It's not often that a smartphone gets launched by Amitabh Bachchan. But on Monday that happened. It terms of smartphone launches, LG laid out the red carpet for the G3 at Mumbai's famed Mehmood studios. We were at the event and managed to get our hands on a unit. Read on for our first impressions..
The highlight of the G3 is its 5.5-inch ISP display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. It's beautiful, shows rich colours, has great viewing angles and boasts of good brightness levels. Does it improve the user experience? At this point it's hard to say, but we'll deal with this question in the review.
Also, for a 5.5-inch smartphone the G3 is surprisingly compact. LG, following the pattern set in G2, has opted for the same 'rear key' design, which allows it to reduce bezel on the sides of the screen. This translates to an almost window like experience and there is hardly any bezel on the sides. On the back, the phone is gently curved, which makes it easier to hold.
While made out of plastic, the G3 feels solid and the matte finish on the gold model looks attractive. It is not in league of HTC One M8, which uses an aluminum body -- in terms of looks and design but it is definitely a notch above the Samsung Galaxy S5.
On the rear, its 13-megapixel camera flaunts a laser autofocus, a dual tone flash and an optical image stabilisation system that works on three axis. We clicked a few images in daylight and the results were very good. But we will talk more about camera, including its performance in low light, later.
As for the software, LG's latest Android user interface (UI) is attractive. It uses flat UI elements. It also seems to have certain elements of the material design that Google is bringing in Android L. The phone runs onAndroid 4.4.2 KitKat and despite a heavily modified user interface doesn't feel slow in any way.
The good performance is, however, on expected lines. When a smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC clocked at 2.5GHz and has 3GB of RAM, then performance issues are not supposed to be there.
The model that we tried had 32GB internal storage. Its 3,000mAh battery was user removable and for users who like to use expanded storage, there was a microSD card slot. The G3 supports the LTE (4G) bands in India.
Overall, the G3 looks like a great phone. In terms of hardware and specifications, it ticks all the right boxes. But it's expensive and starts at Rs 47,990 for the 16GB model. The bigger question is that with products like the Xiaomi Mi3 launching for Rs 13,999 does it make any sense to buy a phone as expensive as the G3? We will answer that in the review.