If you’re keeping up with the Android world and have been doing so for a while, you must already be accustomed to the fascination with rumors. The media and the enthusiasts tend to overlook the past simply because it is registered automatically as outdated. That is not the case, at least not when it comes to Android smartphones. Two, three-year old Android handsets can still perform admirably and offer the stability and performance that Android users need. Upgrading your smartphone doesn’t have to occur every year if the phone you get is of good quality. The LG G3 is one of the smartphones that will, albeit a bit unfairly, be remembered and acclaimed for a long time. Well, not that long, three years tops, I would say, of which one has already past, so two years.
This is a sensitive topic because people tend to develop fandoms quickly. If someone has become accustomed to TouchWiz, Samsung and Android, they will most likely keep that manufacturer as “close to their heart”, whilst manufacturers who have disappointed at a first impression will have been doomed to be frowned upon. But most Android fans agree when it comes to the LG G3, which is why I think this phone needs to stay afloat, in the spotlight. The LG G3 impressed with its QHD display and many believed it was the first smartphone to use that high resolution display. But Oppo had already did it with the Oppo Find 7, another phone that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Although the LG G3 display was most mediated when it comes to features of the phone, LG found a balance in engineering and created a phone that can still bejazzle, after a year. The LG G4 has already been launched and it is as impressive as its predecessor, but it’s not as innovative or groundbreaking. The hype about the LG G Flex 2 might have been more intense than the hype for the LG G4. Nonetheless, the 2015 flagship was launched to positive reviews, amid concerns about the Snapdragon 808 CPU being a bit slow.
People are still talking about the LG G3 and just yesterday someone told me that they are planning on getting the LG G3 as their next upgrade, because “it’s just so cool”. Truth be told, design-wise, the LG G3 nailed it with many smartphone fans. First time smartphone users might have been discouraged by the LG G3 size, but power users with a flare for high-def were enthusiastic about the rounded out, bezelless design of the handset. That 5.5 inch QHD display is marvellous, and LG emphasize its superiority with a clean, minimal design and a metal frame.
Although the body of the LG G3 is made out of plastic, the phone is quite durable and the metallic aspect of the finish does quench the thirst for that premium feeling. The curved back and sides of the phone make it easier to grip, another feature that LG dedicated a lot of energy to. They made the LG G3 with comfort and simplicity in mind, and in my opinion, they nailed it. The LG G3 could be thinner in some people’s minds, but most are content with the thickness because they appreciate the bit of battery space that it allows for.
The LG G3 comes with a removable battery and a microSD card slot, features which nowadays are frowned upon by some and missed by others. Samsung, who was greatly appreciated for its removable batteries and microSD card slots dropped support for these in their past few launches (Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 4). But LG is sticking to their traits and has incorporated them in the LG G4 as well. With this move, not only does the company target the group of Android fans who appreciate these traits (there are many), but it also keeps its reputation with developers, manufacturers and fans. With the LG G4, the company is not saying that you should buy it, but it’s making a statement of their design philosophy.
The LG G3 rivals the LG G4 when it comes to performance, battery life and design, because they’re nearly identical. Not much has been changed with the LG G4, but features were added, which deserve a premium price. But for those who don’t want these features, the LG G3 is among the affordable mainstream flagships out there. These two smartphones compliment each other, and in my opinion, bring forth a good sales strategy. People are picky and a working recipe is a better idea at this point, with so many choices put in front of us.
Choosing the LG G3 is as good of a decision as choosing the LG G4, if you consider some priorities of your own. The LG G3 might seem like an inferior phone due to its older hardware, but performance-wise, with real world use, the handset stays buttery smooth and cool. The Snapdragon 801 CPU is what powers everything, and Android 5.1 is already rolling out to the LG G3, and while some might think the large QHD screen would significantly impact battery life, LG proves that power management can be done effectively. The LG G3 battery life is about 2 days with moderate use, which is a rare occurence, especially with phablet-type smartphones.
The LG G4 has a slightly upgraded panel with the same resolution and size, so there’s not much of a difference in that department. But performance-wise, LG chose the Snapdragon 808 and Android 5.1 Lollipop, and they seem to work together equally fine. The CPU choice is rumored to stem from problems that the LG G Flex encountered with the overheating issue of the Snapdragon 810, the current flagship processor with Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 801 has a wonderful track record, proving its efficiency in phones like the OnePlus One, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and more. Performance is smooth on both the LG G3 and LG G4, which is admirable, considering the former is already more than a year old.
Considerable upgrades have been made to the camera, to the delight of smartphone photography enthusiasts. The LG G3 already has an envied camera that received mostly positive responses from the general public. The nifty use of laser autofocus and optical image stabilization with the 13 MP sensor makes for awesome images that can match those shot with lower end DSLR cameras even. The LG G4 has an even better 16 MP camera that rivals the sensor and quality of the Galaxy S6, so there’s no doubt that LG knows what they’re doing when it comes to camera setup. 4K recording is part of the deal with the LG G3 and LG G4 as well.
The front camera of the LG G3 is mostly rubbish, being a 2.1 MP wide angle sensor. It’s not that bad, but most phones in its price range have better front cameras. LG noticed that, and with the LG G4, there’s an awesome 8 MP sensor on the front that can take pictures almost as high quality as certain rear cameras on flagships. Indubitably, the camera of the LG G4 is far better than the camera of the LG G3. But that doesn’t mean that the LG G2 camera is bad, in fact, it points out that it’s of a superior quality, which should convince most people to choose last year’s flagship over a mid-range phone in the same price range.
What I’m trying to explain is that outdated is not necessarily equal to inferior, and the LG G3 demonstrates it perfectly. Even though it’s more than a year old, it can still compete against the iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One M9, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4 and OnePlus 2. It doesn’t have the hardware to match these newer releases, but the user experience is seamless and long-lastingly so. The goal with smartphones (any product for that matter) is to sell as many as possible, which leads to the short shelf life of products. But LG bypasses that by serving up the LG G3 to customers, a phone that is affordable, future-proof and comes with a long shelf-life (as a result of a durable body, removable battery, high-quality components and good hardware).
Pricing is one of the most important things that needs to be discussed when talking about older smartphones. As a phone gets older, it loses value in the eye of the consumer and as such, the bang for buck drops. Moreover, there are thousands of newer phones launched in a particular price range each year, so the older the phone gets, the more phones it can be replaced with. In the case of the LG G3 price, it was already acceptably low when it was launched in 2014 – ranging to $600 depending on storage configuration. Now, you can buy the LG G3 D855 16GB (FACTORY UNLOCKED) – international version No Warranty (Black) for $345, which is as cheap as the OnePlus 2. If you want warranty, you’re going to have to shell out about $450 for an unlocked unit.
If you go for refurbished or second hand LG G3 units, you can find one for as cheap as $180, which is a great deal. There’s always a risk involved when buying used items, especially electronics, so keep that in mind if you want a used LG G3. Although new is always better, if you take a look around, you might get your hands on a unit that nobody wanted, nobody used and are now selling it for a fraction of the price. Research is very important when buying used items, so keep that tip in mind. Regardless of what condition you want an LG G3 to be in, you can be confident that you won’t be disappointed in what LG did with this flagship. I find the phone very well-balanced, practical, ergonomical and with a great bang for buck. Although the LG G3 is too big for me, I definitely see the appeal this QHD phablet has in 2015. Do you think the LG G3 is still a phone that can pull it off and remain a big player for another year or do you think interest in older phones is negligible?