Numbers only tell part of the story when it comes to how big a phone actually is – excuse the cliche but it also comes down to how it feels in the hand. The LG G2 packed a 5.2-inch Full HD display into a frame that would often be found paired with much smaller display sizes through a mixture of unique design and possibly a little witchcraft. Now the LG G3 is here, have the LG boffins done it again? Sure, the display size has gone up, but how much bigger has the phone got?

Well, see for yourselves. A press event is never the best place to really size these things up, but overall it's not grown by much. It's a little taller, but with that curved rear, once again LG has created something that just doesn't feel as massive as the numbers might indicate.

We'll be spending much more time with the new LG G3 in the coming weeks. For now, what do you think? This size increase look OK, or was the G2 really the limit for you?

More: In pictures: LG G3 versus Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Sony Xperia Z2

LG G3 and G2


Reader comments

So, how much bigger is the LG G3 compared to the LG G2?


Same, the fact that it's taller is particularly bad as that's my biggest issue with the last gen phones (G2, SGS4, etc). I'm 5'10" and have fairly long fingers but I still need to adjust my grip slightly to be able to reach the notification bar (or the bottom of the screen if I'm gripping it so the notification bar is in reach).

Maybe there's just more two-hand phone users out there? Or most people with smaller hands already resigned to using two hands when we were at 4.3"?

Personally I'd take something in the Moto X's size form factor as my next phone, and I was very tempted by the Moto X despite the lower res screen and slightly aged specs on launch (initial price and no Spark support is what pushed me away altogether).

After hearing the reviews on G2, I was considered giving it a try, but the size. All of these 5"+ phones drive me bonkers. I wound up getting the Moto X and and am very happy with the size and how it feels in the hand. My only regret is that I didn't get the 32GB. As for my wif'e's G2? It's a beast. I dread the times I have to play technical support and fix something for her.

I wound up with a Nexus 5 cause of Spark and the Moto X being priced too high initially, but it's as far as I go. I said that before (3x) but this time I mean it damn it! No seriously, I can't see myself going any larger at all, having to use two hands more often seems like a complete drag. A big part of the time that I'm using my phone is while eating, or watching TV (remote in the other), or using my other camera, or having a drink, etc etc.

I tried going bigger than 5" with the Note II, but found the 5" form factor to be perfect, though I'm willing to go just a bit smaller.

My mother and father in law have Moto X phones. I got the Nexus 5 on Sprint. I like the size and look of the moto x much better. I would have liked the internals and guaranteed updates of the Nexus in the case of the Moto X. A 720p screen is perfectly fine for me too in that size. It looks really good.

I have the HTC M8 which is the same height as the G3. And I use the M8 just fine with one hand without a case, and they say how slippery the M8 is. So I'm happy to see what LG has done with the G3, I think it's the perfect size. The only problem I see is using the G3 without a case because of the small bezels. Your hands will always be touching the screen. I was hoping to add the G3 to my second line and trade in my Note2. But after hearing it only has a snapdragon 801 I will wait for the HTC M8 prime. I think the G3 is a very good phone and almost waited for it, but I'm happy with my decision on purchasing the M8. I do have to say that a 5.5 inch screen is the perfect size for me. Now that I only watch movies on my Note2 and have the M8 as my primary, life is great. Have the best of both worlds, a big screen and NO more LAG with the smoothest performance of any smartphone

The internal specs seem awesome, but I too am concerned with that tallness. I won't know for sure until I hold one for myself, though. Can't wait!!

The G3 looks huge next to the G2 and I thought the G2 was pushing the limit for me. Waiting and wishing that Moto comes through with something spectacular.

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G3Can't wait to get this puppy in hand. It must be the 32 gb variant though because even with my g2's 32 gb w/out expansion I won't trade for the bigger screen, even for the 801 snapdragon unless the price is comparable. To my great G2. LONG LIVE LG.
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To All posting way to large and to big..

The android market has other devices that cater for your requirements so don't fret..

The Z2 or S5 and the Htc if they are to big...

Sony compact, Htc mini 2 and I'm dam sure there will be a S5 mini

Failing that iPhone range at 4"

Or the Galaxy fame range at 3.5"

Failing that I have no idea..perhaps give up lol

Seriously though it's the same height as the M8 so I think Lg have done a great balancing act here so to speak.

