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HolidayBuyer's Guide

LG's marquee handset, the G3

Several color options

Launching globally

A premium price

Available on major US carriers

Paying a pretty penny

Buttons on the back

Adjusting volume easily

Supersharp screen

Thin bezels all around

Natural color of QHD

A look at the bottom

Keeping it lightweight

A nimble 13-megapixel camera

Keeping it laser focused

Impressive with dim lighting

Cleaning up the camera UI

Be selfie-ready

Running Android 4.4.2

A new, flat design

Multitasking is a breeze

A fresh new look

Call it mellow yellow

One-handed navigation

Quad-core specs inside

Wireless charging capabilities

Diving deep in the details

Rear audio speaker

A view from the bottom

Keeping it slim

Removable battery for more juice

Up to 128GB of expandable memory

A closer look at the microSD

Already unlocked

Looking for more on LG?

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

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

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

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET

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

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

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

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

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The G3 is running the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat software.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 card slot underneath the battery door.

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

Caption by / Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET
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