LG's brand new Android flagship puts an enormous, insanely sharp display in the palm of your hand

It was only a matter of time. The implacable march of smartphone progress has brought us a handset with more pixels than most HDTVs. The LG G3, LG's much-leaked follow-up to last year's G2, was announced today at events in London, New York and San Francisco. It's a phone which pushes the boundaries of smartphone screen size and resolution, while building on other areas of the G2's hardware.

LG joins a high-end Android market overflowing with strong competitors from the likes of HTC, Sony and local rival Samsung, but the Korean manufacturer will be hoping the G3's stand-out feature — that ridiculously large, super-high-res display — will turn heads when the phone launches this summer.

So now that we have the G3 in our hands, does it shape up? Head past the break for hands-on video, photos and our first impressions.


Reader comments

LG G3 hands-on


It's unabashedly plastic, but doesn't look cheap. I'm usually not a fan of faux metal looks but I've seen similar finishes from LG before and it still looks better than any of Samsung's backs. Not that I care all that much, I still use a case and if I didn't I'd prefer a more rubberized back like a Moto X or Nexus 5 (even the SGS5 might have more grip, but then it does look kinda fugly from the back, IMO). Haven't really been tempted to upgrade to any of this year's flagships (rocking a N5), but that's just me. It's definitely getting harder for the different OEMs to differentiate tho...

It is almost the same size as an S4 S5, the bezel is barely there, it looks to have the most minimal bezel of any phone out there

Man that looks amazing. I hope the direction towards a more professional looking UI becomes more common. Battery life is going to be an interesting one to test.

"By replacing the metal in the battery cathode with graphite, LG engineers were able to extend the lifespan of the G3's battery. The result is a battery that can keep up with the Quad HD display's ultra-high performance without losing steam in the middle of the day."

Lot of talk there, but should be interesting to see how it compares to the same sized G2 battery.

Battery will be just fine, also news flash for you, it is removable, so you can pick up a spare battery, and if will take you 30 seconds to swap it out. So your concern is moot.

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Im a little deflated by this, not sure why and not sure what i expected, this was going to be my next phone, the screen is nice but my old eyes wouldnt see the difference.

I think if i can get a One+ im gonna have to go with that

oh well now waiting for the new G Pad line

I can understand that. I, personally, was holding out for the Nexus 6, which would most likely have been based on this phone but all stories are pointing to no more Nexus devices being released.
My choices would probably be between this and the One+. My pocket may lean towards the One+ along with the possibility of getting Android 5(4.4???) sooner with CM running the software sides of things

What are you guys upgrading from? That's kinda key to whether you'd be underwhelmed or not (or whether you're justified to be). Personally I'm not tempted to upgrade from my N5 at all but I can understand it's getting harder and harder for these OEMs to differentiate. At this point I'd put far more value on truly unique features over minor bump specs, but that's just me...

Even the display on this thing, as great as I'm sure it is, would take a back seat to things like Samsung's water resistance, Moto's always listening features, etc. Even things like wireless charging or a smaller form factor (personal preference) would top the list for me personally, over 1080p vs QHD or Snapdragon 800 vs 801, etc. Not knocking the G3 btw, there's lots of things I like about it, heck I even like the back buttons.

The display does nothing for me to be honest as at that size I cannot see the difference. I'm coming from a Note 3 and a Moto x.

I think I'm putting all my eggs in the Moto X + 1 basket this year, I'm interested to see what they come at us with, I'm hoping its as good as the original.

I'll own a G3 eventually, can't help myself with phones lol

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The G3 is very nice. Hands down the king of flagships. I think the Nexus 5 is a phone which caters to a different consumer..... a subset in the android culture. Most do not know the appeal of the Nexus unless they've owned it.

I hope no one buys this because then in 2 months time it'll be £300 like the g2 was. Bargain ahoy

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whats the story with the burgundy and dark purple versions in the gallery?? doesnt look black, white or gold to me there..

Yeah, and if we do get some of the cool colors, they'll likely be carrier- or retailer-exclusive. The HTC One came in some awesome colors (that blue one from Best Buy, daaaamn) , but they weren't available unlocked.

