mobile photography technology, culture and community
www.dpreview.com

LG releases G3 with QHD screen and laser-AF

60

LG has announced the G3, succeeding last year's G2 as the Korean manufacturer's flagship smartphone. The new model's headline feature is its screen. The 5.5-inch True HD-IPS+ screen comes with a whopping 2560 x 1440 pixels (QHD) resolution which, at 534 ppi, makes it one of the pixel-densest current displays. 

While the screen is great for viewing high-resolution images there are also improvements in the image capture department. With a 13MP CMOS-sensor, OIS and  fast F2.0 lens the G2's basic camera specification has not changed too much, but like the Samsung Galaxy S5 the G3 now uses additional phase detection sensors to speed up the autofocus. The latter is also helped by a new laser-AF system that is capable of measuring the subject-to-camera distance. A dual-LED flash should provide natural white balance when capturing flash images. 

The G3 also offers plenty of processing power to run the Android 4.4.2 operating system and LG's redesigned Optimus UI. A Snapdragon 801 SoC with a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor is combined with 2GB RAM on the version with 16GB of internal storage and 3GB RAM on the 32GB variant. For those who need more memory to store images, music and other files there is microSD-card support for up to 128GB. The 3,000mAh battery is user-removable and there is an optional back panel that enables wireless charging.

In terms of design the G3 is pretty close to its predecessor and thanks to the ultra-thin screen bezel the phone has, despite the larger screen, only grown a few millimeters in width and length and at 8.9 mm maintained the G2's thin profile. At 149 grams the device is quite lightweight for its screen size, too. Like on the G2, volume rocker and power button are mounted on the device's back, underneath the camera. The phone's hull is made from polycarbonate plastic but features a top layer that gives it a metal look. Unfortunately, unlike its flagship peers Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 the LG is not splash- or waterproof. 

Users in South Korea are lucky enough to get their hands on a G3 from next week. In Europe the phone will be available in June but no time-frame has been given for a US-launch yet. We are also still waiting for pricing information. We're keen on trying out the LG's new and improved AF system and hope to get access to a review unit soon.

Key Specification

  • 5.5-inch True HD-IPS+ LCD QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) display (534 ppi) 
  • Snapdragon 801 SoC with 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor
  • 16GB storage/2GB RAM or 32GB storage/3GB RAM
  • microSD up to 128GB 
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Optimus UI
  • NFC
  • 13MP 1/3-inch CMOS sensor with OIS
  • F2.0
  • Dual-LED-flash
  • Laser/phase detect AF
  • 2MP, F2.0 front camera
  • 3,000mAh user-removable battery
  • Wireless charging with optional back panel

 

Comments

Total comments: 60
guianMangali
By guianMangali (3 months ago)

QHD vs full HD (G3 vs G2 screen side by side)

http://cdn.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/lg-g3/handson/display/gsmarena_002.jpg

I used to think also that you won't be able to see the difference.

0 upvotes
Lukemynick
By Lukemynick (4 months ago)

I'm looking forward to Connect reviewing the new contender.
Here's hoping that LG manage to sort out the "focus-pumping" issue of G2 and improve on the already good camera.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (4 months ago)

Seeing how the camera units inside the phones has gotten so small, I'm surprised that no manufacturer has yet put three-five of them inside.

Image a phone with three cameras/lenses: 35mm eq, 50mm eq and 90mm eq. Or even better: 24mm eq, 40mm eq, 90mm eq.

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (4 months ago)

I imagine it's pretty hard to get longer focal lengths to fit in the typical body style... I'm surprised no one's gone for something closer to normal than the typical 30mm-ish FL tho (which is ironically terrible for selfies yet no one seems to mind).

0 upvotes
cogthrob
By cogthrob (4 months ago)

Looking forward to seeing how the G3 looks in your Image comparison tool (which I love in general, thank you so much for doing that).

Also hopeful that LG didn't scrap manual focus with the G3. Besides the G2 I don't know any other camera phones with manual focus which something I want in my next camera phone.

1 upvote
rpm40
By rpm40 (4 months ago)

Maybe multi point laser range measurement would be a more practical way than the lytro approach to provide more depth of field information, which could then be used to apply software based blur algorithms, giving more accurate results than the current "background defocus" features, and from a single exposure.

