Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bucket Tech: LG G3 - Review

Even the box is fancy
When people are due for an upgrade for their smart phone, natural instincts will direct them to the internet to read reviews on the latest gadgets that's thrown out their by the various brands. Most reviews are long and filled with technical mumbo jumbo that you don't understand but boast to your friends anyway because it makes your phone sound cool. A few weeks ago I was given the LG G3 to review but I'm putting a twist to this one, instead of regurgitating what everyone else is writing about, I'm going to take a leaf from the brand's marketing slogan for the phone "simple is the new smart" and give you a simplified, first hand experience with the phone and how it will affect your life on a daily basis.


Looks
Having attended the launch and seeing what the phone was capable of, I was pretty excited to get this phone for reviewing purposes. Playing with it for 30 minutes is one thing but having it a part of your daily routine makes a big difference and that is where the true test comes in. Lets start of with the cosmetics, the phone definitely looks the part, with its brushed aluminium finish available in various colours, 5.5" LCD screen and no buttons on the front make the phone sleek and sexy in appearance. The main power button and volume buttons are quote oddly located on the back of the phone, LG says it makes them more accessible when using the phone with one hand...yeah, didn't really do it for me. There are also flap covers available for the phone with a first of its kind round cut out for a display interface. I highly recommend the cover as I found the phone if dropped, can scratch easily.

Quad HD display is phenomenal

Display
Undoubtly one of the main talking points about the LG G3 is its screen, I kid you not when I say this, it will leave you speechless. It's the first phone to use Quad HD technology, what is Quad HD? Well precisely what the name says, four times HD. The screen has pixel density of 538ppi, which basically means the quality of the images view are true-to-life. LG is setting the standard with this one for future brands to follow and I'm glad they're settled for a 5,5" screen. It seems the norm size but it keeps the phones physical size to a respectable level and you won't feel like you're carrying around a phablet. Of course there is a catch to this phenomenal screen, with the clarity and brightness being so high, it uses a massive amount of battery life. Just over 30% to be exact!

Picture taken at night, on Auto mode with low light
Camera
With many of our current smart phones, the camera's are good but not great. The guys at LG took this into consideration when deciding on the camera that came with the G3. In the end what they've created is nothing short of magical, a 13 megapixel camera with optical image stabilizer and laser focus which translates to the end user take almost perfect pictures all the time, every time, anytime, anywhere and in any lighting conditions. Laser focus enables the phone to focus on the object in milli seconds, allowing the user to snap almost real time pictures, therefore not missing a second of the action. Couple this with the optical image stabilizer and blurred pictures are a thing of the past. There are occasions it does take a while to focus but when I say a while, its still way faster than any phone out there. It also has dual flashes which make pictures much more clearer and adds more detail to whats being captured. 

Taking selfies with help from Chia of the Socialite
Selfies Made Easy
The front camera is pretty decent at 2.1 megapixels, the clarity difference is very noticeable but one of the key features of it has to be the selfie detection. We live in an era where taking a selfie is becoming as important as breathing for some and with one having to press a button to capture it, it often moves the phone and you end up taking 50 selfies before chosing one to post to instagram. With the LG G3, it has a built in gesture control to activate the camera. It's quite neat to use as I demonstrated with many during the time in which I had the phone, simply activate the front facing camera, get everyone in the frame, open your palm and make sure it is visible in the screen, when ready to take a picture, clench your first to capture. It will give you a 3 second countdown and capture the perfect selfie every time. This will save you plenty of time in the future and make you look less of a nana. 

Smart Notice
Operating System
The make or break thing for me on a phone is the OS, Android has flooded the market with the various brands but many of them choose not to customise it too much which leaves me and others feeling that there is just too much to the thing. Not saying that it's bad, some people do feel like they want to be operating the Starship Enterprise when using their smart phone but for others, they just want something simple to operate, hence they keep going back to Apple. LG however have taken the step to customise Android's KitKat v4.4.2 to their phone. Simplifying the OS to the devices needs and cutting out all the other junk that you would find on a standard Android device. It makes the device much more user friendly to operate for everyone. I guess that's what they meant by "simple is the new smart" because at the end of the day, your cellphones primary use is to make and receive phone calls, well and now to receive whatsapp messages. 

Google Now tracking my where abouts

Google Intergration
Being Android, the phone is fully Google functional, what I found pretty cool was the voice activated Google search, by use of a trigger sentence "Okay Google", it will open up the search menu, awaiting your search instruction. So you can search for something on the internet without having to type anything! Google has integrated itself well and the phone also comes with Google Now, which pretty much is like a PA for you, or a creepy stalker that tracks your every move. No really it does, it will gather that the place you stayed at over night is home, and track your daily travel routes, notifying you if there are any delays on the route. It even tracks your location to bring you precise weather reports of the area you're in! The phone has access to Google's play store which has thousands of applications to chose from, besides the social media apps, one can find almost anything that they might find interesting. LG also have a store of their own but that is mainly for applications realted to the phone. 


Accessories
As mentioned before, the phone will have LG covers available for it, LG have also released a wireless charging mat for the G3, the downside to it is that is has to be plugged in to charge, so I don't really see the point. With Nokia's it worked as a portable battery pack. The main accessory for the G3 would have to be it's watch, what makes it different and miles apart from its competitors devices is that you can use it on any android device and is not limited to LG products. The watch also makes use of Googles voice activated menu which makes usability effortless. 


Verdict
While there may be some flaws with the phone, such as build quality and battery life, there is no phone out there at the moment that is perfect but I'd like to say that this one is almost near perfect. Most of the features and key aspects of the phone is revolutionary which is basically setting standards for others to follow. Add to that the good looks and simplified Android user interface LG have modified and you really do have a winning phone. The only other phone that came come close to this is the Oneplus Plus but with limited stock and only available to purchase via invite, LG is sure to have that part of the market sorted. Many times I get asked the question on which is the best phone on the market and I always tell people that the answer is based on user preference because we were flooded with similar devices but at long last there is a device that stands out from the rest of the crowd and while LG might not be very popular with the main crowd, they sure do have a great product out.


Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400
Memory: 16gig onboard with 2 gigs of RAM
Screen: 5.5" Quad HD LCD, 16 million colours, 1440 x 2560 resolution
Camera: Back - 13 megapixel with optical image stabiliser & laser autofocus, Front - 2.1 megapixel
Battery life: Talk time - 19 hours, Standby - 565 hours


Some pics taken with the phone









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