Hopefully if they ARE gonna be available they'll be available day one, even if as exclusives... I'm still angry the red Nexus 5 came out so late, love me some color. Nothing makes a phone more distinct than being able to pick a snazzy color, and it covers up a lot of design flaws in the eyes of many consumers.

Same. I was sad enough not being able to get the purple Xperia Z on T-Mo. I've wanted another purple phone ever since the MyTouch 4g!

didnt expect a spen typo but would have made my choice harder come note4 ! never mind just have to stick with who does it best!

from my old note3 which i had to sell my soul for;)

I find the colors unappealing, and I don't particularly care for the design of the icons. This can probably be fixed, but I don't like what I'm seeing. I much prefer the aesthetics of pretty much all other interfaces.

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It definitely looks better then the ui on the G2 I really like the flat look and more muted colors and I really like the look of the notification shade with the dark theme and transparency. I hope LG upgrades the G2 to this ux

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I just don't like what LG makes for some reason..I mean the phones back looks nice and I'm sure the screen is amazing but I just don't get excited about anything they do. I'm sure it will sell well though so kudos lg

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At least you didn't make up a bogus reason. The description of your feelings reminds of Hans Landa's explanation of his bias at the beginning of Inglorious Bastards.

It's fair to have your own likes and dislikes...if love to know what does get your attention if the G2 isn't your thing...

Looks good. Now I'm super eager to see it in person. Whenever someone uses the word "otherworldly" to describe something, its about to go down

Posted from my caseless GS5, because I believe in myself

This is a beautiful phone, and the 32gb 3gig option is making me think I'm going to pounce all over this thing. I have been patiently waiting to see what LG would do to compete with the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8, and this looks to be the phone for me. Just waiting to see when I can get it on Verizon now!

The note brands is better. Right off the bat you get 32 gigs and 3 gigs of ram. And the stylus is sooo cool. All large screen phones should come with a stylus.

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The note 3 also has a higher price for those features. (I know the pricing for the g3 is not known yet, but I will be very surprised if it's at the $300-350 upgrade price that the note 3 is sitting at).

Hadn't thought about that. I never used the own on my corner Note... but you could be right if it is well done. The line between phone and tablet is less defined than ever.

And my G2 smiled and said, "Hi little big brother. Let me show you the ropes."
And then a software update enabled Knock Code and the new Ui.

Yes I want the G3 ux on the G2 if it gets it soon enough I probably won't upgrade, the G2 is still a beast.

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I'm thinking the same thing. I really very much like my G2 and the size of this has me wondering just what I'll upgrade to next. I like the G3 and Z2 the most but they both are quite large compared to the G2. The M8 is narrower so that's an option. The S5 just isn't doing anything for me. One+ is large, only thing left is the new Moto X or next Nexus/Silver. These phones have to stop growing just for the sake of growing.

Posted via Android Central App w/G2

As long as it retained the knockon feature agreed. It would be pretty sweet. Maybe the LG G3 will return as a silver edition ?

I doubt it'd retain the Knock On feature if it were released as a GPE, that's intrinsically part of LG's software (not saying it's technically impossible, as it definitely isn't, but there's a competitive incentive for them to keep it exclusive, like any of Samsung's gimmicks that don't make the GPE).

OTOH, maybe the new Silver line will herald a new era of OEM software features that don't require the full monty of software bloat, something like the Moto approach. That'd be very interesting... Knock On and Moto's always listening feature are two of the few OEM software features I still envy after getting a Nexus.

The GPE devices have kept some OEM features. If memory serves me correctly the GS4 retained compatibility with samsung smartcovers and i think the htc one kept beats audio (could be wrong on that one). With the buttons on the back knockon isn't really optional. It is kind of a required feature for this phone so I wouldn't be surprised if they kept it (no fancy knock code, just the on part).

If the stock camera app is upgraded to take advantage of all this horsepower and allow for slomo video, THAT would make me part with me G2.

I have the G Flex and love it but damn this is sexy. Not sure if I want to upgrade to the G3 or keep my flex. Hard descion.

