Review: LG G3 for Sprint
Jul 22, 2014, 1:16 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The LG G3 is a solid device for Sprint customers to consider, and is among a growing number to offer Wi-Fi calling. Android smartphone enthusiasts would do well to read Phone Scoop's full report, which points out the phone's strengths and weaknesses.
Is It Your Type?
The G3 is for Mr. Jones. It's not the phone you buy if you want to follow trends, it's the phone you buy if you want to set trends. The G3 is the first real smartphone to include a quad HD display. It represents the pinnacle of modern smartphone evolution and design. If you want the creme de la creme, the G3 fits the bill.
Editor's Note: We have already reviewed the Verizon version of the LG G3. Since so many features of the phone are identical, we carried over large portions of that review to this one. Rest assured, we gave all the Sprint features a full run-through in order to prepare this report.
The LG G3 is the company's flagship device for 2014. It is significantly bigger than last year's phone and is closer in size to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 than it is to the G2. The G3 carries over the design ideas first set forth with the G2 but increases their appeal dramatically with updated materials and improved build quality.
The G3 is one of the finer phones LG has made. The difference in quality between the G2 and G3 is marked. Where last year's phone looked good but felt cheap, this year's phone both looks good and feels good. It's still made of plastic, but the plastics are stepped up and so is the design. It has crisp, clean lines that, while conservative, are appealing. The front is mostly black, with the exception of a gray band at the bottom. This same gray forms a thin accent that encircles the outer edge. Lots of modern phones use this design idea, but it helps give the G3 a much-needed boost in class. The back is a dark gray color that's brushed in such a way that it mimics metal. The back cover is not metal, but LG describes the paint job as "metallic." Take that for what it's worth.
Don't for one second think that the G3 is a one-handed device. You'll need two hands to use this phone. It is quite large and there's no stylus in sight. I can't wrap my hand around it. Since there are no buttons along the outer edge, LG tapered the sides in order to help the phone fit at least a little bit better in the hand. Despite the height and width, the G3 is fairly thin (for this class of device) at 9.4mm. It’s light enough that I didn't mind using it or carrying it around. It fits into some pockets, but not all. If you're rocking skinny jeans, chances are it won't fit in the front pockets without protruding garishly.
Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.
The gorgeous screen consumes the bulk of the front surface. A thin strip of bezel above the display holds the earpiece speaker, user-facing camera, and several sensors. The sensors are all but invisible. The bezels along the sides of the screen are impressively thin. The gray band at the bottom is thicker, but it holds no buttons. The G3 relies on on-screen controls for the Android operating system.
As mentioned, there are no buttons along the side edges. That's because, like the G2, LG has relocated them to the back surface. I had a hard time getting used to this button configuration even after using the phone for a week, but I can say the buttons themselves are much improved over last year's phone. The entire button/camera assembly has been redesigned. It’s flatter, more attractive, and feels stronger and of higher quality. The screen lock button is in the middle of the three-button array, with the volume above and below. The screen lock button is raised just slightly, while the volume toggles are dimples that dip below the surface of the phone. I had no trouble discerning between the three without looking. Travel and feedback of all three buttons is great. LG really did make the buttons better to use. It's still too easy to accidentally smudge the camera lens while your finger searches for those buttons.
The microUSB port is on the bottom of the phone, as is the stereo headphone jack. There's an infrared beamer on the top of the phone. There’s no camera button.
The G3's rear cover peels off with ease thanks to a nice notch for your thumbnail. Under it, you'll find the removable battery and ports for the SIM card and the memory card. You have to take out the battery in order to remove the SIM card, but the memory card can be hot-swapped if you want. The G3 supports wireless charging, but requires a separate rear cover.
The LG G3 is an attractive, powerful, well-made piece of hardware. It doesn't rival Apple nor HTC's use of metals, but it closes the gap significantly.
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