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LG G3: One Year Later Follow-Up Review

LG G3 Review One Year On: We’ve been using the LG G3 extensively for the past twelve months and here’s what we think of this five-star phone in 2015.

When we first fondled the LG G3 back in June 2014, we immediately fell in love. First it was thanks to the slick design – the G3 is a slender, curvy beast with a brushed metal appearance, although the rear plate is actually made of plastic. Then we powered it up and fell in love again, this time with the gorgeously crisp and bold Quad HD screen which stretches pleasingly from edge to edge.

And then we basically asked the G3 to marry us when we had a play with the camera, which was one of the best snappers we’d seen from any flagship phone. In fact, all of these great features made the G3 our best phone of 2014.

So, one year on is it still worthy of that five-star review score? (Check out our original video review below)

Still a looker

First, I have to say that the G3 is sturdy as hell despite looking a little fragile. In the past year, the phone has face-planted concrete no less than three times (at least one of those times was not my fault) and, besides a small incidental crack on the bottom, the G3 has emerged unscathed.

Whoops…

In fact, the phone is in fantastic nick, with the surfaces all proving highly resistant to scratches and scuffs. Sure, the LG G4 sports a sexy leather design, but the G3 looks timeless.

I’m also still impressed with how comfortable the G3 is to use one-handed despite its ridiculous size. Part of that is down to its curved, slender frame, which is thankfully not too bulky as the screen practically fills the front panel. Part of it is down to the rear-mounted controls, which cancel out the need for awkward fumbling.

Read next: LG G3 vs LG G4, which is best for me?

Pixel pioneer

With rival flagships such as the Galaxy S6 only just joining the Quad HD revolution, the G3’s mighty 5.5-inch 2560×1440 panel still feels fresh and looks stunning twelve months on. It’s one of the most gorgeous screens around, possibly only beaten by the G4 and Galaxy S6 (and even then it’s a matter of taste).

That 5.5-inch screen is still a crisp, colourful pleasure

The all-new G4 is slightly brighter, making it easier to see when the sun pokes out, and it boasts slightly better contrast too. But truth be told, the difference is negligible and you won’t notice it unless the phones are sat side-by-side.

So many features

The G3 is absolutely rammed full of features, but unlike the Galaxy S5 and some other Korean handsets, many of those features are actually helpful. For instance, it’s good to be able to quickly and easily run two apps side-by-side using QSlide, while the QMemo tool is definitely useful when you’re on a call and need to take a note.

As a London commuter, I also find Knock Code provides some serious peace of mind. It’s far too easy for fellow tube passengers to look over your shoulder and see your PIN or pattern when you unlock your handset, but tracking your thumb as you tap different segments of the screen is much trickier.

In fact, the only common feature I find myself missing is a fingerprint scanner, which would make unlocking the G3 even faster and more secure. But besides that, there aren’t really any features from other phones that I really wish were on this handset too.

Battery drain

One area where the G3 does seem to have stumbled a little is battery life. I now struggle to make it through a full day when playing with the G3 a lot, whereas I could originally get a day and a half of use without much bother. And if I stream media non-stop, I get between five and six hours of playback, which is a tad above average.

However, performance-wise the G3 is still a trooper. I can play the latest titles with a satisfyingly smooth frame rate, even without factory resetting the phone to clear out all of the junk that’s piled up. The only oddity I’ve noticed is that the G3 occasionally turns itself off, almost always during the night. Which means that I now need to use another device as my alarm clock.

Snap-tastic

I’m also still a G3 camera fanboy, as the 13-megapixel snapper is simple to use and highly dependable in pretty much any situation.

Sure, the images it produces can’t hit the ridiculous detail levels of the G4’s camera, which takes on several DSLRs for photo quality. But in a full year of shooting random crap in everyday life, I’ve rarely had to delete a photo because it’s been blurry, grainy or otherwise ugly. And that dual-LED flash makes it easy to snap your drunken antics in that dingy basement bar.

The 5-megapixel front-facing camera is also still up to snuff, proving easy to use thanks to LG’s fist-pump gesture. If you want to show the world what an awesome time you’re having in your wonderful life, there are few better tools for doing so.

Read next: Best camera phone for snapping holiday photos

Verdict

These days, you can snap up an LG G3 for just £250, which is fantastic value for money. This phone may be over a year old already but it’s still got enough punch to go several rounds with the latest flagships, boasting solid performance, a fantastic and easy-to-use camera and one of the best smartphone screens around.

Read next: LG G3 vs Xperia Z2 vs HTC One vs Galaxy S5

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