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Same height as in total dimensions, not screen size which is where the fingers would be going up and down. A lot of people want to be able to touch the Home button and the notification menu in one action without re-positioning their hand.

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I don't understand why everyone needs to reach from bottom to top! Ive had every galaxy note and currently use the note 3. I've used nova launcher on all of them, which has a setting that lets you pull the notification bar down with a downward swipe from anywhere on the screen. That way you hold the phone naturally where you can reach the buttom buttons or the dialer.

No, there really aren't many devices that cater to people who want a smaller phone. Even last gen flagships were already on the large size, there's next to nothing smaller than that outside of the Moto X, unless you settle for mid-range models with mediocre specs for the price point. Even stuff like the HTC Minis compromise a lot, Sony's one of the few that doesn't shortchange their smaller models too much but their US presence is non existent.

Not bagging on the G3, I think it makes better use of the space than the M8... I'll take more screen over front firing speakers personally, I don't spend more than 5 min at a time listening to those speakers. Manufacturers are definitely ignoring those who don't want huge phones tho, I think Android is actually STILL losing sales to Apple over this.

THIS. I enjoy large phones, and there are times when a 5inch+ screen is awesome, but a lot of times I find myself envying the small size of the iPhone 5s (even though I hate the build material, and shape). I would love a LG G3 Compact with a 4-4.5" screen! Too bad most Android OEM's are ignoring this market. For now, I guess I'll just keep riding the wave of size upwards, as I don't think I would ever consider one of those smaller phones that compromise on speed, features, or screen for cheapness.

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Well said! Also, now that Moto is owned by a Asian manufacturer I can see their screen size increasing, especially if their latest Lonovo phablet is anything to go by.

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It is also important to remember that in the land of Android anything that isn't a flagship device doesn't get any post-purchase support. No guarantee of updates at all. So even if you could be happy with 2 year old specs you also have to deal with getting a phone that will never get any OEM support if you want a smaller phone.

I've been unhappy with the growth of phones since they went over 4.3 inches (yep that is right. I though the original Galaxy S2 (europe model) was the perfect size for a phone). Back then my complaining was definitely in the minority. Now, however, I see more and more people in the comment sections, and sometimes even the bloggers themselves (see Kellen's rant on Droid-Life) complaining about the increasing size of android smartphones. This leads me to believe that OEMs really are missing a market opportunity.

I am using a LG g2, and it is at the limit of one handed use, the height of that phone looks to be too much. I am am 5 10", normal sized hands. Sucks cause spec wise out looks like a great phone.

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Same, G2/N5 was the limit for me, and I'd prefer the Moto X's size if it wasn't for other factors... 5'10" with fairly long fingers here. I think a lot of people must've given up long before us and they mostly use two hands for their phone now tho, or declining vision takes precedence over ergonomics.

It's a small phone. This is coming from a Note 3 fan. I also carry my nexus 7 2013 in my back jeans pocket at school every now and then. College is too busy to worry about putting it in my backpack. I also have a LG G pad 8.3 which makes my note look like a baby's toy. If you feel the need to complain go get a smaller phone NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO BUY IT... My wife who is 5ft tall with tiny hands loves her note 3 and doesn't understand why everyone complains about huge phones get over it.

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Negatory, no one's forcing you to read the complaints. Facts are, there are FAR more choices for large phones with flagship specs than for more compact phones, so people have every right to complain.

I think it's a slippery slope allowing women to own a Galaxy Note 3.....Now they know what nearly 6 inches really feels like in their hand. No more exaggerating!

I wish it was a little smaller, but I can deal. Everything else about it ticks all the boxes for my needs. Can't wait to hear more about the camera.


Anandtech has some more details about the way the laser is used to assist AF... It's definitely uncommon, almost sounds gimmicky but could work well in practice. Ultimately phone manufacturers just need to work a lot more on their CDAF algorithms, mirrorless camera makers (Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus) have been at it for a while, to the point that their mirrorless models using CDAF are actually AS FAST or faster than any DSLR using PDAF...

Plus CDAF has other benefits like being far more accurate than PDAF, motion tracking is it's only real downside at the high end and even that's being addressed. I don't understand why someone like Sony hasn't nailed this down on phones and camera sensors, tho their mirrorless cameras do lag others slightly in AF speed and/or low light focusing (but it's still leaps and bounds better than any phone or P&S). Maybe there's a technical reason tied to sensor size or something, I wouldn't know.

