharp: The LG G3.
Extraordinarily sharp: The LG G3.
The webcam offers just 2.1 megapixels.
The webcam offers just 2.1 megapixels.
The LG G3's data transfer capabilities are impressive.
The LG G3's data transfer capabilities are impressive.
As are its slim bezels.
As are its slim bezels.
On-screen Android buttons.
On-screen Android buttons.
The audio jack can be found at the bottom.
The audio jack can be found at the bottom.
Looks like metal, but it is plastic.
Looks like metal, but it is plastic.
The SlimPort is also an HDMI-out port.
The SlimPort is also an HDMI-out port.
The LG G3 is easy to hold despite its large dimensions.
The LG G3 is easy to hold despite its large dimensions.
And although the curvature of the back makes it thicker, it also leads to more comfortable handling.
And although the curvature of the back makes it thicker, it also leads to more comfortable handling.
The metal-like back looks premium.
The metal-like back looks premium.
Great quality and super-fast laser auto focus: The rear camera.
Great quality and super-fast laser auto focus: The rear camera.
The location of the speaker is not ideal.
The location of the speaker is not ideal.
The cover can be removed easily.
The cover can be removed easily.
The LG G3 support the Qi wireless charging standard.
The LG G3 support the Qi wireless charging standard.
The battery can be swapped.
The battery can be swapped.
Still, wireless charging takes twice as long as charging with a cable.
Still, wireless charging takes twice as long as charging with a cable.
The microSIM and MicroSD card slots are located right next to each other.
The microSIM and MicroSD card slots are located right next to each other.
The speaker looks larger once the cover is removed.
The speaker looks larger once the cover is removed.
The power adapter yields 9 Watts - barely enough.
The power adapter yields 9 Watts - barely enough.
The battery comes with a capacitiy of 3000 mAh.
The battery comes with a capacitiy of 3000 mAh.
A decent headset is included.
A decent headset is included.
The LG G3 ships with Android 4.4.2.
The LG G3 ships with Android 4.4.2.
10.49 GB (out of 16 GB for the smallest variant of the LG G3) remain accessible to the user.
10.49 GB (out of 16 GB for the smallest variant of the LG G3) remain accessible to the user.
The touchscreen supports multitouch with up to 10 fingers.
The touchscreen supports multitouch with up to 10 fingers.
Geekbench 2
Geekbench 2
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
The LG G3 boots within approx. 35 seconds.
The LG G3 boots within approx. 35 seconds.
AndEBench
AndEBench
Basemark ES 2.0
Basemark ES 2.0
Basemark X 1.1 (Medium Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (Medium Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (High Quality)
Basemark X 1.1 (High Quality)
GFXBench 3.0
GFXBench 3.0
Epic Citadel (High Quality)
Epic Citadel (High Quality)
Epic Citadel (High Performance)
Epic Citadel (High Performance)
Epic Citadel (Ultra High Quality)
Epic Citadel (Ultra High Quality)
3D Mark crashed once during the Extreme Test
3D Mark crashed once during the Extreme Test
3DMark
3DMark
Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
Vellamo 3
Vellamo 3
LG G Watch with its charging cradle.
LG G Watch with its charging cradle.
Well done for a first-generation product.
Well done for a first-generation product.

Similar Devices

Devices with the same GPU

» Motorola Moto X (2014) Smartphone Review
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» Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Review
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» Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Smartphone Review
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» Nokia Lumia 930 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, 5.0", 0.17 kg
» Review Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone
Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, 5.1", 0.145 kg
» Review HTC One M8 Smartphone
Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, 5.0", 0.16 kg
» Review Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Snapdragon 801 APQ8074AB, 10.1", 0.425 kg

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Pro

+Extremely sharp display
+Powerful SoC
+Ultra-fast flash memory
+Good speech quality
+App2SD support
+Great camera
+Fancy design
+Superb build quality
+Huge variety of input methods
+Slow motion videos with 120 fps
+Low SAR values
 

Cons

-McAfee Security cannot be removed (completely)
-High black levels
-No USB 3.0
-Micro lags
-Throttling (under load)
-No MHL 3.0

Shortcut

What we like

The LG G3 feels (and looks!) like a premium smartphone. And the camera is great.

What we'd like to see

A smartphone capable of natively playing the UHD videos (which it takes!) on a TV. MHL 3.0 would have been useful.

What surprises us

The WQHD screen seems to be quite power-hungry, producing a lot of excess heat in the process, but LG didn't ship the G3 with a larger battery. Some more fine-tuning would have been nice, too.

The competition

Competitors are the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8, the Google Nexus 5, the Huawei Ascend P7, the Apple iPhone 5S, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Nokia Lumia 930.

Ratings

LG G3
07/10/2014 v4
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
92%
Keyboard
74 / 75 → 99%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
55 / 60 → 92%
Weight
92%
Battery
87%
Display
82%
Games Performance
64 / 75 → 85%
Application Performance
50 / 65 → 77%
Temperature
82%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
83%
Add Points
-1%
Average
73%
86%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG G3 Smartphone and LG G Watch Review
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2014-07-18 (Update: 2014-07-27)