Today LG announced the LG G3, the successor to their 2013 flagship smartphone the LG G2. LG key message is that the phone design is based on simplicity. It seems to be a general trend by phone manufacturers especially since specs like processor speed, amount of ram are no longer the main focal point. In fact, I don’t recall LG actually mentioning those specs at all during the presentation. “Simple is the New Smart” and the phone is about the better / simpler user interface and this was further emphasized by how short the product demo videos are.
LG has continued the great tradition of maximising screen space, and has now squeezed a QuadHD 5.5″ screen into a phone dimensions that is rather comparable to the S5 and HTC One M8. In fact, I think it could be a little smaller than the Sony Xperia Z2. The QuadHD screen is definitely impressive. Overkill? Probably too, and good luck finding QuadHD content for playback :). Heck, my 42″ LG TV in my bedroom has lower resolution that the LG G3.
Highlights of the new G3 include:
- 5.5-inch Quad HD display with 538ppi
- 13MP OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) camera with a revolutionary Laser Auto Focus that can shoot stunningly sharp images in a fraction of the time required by conventional phone cameras
- Polished metallic skin on the rear cover that is lightweight, fingerprint-proof
- Floating Arc form factor that feels incredibly comfortable in one hand and incorporates the innovative design heritage of the Rear Key
- Redesigned graphic user interface (GUI) consistent with the Simple is the New Smart concept of the G3
I like the new Simple GUI. Taking cue from the flatUI and minimalistic look, it should blend in quite well with the new upcoming Google Apps. It also looks quite similar to the HTC One M8 UI. It’s a marked improvement as compared to the previous design interface. The other notable items are:
I have been using SwiftKey for some time now, and I’m not sure how this new keyboard would compare. Interestingly, LG mentioned that most people spend their time typing on phones. The new keyboard comes with the typical adaptive technology, and also the ability to adjust the height of the keyboard, so that it would better fit the user’s hands and position of the thumbs. Individual keys can also be customized with frequently used symbols for even faster input.
This is basically LG’s take on Google Now. Smart Notice provides suggestions and recommendations based on user behavior, phone usage patterns and location to offer user information when it’s needed the most. Smart Notice can remind you of a call you declined earlier and if there were no follow up actions. Or remind you of weather etc.
The new user interface for the camera is much improved. It is very simplistic in design, and clutter-free. Press anywhere on the screen to focus on that area and immediately snap a photo. This works well thanks to the fast focus provided by the laser. In addition, there’s also a gesture mode for selfie fans, clench your fist for the front camera and it automatically counts down to start taking a photo. Simple. No more fiddling to press the shutter.
I am glad to see that LG has re-introduced wireless charging to the LG G3. They will also be launching a new Wireless Charger accessory alongside the phone. LG’s Wireless Charger is optimized for easy portability due to the compact size and ability to fold.
Availability and Pre-Order
The LG G3 will be available for pre-order in Singapore at selected telcos from June 14 to June 21, 2014, at a recommended retail price of S$868 for the 16GB model, and S$928 for the 32GB model. The pre-order package consists of the Quick Circle and the new Wireless Charger (WCD-100) worth S$98 and S$68 respectively. That’s a pretty great bundle (useful accessories) and I would update with the links for the various telcos once available.
Singtel LG G3 Pre-Order: Pending
Starhub LG G3 Pre-Order: Pending
M1 LG G3 Pre-Order: Pending
The G3 will subsequently available at LG authorized retailers from June 28, 2014. There will be three color options available; Metallic Black, Silk White and Shine Gold. Two additional colours, Moon Violet and Burgundy Red will be available at a later date.
Pricing wise: the G3 is the same price as the LG G2 when it was first launched. In comparison, the other flagship models seem to have bump up the prices a little. However, in view of Xiaomi’s entrance to the local market and also potential competitors such as Oppo – it would be interesting to see how the LG G3 fares.
LG also sneaked in a quick mention of G watch as part of the accessories for the G3. The device is expected to be available in July. The G Watch has a square format, with sides measuring about 5cm (2in), and as a bonus is being marketed as waterproof for beach outings. Featuring Android Wear, it would be interesting to see how the market reacts.