LG Electronics has introduced the G3, its newest flagship smartphone, with two major messages: the 5.5-inch Quad HD display is gorgeous, and 5.5 inches isn't as big as you might fear. It has, in the words of an LG teaser video, “grip-ability,” despite its size.
Actually, make that three messages. The phone is also, says the company, "the best smartphone LG has ever made."
The G3 features a "floating arc" form factor (read: the back cover has a gentle, top-to-bottom curve) and a "metallic" (lightweight plastic) back cover that comes in five options: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet and Burgundy Red.
The company's Quad HD display technology provides four times the pixels of plain-old HD, giving the G3 a seriously impressive resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 and 538 pixels per inch.
Flip over the phone, and there are also notable changes.
The rear-toggle feature that on the G2 was better in theory than execution has been redesigned. The volume rockers and power button are more flush and, arguably, more attractive. The power button is now round and shiny (versus more pill-shaped on the G2), and the volume buttons are matte and concave and more of a piece; it doesn't seem quite right to call them "rockers" at this point.
LG has also made its mark on the Android platform (version 4.4.2, or KitKat) it runs.
Instead of a log-in security PIN, the G3 offers a Knock Code. The display is divided into four quadrants on which a user can tap out a three- to eight-point code for a possible 86,000-plus code options.
There's also what LG calls Smart Notice, a feature that interprets use patterns and context-based inputs and begins to offer relevant recommendations and ideally helpful reminders.
The virtual keyboard has also been updated. It's better about personalizing itself to users; word correction is now easier; and it can be made to take up more or less of display. According to LG, it reduces errors by 75 percent once it learns how a user types.
The rear 13-megapixel Optical Image Stabilizer Plus (OIS+) camera has been paired with a dual flash and Laser Auto Focus, which LG says enables the camera to better focus on objects, even moving ones or those in low light, for "stunningly sharp" images.
The front camera is 2.1 megapixels and has an F2.0 aperture. (Selfies have never looked so good.)
It measures 146.3 by 74.6 by 8.9mm, includes Near Field Communication (NFC) and Qi wireless charging technology, and has a 3,000mAh removable battery, options of 16 or 32GB of ROM and 2 or 3GB of RAM, a microSD slot and a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Accessories will include a Bluetooth stereo headset designed in collaboration with Harman/Kardon, and a QuickCircle case that features a cutout that provides quick access to the most-used functions without opening the cover.
The G3 is arriving in the United Kingdom in July and in the United States later this summer from T-Mobile and AT&T. T-Mobile has launched a contest, enabling consumers to win a beta version of the G3 before the phone officially launches.
"People will be amazed at how videos and apps really come alive on the G3's ultra high-res HD display, especially when running on T-Mobile's lightning-fast network," Jason Young, T-Mobile senior vice president of marketing, said in a May 27 statement.
The LG G3, Young added, "will be the crown jewel of our LG device portfolio."