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5.5"+ screen is Note territory, so IMHO needs a S-Pen (and supporting software to utilize it). Otherwise fo get bout it... go home (get a Note instead!)! :D

Agree with you here. Got a Note 3 and rarely use the pen. I've been looking at all these new flagships for something similar, w/o the need for a pen. G3 has me interested...

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So true, I've owned my Note 2 for almost 2 years now and I didn't use the pen as much as I thought I would.

Its a phone not a phablet. Compare the note next to this phone and you'll see why. Easier to handle for sure.

Posted via My Ever-Bloated S4

Easier to handle or not, 5.5"+ screen is phablet territory. While I understand some may not utilize the S-Pen, other than screen resolution, which is very subjective, what is so compelling about the G3 to choose it over a Note 3?

Its 5.5" display but its the same near same height and width as the s5 with its 5.1" display and not everyone wants to use a pen to interact with their phones.

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Personally I despise TouchWiz. Yes I know you can install many other launchers to replace it but I prefer a phone I'm going to enjoy straight out of the box

It is interesting that it has a plastic back, removable battery and Micro SD card - just like Samsung. Also the 3Gb RAM and 32 GB storage option would be nice. Here in the UK the 32Gb version of the G2 was hard to get from solid UK sources, so I expect the same stupidity this year.

So far I like the look of it; but wonder when we will see the new Tabs, the Watch etc. LG could bite into the Samsung monster, if they spent a few Billion US dollars on advertising.

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Yes mkbhd has a quick hands on and he shows it does but I'm not surprised since both the g flex and g pro 2 also have that feature.

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Quad HD haha this has more resolution than my pc. Although I dont see the point in it, I guess manufacturers must have something new to show every year

No! But the water proofing is the only redeeming virtue the S5 has over the G3. Don't worry ... you may be able to trade your S5 in for a G3 in a month or two!

I see the people complaining about battery life have disappeared LOL LOL. Its a beautiful phone that will certainly appeal to a lot of people. Will it sell as much as S5 doubt it but it may very well beat the M8. Great effort by LG3 competition is needed. Most likely my next handset after my G2. This Will be my Birthday treat in a couple months.

Honestly, as long as it's comfortable it hold it really doesn't matter what the phone is made of.

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Its fingerprint resistant, so thats a plus. I'm just sad its not the self healing stuff that was on the g flex.

Posted via My Ever-Bloated S4

I'm usually very put off by that kinda faux metal look, but LG's done it alright in the past, that fingerprint resistant coating they use definitely helps... Still looks better than Samsung's fake leather dimples and fake metal plastic trim, not that I care all that much, I'd slap a case on either, and if I didn't I'd prefer a more rubberized feel.

My S4's fake chrome trim makes me sick everytime I look at it. The stuff scratches so easy, and it looks like crap after a few months of usage. I usually go caseless with my phones, but I just can't with the s4. Can't wait for my upgrade.

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Sure hope the US market gets the 32gb int storage with the extra ram. If not this is not even worth buying. I can see a very laggy phone if the US market gets stuck with 16gb of int storage and the only 2gb of ram. Why even build the cheaper phone. You are talking pennies while this phone is being manufacturered???

This is what happens when a company pays attention to those people crying for small bezels. Now there's not enough to hold on to when playing games and watching videos.

How is the screen brightness? The g2 was very dim as compared to the nexus 5

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Finally, another OEM realizes Samsung's success isn't all just marketing and makes a phone with both an SD slot and a swappable battery. I've been very pleased with my S4, but I will be giving the G3 serious consideration as every LG feature phone I ever owned was excellent.

Thank you LG for finally giving a lot of people choice.

My biggest worry is digging into the settings, I see the same tabbed approach that drove me nuts on my G2. HTC at least keeps things organized the same as stock/AOSP. Putting Nova Launcher on couldn't get me past what a pain in the butt it was to find things in settings. Rooting and putting CM11 on my G2 has made me very very happy. Hopefully we'll see AOSP or a GPE for the G3 if they've kept the same approach with the stock ROM.

You can switch the tabbed approach to a list view. Go to settings then hit menu button at the bottom.

Posted via Android Central App w/G2

Happy G2 owner here, while I love everything the G3 has to offer I'll be skipping this for the G4 or whatever the next model will be called.

