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LG G3 - Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

By Sidney Wong - 11 Jun 2014
Launch SRP: S$868

LG's New User Interface

Redesigned User Interface

Like ASUS, HTC and Samsung, LG also gave its user interface a major rehaul. Gone are the cartoonish, uninspiring app designs and inconsistencies of the old interface. The new interface adopts simple flat graphics with a clean, minimalist look.

What you see now are light and crisp typefaces, and apps using the circle - the shape and concept of the LG logo - as the graphic motif. "More mature feeling colors" are chosen over primary colors to give the interface a more refined look.

These modifications led to the emergence of a differentiated design language that LG could call its own, one that was lacking in the past few years. Below are some screenshots comparing the new and old interfaces:

New User Interface on the LG G3

User Interface on the LG G2

You can see that the new interface on the G3 is flattened and simplified. Having used the G3 for a few days, the old interface on the G2 now looks comical and dated. We really like the new app design and typefaces for their modernized and clean appearance. Aside from the aesthetic enhancements, there also are new features in the new interface. Let's explore them below:

Multitasking Panel

LG G3 LG G2

The multitasking panel in the new interface shows you the thumbnails of the apps running in the background. It is somewhat similar to HTC Sense 6, although LG's multitasking panel can support up to a maximum of 18 apps whereas Sense 6 only shows the nine most recent apps.

You can either swipe left/right to close an app or hit the "Clear All" tab at the bottom left corner. In the previous interface, the multitasking panel mimics that of stock Android and requires some scrolling to view the apps running in the background.

 

Ability to uninstall some preloaded apps

LG G3 LG G2

The ability to uninstall preloaded apps is still something restricted to the realm of rooting and custom ROMs. LG made it slightly easier for the mainstream consumer to achieve a similar function by having the option to uninstall some, but not all preloaded apps. The G3 also comes with an option to not install the telco apps when you first insert the SIM card on the G3. If you agree to have the apps installed, you cannot uninstall them.

As seen in the left screenshot above, the Calculator, Downloads and FM Radio apps can be uninstalled on the G3. You cannot uninstall them on the G2 (right). There are other preloaded apps such as QuickRemote, QuickMemo+, RemoteCall Service and LG SmartWorld which you can uninstall too. Apps that still cannot be uninstalled on the G3 include the Email app, the File Manager app and Internet (browser).

 

Gallery

LG G3 LG G2

The Gallery app in the G3 is revamped to show a larger thumbnail of each album. The Camera folder is given a higher focus with its larger thumbnail preview. Notice how the folder design is flattened in the new interface compared to the slightly raised up design in the older interface.

 

Smart Keyboard

LG G3 LG G2

The Smart Keyboard is one of the three key features of the new interface as LG believes that the typing experience on mobile devices has plenty of room for improvement. Its Smart Keyboard gives you control over the typing experience in three ways: a redesigned input method, customization of the keyboard, and Smart Touch technology to memorize typing habits.

If "hardwarezone" is the word you want to add into the message, swipe up on the right side of the keyboard and it will be added.

Instead of moving your finger up/down between the keyboard and the input area to add/edit text, LG incorporated a swipe gesture in its input method. When typing a message, word suggestions will pop up in the bar above the keyboard. You either swipe up using the left or right thumb depending on the correct word suggestion you want to add in the message. In addition, you can hold down the space bar and slide left or right to move the cursor along the word which you want to correct the typo. Pretty nifty additions. 

The Smart Keyboard also comes with more customization options out of the box. You can adjust the height of the keyboard to suit your hands or position of the thumbs, and select/change frequently used symbols at the bottom row of the keyboard for faster access. In addition, there are two keyboard themes to choose from: white and black to suit different users' preferences.

Image source: LG UK YouTube

Smart Touch, commonly known as adaptive technology, learns how you type to help you input text faster with minimal mistakes. According to LG, internal testing of Smart Touch showed that input errors are reduced by up to 75%. During our past few days of usage, we found our typing to be slightly faster and more accurate. Do note that this feature is not exclusive to LG; the keyboard in BlackBerry 10 OS and other third party keyboard apps offer similar features too.

 

Smart Notice

LG calls its Smart Notice as a personal assistant. It not only provides basic notifications such as time, location, events and the phone's status, it also analyses them  to provide valuable information at the right time.

If you received a missed call and have not called back, Smart Notice will prompt you to do so. Smart Notice will also alert you to add a new number to Contacts if it tracks that there are frequent calls to and from that number.

Based on the phone's status, Smart Notice will prompt you to perform some recommended actions. For example, it will advise you to enable Battery Saver once it detects your battery level dropping below 30%. Large number of unused files (cached data) or apps taking up storage space on the G3 will be highlighted by Smart Cleaning to clear these files or data to free up space.

With GPS and location settings turned on, Smart Notice will alert you to the current weather conditions and advise accordingly. It is more personalized than other virtual assistants in the sense that it would make a recommendation to bring an umbrella if rain is expected at a certain time.

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8.5
  • Design 9
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Good camera performance
Great display
Sleek user interface
Excellent handling for a 5.5-inch phone
The Bad
Display drains power fast
Not much utility now for QHD displays
Gets warm after extended periods of usage
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