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (4 months ago)

No off-screen buttons, no unibody construction, no integrated big battery, no front facing stereo speakers, no 64/128GB internal storage and no weatherseal. It is like LG isn't even trying.

SONY Z2 is good only if it has off-screen buttons and iOS.

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (4 months ago)

On screen buttons are the way to go IMO, better use of the available space, specially now that there's more options for apps and sites going full screen and hiding the buttons.

For me personally, even HTC's dual speakers are a big waste of space. Yeah they're the best smartphone speakers, but don't kid yourself, 3-4" of separation isn't REALLY gonna create true stereo imaging. You're just getting some hard panning... They can't exactly go back to one after hyping the concept so much, but one good front firing speaker would work just as well.

G3 battery is as large as any other flagship btw, not sure I understand that complaint. It'll be interesting to see if someone goes with a sealed battery larger than 3000mAh now that most have gone back to replaceable batteries. It's getting harder and harder for smartphone OEMs to differentiate.

I kinda agree that periphery features like weather sealing, Moto's always listening feature, wireless charging, etc are now just as key as the highlight specs.

0 upvotes
Carnivore99
By Carnivore99 (4 months ago)

Actually, no integrated battery = major positive. It's a lot more convenient to carry a spare battery than a bulky external charger and cable like all my friends with iPhones have to.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (4 months ago)

"Actually, no integrated battery = major positive. It's a lot more convenient to carry a spare battery than a bulky external charger and cable like all my friends with iPhones have to."

Exactly. Swappable batteries are the way to go, especially with a phone that also doubles as a camera. For example, I, who use the 808 a LOT for shooting while visiting new places, heavily rely on additional batteries to avoid having to find wall outlets (or using stupid, cabled external rechargers) to recharge the phone during the day.

0 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (4 months ago)

Nice phone, but, too bad its running Android, the most insecure and slow mobile OS on the market. First thing you need to do is uninstall all the bloatware that the phone comes with (if they give you permission to do that).

1 upvote
Juandante
By Juandante (4 months ago)

I'm always shocked to see how "native" OS are sooooo much quicker than Android, but Android have some very good qualities like it can run on almost any hardware and any screen size as all the Android software is "emulated". The best is to come, some rumours are saying that Android 5 will have a better emulation engine than the current Davlink. Just hope it is not only words.

1 upvote
imsabbel
By imsabbel (4 months ago)

From what I gathered, the AF here is a true LIDAR style system, and not a grid projection. If thats the case than it would be truely revolutionary.

0 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (4 months ago)

I wonder what the point of a 534ppi display is. Most people's eyes cannot resolve more than 300. And even the eagle-eyed cannot distinguish more than around 400 dots/pixels per inch, really.

10 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (4 months ago)

When will you understand that raising the resolution is not only a PPI problem, but to be able to show more information on the screen. I'm sure you will be happy to show multiple windows on your phone, or have the entire overview of a website directly when it is loaded.

Next time, think twice before you say something, instead of following useless trends.

6 upvotes
Infms
By Infms (4 months ago)

Agreed. It's just a bullet-point on the box, really.

I can't believe notebook manufacturers are still pushing 1366x768!

5 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (4 months ago)

If you can't tell the difference in increased resolution then you must either be blind or from the older generation.

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (4 months ago)

It's not really to show more content, most UI elements are scaled so they're the same size. Yeah you could zoom out of a desktop formatted web site and get more legible text with less aliasing, but they're mostly doing it for the DPI race and it's bordering on silly... Won't say it's pointless because at 5.5" I would expect a higher res display than at 4.3-4.6", it was just bound to happen.

