My Not-Very-Comprehensive Review Of My New Phone


For the past year, I have been a semi-proud owner of a first-generation Motorola Moto G. It was a phone that was never destined to break any speed records, or look the most premium, but it did everything just fine. No matter what I threw at the phone, it obeyed my every command. Considering I paid just £130 for such a device, I have to applaud how well it performed against me, a fairly heavy and demanding user. But at the end of the day, the Moto G was still a budget phone. Despite the awesome value for money, it would be impossible for Motorola to create something that made the high-end phones unnecessary at this price point.

So naturally, I was left desiring a powerhouse, something that would accommodate my thirst for multitasking and no lag whatsoever. But I was still on a budget. I still - much to my internal fury - have no job, and therefore do not have half a grand to splash on a new phone. But I had sold a few things on eBay recently, so my budget was a respectable ~£240. My first obvious choice was the OnePlus One. This is a high-end phone with many RAMs and many processors, but at a really low price. A 64GB phone now costs £219, which is smack-bang in my budget. But it doesn't have FM radio! When you're an abnormal teenager like me, FM radio matters.

Finally, I came across the LG G3. This is a flagship smartphone from 2014 that's had a price cut, thanks to the G4 being released this year. Previous gen flagships always get price cuts. But while the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 were hovering at around £350, the G3 was available for a stonking £230. Needless to say, I purchased it in a heartbeat.

Before I get on to what I thought of my phone, here are some core specs for the phone, so you know what's what:

  • 2.5 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 1440p Quad HD display, with 538 pixels per inch density (basically a lot)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 13MP camera with optical image stabilisation, 4K video recording, 2.1MP front camera
  • And many other things I can't be asked to list
This is my first ever flagship phone. Yes, it's a year old, but it won't make a damn difference for someone who's come from a Moto G. The first thing I thought of when I took it out of the box was: 'this is really plasticky'. Not the most ideal first impression, but it's true. The Moto G was plastic, but it was matte plastic, almost rubbery in nature. It was nice in the hand. The G3 has this visually appealing metal effect, but it's much more of a glossy plastic. Looks a lot nicer than the Moto G, but doesn't necessarily feel nicer.

The screen is absolutely amazing. I was dazzled right from when I switched it on, and the 1440p videos that the phone comes with looks breathtaking. The Moto G wasn't bad; it had a 720p screen coming in at 329ppi - about the same as the iPhone 6 - but the G3 is sensational. It makes web browsing full desktop pages a pleasure, and text-heavy apps like Twitter become so easy to use. It isn't the brightest screen, and the colours are a lot colder than the Moto G, but it's still amazing. LG helps the screen take centre stage by having almost no bezels on the sides. As a result, this is a 5.5" screen that can be used by one goddamn hand!

I originally had issues with the camera. When I first fired it up, it had this uncontrollable shaking. The G3 is meant to have optical image stabilisation, but this was worse than just having the OIS off. Even if you kept the phone dead still, it would still shake. Plus, it had a hard time focusing. Not good when it has a laser with the sole purpose of functioning as a focusing tool (very cool). But a software update (dated 19th May 2015) soon got pushed through to my phone after an hour or so of use, and fixed it all. Now the camera is a champ; it focuses very quickly, thanks to that physical laser, and it takes very crisp shots with careful consideration to exposure. If it detects a wide range of light strengths (say a black wall next to a window in daylight), it will automatically activate HDR mode and give you impressive shots. Video can be recorded up to 4K, but I'd just stick with 1080p.

General performance is very good. It nips around the UI like nothing I've used before, with barely any lag at all. It can occasionally stutter when the phone gets very hot, because I believe the G3 throttles the CPU under hot conditions. But 99% of the time, you will be nipping and multitasking without breaking a sweat of frustration. Since this is the 2GB RAM model and not the 3GB, you can't have too many apps fully open in the background before the phone has to reboot them when you want to access them again. But it still allows you to hop between three of four apps without a single millisecond of loading, which is more than enough for me. But even when apps do get booted out of the RAM, it only takes a few seconds to reload everything again, if that. 

Battery life is also very good. I've been getting bang-on four hours of screen-on time with the battery, which is pretty much double what I used to get in my Moto G. A 3000MaH capacity isn't the biggest in the class, but it's still proving to be more than enough in these early stages. I have exactly the same apps that I did on my Moto G, thanks to Google's automatic app and data migration service, so it's not like the phone isn't doing anything with nothing in the storage. I just hope the G3 can keep up that impressive screen-on time. Battery is very well preserved when on standby too - something the Moto G was awful at.

I will also slip in that this has got to be one of the sexiest phones on the market. There are phones that use more premium materials, but from a visual standpoint the G3 is very attractive. The same can't really be said for LG's infamous UI though. It's miles better than the days of the Optimus G and the G2, and has benefited from Android Lollipop. But it was still ugly enough for me to want to switch to Nova Launcher. I highly recommend Nova if you're looking for a fast UI that gives an almost stock Android experience. 

In short, I do love this phone. But then I would if I was coming from a Moto G, wouldn't I? I've had this phone for less than 48 hours, so will the honeymoon turn sour? Tune in never again, because I'm not going to keep writing about a mobile phone. Jeez.

Update, 26/8/15: Camera shaking still present. It only seems to happen when the phone gets really hot, so I wonder if the phone disables the OIS for whatever reason under extreme circumstances. If it starts happening regularly under cool conditions, I will send the phone in for a refund.... and then buy another G3. I'm a sucker.