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Yeah, I got mine about a month ago for a little over $400 replacing my M7. Could not be happier with it at this point. Nothing they've shown today was a game changer for me, as far as I can tell this is going to be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Now if somehow I got an invite for a One+, I might change my tune.

Wonder what defines 'some markets' that will have the wireless charging option (or is it an inclusion in those markets)?

I would think with a removable back it can now be an add-on option in any market much as it has been for Samsung in the past. I'd certainly hope so, wireless charging is a must for me now (3 chargers in different parts of the house, too used to it), I'm not in a hurry to upgrade but I hope it's a feature that continues to be supported so it doesn't die out.

Simon was really struggling to use the phone with one hand... :(

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Alert!!! Alert!!! The S5 and HTC folk are joining forces in hopes of defending the turf. They will start appearing unannounced in the bent over posture taking a defensive view and attempt to "shoot down" the G3's superiority! Hug them and be sympathetic .... just saying........ :)

People could also say you are an LG nuthugger reading you're comment... Brand loyalty is stupid

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Very attractive. I'd have to hold it in hand and put it in my pocket before deciding to buy one, though.

My last comment is that LG has come a long way to challenging Samsung and Apple. This G3 has got all the makings to sell well. Hope it does.

Can't blame LG for that, no device gets that expect for Nexus and GPE editions ( the latter of those aren't available in the EU anyway )

Quad HD IPS display, Snapdragon 2.5 GHz, 32 GB storage, up to 128 gigabytes and a microSD card, 3 GB of RAM and 3000 mAh battery - these are great parameters for my new phone :o)

Sounds like this will be a nice phone. I would like to see the various color options in person. (I love pretty phones).

I love my G2... former GS4 owner. I'm quite jealous now as the G3 addresses a couple of the minor drawbacks I did find. Metal casing, external storage, and a removable battery.
I hope AT&T cross the model revisions they have taken in the past...

I hear people complaining about the increasing size of phones (including me in the past), but then I see many iphone users always using both hands when using an iPhone. If you are going to use two hand to use your phone, then 5 or 5.5 inches is just perfect!

Love to try LG again went away from
LG for awhile now ,was but hoping in the future to return, looks pretty good design for new phone .lets work together to find a solution ..

im not sure if its still to big :/ but its alway a compromise between enjoying media on a big screen and having a small size smartphone in pocket

TechMatte makes a nice ProGrip car mount I think would it this well. Looks like a nice phone! Good job LG and thanks AC for the review so early!

So look like HTC M8. I guess if this was apple they will send their legal team to the court right now to stop us from buying it. I also think when these people do video of these phone , they should do the video with max resolution brightness. Because it is hard for me to compare that phone to a max brightness of a samsung galaxy note 3 or galaxy 5 ...

I am suspicious with that resolution quality from that picture. Note 3 look better than that. I have to hold this phone in my hand to see the difference. Looking at QHD screen right now on a TV , which is far better than what I'm looking at right here

Can't wait to see LG interface and the new look...bit concern about size but we should see still want it

My husband has the G2 and we love it! But the G3 battery needs to be just as good if not better for everyone to upgrade to G3...hoping it will be cause it's a beauty! I wish HTC would redo the DROID DNA.. Which I have now... It's a great phone with a terrible battery!

That's a perfect phone launched from LG! Most of the G2 problems seems to be rectified and the camera samples are promising than the competitors.

Awesome piece of engineering, simply desirable. Perfect example of what a competition can produce. Excellence and innovation at it's best.

Everything about this phone is just awesome. The hardware, the camera, the laser focus and the software too! After long long time it made me desperate.. Kudos to all the designers and engineers!

┃┃┃╭╮┃┃┃╭━╮╭╮╰╮┃ Lloyd Sir
┃╰┫╰╯┃┃╰┻━┃┃╰━╯┃IAM D RANDOM 1

LG G3 looks really practical plus it has a very interesting look . the hardware seems to work really awesome i dont know how is the software but i'll tell you when i win this

what a great gift this contest is; isnt it . i may not win but one lucky man or woman will . thank you LG .