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LG G3 Beat is a still-huge, crapper version of the LG G3

LG has launched the G3 Beat in China, a not-very-compact mini version of the LG G3, with most of the great features cropped off. Here’s the full specs, and predicted UK price and release date.

We’re still baffled by how LG managed to make a 5.5-inch smartphone feel so good in the hand, but the LG G3 really is impressively usable considering its huge size. Still, we can fully understand how some users would balk at anything over 5 inches, and LG has reacted by launching a smaller version of the G3 called the LG G3 Beat. But if you’re hoping for a dinky little 4-incher, you might be a little upset…

LG G3 Beat launches in China, read the full specs and UK price and release date

The LG G3 Beat (on the left in the photo above) does look a fair chunk smaller than the original G3 (right), but it’s actually still a 5-inch handset. That’s only a mite smaller than the Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5, so not really all that mini at all. Mind, with LG’s clever edge-to-edge screen design, we’re hoping it’ll still be easy to operate single-handed.

Sadly, with that reduction in size comes a feature cull. All ‘mini’ phones are guilty of this, bar the excellent Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, so it’s not a massive shock.

Victim number one is the G3’s gorgeous and unique ‘quad HD‘ screen, which has been trimmed right back to a 720×1280 resolution display – lagging behind rivals such as the Xperia and Galaxy. Although at 293 pixels-per-inch, the screen is still almost as sharp as Apple’s Retina display, and should be fine for enjoying video. Fair enough, but the G3’s screen was bloody lovely, and one of the main reasons for owning that handset.

The camera has also been downgraded on the LG G3 Beat, from 13-megapixels to 8-megapixels. At least you still get that laser autofocus, for taking super-fast and nicely detailed shots. And there’s a 2-megapixel front-facer for showing the world how good you look.

Performance is the next thing to be hacked down, with a common 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor packed inside the G3 Beat. That’s the same chip found on affordable handsets like the Nokia Lumia 635 and the Motorola Moto E. Apps and games should run fine for now, but you’ll find this phone ages much faster than the original G3.

Right now there’s no global pricing info, but the LG G3 Beat will hit South Korea tomorrow, and then roll out across Europe over the coming weeks. Given the cut-back specs, we’d expect it to retail in the UK for between £200-300 SIM-free.

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