LIVE FROM LONDON LAUNCH: LG Electronics officially announced its latest flagship smartphone, G3, at a number of events worldwide, arguing that “people want advanced technology, but only if it is simple to use and provides a clear benefit in everyday life”.
Echoing comments made by Samsung at the launch of the Galaxy S5 earlier this year, Ramchan Woo, head of smartphone planning at LG, told the London audience that customer research had found a desire for simplicity. “We don’t want to read the manuals to find out how to use smartphones, of course not,” he said.
Supporting this is a redesigned user interface. It includes a flat design with a lack of graphic effects in order to improve clarity, akin to the latest version of Apple’s iOS. James Marshall, head of product marketing for LG, described this as “simple style that enhances usability and strips out complexity.”
Other features include a smart keyboard with “adaptive technology” which learns as users type; smart notice, which provides suggestions and recommendations based on user behaviour, phone usage patterns and location; and smart security, with features such as LG’s Knock Code tap-to-unlock, content lock to keep files safe from others, and a ‘kill switch’ for use in case of theft.
As anticipated, the device features a 5.5-inch quad HD screen with 538 pixels per inch, offering twice the resolution of a full HD display.
While its screen size straddles the border between smartphone and phablet, LG said that in terms of width (74.6mm) it is closer to the former than the latter – being more comfortable for one-handed use.
The device lacks buttons on the side, but includes the vendor’s rear-mounted navigation key (introduced with the G2), which the company said “continues to anchor LG’s innovative design language”. It has a polished metal rear cover, and will be available in “five vibrant colours” – black, white, gold, violet and red.
It has a 13MP camera with “revolutionary Laser Auto Focus”, which LG said means it can shoot “stunningly sharp images in a fraction of the time required by conventional phone cameras”. The laser is used to measure the distance between the subject and the camera, to improve the focus.
The device also includes ‘OIS+’ image stabilising technology, as first used in the G Pro 2.
G3 also has a 2.1MP front camera with larger image sensor and larger aperture for more light throughput and “better looking selfies”, and also sees the introduction of gesture control to start a three-second countdown, improving on the “standard timed selfie mode”.
Addressing the issues of smartphone battery life, the G3 has a 3000mAh removable battery, and “advanced optimisation technologies to further maximise battery efficiency”.
Other features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (up to 2.5GHz quadcore), 16GB or 32GB of on-board memory with microSD expansion slot supporting cards up to 128GB, and 2 or 3GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.4.2.
G3 is supported by a set of new accessories, including ‘QuickCircle’ cases that provide access to features such as calling, text messaging, music and camera without the need to open the cover, a Bluetooth stereo headset created in partnership with Harman Kardon, and wireless charger.
Starting on 28 May in South Korea, the device will begin rolling out worldwide to more than 170 operators.