LG G3 release date, news and features
27th May 2014 | 17:25
All the latest on the LG G3
LG G3 release date, news and features
After months of rumors and speculation the LG G3 is finally here and by the looks of things it's very much worth the wait.
It's hardly the shock announcement of the year, as even LG itself spilled the beans on the G3 on more than one occasion, but with our muted excitement of the launch put to on side we have taken a closer look at the handset.
- Read our hands on: LG G3 review
From its stunning screen to its stylish build this is premium device through and through and we've got all the details, all in one place. So settle down and read up on what may well be your next phone.
What is it? The sequel to 2013's excellent LG G2
When is it out? June
What will it cost? It's expected to start at around £550
LG G3 release date and price
LG has announced June as the LG G3 release date in the UK Europe, although we're still waiting to hear the dates for other markets.
We're still waiting on price, though it's expected to retail for roughly £550 / $925 / AU$1000 SIM free, putting it on a par with other recent flagships.
LG G3 design
Like the LG G2, the G3 retains the rear buttons, albeit making them more rounded and a bit flatter - and hopefully easier to hit. Both phones are also plastic, but while the G2 looks and feels as plastic as it is, the LG G3 is cunningly disguised to almost seem as though it's made of metal. The effect is quite convincing, but that's all it is, an effect.
With dimensions of 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm it's certainly on the large size, but that's to be expected given the large 5.5-inch screen and actually the tiny bezels and curved, removable back cover should mean it's still useable with one hand. It's not enormously heavy though at 149g.
Button wise there's just the power button and volume keys on the back, the sides and front don't have any buttons at all. All you really get on the front is that 5.5-inch screen, with bezels above and below it and an earpiece at the top.
The 1 watt speaker is on the back, while the headphone port and micro USB port are on the bottom edge. The G3 will be available in white, black and gold.
LG G3 display
There are no surprises with the display - and we're happy about that. It means the LG G3 does arrive with the hotly tipped 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 538ppi. So not only is it big but it's ludicrously high resolution.
Even other flagships like the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 only have 1080p screens so this could be a huge selling point for the G3 and puts it above most of the competition in the display department.
LG G3 power
The LG G3 has a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 2 or 3GB of RAM depending on whether you plump for the 16GB or 32GB model and an Adreno 330 GPU.
LG G3 operating system
As expected, the LG G3 will ship with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and it will be overlaid with LG's Optimus UI. It's a different version of it to what we've seen before though.
The whole look has been changed to give it flatter, circular and less childish icons, while there's also a big new feature in the form of 'Smart Notice'.
This provides context sensitive information, suggestions and reminders based on where you are, the status of your phone and your behaviour. So for example when you get to work in the morning it might ask if you want to turn Wi-Fi on, or if you haven't used an app for a few months it might ask if you want to delete it.
The LG G3 also includes Knock Code, which isn't a new thing as we've seen it already on other LG handsets, but it is a welcome addition as it allows you to wake up and unlock your phone with a series of taps when the screen is off.
LG G3 camera
The LG G3 has a 13MP camera, just like the LG G2 before it, but it has seen some improvements as it now has a dual-LED flash, OIS+ and a laser autofocus.
It should be able to focus quickly and take sharp photos. The front-facing camera is a rather more humble 2.1MP offering.
LG G3 battery
The G3 has a removable 3000mAh battery which is roughly in line with rival phones. The Samsung Galaxy S5 for example has a 2800mAh battery, while the Sony Xperia Z2 has a 3200mAh one.
Of course neither of those phones have QHD screens, so it remains to be seen how well the battery will hold up, but at least you can carry a spare with you if need be.
LG G3 connectivity
The LG G3 supports 3G, 4G (and LTE Advance where available), Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. It also has a microSD card slot (with support for cards of up to 128GB) to bulk up the storage from the 16 or 32GB that you can get with it and if you put it in a QuickCircle Case it will support Qi wireless charging too.
Speaking of the QuickCircle case, that's something that deserves a mention in its own right. As well as imbibing the G3 with wireless charging smarts it will give you access to the phone while keeping it fully protected.
It does this by having a circular cut-out across a portion of the screen, which alongside some circular widgets allows you to control everything from music to calls without ever having to open the case. The QuickCircle Case is sold separately and comes in black, white, gold, mint and pink.
LG G3 rumors: page 1
There was a lot of build up to the launch of the LG G3 and a lot of rumors were thrown around in the process. Many of them panned out, some others didn't. We've collected them below so you can see for yourself how close they came.
LG G3 release date and price
The LG G3 is being announced today by LG, as confirmed in a teaser video for the handset.
LG is holding events in San Francisco, New York, London, Istanbul, Seoul and Singapore and TechRadar will be reporting live to bring you all the latest.
But while we'd love it to hit the shelves instantly in a similar fashion to the HTC One M8, there's no reason to think that will happen. More likely it will be available to buy from sometime in June.