Can't be processing power, all these phones are far more powerful than any camera's internals, tho maybe it comes down to specialized IP or something.

DSLRs use an AF technique called PDAF, it takes two light measurements simultaneously (L/R) and instantly calculates optimal focus. It's been developed for decades, quite literally, since it was in use even before digital photography came of age (on SLRs, minus the D). As far as I can tell that's the biggest reason they focus so fast. PDAF in it's original form relies on a separate sensor, part of the light a DSLR captures is relected thru it's mirror (where the Single Lens Reflex name comes from) to that PDAF sensor and to the viewfinder.

Recently some sensor makers have started putting PDAF sensing points on a typical image sensor (it takes pixels away from the photo but losing a couple hundred isn't noticeable, apparently), didn't help much initially but the very latest mirrorless cameras (which don't have a mirror or a separate PDAF sensor and usually rely on CDAF) can now track focus on moving subjects as well as a DSLR. See: Sony Alpha A6000, Fuji X-T1, Olympus OMD E-M1.

Phones, P&S, mirrorless cameras, and just about everything else (except some video stuff) uses CDAF, CDAF on lower end devices (phones and P&S) is slower, CDAF on higher end devices ($400+ mirrorless cameras) is actually as fast or faster than a DSLR's PDAF, and often more accurate (because since it's the same imaging sensor that takes the measurements it's more preceise). CDAF works by comparing image contrast back and forth until it achieves the most contrast, so it moves certain physical lens elements back and forth.

CDAF works off trial and error basically, but on some cameras it's been refined to the point where it's ultra fast and when in a hybrid config with on-sensor PDAF or w/new tech like DFD it can even approach a DSLR's PDAF when it comes to motion tracking. I'm basically just wondering why we haven't seen that kinda improvement to CDAF on phones where there's plenty of processing power (Samsung's using on-sensor PDAF FWIW, so maybe it's just slow going).

Not sure if that made it any clearer... I'm no expert either, I just have an interest in photography as well and have been reading a lot about camera tech since I started shopping for and bought a M4/3 camera. It also quenched any desire I had to ever upgrade my phone over camera performance alone. :p

Worth noting that Sony makes the sensor for most Nikon and Olympus high end cameras, and Samsung has their own line of mirrorless cameras which often get forgotten (but compete just as well w/Sony, Panasonic, Oly, and Fuji)... So you'd think if anything they both would have the know how to have advanced at 'least this aspect of smartphone photography further.

Sony makes a ton of smartphone camera sensors as well, along w/others like Aptina (who also makes sensors for Nikon). There's actually not a ton of people making imaging sensors, and I'm guessing the AF tech is intrinsically tied to the sensor. Panasonic, Canon, and Samsung make their own (and Canon's been lagging in this aspect despite being the 800 pound gorilla of the camera world, ironically).

I think Fuji uses Sony too... Oddball approaches to well understood photography mechanics on smartphone cameras (like this LG laser) aren't new tho, HTC's been beating it's own drum for a while (and Nokia's done some things differently too), they're still oddball approaches outside of what others (who sink far more into camera R&D) are doing tho; which is interesting in and of itself.

I don't think any site covers this kinda thing very well in a comprehensive but easily understood way... Anandtech did it to an extent when Brian was still writing a lot of their phone reviews but even AT is pretty techy, sites like DPReview (even their Connect sub-site) get bogged down by minutia and sites like AC (who still do a better job than say, Engadget) don't go deep enough.

It'd be nice if someone was putting these kinda manufacturer claim and development to the test tho, in a systematic/scientific way that's easy to understand. Subjective impressions are all but useless when even LG is claiming an AF speed difference of 30ms... That's the input lag on some displays.

I just don't get the desire to keep pushing the size up. It is getting pretty stupid. I was lucky enough to be able to test most of last year's flagships and I just found anything over 5" too big to be practical as a phone type device. Even my N5 is pushing it to about the limit of what I like.

When will the manufacturers figure out that there are a good number of people who want their phones to get the spec bumps, but not in a bigger frame? It all goes back to the moto X. That device was damn near perfect.

