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Review: LG G3 for Verizon Wireless

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  7  

Screen

LG went for broke with the G3's screen. Not only does it measure a pocket-busting 5.5 inches, it ups the ante with 2560 x 1440 pixels (or quad HD) resolution. LG decided to stick with LCD technology for the display, and words come woefully short in describing how incredible it is. The sheer volume of pixels makes every single on-screen element razor sharp and clean. Individual pixels are invisible. Viewing angles are outstanding, there's no color shift or brightness drop-off when the phone is tilted side-to-side. Colors are very good. I found the G3 worked fairly well when outdoors under a full sun, but you need to set the brightness all the way up. When the brightness is cranked and the screen is free of smudge, it's no trouble to use the G3 as a camera at your summer picnic.

Signal

The Verizon variant of the G3 gave me absolutely no trouble accessing the cellular network. The phone held onto LTE 4G throughout the review period and never dropped down to 3G (thank goodness!) I was able to make phone calls in poor coverage areas with ease. The G3 did not drop any calls while I used it. I found LTE speeds to be quite quick, with peak downloads surpassing 20 Mbps and averages hovering around 10 Mbps. The G3 was apt at uploading and downloading files to social networks, and delivering web sites in a blink. In short, the G3 performs in line with other Verizon devices.

Sound

Calls I made through the G3 sounded good, but were just shy of great. The earpiece produces loud calls, though not the clearest I've heard. Calls were easy to hear in a variety of environments; I had no trouble maintaining conversations in noisy coffee shops my local mall, nor during a professional soccer match. Call quality did degrade from time to time, however, enough to get in the way of comprehension. The speakerphone also produces plenty of volume to overcome noisy spaces, but quality degrades a bit. There's more interference than via the earpiece. Those with whom I spoke through the G3 said I sounded really good. Alerts and ringers are exceptionally loud, and the vibrate alert is quite strong.

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By way of comparison, I tested an international variant of the G3 on both AT&T and T-Mobile's networks and calls were much clearer.

Sound  

Battery

In a word, epic. I had a hard time killing off the G3's 3,000 mAh battery, despite the large, pixel-rich screen and my own intense use. For this, we can probably thank the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, which made big strides earlier this year with respect to power management. The G3 was able to handle hours of calls, tons of social networking, lots of web surfing, picture taking, and video watching. Keep in mind, all these tests were run over Verizon's LTE network, so there's no need to worry about 4G killing off your battery. The G3 is a solid performer.

Like other competing flagships, the G3 includes a battery saver tool that shuts down predetermined apps/services once the battery reaches a preset level. For example, it can turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when it reaches 30%, or turn off background sync and alter screen brightness when it reaches 20%. In other words, if you happen to run into battery trouble and know it'll be a while before you can charge, battery saver will help maximize the remaining up time.

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