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LG G3: release date, news, specs, comparisons, cases, tips and more

Kris Carlon

The fantastic new LG G3 has already begun its global takeover, and if you're contemplating picking one up, now is the time to get the skinny on what we think is a serious contender for device of the year. We've covered lots of G3 topics in the last few weeks and we've rounded up the major conclusions for you here.

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Let's put the major features and strengths of the LG G3 in focus. / © ANDROIDPIT

Hands-on and first impressions

Our first impressions of the LG G3 were pretty typical across the board, the device looks and feels great, much more comfortable to use than it's huge screen makes you think. The presence of a removable battery cover with microSD expansion and replaceable battery are huge bonuses and the laser auto-focus and camera with OIS+ perform surprisingly well. The QHD screen doesn't chew the battery in any noticeable way, because LG optimized it to require less resources when you're not looking at 2K content. The interface overhaul is a vast improvement and the software features are solid and useful.

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Software features

We broke down the major software features of the LG G3 in a video that demonstrates most of them in action. The G3 runs Android 4.4.2 at launch with a refreshed Optimus UI. Knock On and Knock Code are super useful security options and Guest Mode lets you share your device with family or the little ones. The camera app is clean and minimal, with limited modes and settings. This may may not suit avid shutterbugs but it is perfectly acceptable for the average shooter and the auto-focus speed and accuracy is outstanding.

Link to Video

LG's QMemo+ provides a useful notetaking feature and replaces several other apps that overlapped in the G2. QSlide lets you multitask with floating mini apps, Dual Window splits the screen between two apps and Smart Bulletins keep the G3 owner up to date with useful tips, Smart Tips (kind of like Google Now) and LG Health information. There's a few gesture-based controls and shortcuts using the physical button setup on the back of the device. LG has also included a great new Smart Keyboard which can be resized and customized and adapts to the way you type.

How to setup the LG G3 for the first time

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We'll walk you through every step of the way when setting up the LG G3. / © ANDROIDPIT

If you've taken the plunge and picked up the LG G3 but would like a super simple tutorial to walk you throguh the setting up procedure, then we've got you covered. Follow our guide to help you set up the LG G3 for the first time.

How to take a screenshot on the LG G3

g3 screenshot

Taking a screenshot is one of the most basic functions on a smartphone. From msytery notifications to funny slip ups online to temporary product pages to Snapchat photos you simply have to keep, knowing how to grab a quick screenshot is useful for many reasons. We'll show you how to take a screenshot on the LG G3 using a couple of different methods.

LG G3 tips and tricks

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There's more tricks up the LG G3's sleeves than just taking screenshots. Check out our ever exapnding list of tips and tricks for the LG G3 to get your power user hat on.

How to root the LG G3

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If there's a few too many pre-loaded apps on your LG G3, rooting will let you delete them. / © ANDROIDPIT

If you're champing at the bit to get the rest of the LG and carrier bloatware off your phone (even though LG elts you delete quite a few apps already) or you simply want to ditch LG's skin and replace it with a custom ROM, then you probably want a root guide. Follow our tutorial on how to root the LG G3.

Best LG G3 cases and covers 

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There's bunches of great cases for the LG G3, including LG's own Quick Circle case. / © ANDROIDPIT

Once you've got your LG G3 you probably want to protect it from scratches and drops or maybe just add a personal touch to the way your carry it around. We've got the best LG G3 cases and covers for protection, style and functionality, and we'll be adding to the list as we come across more cases worth sharing with you.

So which flagship is best?

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There's some seriously stiff competition from other major OEMs. / © LG/Samsung/HTC/Sony/ANDROIDPIT

We've also done comparisons between the LG G3 and all the other flagship devices on offer right now. There's videos of all of them and supporting articles with tons of screenshots if you want every detail covered before making your decision. We've summarized the major points below each video.

LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

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The G3 definitely looks a lot nicer than the Galaxy S5 and the interface is more consistent and polished, but you can't always judge a book by its cover. The S5 camera is better than the G3 although it doesn't bring optical image stabilization. If all you want is a solid camera with OIS+ and super fast auto-focus, then the G3 is fine, but the S5 has many more modes and settings, better contrast and color and equally fast auto-focus. The G3 just has the S5 beat on the hardware front, but the S5 is water-resistant and has a heart rate monitor and fingerprint scanner. If these are things you look for in a smartphone then the S5 is your phone. If looks, specs and interface are more your cup of tea, then we think the G3 is the winner.