3 upvotes
Mr Blah
By Mr Blah (4 months ago)

@ Juandante: That's a relevant point only up to a certain amount of information density, though. I imagine users would rather not have to squint in order to see tiny 12-point font rendered on a 5.5 in screen. Also, many modern interfaces (particularly in operating systems and very modern web sites) are scaled to occupy the same amount of screen real estate regardless of resolution, negating some of the value of a high resolution screen.
For many tasks, having a higher resolution screen is useful, but not all of such tasks translate well to relatively small 5.5" displays, anyway.
@ straylightrun:
They could be viewing the screen from a distance past where its pixel density is discernible. As displays increase in pixel density, that distance will continue to shrink until one would need to be nose-length from the display in order to make out any difference in resolution. With everyone having different visual fidelity, it's easily possible for some to have reached that limit already.

7 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (4 months ago)

It is not only a question of aliasing. A lot of people read e-books and websites on their mobile phone, if only it is on their trip to work in the bus to revise some lesson or read a news.

And having a big screen - combined with a high resolution is the only way to increase productivity and to have less headache zooming and de-zooming. You scroll less and can go exactly where the info is. Even on Phonearena, with the thumbnails on the main page, you just tap and go.

Saying that QHD is useless, is like asking why people went from 320x240 to 640x480. At the time the two DPI where sadly low - and at the time people were not even thinking about DPI, even in 3D games with always had scaled content since the first ones in 1996.

More resolution is equal to more space, even with scaled UI to a lesser but still useful extent.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (4 months ago)

@ Juandante: While it might be possible to show multiple windows, it would be fairly useless as a feature if you couldn't read what is on them.

It's ironic that you told the other person to think before saying something, when you clearly didn't!

2 upvotes
kff
By kff (4 months ago)

Resolution is a good parameter for dividing devíces when you want to unselect those with 1366x768 ... :)

0 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (4 months ago)

@DaveE1 because you would need to read what is on a full-resolution video on multiple window mode on the left, and you would be able to see two lines of SMS on the on the other side of a 5.5 inch screen ?
How are you exactly sure that multiple window will be used in the exact way you said it, for the hundred thousands of users that will get this phone ?

If it is the case, you seriously need to go back to the doctor !

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JKP
By JKP (4 months ago)

Maybe screen resolution is the area where tehcnological progress is easiest/cheapest made at the moment. Battery capasity cannot increased without extra weight/size. Processor power/energy consumption is up how fast Qualcomm get their Snapdragon 805 to the market. So far the phone manufacturers have to settle to Q's older processor 801. On the camera side, more and more companies are tied to progress made by Sony.

2 upvotes
Morris Sullivan
By Morris Sullivan (4 months ago)

The 300 PPI guide is based on a viewing distance of 12" If you look closer than that you will distinguish pixels. (It's actually higher than 300 as you said) So in typical use a 300 PPI screen won't look much better than a 400 PPI screen but the difference is there if you look closely,
So why not increase it to the point where the difference is indistinguishable at any distance? I'd love a 300 PPI widescreen TV, not that I could tell from the couch, but if I did happen to get up close to check something out, I'd love the detail to be there.
Very small print on my S4 is clearly pixelated, so there's room for improvement, and phones with high-res displays aren't costing more than low-res ones used to.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (4 months ago)

What happened in the audio market ? After the Audio CD, manufacturers tried to sell us the Super Audio CD, then the DVD-Audio. Where are we now ? The Super Audio CD is a failure, the DVD-Audio a niche, and zillions of people listen to music stored in joint-stereo 128kbs/s MP3 format with a lower quality than the Audio CD. The (same ?) manufacturers are now trying to sell us super high-rez screens sharper than what our eyes can resolve at normal and useful viewing distances. I personally don't care about a screen than allows me to pixel-peep at a distance of 4". Wait and see how long these super high-rez screens will survive...

0 upvotes
Morris Sullivan
By Morris Sullivan (4 months ago)

They will go away about the time that manufacturers start making 6 megapixel cameras again.

If you think screens are going to go back to low-rez you're crazy. What would be the point?

Your DVD-Audio example is an apples/oranges comparison. One is referring to the size of a song file that will cause less songs to fit on a device, and won't be noticeable on the systems most people play it on. People aren't willing to pay extra for that. The other is the actual display device for the media, which doesn't cost much (if any) extra, and the difference is noticeable with your own eyes, even if not during normal use.

