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LG G3: One of the best smartphones in the Android world.

Dubai: The first thing you notice when holding LG's G3 in your hand is the QHD (Quad High Definition) display. LG which has improved a number of features on the G3 from the G2, is the first branded smartphone to have QHD display (2K) and laser autofocus system.

The display is quite sharp with 3.68 million pixels compared to 2.07 million on Full HD displays.

The G3 has 538 pixels per inch density compared to 440 pixels per inch on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8).

A full HD display has 1920x1080 pixels while QHD display has 2560x1440 pixels at 16:9 aspect ratio, four times that of 720p standard high definition.

The screen is stunning and LG has reduced the side bezel to make more screen space.

Since LG is using an IPS LCD screen, the contrast ratio is not that great and colours do not pop out like others with AMOLED screens. Colours look warm and natural, if a tad undersaturated.

The 5.5-inch device is powered by quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage capacity. It can support up to 128GB external storage capacity (microSD card). It runs on KitKat operating system and the Adreno 330 GPU offers smooth and lag less gaming performance. 3D games like Asphalt 8 and Real Racing 3 play smoothly and look stunning on that amazing screen.

LG has improved its user interface in favour of new flat tile look and the icons are redesigned. Different icons have different colours for easy recognition.

The Smart Notice feature on the home screen shows useful cards based on the time of day, your location and how you usually use your phone. It suggests what you need even before you need it.

Predictive recommendations are based on the status of your phone, behaviour and location. It is a useful feature.

LG has stuck to its polycarbonate back and the rear buttons, but it looks and feels premium with the metallic finish to keep the weight down at 150 grams.

LG's proprietary "KnockOn" feature to unlock the phone is back for the second time. Tapping the screen twice will turn the screen on and double tapping will lock the phone.

The rear buttons are well placed and the power button is more rounded with the volume keys ridged.

The new smart keyboard makes typing easier and faster as the keyboard is height-adjustable. It is a good feature for people with large thumbs.

The split screen mode is useful and works fine. This lets you run two apps at the same time, one above the other, simply by pressing and holding the back soft key. Not all the apps work though and LG has selected few apps -- email apps, messaging, browsers, maps and YouTube -- to work in the split mode.

Another area where LG has made great strides is the camera. The 13MP autofocus camera with enhanced optical image stabilisation and dual LED flash offers an additional feature -- laser detection autofocus -- to make it the fastest-focusing smartphone.

The laser sends an infra-red signal and absorbs information about the depth of the object and surroundings to create an instant and clear picture for the camera to shoot.

The camera app is simple with just four frequently used modes -- Autofocus, Magic focus (macro), Panorama and Dual (which takes a picture with the front facing camera at the same time as the rear) instead of the usual 16 modes found in other phones.

There are also a few settings such as resolution and HDR mode which can be changed and the camera can also capture 120fps slow motion video and up to five minutes of 4K footage.

G3 takes better pictures in lowlight conditions and has a better flash. Even in low light, the pictures show plenty of detail.

The camera copes well with macro shots and well-lit conditions and can compete with other high-end devices in the market.

The 2.1MP front camera has wider angle lens and feature for gesture recognition to take the photo. Hold your hand out and make a fist and the self-portrait timer will start.

There is the front-facing flash (not an LED flash), feature where a rectangular part of the screen goes pink and illuminates the face to take a better picture.

Like Galaxy S5, LG has added a built-in fitness tracker -- LG Health -- to track steps as well as keep a record of other activities such as jogging or cycling. It is quite simple and intuitive.

As far as connectivity goes, the G3 has 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. It also comes with an Infrared blaster where the device can be used as a remote controller for home entertainment systems.

The 3,000mAh removable battery is average due to the high-resolution display and big screen size. In the video test and heavy use at medium brightness, the battery lasted for just over 12 hours but for a moderate user, it will last for more than one day with brightness set to 70 per cent. The other advantage is the battery charges very fast and gives full battery in around two hours.

The battery saving feature kicks in automatically at five per cent battery life but it can be changed in the settings.

When the phone warms up, the display brightness is forcibly reduced to prevent overheating. LG is employing its aggressive power-saving measures to cope with the demands of the pixel-packed screen. It is priced at Dh2,199.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 31, 2014
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