Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in, as my mother is fond of saying when I randomly disappear for some time and then reappear without a word. Yes, I'm back. Probably. Sort of. We'll see. Life seems to be taking up most of my free time lately (not sure that's a good thing) and I'm rarely online anymore.
Today I have a review for you in lieu of the usual Wednesday Android Update. This review brought to you courtesy of my boss and his broken Nexus 5. "I broke my phone, get me the G3." His exact words in the email he sent at an ungodly hour this morning.
I'm going to try and put some semblance of order into this one for once. You get pics first and then explanations and details on things.
Let's get this part out of the way, this is an amazingly well built phone. It is bigger than my Moto X and it feels even more well built than it too. Surprisingly, in hand it doesn't feel much heavier. The phone itself feels solid and well made, no creaks or noticeable bending when you put any pressure on it whatsoever. Unlike other plastic phones made by certain OEMs who shall remain nameless. coughSamsungcough. You'll also note how slim the phone appears to be. I really should have gotten a pic of something next to it for comparison's sake, but it slipped my mind to do so. Seriously, it's slim.
Looking at the pics above you'll notice something very nice, a very diminished (in comparison to other phones) bezel. I fell in love when I turned the device on at the store before bringing it back to the office. All OEMs need to pay attention to this device, less is more when it comes to bezels!
I didn't get a picture of it because I forgot to before my boss picked up the phone, but the buttons are not on the sides of the device. They're on the back of it, just below the camera. You might read that and think "dafuq". I'm with you, but after using it for the morning I have gotta say it's nifty and you get used to it quickly.
And the real beauty of that phone is the screen. My goodness! In some ways it beats all the competition, in others it doesn't. It's not as bright and doesn't display colors as well as HTC or Samsung's latest flagships do. But damnit, people! That screen! Throw an HD movie on there and prepare to be blown away! Or as blown away as you can be by the way an HD movie looks on the screen of a phone. (Keep in mind though that such an amazing screen is naturally going to require more energy to run, so your battery life might take a knock if you're going off and having it on all the time. Still, the battery in the phone is sizable enough to get the majority of people through their day with no problem.)
On this front we have some good news and bad news. The good news, it's on Kit Kat. 4.4.2 to be exact, which isn't too out of date and more than acceptable given how relatively new the phone is. Can't expect miracles with software updates from anyone but Google or Motorola to be honest. Much less anyone who has a carrier branded phone. AT&T devices only just beat out Verizon ones when it comes to how late after everyone else they receive updates (assuming they do at all).
Speaking of carrier branded devices though, bloatware. Bloatware as far as the eye can see. You'll note the pics I took of the apps on the phone. That's just barely two pages of apps. It wasn't originally. It was three entire pages, maybe four if I remember correctly. Those extra apps? Yep, all AT&T ones. Short of rooting your device to remove them, you're stuck with them. But in a surprising twist you can "remove" them from the app listing and pretty much never see them again thanks to LG's software. I won't presume to write how they do it since it might fly over some people's heads and others might not care at all, so let's just go with MAGIC!
The phone itself feels snappy. Three gigs of RAM and one of the latest processors available will do that though. I was jumping from app to app and doing this and doing that just trying to see if I could see any lag or noticeable freezing. Nothing. Not gonna lie, that's awesome!
LG Quick Circle Case
You'll notice the case on the phone in the pictures above. That's not stock, at least not stock as in what comes with the device out of the box. That's a separate case that is purchased separately and put on after you've taken the phone out of the box. The case itself snaps onto the phone, this means to put it on you have to remove the removable back that is included with the phone. With the case comes the ability to use a wireless charger to charge the device. It should be noted that this is something already built in to the device on models that are shipping and available for purchase outside the United States. For those wondering how that's possible I have an answer: Carriers elsewhere aren't screwing with the device to pry more money from you and your wallet through accessories that re-enable features they themselves removed.
The case is very neat and doesn't look too shabby in my humble opinion. You can double tap on the circle to wake up the device and quickly see the time via the clock (which is changeable to another face through the settings that are accessible on said circle once you "flip" the clock with your finger, as demonstrated in one pic). From there you can easily read your text messages, check your missed calls and a number of other little things. You won't be getting too fancy with that feature, but it's nice to have and let's you see what you want to see quickly and easily without opening up the case and actually diving into the notifications on your phone.
This is a very well put together and amazingly fast phone! I had been holding out personally to see what this one brought to the table and almost picked one up when T-Mobile got it in-store. I didn't because there were a few other devices giving my wallet pause and a few rumored upcoming devices that I wanted to wait on. Having had the opportunity to play with the device all morning I have no qualms with saying if you're in need of a great phone (and can afford it either subsidized or off contract) then don't hesitate to get this one if it strikes your fancy. It's seriously awesome!
Oh, did I mention it's also really easy to root now thanks to the always awesome jcase and others over on the XDA forums? I didn't?! For shame! Well, it is! (Although if you own the device I highly recommend that you DO NOT root it just cause you can. At least not if you don't know all about root and all that fun stuff already. Things can and sometimes do go wrong even for those of us who are familiar with ADB and ODIN and all that other stuff, so if you're not familiar enough to get yourself out of a bind when things go wrong I highly suggest you do tons of reading and all that good stuff before just rooting this device or any other just because you can or because someone released a simple tool or app to do so.)
Beyond that, if there's anything you want to know about the phone or what have you then feel free to leave a comment.