Honeymoon Period Over: My Take On My G3 Now


A little more than a month ago, I did a review on this blog about my then-new phone, the LG G3. I gave it a lot of praise, and disregarded a lot of niggles the phone has, simply because I hadn't discovered them yet. So this post is to balance things out a bit; what are the downsides to my phone?

To make things clear before we start: I still love my phone, and I don't regret the purchase one little bit whatsoever. It's the most powerful piece of handheld equipment I've ever owned, and I still find it a pleasure to use. However, now that I've spent many weeks with it, I have found a few things that do irk me a little. They are very small nit-picking things, but so damn they should be on a flagship device.

Firstly, the infrared blaster is laughably weak. For those of you who don't know, IR blasters are what enables any remote of yours to 'talk' to the thing you're controlling - say a TV. The one on the G3 is so, so weak, that it almost defeats the object of having one in the first place. You have to be very close and pointing straight at the thing you're trying to control, which is annoying in many situations. I've used many other phone IR blasters, and the vast majority of them have worked better than the G3.

Next, my phone seems to have this peculiar bug with its LED notification light. Every now and then, it will pulsate green like it's got a notification, but when you turn the screen on, you find there's nothing there. More annoyingly, there is literally no way to stop this phantom notification light other than to completely reboot the phone. There is little online about it, which suggests it's not a widespread bug, but it's there for me, and it happens I'd say a few times a week.

The screen. I still can't get enough of that 1440p resolution (even though 1080 I'm sure would've been more than enough), but the resolution is pretty much the only stand-out feature of the phone. It's a basic LCD affair, which means you don't get the deepest blacks around, and it doesn't go particularly bright. It's enough to read in direct sunlight, sure, but when I put it next to the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus yesterday, the G3's screen looked positively pathetic. Not to mention the extra pixels put more strain on the processor in the phone. In Geekbench 3, the G3's score ranges from 2,300 to 2,500, depending on how bright the screen is (yes, really). The Samsung Galaxy S5 uses the exact same chip, but due to the lower resolution, the processor doesn't have to work as hard, and it can therefore return a score of 2,700 to 2,900. Still though, the G3 is hardly a slouch.

I'm not done yet. The G3 gets worryingly hot at times, which is a common complaint for the phone. When things do get heated, the phone understandably throttles itself to stop it burning itself out. But this makes the phone agonisingly slow, and due to how easily the G3 heats up, this 'safety sluggishness' happens a lot more than I would perhaps want. Another weird side effect to the heat is the camera loses all ability to focus and stabilise, so you will never get a good picture with a hot G3. In all fairness though, you have to be very intense in usage to get to that stage.

Anything else? Yes, the battery life only just manages to get me through the day, and that's if I put some battery saving consideration into my usage. If I used my phone as much as I want to sometimes, I could easily drain it by late afternoon. Thankfully, the G3 comes with a removable battery, so you can just fling another one in if it becomes a consistent problem. Removable batteries are becoming rare these days, it has to be said.

So there, hopefully that should balance things out a bit. As I say though, I still very much like my G3, and I'd still recommend it if you are looking for a cheap and powerful phone.