LG finally launches its new G3 flagship [Updated with pricing]

It’s fair to say that the LG G3 hasn’t exactly been a closely guarded secret. In addition to the seemingly endless leaks that steadily dripped forth information about the device, even LG got in the action, with its own official teasers.

All of that only served to fuel anticipation of the device though, and today, the wait for one of the most intriguing devices of the year finally came to an end, as LG officially unveiled the G3 at a launch event in London’s Battersea Park.

The G3 features a quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, matched with 2GB of RAM. 16GB of internal storage is available, along with a microSD slot that supports cards up to 128GB. Curiously, the spec sheet on the LG UK website (pdf) says "up to 128GB | 2TB capable", but an LG rep at the launch event told Neowin that 128GB was the limit.

A second version of the device, featuring 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM will also be available, but only in certain markets. Despite our repeated questions, company representatives would not be drawn on which parts of the world will see either or both versions of the device, with LG's local and regional offices making their own announcements in due course. 

But perhaps the most exciting feature of the G3 is its enormous 5.5-inch display, which squeezes in the kind of resolution that many users don’t even enjoy on their desktops and notebooks. The IPS LCD screen offers Quad HD resolution (2560x1440px), giving a pixel density of 538 ppi, making rival flagships with their 1080p displays suddenly appear just a little bit quaint.

The phone also features a 13.1-megapixel rear camera with OIS and dual-LED flash as well as a front-facing 2.1-megapixel camera which LG officially calls the "selfie camera". The rear camera also features laser autofocus, which the company claims will allow the cam to focus in under 300ms, quicker than the blink of an eye. 

Such high specs require plenty of power too, of course, and the G3 will include a 3000mAh battery – that’s a bit more than the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5’s 2800mAh, but less than the slightly larger 6-inch Lumia 1520’s 3400mAh battery. Like the S5, but unlike the 1520, the G3’s battery is removable.

Despite the significant increase in display resolution, the company firmly insists that it will not cause faster or more severe battery drain, thanks to various optimizations, including some clever trickery that, for example, determines whether you're looking at a picture or a video and adjusts the display output accordingly to minimize power consumption. 

On the software side, Android 4.4.2 KitKat runs the show, but LG is also rolling out a whole host of its own software enhancements, including a completely redesigned user interface, with a strong focus on flat design and what the company calls "mature feeling colours". 

There's no exact date on the launch of the device but it looks like it will hit South Korean shelves first, starting as early as tomorrow with other countries to follow this summer. As for pricing, we're still waiting to hear on that but the companies says more details will be available as we draw nearer to each local launch.

Update: According to Cnet the G3 will retail for 868 Singapore dollars ($691 USD) without contract, while the 32GB variant will go for a slight markup of 928 Singapore dollars or $739 USD from June 28. It'll be available in the UK from 1 July and there has been no announcement about when it will become available in the US. 

Don't forget to check out our hands-on with the LG G3. (Spoiler: it made quite a good first impression!)

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

PSA: Microsoft's Surface AMA on Reddit begins at 1 pm ET [Update: it's over]

Next Story

Google may expand to home-security, Dropcam acquisition rumored

23 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

ouch that's expensive. is it me or are these "flagship" devices getting more expensive every year lately? (talking from a no contract standpoint)

Quad HD on a phone is just too much, Its not going to be noticeable to the naked eye and really wouldn't the higher res mean higher hardware req and more battery consumption. That kind of res really is only going to be noticeable on 30+ in screens. If we're at the point now with smart phones in which OEMs need to market higher specs that you can't notice or don't need just to sell the phone then something isnt being done right. This is why the smart phone market is starting to flatten out in terms of sales, same thing has happened with the PC industry on and off

wv@gt said,
Quad HD on a phone is just too much, Its not going to be noticeable to the naked eye and really wouldn't the higher res mean higher hardware req and more battery consumption. That kind of res really is only going to be noticeable on 30+ in screens. If we're at the point now with smart phones in which OEMs need to market higher specs that you can't notice or don't need just to sell the phone then something isnt being done right. This is why the smart phone market is starting to flatten out in terms of sales, same thing has happened with the PC industry on and off

Read the article. It clearly says the effect on battery is minimal due to optimizations. Tests have shown it gets 6+ hours of screen on time. Better than a lot of devices with 1080p screens.

Plus it has to flatten out at some point. There are only so many people on this planet that are interested in smart phones.

Missed that part in the article about the battery.

As far as the market goes, its already flattening out and has been really for almost the past year

david said,

Read the article. It clearly says the effect on battery is minimal due to optimizations. Tests have shown it gets 6+ hours of screen on time. Better than a lot of devices with 1080p screens.

Plus it has to flatten out at some point. There are only so many people on this planet that are interested in smart phones.

however how much better it would be if it had been just 1080p and if they applied the same optimizations. probably get another hour or two. that is the part they are leaving: you're giving up battery life for no real benefit. It is stupid. it is wrong and it needs to stop. not to mention, the gpu and cput are being pushed harder which will inevitably yield to laggier experiences.

you can keep cramming pixels that you're not getting anything at this point and you're sacrificing other things which are more tangible.

"But perhaps the most exciting feature of the G3 is its enormous 5.5-inch display, which squeezes in the kind of resolution that many users don't even enjoy on their desktops and notebooks. The IPS LCD screen offers Quad HD resolution (2560x1440px), giving a pixel density of 538 ppi, making rival flagships with their 1080p displays suddenly appear just a little bit quaint."

Everything wrong with the smartphone industry could be summed up by this paragraph.

Upping the paper specs is one of the easier ways for manufacturers to be able to advertise products as "better", since hardware specs are trivially easy to quantify in commercials/ads as opposed to terms such as well-built, or comfortable and natural to use, etc.

Ars Technica (quite sensibly) concluded that the the resolution was a waste of time and an unnecessary battery drain. As you would expect, they said there's no noticable difference between this and a 1080p display.

yes because I mean, screens are perfect today in every other way. you can totally read them in the sun and they are as color accurate as they can be and they have no latency.

who'd bother with such visible noticeable things they could advertise over competitors

neonspark said,
yes because I mean, screens are perfect today in every other way. you can totally read them in the sun and they are as color accurate as they can be and they have no latency.

who'd bother with such visible noticeable things they could advertise over competitors

Sounds like the screen in my Lumia 925. :-P

Of course screens can still be improved. (Nokia's daylight readability on their high-end devices is one example.) But increasing resolution to ridiculous levels beyond what is already "retina" is just spec whoring. Consumers--and journalists--should be smarter than that.

Some of the specs are quite underwhelming for the fanfare. My tiny and unstated z1 compact almost compares to it. And that 3000 battery? Not enough for the proc and display unless heavy optimization has been done to their android flavor.

ACTIONpack said,
5.5 inches is too big for a phone.

With the thin bezels, it feels smaller than what it really is.

Actually, it'll be the Flagship Flagship One M9 Drone. ...because everything is a Drone.

Edited by Defiantly, May 27 2014, 8:08pm :

Flagship, that word is used so much. Everything is a Flagship. Someone should just call their phone the Flagship.

Enron said,
Flagship, that word is used so much. Everything is a Flagship. Someone should just call their phone the Flagship.

The Tech site writers will have a field day and they'll write a hundred joke headlines about "X Company launches their Flagship Flagship". "Flagception".

Enron said,
Flagship, that word is used so much. Everything is a Flagship. Someone should just call their phone the Flagship.
The new Flagship Flagship One F5SC mini with retina display