IPhone was my max, until I got a note 3 and gave myself time to adapt. You don't just pick up a large ball and automatically know how to hold it, takes time to learn some things. And i could be wrong. Maybe the market can keep moving just under 5.8' and we can adapt. And i agree in many general aspects 5'-5.5' can be quite large for some and increasing the size past that is beyond beneficial. Pros and cons though, me being an average male just shy of 5"8' I can use a note 3 with no problem. Took a week. But no, I didn't pick it up and be comfortable with it automatically. And if that's what you want I'm sorry maybe flagships aren't moving your way and that is a disapointment. But society in general might embrace it.

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They will figure it out when the folks who just want spec bumps outnumber the number of people that want specs AND larger screen size. They cater to the majority... and by majority I mean top money spenders... and the majority may not always be the most sensible... heck, and even that's a matter of opinion (whether or not they're sensible). Follow the money, and you'll find the reason... Its the way things work 'round here....

The G3 is shorter, narrower and thinner thank my note 2 with the same screen size. And it doesn't have touchwiz. Its a win in my book.
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There really aren't (plenty of options out there, for smaller phones), at 'least not compared to 5"+ choices. People would complain regardless tho, but maybe just a lil bit less so (I complain about SUVs almost daily and I'm certainly not lacking for small car choices, tho the number of SUV in the wild does impact me).

I'm 5'10" and have fairly long fingers, and I'm a skinny dude who touch types fairly fast... Basically I'm above average already and I have a problem w/these larger phones regardless. I guess most people just two hands, but that seems like a total drag given the scenarios where I often use my phone.

Seriously tho, I've had an N5 since the beginning of the year, which to date is the biggest phone I've owned. I stopped into a Tmobile store recently and played around with a Note 3 and realized that it didn't feel that big to me like I once thought it did, so I'm gonna JUMP to the G3 in July.

I'm glad it works for ya, I'm sticking to the N5 and might even go smaller if given the opportunity. I can't stand having to use two hands to each everything or having to adjust my grip to reach the notification bar (and I'm already sorta there with the N5). A lot of it comes down to how people actually hold and use their phones which is seldom discussed and I'd be surprised if they're doing any serious ergonomic studies.

Iphone mate they are made exactly how you want......I find that smaller phones are only really any good for calling and txt, who needs a smartphone for that? For Anything else bigger is better. I have note 2 at the moment and anything smaller feels barely usable

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It's got nothing to do with hand size; not everyone wants or needs a gigantic phablet. Unfortunately It seems only Apple are really prepared to cater for these people. Android choices are disappearing with every new flagship.

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LG Pro 2... is it ever going to get here?...

I hope someone else besides AT&T gets it...,

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Looks bigger.... Have galaxy s4 right now and want to get oneplus one so I guess I can finally experience a phablet.

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My complaint is even if I get to hold it, it'll most likely have that security system on the back of it. So I can't get a real feeling for how it feels in the hand. I'll have to ask T-Mobile to either break one out of the box that I might buy. Or wait for someone else to get one. And in my inner circle of friends everyone either has an iPhone or a Samsung phone. So that's gonna be hard for me to do.
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Stores really need to come up w/a new security system, or at 'least have the dummy models tethered by something simpler... It's not like those plastic dummies cost anything. You'd think OEMs would bend over backwards to replace the plastic dummies if stolen/lost.

I got the G2 coming from the S2 because it was the perfect size to me, between the S4 and Note 3. Now that I have been comfortably using the G2, it is getting a bit small and would want a little bigger screen.

Too large on view. Will have to check it out in store but looking like I'll be using my G2 a while longer

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Love my G2, plan on continuing to use it for a while but unless something changes the G2 is as big as I'd like to go. But man does the G3 look fantastic. Hope most software updates hit the G2.

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I would guess we will come full circle after this year or next and smaller-ish phones with flagship specs will start being made again. There will be a point when people stop going bigger.

If I get one for free I take it, but I won't be buying this, this phone is too big for me!

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I applaud the manufacturers for making handsets with such large and spectacular displays in pocketable designs. It's Android that needs to pick up the slack.

