Edit 04/04/2016 I should have updated this post sooner. Usually I’d just include an addendum at the bottom, but I’ve re-worded a few bits in the content as my original review was maybe a tad harsh, and I’ll explain why below. It’s just a shame it took so long for the Marshmallow update to be available, as I’d already had enough with the handset and wanted back to an Apple where things are just simple!
- Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core CPU @ 2.46GHz
- 2Gb RAM
- 16Gb Storage
- 13 Megapixel Camera
- 5.5" UHD screen
- 3000mAh battery
I’m no ARM chip guru, but the Snapdragon CPUs from Qualcomm appear to be well received, so I expected good things. Especially with a clock speed of over 2GHz. It doesn’t feel as snappy as I’d expect. Maybe that’s down to the GPU spending all it’s efforts keeping the high resolution screen in check?
04/04/2016: The LG Marshmallow ROM brings the phone to life, and it’s actually very nice to use. It’s the phone I had hoped for in the beginning!
2Gb should be enough. It feels like it needs more. A lot more.
Also, I’ve found if you go into “Apps” (through the Settings screen), and flick through to the “Running” tab, the majority of apps go into “restarting” mode, so you can never quite tell just how much RAM is in use. It doesn’t matter how much is running in the background, I always have ~800Mb RAM free. I’m no mathematician, but something just isn’t adding up here.
04/04/2016: This turns out to be a known issue in Android Lollipop 5.0 which was resolved in a later version (5.0.2 if I’m not mistaken?). The official LG G3-D855 Marshmallow ROM does not exhibit this problem.
Ok, so 16Gb isn’t a huge amount of space, but as I tend to have more music/photos on my phone which can be kept on a MicroSD, 16Gb will be fine. And to be fair, it’s plenty. I’m rarely using over 50% of that 16Gb. I’ve got about 9Gb of stuff on my SD card though :)
The camera ain’t all that. It’s not as fast as it’s implied, and it’s definitely not as fast as I’d expect a laser-focus system to be. It’s even worse in low light conditions too.
The only benefit is that my son can’t fill my phone with daft-face selfies in between me leaving the room and coming back in. People with kids will know exactly what I mean here!
04/04/2016: Marshmallow has a few camera tweaks, but it seems a lot better since the update.
The screen is really good. Almost awesome in fact.
The only downside is the high resolution hammers the GPU more, which makes the phone get hot when the screen is on for a long time. And what happens when the phone gets hot? It dims the screen to protect the hardware. Hmm…
04/04/2016: This is still a bit of an issue, but performance is much improved in Marshmallow. I didn’t get the opportunity to hammer the graphical side of the handset post-update but day to day tasks it handled with ease.
If you’re a heavy user, you’ll want to buy an external battery… or at least an extra charger. I’m not a huge user, but I have to charge it every day. Sometimes twice a day if I’ve used the GPS at any time or had the screen on for a longer period.
I’d hate to think what things would be like if they had a smaller battery than 3000mAh. But then again, I’ve also been using an iPhone 4S recently, and the battery on that is pants! ;)
04/04/2016: Battery life is much improved in Marshmallow! I got home from a full day in work, and still had around 70% remaining. Granted, I hadn’t used it much that day, but on other days with similar usage on Lollipop I was lucky to have 50%.
It’s great to have a wireless charging function on the phone. No more hunting for the cable in the dark, I just place the handset on the dock and it charges the phone. Nice!
The Quickcircle case is quite nice, protects (the majority of) the screen, and the back-plate replaces the existing one, so it doesn’t add extra bulk to the handset which is nice. It doesn’t stay shut though as it’s not magnetised or anything which can get frustrating when you pick it up one-handed and try stuffing it into a pants pocket as you can be sure the screen cover will catch on the edge :(
All in all, it’s not that bad. But to have been LG’s flagship model and originally sold in the £400-£500 price band, it’s just not good enough. The only consolation for me is that I only paid £250.
I find the phone runs best in low-power mode. So I’ve enabled Developer Options and turned off all animation. This makes things a little bit snappier, but it’s still not quite right. I’d just expect this sort of hardware to provide a better experience at stock settings.
Hunting around online, many people are also disappointed by the G3.
I’m sure that producing updated ROMs is extra time and money that manufacturers just don’t want to spend on supporting existing handsets. But, it’s important to look after your current user base just as much as your new users. How else will you guarantee your existing users will be new users of the next handset?
The word on the grapevine is that LG are skipping Android Lollipop 5.1 in favour of Marshmallow 6.0 which is both good and bad news. Good in the sense that at least it’s getting another major update. Bad in the sense that Lollipop 5.0 was buggy, and the G3 really needed a 5.1 release to fill the gap as the current stock ROM doesn’t provide a nice experience at all. It doesn’t help that a mate of mine insists that Android is awesome and he was part of the reason I eventually switched from iOS, but every day I pick up my LG and think “I should’ve got an iPhone”.
Marshmallow updates for the G3 are being discussed on Reddit… fingers crossed it’s soon!
Come on LG, just sort it out! I can’t believe that it’s deemed acceptable for mobile phone companies to release sub-standard ROMs for handsets in the knowledge that the release cycle for updates is so slow.
It turns out I’m not the only one experiencing the app restarting malarky. It seems to be an issue more linked to Lollipop 5.0 (the current Android version on the LG G3) - AndroidPit
I updated my LG G3-D855 to Marshmallow using LG’s official G3 Marshmallow ROM (released as a KDZ file) using the guide at DroidViews - link. Hopefully they’ll release it OTA soon!