LG G3: inside and out of the world's clearest smartphone

    At the end of last year, many surprised and pleased the smartphone LG G2. After many years of production of middle peasants and very budget devices, LG suddenly showed a flagship that can stand on a par with brothers from Samsung and Sony. Moreover, in a number of parameters - camera capabilities, battery life, sound quality in headphones - G2 exceeded other flagships. Probably the only thing to complain about was the lack of a microSD slot in the Russian version of the device. But 32 gigabytes is not such a small amount. And if you do not carry a powerful video library with you, it’s quite enough even for a maniac like me.

    Since then, LG in general has somehow sorted out on the mobile market. A large smart-phone (or phablet, if you like) G Pro came out, an inexpensive, but very worthy G Pad tablet appeared. And therefore there was no reason to doubt that the heir to the LG G2 would also be sensible. However, taking into account how powerful and harmonious the apparatus turned out, I did not think that the heir would appear before the fall. It was quite possible to release some kind of improved version, adding, for example, the coveted slot for flash drives. But LG thought differently, and now on all counters of the country lies the new flagship LG G3. And this is not a cosmetic upgrade, but a fundamentally different device.

    The screen brightness of the LG G2 (left) and G3 set to 66%. But for G2, this is clearly not enough, and for G3 - in excess

    LG G3 has become significantly larger than its already rather big predecessor. The screen size is 5.46 inches, and despite the very narrow frames on the sides of the matrix, the device still claims to be the largest flagship smartphone. At least it's wider than the Sony Xperia Z2 and longer than the Samsung Galaxy S5. Personally, it seems to me that for a smartphone that constantly lies in your pocket, such dimensions are excessive. Yes, and you can’t reach the upper corners of the screen even after the operation to build your thumb. Of course, for games and movies, the big screen is a joy, but, unfortunately or fortunately, we do not play and watch TV shows all the time.

    From left to right - Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z2

    However, I know why LG stopped on such a screen. Its resolution is breathtaking 2560x1440 pixels. This is only slightly smaller than the MacBook Pro with a Retina screen, but there is a diagonal of 13 inches, and here it is almost three times smaller. So the clarity is phenomenal, 538 DPI. Another question is that it is not easy to make out. A few days ago, I began to carefully examine the screen of the LG G3 and compare it with the G2. And with some surprise I discovered that I did not feel the difference. And there clearly, and there. I had to call on a young daughter, who, not knowing about the characteristics of the G3 matrix, said that she had a clearer picture. But she had to take a closer look. And if the diagonal were at least a little less, even the sharp children's eye would not be able to make out the difference.

    Until the Xperia Z Ultra, the new flagship LG still does not reach the size, but it does not look like a kid at all

    . I could not immediately get any special impressions from the increased resolution. Assuming satiety and skepticism interfered with me, I spent a week with G3, and then returned to G2. And what do you think? No undo effect. There it is clear - and there it is clear. Therefore, consider me a retrograde, but Quad HD in a smartphone is, of course, nice, but not at all necessary. Photos on smartphones are not professionally processed, a film in its “native” resolution will pull at least 10 GB, and it will not visually differ from its counterpart in Full HD.

    If you put LG G3 (bottom) and G2 side by side, and upload both the same photo with lots of small details, then G3, of course, looks more advantageous. But how often do we do this in real life?

    There is no doubt that tomorrow all flagships will use Quad HD matrices, and LG will have the opportunity to talk about its superiority with pleasure. But then, probably, the iron will be slightly updated. Meanwhile, G3 has a standard Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (operating frequency up to 2.5 GHz) with at least the standard Adreno 330 graphics core. In devices with Full HD, their performance is sufficient and even pleasantly redundant. But here they have to constantly maintain almost twice the resolution, and if this is not noticeable in everyday tasks, then in 3D games, like Asphalt 8, some ... tension is noticeable. By the way, in the benchmark Antutu G3 shows itself a little worse than G2, and this is explained precisely by transcendental resolution. This unit evokes my association with the first generation 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina screen, where the graphics core integrated into the 3rd generation Core processor worked to the limit, and sometimes it "got tired" under serious load. The fourth generation of Core has come out - and now everything flies. But free replacement for users is not provided ...

    The camera in the LG G2, as I already wrote, is just excellent, and I have had to use it instead of the main camera more than once during working shooting. Both the readers and myself were pleased with the results. The G3 did not begin to increase the resolution (13 megapixels is really quite enough), but they added laser autofocus. Compared to analogs (typically, smartphones use a contrast type), the laser allows you to quickly determine the distance to the subject and reduce the focus time to 0.27 seconds.

    Is LG G3 fast autofocus? Yes, very fast. But not faster than the Xperia Z2, iPhone 5s or Galaxy S (the latter, however, must wait until the camera application loads, this is Samsung’s chip). I compared both in sunlight and in a medium-lit room - everywhere the flagships went approximately flush. Compared to G2, acceleration in poor lighting is quite substantial, but the point is in the features of a specific leisurely photomodule. As for the quality of the shooting, it seems to have remained the same - very, very good. Now you can take pictures with one click on the screen, and this is a very nice borrowing from Windows Phone.

    Here are some examples of photographs taken both in the twilight and in bright sunlight. Originals in one archive can be downloaded at this link .

    The battery capacity of the G3 remained the same, 3000 mAh. Given the increased diagonal and increased load on the SoC, I had to forget about the almost guaranteed two days of working on a single charge, which I was used to on G2. Now it is one daylight. Guaranteed. But one.

