LG G3 Hardware Review

LG G3 Hardware Review

Aug 21, 2014

It’s the LG G3. Need one say more? Some reviews are just meant to be.

The device is a relative powerhouse, with a 2.5 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon processor; the Sprint variant we received packs 3GB of RAM, and has expandable memory that can take advantage of those otherworldly 128GB microSD cards. The 3000 mAh battery is user-replaceable, and the device has a 13 MP snapper in the rear and a 2.1 MP for videochat and selfies. All these under-the-hood goodies fit into the 5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inch frame, and the whole unit weighs a slight 5.26 ounces.


Physically, the device feels exceptionally light in hand. The 5.5-inch Gorilla Glass LCD display allows for a small, logo-bearing bezel at the bottom of the front, and a prominent speaker grill shares space with the front-facing camera on the top front of the device. The bottom houses the 3.5 mm audio port and micro-USB port, and the sides are interestingly bereft of buttons as, is the top. For returning LG fans, this won’t be too alarming, because they’d probably be aware of LG’s design paradigm which calls for the back of the device to be used. It works well here, with the on button sandwiched by volume controls right under the rear camera.


But back to the screen. It actually feels as though folks might continually turn the device off… if just to turn on the device again. It’s a vivid temptress, and seems especially happy to sow off its 1440 x 2560p credentials. If one has never had the urge to consume media on a handheld, this might just have one trying.

The device comes with Android 4.4.2, which is expected, and sports LG’s skin, which is not displeasing. Some of the tweaks that are incorporated and shown during setup are simple but engaging. Take the knock code, for instance, which allows one to set a pattern with which to wake the device. That’s smart. How about the ability to configure the virtual button layout and presentation? Nice touch. I especially liked the picture quality, even though I think the lasers are more buzzy than truly functional.


One exceptionally useful feature is the dual window functionality. We’ve seen this on other devices, and LG’s implementation is no less impressive, it allows the device user to have two apps run simultaneously, as in “YouTube-running-in-the-back-while-searching-Chrome-for-lyrics-in-the-forefront” simultaneously It works well, is easily toggled, and brings extra multitasking to an already stocked device. The obviously gripe is the relatively limited number of apps that work with this feature.

Now, folks who have handled the flagship device of one Android OEM in particular might feel a bit shafted by the materials used in this device. Still, it’s insane not to think it’s one of the top devices on the market now, and fully worthy of superstar status.

LG G Flex Hardware Review

LG G Flex Hardware Review

Apr 17, 2014

As we mentioned earlier, LG Electronics largely elbowed its way to Android prominence with it latest batch of devices. We had an opportunity to formally look at LG’s G Flex, and the experience was just as eye-opening.

Gotta admit, the internals are juicy. It sports a 2.26 GHz quad-core Snapdragon chip, and packs in all the radios and stuff one would expect in a high-end Android phone: Bluetooth 4.0 LE, wi-fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS. The cameras are definitely not slouchy, with a 13 MP autofocus snapper in the rear and a 2.1 MP unit in the back. Top of the line requisites like LTE and a 3,500 mAh battery are present to partner with the 32 GB memory.

Cool innards aside, the physical presentation is where it will most likely stand out initially for most. It cuts an imposing figure, and wears the label “phablet” (yeah, I said it) quite well, embodied in the 6.32″ x 3.21″ x 0.31″ flex2 and stated 6.24-ounces frame. But it’s The Curve that visually defines this phone. The phone features a tangible parabola that tapers uncompromising into the 1280 x 720, 6″ HD flexible OLED Gorilla Glassed display.

The device is sleek, with its signature curved chassis and slim profile being easy on the eyes. The USB port is centered at the bottom, and the sides are delightfully bereft of buttons, as the ON button is placed on the back. The grey finishing defines it quite well, and the device feels natural in the right hand despite its non-diminutive size.

And y’all just have to forgive me for getting a bit caught up in the screen. It’s supposed to be indicative of the future of curved displays, a feature that is supposed to be enhance the enjoyment quotient. Coupled with the excellent screen, the whole structure does seem to work, though I feel those looking for something that changes the fabric of life as we know it might be a little let down. In other words, the flexible screen (along with the self-healing capabilities of the back) works well, but might not yet be a set-apart feature just yet.

The software suite also sets it apart. There is the needed Google suite, but above and beyond, that LG makes the crafty (and daresay, necessary) move to ensure customers have an opportunity to get immersed in LG’s massive consumer electronics ecosystem. Like the G Pad, the Flex works with other select LG devices and electronics. Miracast compatibility is another plus, and the device comes upgradeable to Android KitKat. In real-life use, the device is quite fluid, and doesn’t stutter under heavy lifting, and everything runs smooth.

Pauses? Folks coming from the G2 or other bigger flagships, might not be as enamored; I would have loved a bigger battery, and I will whine about available accessories. Still, it’s the first phablet I have ever wanted to be around for an extended period of time.

Trust me… that says a lot.

LG G Pad 8.3 Hardware Review

LG G Pad 8.3 Hardware Review

Apr 7, 2014

LG Electronics has been on a tear lately. It has made itself quite well known in Android circles; its Optimus line represents one of the most encompassing smartphone collections, and being tapped by Google to help create the Nexus 4 definitely pushed the South Korean electronics house to the front of the Android pack. Being tapped to make the sequel Nexus 5 all but reinforced its status as a premium device maker.

I just got the opportunity to review the LG G Pad 8.3, which is the company’s entry into the mid-size tablet space. At first glance, there isn’t a whole lot to not fall in love with.

The device is pretty light, quite thin,and looks sleek in the black and gray trim. The screen is rich, with a hint of framed bezel that is thicker at the ends; the front-facing, 1.3 MP camera balances out the 5 MP rear one at the back. There are two speaker grills in the back, and the Verizon-branded review unit sports a micro SD port at the top (right between an infrared emitter and standard headphone jack), which allows the internal 16 GB be supported by an external 64 GB. It’s light, at just under 12 ounces, and is shaped at 8.54 x 4.98 x 0.33 inches, which makes it infinitely wieldable. The volume rocker and “on” button are on the right, while the microphone and USB port are nestled at the bottom.


Turning on the unit is what gets the party really started. LG advertises an HD screen, and it surely wears the crown well, with warm, rich representations that actually make one want to hold the device and stare. The 273 ppi, 1920 x 1200 pixel screen is rendered exceptionally well. In action, the G Pad is pretty snappy, which is what one would expect from a 2 GB RAM Android 4.2.2 device rocking a quad-core Snapdragon 1.7 GHz chip. Setup was easy, and I was able to get the wi-fi and bluetooth 4.0 low energy going fairly quickly. The included GPS, Miracast and VZW 4G functionality are welcome connectivity options.

Software wise, the G Pad offers Google Apps and the power of Google Play. While I’ll always prefer raw Android, LG’s skin is fairly unostentatious, even if there are some VZW/LG bloatware to contend with. I did like the Qpair idea, in that it helps to connect to standard Android devices, and the ability of the tablet to interface with some LG electronics.

So… what’s the “Jamie Foxx screeching stop sign” pause moment? It just might be pricing, which seems to be hovering around roughly $300 to $330 online. Not too unfair of a price considering what one is getting, but with the Android OEM race to the pricing floor, excellent tabs like the G Pad might get lost in all the cheapness. I also thought the battery life was jut okay.

Still, it’s one of the better tabs I have looked at, packs a lot of functionality in its purposefully slender frame, and is backed by the coolest kid on the block.

It’s hard to say no.