First Impressions of LG’s G3

Yesterday Howard and I attended a pre-launch event for the LG G3 in Toronto. Everyone there got a pre-release loaner to take home and review; though I wasn’t officially on the guest list I ended up getting one too!

For me, LG’s 2014 flagship is pretty much the polar opposite of my LG Nexus 5. Where the latter is a fairly nondescript black box that lets the power of pure Android shine,  the G3’s hardware practically screams “premium” in every way.

Dat Bezel

LG G3 Front

There’s no denying it… the front of the G3 is a thing of beauty. The impossibly thin bezel on either side of the screen continues along the top panel. It’s offset by a titanium grey chin; the result is a very classy two-tone effect. Gorilla Glass covers the entire front panel, but if you look closely below the screen there’s a very subtle series of concentric circular grooves etched outwards from the LG logo in the centre. I tried to photograph it, and failed.

I’m still getting used to the Quad HD display—that is to say I’m still looking for content that will fully exploit it. Text, wallpapers and such look fantastic, though.

Around Back

LG G3 Back

LG has done a passable job of making the back panel look like brushed metal. Does it feel like metal? Not so much. But at least it won’t slip out your hand as easily as HTC’s gun-metal grey M8 will. And it’s removable, revealing a similarly-removable 3000mAh battery plus microSD card slot underneath.

The back-mounted power button is plastic but the volume rocker that surrounds it appears to be metal, with a textured mesh finish. The single rear-firing speaker sounds pretty bad—but then again, most phone and tablet speakers sound pretty bad once you’ve heard the front-firing stereo speakers on an HTC M7 or M8.

A random observation: I’ve noticed that the back of the G3 gets noticeably warm after using it for an extended period. Maybe it’s a good thing LG didn’t use metal there.

Interface

LG G3 Home Screen

Here’s the G3’s standard home screen, in all its 2560×1440 pixel glory. I had to scale the original 4.6MB PNG down to 720p in order to fit the 1MB upload limit of these forums. As someone with a strong bias towards stock Android, the G3’s interface isn’t too intrusive—I personally view the pull-down notification area as a bit of a train wreck, but that’s just me.

Benchmarks

LG G3 AnTuTu Benchmark Results

I’m not at all a processor geek, but as a public service I ran the AnTuTu Benchmark test. It seemed to do fairly well. One thing I can’t figure out: I had to disable my network connection to launch both this app and Ookla’s speed test, even though Ookla obviously requires a data network in order to test its speed. There is a McAfee security app installed on the phone, but I haven’t touched it. Weird.

What’s Next

As I get more familiar with the G3 over the weekend I’ll have more to say about the software, and will also have some sample photos and video as well. If you’ve any specific questions about this device, ask away!