    From a meter distance, the LG G3 looks metallic, but in fact it is such a cunning plastic. The back cover is removable, and there - lo and behold! - A microSD card slot is detected. But there are no rubber pads, as in the Galaxy S5: LG decided not to make the flagship waterproof. Honestly, sorry. After swimming in the pool with the Galaxy S5, I took so many unusual photos and videos that now without a phone into the water - not with my foot.

    The official photo shows all the possible (at the moment) G3 colors

    LG Android shell makes a calm impression. It has changed significantly compared to the LG G2, becoming more rigorous and concise. The inclusion mode by two clicks on the screen (which appeared initially in Nokia and then repeated by Sony in Z2) has not gone away and a “snap” password has been added, when you can simply tap on the zones of the screen you know and the device will unlock. I was pleased with the ability to change the size of the keyboard, which can be stretched to at least half the screen, but can be dimmed below. And yet the shell is lacking ... integrity, or something. Before the monolithic style, Sony and HTC still have much to think about.

    The sound in the headphones is very good. It makes sense to connect fairly expensive models, and not just a complete headset - the device will allow them to show their capabilities in full force. But again, we must remember G2, which plays no worse.

    The thickness of G3 is about the same as that of G2, but the novelty looks more elegant due to the more rounded back part.

    Before proceeding to the conclusions, let's look inside G3. Suddenly, something unusual is revealed there.


    Talking about the internal structure of the LG G2, I said that it made a rather significant step forward in comparison with its predecessors. The components there for the first time for LG were normal, and not like in the "Chinese" of the middle hand. However, in general, the engineering decision was controversial: microphones, charging, a vibration motor and a number of other components hung on a huge plume, which made assembly difficult and could serve as a source of damage during operation.

    The LG G3 made another important step: the cables in it are completely absent. All components are located on the motherboard. Some doubts were caused by the long “leg” leading to the bottom of the smartphone, but it was experimentally found out that it is very durable and elastic, and also firmly fixed in the case. So breaking it by accidentally dropping a smartphone with an inserted charger or headphone jack will fail.

    LG G3 with the cover removed

    We remove the middle layer

    LG G3 motherboard

    Generally, the internal device is simple and somehow not elegant in Korean. The LG G3 is disassembled in a matter of seconds, and this does not require anything but a screwdriver. Accustomed to opening moisture-proof devices, where you can’t get far without a soldering station, you are very surprised at such simplicity.

    The slot for the memory card and SIM card is combined, and you should be careful with it. He really does not like it when they insert a nano-sim through an adapter. If the latter leaves at least a small gap, the connector pins in it will certainly get bogged down, and by using force, you simply break them off. So I advise you not to experiment, but just change the nano-sim to micro.

    Combined connector. Next to him, an unknown Korean master again left us a message.

    It's funny that the power system in the LG G3 is implemented on exactly the same components as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. In general, the master Levchenko noticed some ... similarities in design. I heartily congratulate Samsung engineers on the fact that competitors are inspired by their ideas.

    The camera module is very similar to a fellow in LG G2. Most likely, this is just what he is. The front camera also seems to have migrated from its predecessor. And outwardly the module is similar, and its resolution is exactly the same - 2.1 megapixels. Against the background of 5 and even 8 megapixels, which business colleagues offer lovers of “selfies”, they are rather modest. However, the self-portraits are quite decent, I checked. True, I will not spread it - it is unlikely that my mug will please anyone.

    I also want to praise the headphone jack, which was made removable. It is the weak link in all smartphones - we’ll stick the plug roughly, then the water will flow. Replacing it requires a fairly accurate soldering, and in some cases it is necessary to completely change the entire lower loop, which is not cheap. In the case of the LG G3, you just need to remove the old connector and put in a new one. Given the simplicity of disassembling the device, it’s literally five minutes. Bravo, LG!

    All details of LG G3 in one frame. Compare with the LG G2 Zoo (below)

    Assessing the design of the G3 as a whole, we can say that the Korean engineers almost did not surprise us, but they pleased us. The new flagship is simple and even elegant. Everything in it is imprisoned for production in large print runs with minimal costs. It is nice that in the course of numerous simplifications with water, the child was not spilled out. Compared to G2, the new device is very simple, but such simplicity is worth a lot.


    Given the high bar set a little more than six months ago, I personally expected a lot from G3. And, as is often the case with high expectations, reality turned out to be somewhat more modest.

    LG G3 is undoubtedly an intelligent device. But the super-screen, which has become a noticeable performance limiter and reduced battery life, has not turned into a real killer feature. Check in any cabin: brightness and large viewing angles are much easier to notice than ultra-clear.

    If you like large smartphones and want a modern model with an excellent screen, one of the best mobile cameras on the market and high-quality sound in the headphones, you can safely take the LG G3. Have fun. The price, however, is still a bit high in official stores, 29,990 rubles, but in less prestigious places the G3 can be easily taken for 23,000. And this alludes to a substantial margin for dropping the price.

    But the release of the new flagship does not completely erase the existence of an excellent LG G2 in all senses, which officially costs 19,990, and unofficially - only 14,000! For half a year it has not become outdated, and taking into account the price reduction has become a very interesting option. On it, you can safely wait for the LG G4.

    The author thanks Aleksandr Levchenko ( www.tech-town.ru ) for his help in preparing this article.

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