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LG G3: Great battery life, wonderful features, and no more software bloat

Florence Ion | June 13, 2014
When it comes to Android smartphone mindshare, Samsung gets all the attention, while HTC plays mop up. But way out in left field sits the oft-forgotten LG, a company that continues to make great phones. Add the new flagship G3 to LG's strong legacy--it has to be seriously considered by anyone looking for a feature-filled smartphone. This is a phone with smart industrial design and stellar battery life, and LG has eliminated much of its software bloat.

When it comes to Android smartphone mindshare, Samsung gets all the attention, while HTC plays mop up. But way out in left field sits the oft-forgotten LG, a company that continues to make great phones. Add the new flagship G3 to LG's strong legacy — it has to be seriously considered by anyone looking for a feature-filled smartphone. This is a phone with smart industrial design and stellar battery life, and LG has eliminated much of its software bloat.

Despite the G3's polymer casing, the phone feels premium, and its material is a better choice than the faux leather that outfits the latest Samsung devices. You can also pop off the back door to access the battery, microSD expansion slot, and SIM card port.

The G3 is bigger than your average-sized smartphone, but still manages to boast one of the biggest screens in its class without overpowering your hand. The phone's 5.5-inch, Quad HD display features a 2560x1440 screen resolution, and a certifiably insane pixel pitch of 534 pixels per inch. The G3 is only slightly wider than the Samsung Galaxy S5 despite the fact that LG's display is 5.5 inches while Samsung's is 5.1 inches. Meanwhile, the HTC One (M8) display is just 5 inches, but HTC's body is a bit taller than LG's by a few millimeters.

There's no visible difference between the G3's Quad HD display and others with more conventional pixel pitches. Sure, you'll be able to brag about watching content on the smartphone version of a 2K display, but your HD video experience won't be palpably different. 

With 3GB of RAM, a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and 32GB of built-in storage, the G3 is clearly built for power junkies. I was quite impressed by the G3's ability to support all that RAM and multitudes of pixels with just a 3,000 mAh battery pack. In fact, during our battery rundown test, the G3 managed a whopping 10 hours and 15 minutes of video playback in Airplane Mode at 100 lumens.

The G3's battery life is aided by LG's proprietary adaptive display technology. It's called 3A, and can dial down the phone's power draw based on the content you're viewing. 3A derives its name from the fact that the phone "adapts" three key smartphone elements: frame rate, processor clocking, and display driver. In terms of real-world impact, that 1440p display can draw the power of a 1080p display, preserving battery life when you need it the most.

The G3's battery life was just as impeccable on standby, as the phone ate up only about 3 percent of its battery capacity over the course of 10 hours of non-use. Streaming over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth was a slightly different story, however, as the G3 would burn through about 5 to 10 percent an hour, depending on the task.

 

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