As for the price, that hasn't been confirmed, but insiders speaking to ZDNet Korea recently claimed it would sell for 920,000 won (£532 / $897 / AU$969), while G For Games is reporting that some Scandinavian retailers have listed the 16GB version at between 613-678 Euros (£496-548 / $837-926 / AU$903-999) and the 32GB model at between 659-730 Euros (£533-£591/ $900-997 / AU$971-1075). So it's likely to have a similar price to other flagship phones.
Etnews claims that LG has set a sales target of 10 million for the G3, which is quite an ambitious number, but off the back of the LG G2 and the Nexus 5 it's entirely possible that LG will achieve it.
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LG G3 display
LG has confirmed that the LG G3 will have a 5.5 inch 2560 x 1440 display with a pixel density of 538 pixels per inch. That's a huge deal as it's the first major flagship with such a high resolution display.
However the revelation didn't come as much of a surprise as it was one of the earliest and most enduring rumors, with numerous sources and leaks making the same claims.
1080 x 1920 is the current go-to resolution for flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2, but if the LG G3 intends to stand out from the crowd then that QHD screen could certainly help.
For more on the LG G3 check out the Phone Show video below, where Gareth Beavis and John McCann are bringing the hype for the next Android big-hitter.
LG G3 rumors: page 2
LG G3 processor and RAM
While LG hasn't officially confirmed what processor or how much RAM its flagship will have it's got pretty close. LG Netherlands jumped the gun on the official launch and briefly put up a product page for the LG G3 on its site. It presumably realised the mistake as it quickly took it down, but not quick enough, as it was there long enough for eagle-eye web watchers to notice it and grab some screenshots.
The page revealed that the LG G3 has a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. That latter spec is a little disappointing and also slightly questionable as some G3 marketing materials also leaked recently and they listed the phone as having 3GB of RAM.
Indeed previous rumors seemed to disagree on whether the handset would have 2 or 3GB of RAM too. It's possible that there will be more than one version of the phone, but that in itself isn't a rumor that we've specifically come across.
Assuming there's only one version we'd guess that 3GB is more likely and we're certainly hoping for 3GB, but we'll know for sure what it's packing soon enough.
Earlier rumors pointed to an octa-core Odin processor but given the fairly official leaks we've seen now that's looking very unlikely.
LG G3 operating system
The LG G3's operating system looks to be one of the few aspects of the phone which might still surprise us, but even then there's a lot that we already know or are pretty sure of.
For one thing it's obviously going to be running Android 4.4 KitKat. That was always a safe bet, but if proof were needed a benchmark for a device believed to be the LG G3 lists that version of Android.
Beyond that you can expect it to be overlaid with LG's Optimus UI, but it looks like it's undergone a few changes since we last saw it. The phones premature appearance on LG Netherlands included some interface images, showing a flatter, less childish design and circular icons.
But the changes are more than skin deep. The site also mentioned simplified file management, an adjustable keyboard and an intuitive interface, as well as detailing 'Smart Notice' which gives you context sensitive information and reminders, based on the status of your phone, your location and your behaviour.
Some examples given are that it might ask you if you want to delete certain apps that you haven't used in a long time or ask you if you want to turn Wi-Fi on when you arrive at work.
The reveal also confirmed that the LG G3 will come with Knock Code, which we've seen on other LG handsets and allows you to use a pattern of 'knocks' to wake up and unlock your phone.
All of this is in line with previous rumors and leaks. We've seen images of the interface several times now and there has long been talk of advanced personalisation features, which are presumably those found in 'Smart Notice'.
LG has also confirmed a Quick Circle case, which, combined with circular widgets lets you interact with the G3 without opening the case and gives the phone Qi wireless charging abilities. The same confirmation also points to some fitness tracking features.
LG G3 camera
As with so many other things, details of the LG G3's camera have been all but confirmed. According to the almost-certainly-accurate information posted by LG Netherlands the phone will have a 13 megapixel snapper.
That's another thing that's long been rumored, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise, though at one stage there was a suggestion that it might have a 16 megapixel sensor instead.
LG Netherlands also revealed that the camera will have OIS+, a dual-LED flash and laser autofocus, while the front-facing snapper is said to be 2.1 megapixels, which almost lines up with previous rumors, claiming that it would have either 2 megapixels or 2.4 megapixels.
All things considered the LG G3's camera sounds pretty impressive. The LG G2 already had a fairly great camera and it sounds like things will be even better still this time around. If you want a taste of just how good it might be then here's a picture of a cat, supposedly taken on it.
LG G3 chassis, security and what we want
LG G3 chassis
The chassis was one of the last things that there was any mystery surrounding, but it looks as if LG Netherlands might have even spoiled the surprise there. According to the now-removed product page it has a 'lightweight metal housing'.
We really hope that turns out to be true as while LG itself has previously teased the look of the phone in a promotional video and various other leaked images have shown a metal-look finished it was largely assumed that it was just that, a look and not the real deal.