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5: design, display and user interface

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5: hardware, software and camera

LG G3 vs HTC One (M8)

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These are two of the best looking Androids around right now, but the differences are immense: the G3 has superior specs but the HTC One (M8) is so impressive in actual use that it frequently outdoes the G3. The camera on the M8 is pretty bad, although in some areas, like low-light, it rivals the G3. The G3 is wider and lighter with a QHD display, whereas the M8 is tall and skinny with heavier metal construction and a Full HD screen. Both have microSD expansion, but the G3 allows for a removable battery while the M8 has awesome BoomSound speakers. This comparison really just comes down to your personal preference in each category because it's just too difficult to simply evaluate the differences.

LG G3 vs Sony Xperia Z2

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These two couldn't look more different even though they both have exceptional build quality and a very polished appearance. The Sony Xperia Z2 is a big flat slab of glass and the G3 is a curved, plastic device with tiny bezels that fill the front of the phone with a lot more screen. Sony have a pretty clean Xperia user interface that you can see echoes of in LG's Optimus UI but the Z2 perhaps has less useful software features built-in than the G3. Again, the Z2 is water-resistant and provides fairly equal performance in terms of camera and specs though. This is another one that might need to be decided in store with the two side-by-side. Check out the full LG G3 vs Sony Xperia Z2 comparison.

LG G3 vs Oppo Find 7

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The big two QHD smartphone choices right now: LG G3 (left) and Oppo Find 7. / © ANDROIDPIT

When it comes to QHD displays right now there's only two names on everyone's lips: the LG G3 and the Oppo Find 7. When you look at the specs sheet for these devices you might think you're seeing double. On many fronts they're pound for pound the same phone, but they look completely different and the Oppo is running a tweaked version of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or a custom OS from CyanogenMod. The other big question is manufacturer: do you want to take a chance on a relatively new OEM out of China or stick with a brand you already know? For more information check out our specs comparison of the first two Android smartphones to ship with QHD displays in our LG G3 vs Oppo Find 7 comparison.

There's also some stiff competition in the shape of the OnePlus One.

Tech specs 

  Samsung Galaxy S5 Sony Xperia Z2 Oppo Find 7 HTC One M8 LG G3
Display 1920 x 1080 (432ppi), 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi), 5.2-inch Triluminos Full HD IPS 2,560 x 1,440 pixels,(538 ppi), 5.5-inch Quad HD (2K) IPS 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441 ppi), 5-inch Full HD LCD 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (534 ppi), 5.5-inch QHD IPS+ LCD 
Processor 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 graphics 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 graphics 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 graphics

2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 graphics

2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 graphics
Memory 2GB 3 GB 3 GB 2 GB 2/3 GB
Internal Memory 16 / 32 GB (microSD up to 128 GB) 16 GB (microSD up to 64 GB) 32 GB (microSD up to 128 GB) 16 / 32 GB (microSD up to 128 GB) 16/32 GB (microSD up to 128 GB)
Camera 16 MP OIS (Rear), 2 MP (Front)

20.7 MP OIS (Rear), 2.2 MP (Front)

13 MP BSI sensor (Rear), 5 MP (Front) 4 MP Ultrapixel OIS (Rear), 5 MP (Front) 13 MP, Laser Autofocus, OIS+ (Rear), 2.1 MP (Front)
Connectivity 802.11a/ac/b/g/n, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE 802.11a/ac/b/g/n, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0. LTE 802.11a/ac/b/g/n, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE GSM/HSDPA/LTE, WIFI 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 2.0
Battery 2,800 mAh (removable) 3,200 mAh 3,000 mAh (removable) 2,600 mAh 3,000 mAh (removable)
Operating System Android 4.4, TouchWiz Android 4.4, Xperia UI Android 4.3, Color OS 2.0 Android 4.4, HTC Sense 6 Android 4.4.2, Optimus UI
Dimensions 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2mm 152.6 x 75 x 9.2 mm 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm 146.3 x 74.6 x 9.1 mm
Weight 145 g 158g 171 g 160 g 151 g
Other Features Fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor, Ultra Power Saving Mode, IP67 certified, 4K video IP58 certified, BRAVIA screen tech, Exmor RS camera, 4K video 50 MP images (via software), VOOC rapid charger, 4K video, MaxxAudio UltraPixel Duo camera, Zoe, BoomSound, BlinkFeed stacked SIM and microSD slot, IR blaster, Qi charging, 4K video

Price and Availability

The LG G3 is available in the US on the main carriers for around 199 USD on a two-year contract with special deals, freebies to sweeten the individual offers and more to catch your attention, so shop around and consider your options before committing. Best Buy and Amazon will do you a contract for just 99 USD. Some carriers like AT&T have scrapped Qi wireless charging too, so if that's a deal breaker be warned. Off contract G3's go for 599 USD for the base model with 16 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM. In the UK you can grab the LG G3 for 499 GBP or online for less if you shop smart. In India you can now grab the LG G3 for 47,990 INR. The LG G3 is also availbale in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines with more markets to follow.

Are you picking up the LG G3? What was the most convincing feature for you?