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Review: LG G3 for Sprint

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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.


The Sprint variant of the G3 performed below average when compared to other devices I've tested on Sprint's network in the metro NYC area. It often had trouble connecting to LTE 4G, despite strong coverage. It fell back to CDMA 3G far too often, which meant data speeds were agonizingly slow. I noticed it almost never connected to LTE when the device was indoors. I had better luck with it outside. When the G3 did connect to LTE successfully, data was fast. I managed to use it in an area covered by Sprint Spark, but noticed no improvement in data downloads or uploads. The G3 was able to connect calls no matter what sort of coverage was available, and the phone didn't drop any calls.


I was not overly pleased with the quality of voice calls made through the Sprint version of the G3. Calls were loud, but the earpiece distorted heavily when the volume was set any higher than about 75%. There wasn't any interference that I could hear, and voices were plenty loud enough, but the distortion really hindered the ability to hold conversations. The speakerphone fared a bit better. Quality was good and the volume was loud enough. People with whom I spoke through the G3 said I sounded good. The ringers and alert tones are loud enough to get your attention most of the time, as is the vibrate alert. The number of customizable sound profiles really helps you fine-tune how the G3 alerts you.

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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. Calls made from the Verizon model were also better.



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. All of these tests were run over Sprint's 3G and 4G LTE networks, 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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