There's still a chance that it will just be cleverly disguised plastic, as while the listing at one point called it a 'lightweight metal housing', at another point it referred to it as a 'lightweight metallic design', the latter of which implies that it may simply resemble metal, plus an anonymous source claimed last month that it has a polycarbonate back. Fingers crossed for real metal.
The listing described the case as providing comfort and freedom of movement, with intuitive buttons on the back and a 'floating ark' shape, which apparently make the sides much thinner so that the phone can be operated with one hand.
Speaking of those rear buttons, yes they've made a return, but they seem to have been redesigned to be smaller and flatter.
The numerous images we've seen of the phone also show us that the camera lens is just above them, while to the side of it there's a black sensor of some kind, which was one of the more enduring mysteries of the handset, but LG Netherlands has now revealed that the G3 will have a laser autofocus, so presumably it's for that.
LG Netherlands also stated that the phone will be 146.3 x 74.6 x 9.1mm, making it slightly bigger than the LG G2, which was 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9mm and that it will have a removable 3000 mAh battery and a microSD card slot.
The fact that the battery is removable suggests that the back is also removable and indeed previous rumors claimed as much. To us a removable back suggests plastic rather than metal sadly, but we'll know soon enough.
While we've seen dozens of press images of the LG G3, a dummy unit of the device has also been snapped in a mobile phone shop in South Korea. Sadly there's no confirmation as to what material the back is made from, but it does give us a more hands-on look at the ultra-thin bezels around the screen, which ensure the phone isn't over large, as well as showing that both the headphone port and micro USB port are on the base of the handset.
We've also heard that the LG G3 might be water and dust proof. This would make sense given that more and more handsets are heading in that direction, but nothing in the more official leaks we've seen mentions it.
The phone is rumoured to be launching in black, white and gold and we've even seen a leaked image of the phone in each of those colours.
LG G3 speakers and wireless charging
Other details about the handset that were revealed by LG Netherlands include the fact that it will support wireless charging (though presumably only with a Quick Circle case) and have a 1 watt speaker with a 'boost amp', so while we're not expecting HTC One M8 levels of sound quality it might be quite loud and clear.
There were also early whispers that the LG G3 might have a fingerprint or eye scanner, but it's not looking like that's going to pan out as we've heard nothing on it recently and in all the images we've seen of the phone there's no sign of either of them.
LG G3 what to expect
There have been tons of rumors and leaks around the LG G3, but most of them seem to point in the same direction so we have a pretty clear picture of what to expect today.
We expect the LG G3 will have a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera with OIS+ and laser autofocus, a microSD card slot, a 5.5 inch QHD screen and a redesigned version of LG's Optimus UI, complete with context sensitive alerts and information.
The one thing we're slightly less sure of is the build of the phone. It will certainly have buttons on the back and a metal look but it's not clear whether it will be actual metal or just plastic. As much as we hope for the former we're guessing it will be the latter.
That aside we're not expecting too many surprises, but we'll have all the information when the phone is announced at 6pm GMT / 1pm EST and we'll be bringing you a hands on review, alongside features and interviews, so be sure to check back later today.
5 things we want to see
That's what we've heard so far, but while we wait for more rumors to emerge here are five things that LG really should include in the G3:
1. A metal chassis
There was a time when it was only Apple making truly stunning smartphones, but now HTC and Sony have got in on the act too.
Samsung might be stubbornly sticking to plastic but then it's got enough market share that it can pretty much do whatever it wants. LG doesn't have that luxury and if it wants to turn heads an all-metal LG G3 would be a good start.
It's now looking like LG might have gone half way there by giving the G3 a metal-look chassis, but actual metal would be so much better.
2. An iris scanner
There's the ghost of a whisper that this might happen, but we're far from convinced. It should though.
If done well it could be an even slicker alternative to the fingerprint scanners that manufacturers are currently going mad for and it would put LG ahead of the game, rather than playing catch-up.
3. A beastly battery
The LG G2 has pretty great battery life as it is, so we're hopeful that the LG G3 will follow suit. Battery life is one of the last remaining hurdles manufacturers need to overcome, but it's a big one.
We'd take a battery which can last several days between charges over increased power or screen size in a heartbeat.
4. A 64-bit processor
There was talk that Samsung might include a 64-bit processor in the Galaxy S5, but that didn't happen, which now gives LG the chance to beat Samsung to the punch.
It's debatable how useful a 64-bit processor would even be right now, but it would help to future proof it at least. Unfortunately we've come across precisely zero evidence that the LG G3 will have one, so it looks very unlikely.
5. Bulked up storage
We're not too sold on microSD cards, but we are fans of plenty of storage space, so a bigger hard drive would be great. The iPad Air comes with up to 128GB, as does a phone in China, so why not the LG G3?
- Like LG but want something a little smaller? Check out the LG G2 mini