LG G3 revisited: the US version is here

August 5, 2014
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We’ve already fallen for the G3, which we noted in our review of the device. Now that we’ve got our hands on the domestic version, is it still the device we spoke so highly of? Have things changed, or did we just get one that was meant for this market? We go hands-on — again — to find out.


From the start, some hardware tweaks are present, but the differences are purely regional. Phones in Asian markets sometimes have pull-out antennae, and the Korean version of the G3 was no different. That’s clearly gone, but the rest checks out as we left it. Same battery, same weight, same — well, everything.

The software is untouched, save for the added apps being switched up. With Verizon, you get a slew of apps (which can be removed!) slapped in, which is average fare for any carrier device. Slacker Radio, Clash of Clans, and hotels.com are new additions, but not unwelcome ones.

The G3 runs Android 4.4.2 when you unleash it, and has a Snapdragon 801 processor. The 32GB storage is expandable with the microSD card slot (supports up to 128GB card), and 3GB RAM will keep you going strong. The 13mp rear camera is fantastic, and the 3,000mAh battery is a welcome sight.

About that battery — is the life as good as we remembered? Almost. We can’t say we’re getting the same battery life that had us so excited last time, but in our testing we could get through a full day — and into the next — with a single charge, and “normal” use. While ”normal” can be tough to pin down, ours was messaging, light web surfing, email, some social browsing, and media.

At the end of the day, it’s still tough to find fault with the G3. It’s big, beautiful, and can last the day. The screen is fantastic, and the build is solid. LG’s skin is still one we like, and the rear power/volume buttons are growing on us. It’s the same device we liked in our review, so we can once again suggest you give it a strong consideration when you’re ready for a new Android handset.



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  • emcdonald75

    I’m confused. I thought the LG G3 had a micro-sd slot. You said that the G3 has 32GB of storage that is not expandable.

    • David Hickes

      Yeah hopefully that’s a typo because that’s not correct.

      • Chuck Morin

        It’s a typo. I have the LG G3 on Verizon and it has the microSD slot.

      • emcdonald75

        Thank you. I am with AT&T and I am trying very hard to make a decision between the G3 and HTC One M8. If the One M8 had a better camera and bigger screen it would be no contest. I love everything about the M8 except for those two things. I don’t know what to do. I have a Galaxy Note 3 now but I wanted something a tad smaller.

      • Liaw Kim Poh

        thanks!

      • Rebecca Welsh

        The Verizon 32GB has micro SD. I’ve had this phone almost 2 weeks. Had Note 2 but wanted thinner slightly smaller phone. I’m hoping battery life will be better than lg Nexus I had.

      • emcdonald75

        So what do you think of the G3? Battery life, screen brightness and quality, camera and sound quality from the speaker? Are they good or bad?

      • Rebecca Welsh

        I think overall build quality isn’t as good as Samsung. But, the UI is simpler. Battery life so far is OK considering I’ve been messing with It so much- I don’t think it will have great battery life 6 months from now. Camera seems good but that isn’t important to me. Sound is good but slightly tinny at highest volume. I like display over Samsung because their display always seems a little cartoonish. This is def easier to hold! The screen size and battery and sound with removable storage and battery were my main concern.

      • Rebecca Welsh

        I don’t have issue with screen brightness as I just set Lil higher than Note 2. Note 2 screen was really bright! I don’t miss s pen really. I’m 5′ 6″ with small med hands and note 2 lil too wide.

      • emcdonald75

        I love my Note 3 but it is a little too big. Thank you for your insight. I have my Note 3 set at 50% and it is bright. I might have to set the G3 at 75% or 80% for a good brightness level.

      • Rebecca Welsh

        I love the keyboard on g3 and the slight curved back.

    • Liaw Kim Poh

      Thanks have made the correction!

  • griddark

    I must be doing something wrong, but compared to my HTC One M7, the LG has visible lag, and some apps can take a while to load, using Lightning Launcher I’ve waited up to 20seconds for the app drawer to load, something I would never have thought possible, and even though I used my HTC in the same manner, I never saw this kind of issues.
    Sense 6 is certainly the best aftermarket android skin, the LG G3 ui is ugly, clunky and changes things for the sake of change rather than actual improvements. I really hope the bootloader gets unlocked, I want a genuine android experience.
    Having had the iPhone4, GalaxyS2, HTC One M7 the LG G3 is certainly the worst phone experience I’ve had yet, hoping I can improve on it.

    • griddark

      Switching from Dalvik to ART has had visible improvements.

  • Gary Demirdjian

    I bought an unlocked Verizon LG G3 for $701.99 from Target a few days ago. 32 gig internal, SD slot, etc. This was over an S5 and M8.

    Coming from an S4 it was a disappointment. The screen was large with very little bezel. Comparatively, the M8 has a HUGE I mean HUGE bezel. Why anyone would opt for an M8 and it’s cheated black framed screen is beyond me. The S5’s they had were all 16 gig internal, so I went with the 32 gig LG G3.

    I just wasn’t impressed. It felt like crap to hold. Very lite- too lite. The edges of the phone felt almost unfinished, as if it were missing a band of some sort instead of the somewhat rough edge of the G3.

    Speaking of which, I kept reminding myself – dude you’ve got an LgG3 unlocked 32 gig. And it felt like shite.

    The image on the screen looked bastardized, as if it really wasn’t meant to display that large but it did. So as a result it didn’t look clean it looked a bit stretched or warped. It didn’t look natural, whatever that would be to a digital smartphone.

    The UK or LG skin seemed like a Touchwiz wannabe, but bleached white. Or should I say cream. Sorta off-white? Anyway it was convoluted and overly complicated IMO.

    The final nail in the LG G3 coffin? Hate to say it: benchmark. OK I know how benchmark apps shouldn’t be gospel, but I used a popular benchmark app on the LgG3- and I hit just over 29,000. My S4 hits around 28,400.

    So I said nope back you go! And Target had their wonderful unlocked 32 gig $700+ LGG3 back within 24 hours.

    I think I’m going to stick with my original plan of holding out for the 64 bit Android revolution to begin before I commit to a new ‘droid.

    My Samsung S4 suits me fine for now… Although a 32 gig S5 does seem appealing. ..