Large screens are not a new trend, but it is taking Google a long time to change Android design guidelines to fully embrace such devices. If Android is going to persist with the Action Bar, then the Action Bar needs to move to the bottom of the display and be within easy reach on any device. Similarly, a more convenient gesture or a dedicated key (like the G2 has) to activate the notification shade is necessary. Given those changes, you'd rarely have to worry about reaching the top of the screen.

The whole paradigm of menus being at the top is legacy from the PC era and doesn't belong in Android. That's all I want from the next revision of Android, relocated Action Bars and a different navigation for notifications.

All that said, right now the G2 in my pocket is the limit for me and I have fairly long fingers. Still, I won't deny that fast focus, SD card support and wireless charging, etc still make the G3 a worthwhile upgrade to the G2. Well done LG.

Ya a global gesture for the notification shade (with notifications piling bottom up rather than top down) and some UI relocation changes would go a long long way.

G2 is pushing it as is. I wish that manufacturers kept in mind that not everyone has gargantuan hands and that of I wanted constant two handed use then I'd buy a tablet.

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I've seen a lot middle-high school Asian girls fiddling with Note 2/3 and not bother with the size. On the other hand, I've seen just as many adult Europeans/Americans struggling with their 5S which literally smaller than their fists since they think larger than 5-in screen is pushing the limit. This world surely work in funny ways...LoL

I'll wait for something like the LG G Pro 3, though this is very nice.

My device went through hell to post this message.

What's with all the "It's too tall and difficult to reach the notification panel!" comment... If G3 is anything like G2, we can modify the on screen button to include "notification button" and forget swiping from the top of the phone at all to access notification shade. It's actually one genius idea from LG which I haven't found in any other Android OEM or even custom ROMs.

I think LG has done a remarkable job in maintaining the overall design language and comfort by making the top bottom and side bezels small. I guess the next two years we may see 5.5 to be an average flagship phone size.

They're selling to a global market where bigger phones are more desirable, especially in East Asia. If they can persuade the West to follow that trend then it's more cost effective to have one flagship with a massive screen.

I'm not sure where this obsession with being able to use your phone with one hand originates, but it's an anachronism now.

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see my post below. If you live in a city and rely on public transport, the need to use a smartphone one-handed arises on a pretty regular basis. I can definitely understand it not being an issue for someone who drives and lives in the suburbs though.

I actually went backwards and sold my G2 and bought the HTC One M7. Don't miss anything from the G2, especially not the size :)

I passed on the G2 (after being really excited with the leaks) due to its size. So pulling out the same tired old "Well it is only a little taller and a little wider" script is seeming more and more disingenuous.

That being said I am starting to be convinced that one-handed phones (for the average person, which lets all remember includes the 50% of the population that are not men) is going the way of the smartphone physical keyboard. Soon flagship phones just won't be one-handable for me and no amount of whining (or exercising my "choice") is going to change that.

I think I could deal with a two-handed phone once I stopped living in cities and relying on public transport (walking down the sidewalk trying to check bus times in a hurry is when I wish most that my Nexus 5 were smaller). So my plan is to stick with my Nexus 5 until my situation changes (which could be soon). The LG G3 looks amazing. It could almost double as a mini-tablet for me and I have been wishing for a non-sucky mini tablet for e-book reading. So maybe this is the answer. I hope LG is still being this innovative and classy when my Nexus 5 breaks down but in the mean time I have never been happier to buy a phone when I did than the Nexus 5. Who knew 2014 was going to be the year of phablets going mainstream.

How about some pics of the G2 laying on top of the G3. That will make the comparison much easier than the photo above.

I think it's too big. It would be nice if manufacturers recognized not everyone thinks bigger is better, and offered a top-spec'd phone in the 4.7 to 4.8" size in addition to monsters like this.

Definitely too big! That's tablet size for me!
I think I'd like a 4.3' or 4.5' with very slim bezels. Moto X was my only compact choice when my last phone was shattered. Still love it but wish it was 4.5 I think.

Agree about the size - the 5.2" G2 was the top end for me, anything bigger is just unruly (Note3 etc) - but if a G3 mini (with similar specs) makes an appearance, I might consider that

Bigger is better for me. I have the G2 & it seems small. I was hoping the G pro 2 would've come to the US. I would've been all over that!

Whoa. That's too large. But it would make an excellent upgrade for Note 2 users who want something smaller, without giving up screen size, and who don't care about the S-Pen.