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Smartphone of the Year: LG G3


News by admin on Friday January 02, 2015.

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This was quite easily the hardest category we tackled for our look back on 2014. The list of devices we could have named is long, ranging from the HTC One M8, the iPhone 6 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Motorola DROID Turbo, and many more from all price points. However, LG's G3 flagship takes the award for the way it announced the company among the best smartphone makers in the world.

On top of that the G3 was just a very good flagship, the best of the best when it launched and still a compelling option six months on. It was the first mainstream device to pack a quad HD screen, while LG's new simple looking UI is a triumph for the Android platform. It was arguably the first perfect smartphone of the year, but what it did for LG as a company is equally important.

LG has been bubbling under the surface for the last two years, devices like the G Pro and G2 showing that the company was on the verge of delivering a device to compete with the high end machines from Samsung and beyond. They still fell short though, but with the G3 the company delivered a handset that surpassed its rivals at that time and LG grew up in the smartphone world.

Here's what we wrote about the G3 this year:

Second fiddle is no longer LG's position. The years spent as an also-ran copycat mostly ended with the G2, and the continuation of those benefits into producing the G3 have confirmed that the company is capable of producing great works. The G3 is a wholesale upgrade in every important area - other than battery life, which we'll be able to rate properly later - and is surely in elite company when it comes to choosing phones. It's a little more than some will manage yet exactly what many others want. The Quad HD display isn't what will make anyone purchase this phone. The greatly improved software, inflexible but reliant camera, and enhanced exterior make the LG G3 the best Android smartphone LG has made ever made. Whether that's enough to sway someone from a Galaxy S5 or One M8 is harder to say because the One M8 has a better body and the S5 has a better battery. The G3 makes up for those shortcomings by being close enough in both areas and turning in a great camera and unique form factor. This is not a phone in anyone's shadow, so LG can finally take its place in the light.

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For most devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones, the maximum available res for a YouTube video is 1080p, or Full HD. However, a handset like the G3 has a much higher resolution that that thanks to its 25601440 Quad HD display. YouTube has responded to the QHD panel by upping its maximum resolution to 1440p, giving users of the LG G3 the best looking music videos, tutorial, and cats falling over on the market.

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LG is really acting quickly, especially when considering that Google has yet to actually release Android Lollipop for its own Nexus line up just yet. Of course, those products and indeed Google Play Edition devices will get Android 5.0 first, but LG and the G3 will be hot on the heels of those. LG will be one of the quickest to act, with only NVIDIA with the Shield Tablet saying that will also get the update this month.

It certainly makes a change for LG and recently we even questioned LG's commitment to updating the G3 flagship considering the company has not updated the device since launch.

However, LG's biggest problem will be how it supports its smartphones in the future, and the G3 is a good example to emphasise this point. Released in June, the G3 is a formidable cocktail of good looks, market leading specs, and easy to use software; it is arguably the best flagship on the market. However, LG has left the device ignored and has not updated it at all since launching the handset and has left it languishing on Android 4.4.2 while all of the rival flagships have updated to Android 4.4.3 and Android 4.4.4. What's more, LG has yet to offer details as to when the G3 will get bumped to Android 5.0.

 
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