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LG G3 review: An impressive smartphone with a WQHD display

Christopher Minasians Katharine Byrne
31 Jan 2017
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
490
inc VAT

With its huge 2,560x1,440 display, innovative apps, excellent camera and fast performance, the G3 remains an incredible smartphone

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Screen size: 5.5in, Screen resolution: 2,560x1,440, Rear camera: 2.1-megapixel, Storage: 16GB, Wireless data: 4G, 3G, Size: 146x74x8.9mm, Weight: 149g, Operating system: Android 4.4.2

Back in 2014, the LG G3 was considered on of the highlights of 2014, but since we've had the LG G4 and the LG G5, taking the G3 firmly off its throne. 

The G3 certainly still makes a great first impression, as its super high-res 5.5in, 2,560x1,440 IPS display and ultra thin bezels continue to look just as good as its modern-day rivals. Its plastic back is maybe a little outdated compared to the metal and glass combos you'll see elsewhere, but its clean, simple design makes it supremely comfortable to hold and its smooth, curved rear panel fits perfectly in your palm. It doesn't attract any nasty fingerprints, either, and its compact frame (for a 5.5in handset, at least) provides a decent amount of grip when using the phone one-handed. 

Having reviewed it at £490, the phone can now be found for around £120 on eBay - making it a cheaper alternative to flagship phones that can be found today.

LG G3 review: Display

That large screen really makes the LG G3 stand out. While its resolution of 2,560x1,440 has since been replicated across other manufacturers, its image quality is great. Colours were also extremely bright and vivid thanks to the phone's high sRGB colour accuracy score of 91.7 percent, and our measured contrast ratio of 741:1 led to plenty of detail in light and dark areas of images. We measured the G3's black levels as 0.56cd/m2, which isn't particularly deep, but we found this made little difference to the clarity of text as the screen's high brightness of 417.32cd/m2 really makes letters stand out against its clean white backgrounds.

That said, we did notice that the G3 wasn't able to sustain its maximum brightness setting during extended periods of use. Instead, the phone would gradually lower its maximum brightness level automatically, and wouldn't let us increase it again until the phone's internal temperature had cooled down. This was a little disappointing, but even though the G3 did get quite warm during every day use, it never got so hot that it was uncomfortable to hold and the brightness level rarely dropped below 90 percent, meaning we could still use it outside in bright conditions without any trouble.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 screen arguably trumps the G3, though, with incredibly low black levels and sky-high brightness levels when outdoors, has the same resolution and covers 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. A year's worth of tech development has gone a long way, and the S6 definitely has the best smartphone screen out there at the moment. Of course, one of the benefits of having such a large resolution screen is having a lot more workspace to play with, and LG has made the most of the G3's screen with its Dual Window app.

LG G3 Dual Window

Like the Multi Window feature on current Samsung devices, Dual View lets you use two apps simultaneously, and you can adjust the height of each window to fit your needs. This means you can send a text while looking at Google Maps or browse the web while chatting to friends in Google Hangouts. Using apps in Dual Window can be a little cramped compared to using apps in fullscreen view, but it's great for multitasking and we much prefer it to continually going back and forth between different apps via the home screen. Continues on Page 2

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