LG’s latest is finally out in the open, officially anyway, and we’ve learned just about all there is to know about this phone. While we’ll save final judgements for the inevitable full review, we can at least look at what makes the LG G3 unique and decide if its worth it to upgrade from your current phone to the G3, and why it might be better to choose the G3 over the competition. The first thing you’re likely to notice about the phone is its display; While it’s simply massive it doesn’t actually take up much space, especially compared to other phones that feature a 5.5-inch screen. LG has achieved this by almost completely removing the bezels on the sides of the screen, and has shrunken the top and bottom of the phone so much it almost seems like the earpiece is part of the screen itself. Phones like the OnePlus One, Galaxy Note 3 and others that feature the same or similar sized screens feel massive in comparison, and the G3 ends up dwarfing the screens of other similarly sized phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2.
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Turning the phone around reveals those iconic rear-mounted buttons that LG pioneered with the G2 last year. While these buttons caused quite a bit of controversy when the G2 was first unveiled, many found them to be more comfortable and useful in many situations than side-mounted buttons, and as an added bonus they allow LG to have smaller side bezels than other phones with side-mounted buttons can have.
Also on the back is the new 13 megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization Plus, or OIS+ for short. OIS was a big part of the LG G2’s camera and what made it so excellent in many situations, and OIS+ enhances that effect for the G3. In a nutshell OIS is a method of stabilizing the camera sensor to help with the natural shaking that hands tend to do when moving around. This helps keep pictures from getting blurry and nasty when you press the shutter button, and helps videos look more professional by avoiding all that jitter and jank that comes with moving the phone around too quickly.
Another new and completely unique feature of the G3’s camera is laser auto focus. LG has taken technology from its automatic vacuum division and turned it into the fastest auto focusing camera on the smartphone market. Using a laser the G3 shoots out a beam and then is able to focus on a object using the calculated distance that beam takes to return to the sensor. It’s supposed to be a super accurate way to auto focus even in darkness, and it’s supposed to be significantly faster than all the other smartphone cameras on the market. LG is touting just one-quarter of a second to auto focus, which can be faster than even the blink of an eye.
Last but not least is the software, which LG has shown they’ve taken great care in designing and planning around what users have asked for. Gone is the nearly complete carbon copy of Samsung’s Touchwiz Android overlay and in is a new flatter, sleeker UI clearly inspired by many custom launchers out there like Nova and Apex, as well as a whole new icon theme inspired by many popular icon packs on the Google Play Store. The result is a much more friendly colored and shaped UI, one that’s not only flatter but also uses transitions in a clever way to make the whole thing feel brand new and flashy while not being gaudy. LG has extended this to every facet of the user interface, providing pop-up tools and messages when needed and delivering new ways of interacting with your phone. All in all the G3 seems like a true labor of love from LG, and one of the finest smartphones ever conceived.