If 600 PPI cost a lot more than 300 PPI then I don't think people would pay for it, just like they won't pay a lot more for a 16 megapixel camera, but 16 megapixel is standard now and doesn't cost any more than 8 used to. So people buy them even though most can't see the difference during normal use.

0 upvotes
Demosthenes Stogios
By Demosthenes Stogios (4 months ago)

Actually, both examples seem sensible, super audio cd and dvd audio. People will mostly not need extra fidelity if most of the time are not going to hear a difference, especially when it comes at the expense of using more powefull hardware. Especially in those screens, I would rather prefer to see mobiles with greater fps (frames per sec) rather than QHD or so displays; I am in an old Samsung Galaxy S (1) but from what I see on stores, stutters and hicups are still present on smartphones, lately on Apple as well. Last but not least, I have the feeling that pixels are starting to behave as sub-pixels and the colours are getting muddy or more propably, the plastic screens can not resolve that much of resolution
greets

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (3 months ago)

@ Morris Sullivan,
"and won't be noticeable on the systems most people play it on".
That's the same for video when comparing UHD versus HD on a 42" TV screen 8-9 feet away...

"The other is the actual display device for the media, which doesn't cost much (if any) extra,"
What costs more is the overall production chain to record, edit, store and broadcast UHD versus HD video... Not just the monitor screen...

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

Laser AF sounds cool, but at the same time the DOF margin on a phone gives a pretty wide berth for AF accuracy. Not sure it's going to revolutionize anything.

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (4 months ago)

I think it's more about speeding it up than making it more accurate...

3 upvotes
JKP
By JKP (4 months ago)

Quite nice looking phone. Top and bottom bezels are relatively thin, unlike in HTC's latest model, where company logo takes space.

What I'm missing in most phones is some sort of optical zoom. I guess that would make the lens system too thick, unfortunately.

0 upvotes
camerosity
By camerosity (4 months ago)

WOW laser AF!! What will they think of next?!

2 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (4 months ago)

Laser AF assist was pioneered by Sony way back in 2003, fyi. :)

3 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (4 months ago)

I've always been wondering why they dumped it.

3 upvotes
Stefan Zeiger
By Stefan Zeiger (4 months ago)

My Sony F707 from 2001 with laser-assisted focusing disagrees with your 2003 date :)

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (4 months ago)

Yeah you are right its 2001, me forgot about the 707 ;). That was the first I believe that had it though.

0 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (4 months ago)

I would really appreciate seeing it on a camera again.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

I pretty much hate marketing people.

Those dimwits redefined quad HD nonsensically. QHD is four HD screens arrayed in a 2x2 fashion, which is 3840x2160. But no, that's 4k when actual 4k has 4096 horizontal pixels, and QHD is now 2560x1600.

The did the same with phones. 4G LTE is actually 3G LTE, they just renamed it to make it sound cooler, even though it meets none of the 4G specs.

2 upvotes
Jon Holstein
By Jon Holstein (4 months ago)

HD is 720p.
Full HD is 1080p.
So there is the answer, you think they are talking about full HD, when they are only talking about HD.
4K is a broad standard that includes more than one aspect ratio, and that might be confusing, but TVs are often marked with UHD or UltraHD, instead of 4K.

About 4G, those LTE networks are definately not 3G, even if they dont fulfill the initial speed standards expected for the next generation mobile communication. But not all technology can come with such big jumps with every new generation. It's kind of stupid to define a generation by speeds, and not by switches to newer technology. Sure 4G speeds are quite bad, so it does not represent a new era of mobile broadband, but it comes with a technology that lays the groundwork for those high speed connections.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

Funny thing is that nobody can really tell on a 5" screen without a microscope anyway.

6 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (4 months ago)

It's 5.5" tho, not that I think it makes a difference vs 1080p, but if you go from something like 1080p at 4.6" vs 1080p at 6" you'll notice it so it's not all pointless IMO. I do see less and less incentive to upgrade my smartphone lately tho, probably won't bother at all this year despite my rapid upgrade cycle thru the last 3... I had three EVOs and now a Nexus 5 but they all represented a much bigger leap (single core to dual and GB, qHD to 720p and much thinner profile and ICS, etc).

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

10 years ago, QHD meant 3840x1600 and 4G meant 100mbps.

