LG G3 shows off high-res screen, metallic back (pictures)

The LG G3 has a super high-res 5.5-inch display and a metallic back. Check out our hands-on photos.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon
1 of 35 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

LG's marquee handset, the G3

The G3 is LG's latest flagship smartphone, and it boasts a dizzying set of specs. Its 5.5-inch screen has a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution, it has a supercharged quad-core processor and a camera that uses lasers to focus.

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Several color options

The device comes in five colors: black, gold, white, violet, and red, but some of these variants are region-specific. You’ll need to check with your carrier to see what is available in your market.

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Launching globally

The G3 debuted globally in the UK, US, and Australia. For the UK, the phone launched July 1 for about £490.

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A premium price

In Australia, the 16GB version of the phone will go for AU$799, and in Singapore, the 16GB model will retail for S$868 without contract, while the 32GB will go for a slight markup of S$928.

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Available on major US carriers

For the US, AT&T and Sprint customers will be able to nab the G3 first, on July 11. Then, on July 16, T-Mobile users will be able to purchase it for the full prepaid price. Verizon will pick it up a day later on July 17.

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Paying a pretty penny

On contract, the handset can run about $100 to $200 in the US. Without a carrier agreement, the G3 can cost as much as $600.

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Buttons on the back

Like the G2, the power and volume buttons are on the back of the phone, rather than on the side. It takes some getting used to.

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Adjusting volume easily

The idea is that the buttons are placed exactly where your finger will naturally rest when you're using the phone.

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Supersharp screen

The 1440p screen is pin-sharp, of course, but even up close, you can't really tell much difference between it and a 1080p screen, such as that of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

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Thin bezels all around

The bezel is extremely thin and allows for maximum screen real estate.

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Natural color of QHD

The G3's QHD screen has more natural color tones than the S5's screen (which has a warmer color cast). In the end, though, having a 1440p display is more about bragging rights for marketing than any actual visual improvement.

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A look at the bottom

On the bottom edge lays the Micro-USB port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Keeping it lightweight

The back of the phone is made from plastic, but the metallic finish makes it very hard to tell it isn't metal.

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A nimble 13-megapixel camera

The back of the phone is also where you'll find the 13-megapixel camera.

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Keeping it laser focused

The camera uses a laser to focus on objects, which LG reckons allows it to lock on faster than any other phone.

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Impressive with dim lighting

The laser also helps the camera to achieve a sharper focus in low-light conditions.

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Cleaning up the camera UI

The camera interface has been stripped down to make shooting as simple as possible.

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Be selfie-ready

There's a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. For selfies, obviously.

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Running Android 4.4.2

The G3 is running the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat software.

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A new, flat design

LG has skinned the interface quite heavily. Like the Galaxy S5, there are so many added features that the settings menu has had to be split into four sections.

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Multitasking is a breeze

Multitasking seemed trouble-free in my hands-on time, thanks to the 3GB of RAM.

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A fresh new look

The interface is quite attractive. LG has used what it calls "mature" colours as background for key apps.

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Call it mellow yellow

I'm not a big fan of mustard yellow, but I'm sure some of you will like it.

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One-handed navigation

The keyboard can be made bigger, which should help speed up typing on such a vast screen. You can make it smaller too, if you'd rather see more of what's on screen.

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Quad-core specs inside

Powering all these features is a robust 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and a 3,000mAh battery.

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Wireless charging capabilities

The battery has wireless charging capabilities and an estimated talk time of 21 hours.

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Diving deep in the details

There are no physical navigation buttons on that golden chin, only the onscreen ones above.

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Rear audio speaker

The speaker is around the back, unlike the front-facing noise-makers you find on HTC's One M8.

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A view from the bottom

Another look at the headphone jack and Micro-USB port. I'd personally prefer the headphone port be on top.

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Keeping it slim

It's not the skinniest phone ever made, but it's far from fat.

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Removable battery for more juice

The back cover is removable, allowing you to swap out the battery.

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Up to 128GB of expandable memory

As for its memory capacity, the device has up to 32GB of internal memory, but you can expand that up to 128GB if you have a microSD card.

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A closer look at the microSD

A closer look at the microSD card slot underneath the battery door.

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Already unlocked

LG also threw in a number of its signature software features, such as KnockCode. Knock Code lets you both wake and unlock your touchscreen with a customizable tapping motion.

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Looking for more on LG?

Though the G3 is LG's current flagship handset, you can check out more of the Korean company's handsets here on CNET.

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