And look where marketing has brought us from there.

1 upvote
Morris Sullivan
By Morris Sullivan (4 months ago)

Not exactly. As stated above QHD is 4 x 720p Always has been.

2 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

Not always has been. As I said, a while back, QHD was defined as 3840x1600. It got redefined to be lower-res, and then 4K did as well.

0 upvotes
Morris Sullivan
By Morris Sullivan (4 months ago)

Do you have a reference to support this? I can find no reference to QHD being 3840x1600 at any time. Is there a conspiracy afoot?

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

You can't find it because it was changed! It used to say that everywhere.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (4 months ago)

2560x1600 was WQXGA and QHD was 3840x2160.

0 upvotes
Morris Sullivan
By Morris Sullivan (4 months ago)

2560x1600 is still WQXGA, But that's unrelated because it's 16:10 and is a reference to 4x WXGA.
WQXGA = 4 times WXGA
Just as:
QHD = 4 times HD
HD = 1280x720
Again without a reference it's just your memory vs. everyone else on the internet. Don't you think someone would have written a blog post about this shift in sizes if it happened.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (4 months ago)

You all forgot to mention qHD (not QHD) which is 960 x 540 and was a common res for a while on the premium phones, before they went to HD.

Annoyingly 2K is 2048 x 1152, so you would expect 4K to be 4096 x 2304, but oh no, it is 4096 x 2160 and UHD is 3840 x 2160. I can understand the latter as being 4x FHD and it could also be called QFHD, but the 4K definition should have adhered to a commonsense standard.

0 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (4 months ago)

Wasn't the Sony laser the one where could see through clothes?

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (4 months ago)

I believe you are thinking about Sony camcorders.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (4 months ago)

No. They had a built in Nightshot IR system in some cameras (cybershots) , that rumor was way overblown into mistruths and I see the rumor still spreads.

4 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (4 months ago)

"Wasn't the Sony laser the one where could see through clothes?"

Nope, it's IR (more specifically, near-infrared, which has not much to do with thermal imaging - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_vision ). Has nothing to do with laser.

0 upvotes
bigley Ling
By bigley Ling (4 months ago)

Interesting this laser AF. I think Sony used a laser back in the day when the Cybershot F-707 was released to aid low light focus

1 upvote
marc petzold
By marc petzold (4 months ago)

yes, as you wrote - the hologram laser AF was nothing new for "sony oldtimers" like myself - the F707, F717, V1, V3 and a few more Sony Digicams have been used that laser AF technology over a decade ago - and now LG is pushing it as it would be something really awesome, quite funny, my bad. :)

I'm still using my DSC V1 & V3, mostly for taking eBay shots, that means for making pictures of stuff i'd like to sell via ebay - for that task i don't put my DSLR outside the bag...and the Sony's are doing incredible well, even after =< 10 years.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (4 months ago)

The Sony system is nothing like this LG system. The Sony projects a visible light contrast pattern on low contrast subjects then uses regular AF to focus the pattern, much like any other AF assist system such as a DSLR uses, just powered by laser light instead of an LED or flash.

The LG has an actual IR laser rangefinder that measures the distance between the camera and the subject via reflection timing to set the focus.

2 upvotes
marc petzold
By marc petzold (4 months ago)

I know that it's a different approach by LG technically - but the Sony System works also in complete Darkness, and is very accurate, much better than an ordinary LED as "flashlight" for the AF System. The LG System still has to prove it does work - and being good enough. Apart from that, i have my DSLR/DSLM Cameras for photography, a small sensor Handycam doesn't work for me, even the latest Lumia's for instance are doing great - but i won't buy a smartphone personally for photography reason. I see the cam inside the smartphone as a gimmick, and always incl. cam when you badly need it - nothing more & nothing less, no offence.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (4 months ago)

The Sony system is nothing like the LG system. And that was years ago. This is also a mobile phone, not a camera.

1 upvote
Tony Bologna
By Tony Bologna (4 months ago)

Please comment on the screen's reflective nature when you get a sample. The G2 was a beautiful phone but the glare was a deal breaker for me!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 60
About us
Sitemap
Connect