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Review Price £500.00

LG G3: Camera

LG has packed quite a few hardware features into the LG G3’s 13 megapixel camera. The dual-tone flash looks like it has been lifted straight off the iPhone 5S and HTC One M8, but the laser autofocus is a real innovation that we’ve never before seen in a mobile camera.

Most cameras rely on contrast detection to focus. That’s all well and good in bright conditions, but in low light there’s not enough contrast and this means the camera struggles to focus. The LG G3’s low-power laser sends multiple beams of light for the contrast detection to focus on.

See also: How the LG G3 laser autofocus works

Does the laser help? It certainly does. In low lit conditions the LG G3 focuses and takes a picture very quickly – as quickly as taking a picture in good light. The Galaxy S5 pales in comparison. You need to stand perfectly still for a few seconds for it to focus and take the shot. And the results are also clearly visible. In the picture below taken in identical conditions the cuddly toy is sharper in the LG G3 shot, thanks to a combo of good focusing and optical image stabilisation. The buttons on the phone in the background are a lot clearer too, as is the detail on the bison’s hump.


In well-lit conditions the LG G3 can’t quite compete with the Galaxy S5. The higher megapixel count of the S5 means that there is a fair amount more detail in our blown up shot of the London Gherkin. However, the LG G3 still performs very well and trumps both the iPhone 5S and HTC One M8.


The LG G3 also copes very well with macro shots. There is more detail in the LG G3’s flower, particularly in the petals.


Keeping true to LG’s “Simple is the new Smart” tagline, the camera app is really easy to use. There are just four modes, Auto focus, Magic focus (macro), Panorama and Dual (which takes a picture with the front facing camera at the same time as the rear). You can, of course, change a few settings such as resolution and HDR mode and the camera can also capture 120fps slow motion video and up to five minutes of 4K footage.

The 2.1-megapixel camera is a true selfie-cam. LG has increased the size of the image sensor and lowered the lens's f-stop to f2.0 meaning more light gets into the sensor and better photos can be taken in lower-light conditions. It works too, the LG G3’s front camera takes decent low-light pics and comes with gesture control so you can get your pose ready. Lift your hand in front of the phone and make it into a fist and you get a three second countdown to prepare the perfect pout. If a gesture is too much effort you can also use voice commands to activate the cameras.

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Prem Desai

June 24, 2014, 3:15 pm

Looks interesting, especially for the price. Still a lot of money though.

If it was around £300, this would be THE phone to have.

LG need to get rid of the split screen nonsense or do it properly.

Why are you expecting an extra 1Gb of memory to make any difference? This is only used when running several apps at the same time.


June 25, 2014, 12:15 pm

It is a fair amount of money but it's cheaper than other phones of this spec. There are very good phones around for less but they all tend to have quite a serious disadvantage somewhere along the line. The Nexus 5 for example is £300 but I'd pay the extra for the camera on this because I take a lot of phone pics and video.

We didn't expect an extra 1gb to make much difference it's just a little explanation that it's not something to worry about too much, especially as it's only going to the South Korean market (to start with anyway). A German site did some tests and found it to be a few percent faster in most tests (around 5% overall)

Edit: The test was with no other apps running so there is a small benefit even when running a single app.

Prem Desai

June 25, 2014, 4:31 pm

Agree with you about the price - it is cheaper than the competition.

I'm just saying that if it was £300 or thereabouts, it would define a whole new price point and sell exceptionally well. A bit like the Moto G which went on to become THE phone to buy at that price.

LG prices usually come down after the initial release so let's see ....


June 25, 2014, 4:48 pm

Yup - someone needs to "do a Moto G" at this end of the spectrum.


June 29, 2014, 7:23 am

Can you put the main specs in table on the first page. I don't like to wade through to find out about removable battery and microsd.


July 1, 2014, 11:16 pm

Great phone.. Gonna wait till September..

Btw, which stand to you use?
Please provide with a link if it's possible..


David T

August 21, 2014, 7:15 pm

I'm late to the party but the 3GB wouldn't really change the benchmark results and should not be expected to. What it should help is with the smoothness of the phone during daily use; switching between apps which may use a lot of RAM. It's possible that apps may use memory due to the ultra high resolution.

Terrel Thompson

August 22, 2014, 3:21 am

Average battery life!?!?!?
you might want to do another test on that lol

David T

August 22, 2014, 5:45 pm

Err they have, it's called the Nexus range...


August 24, 2014, 2:39 pm

Loving this phone, I just bought it and I'm already in love with it! The 3GB RAM is absolutely a killer, its almost as much as my laptop!

The Laser Focus has to be the fastest focus I've ever encountered! The camera delivers brilliant quality pictures too!

Check out my own review here:

Charles Ha

August 24, 2014, 11:30 pm

can anyone tell me what the setting is under the front facing camera and press the settings (wrench). theres 2 heads facing outwards and if you press it, they both face left. i cant seem to find out what this does... anyone???


September 11, 2014, 12:40 pm

I just bought mine a week ago and boy oh boy is it a brilliant phone so far..... in the first 2 days that i had the phone i saw it needed a software update, i thought it was strange because we did all the updates in store, but non the less i did the update and one of the features for the update was a battery performance enhancer, after doing that my battery is 10x better!!! Not that it was bad before but now it lasts even longer!!

Joshua Cooper

September 12, 2014, 4:40 pm

I love this phone, but the battery life is below average. I have uninstalled a few apps and tried monitoring my battery life. After 6 hours of ONLY texting about 20 times, 20 minutes of music, and the rest on standby the battery has went from 100% to 29%. How in the world did you do all those things and the battery last ALL DAY? Wow, this is some kind of joke right?

Andis Zvanbergs

September 16, 2014, 9:21 pm

About 15-20% battery per hour than display is on with avarage brightness. 1% - 4-6 hours on standby than wifi is on, mobile data on and bluetooth on. I am not gamer, for me this phone holds 2 full days, 2 hours on display per day (web browsing, some youtube video, messages and calls). Also this phone have very good network reception, possibly one of the best antenas in world, not sure but i am happy enough.

Andis Zvanbergs

September 16, 2014, 9:23 pm

Dont buy phones on ebay, mostly sellers selling refurbished phones, whats why they are cheaper than in shops and sometimes faulty.

Andis Zvanbergs

September 16, 2014, 9:24 pm

Perhaps you got faulty phone


September 16, 2014, 11:22 pm

I don't know about you guys but my phones battery life sucks, I am a big widget user but haven't added any because of this. I also get told that they can NOT hear me. I have traded my phone thinking that it was a bad one but NOPE its not. I am disappointed with this phone. My G2 was better call quality and battery life was too (i know its because of the screen quality).

Joshua Cooper

September 17, 2014, 2:10 pm

Perhaps! I really hope that is the case, and if it is, I REALLY hope verizon will let me try another one out. :/

Kanishka Ray

September 24, 2014, 4:45 am

A full day of use off a full charge and my battery is still over 70%. Light use, I've seen it in high 80% area. If I tether and use the camera a lot....I've seen it go as low as 58%. The battery life is superb.


October 24, 2014, 11:57 am

I got this phone in early August - had a Nexus 5 before that and previously iPhone 5 and 4S. The LG G3 is by far the best of the lot, much better battery life than the Nexus 5, great screen and nice thin bezels, which in my opinion, make it look much more elegant and streamlined than any iPhone or Sony phones, both of which have unattractive wide bezels top and bottom. I really can't imagine how this phone could be better for my use. I mainly read news and sports apps, kindle ebooks, emails and web browsing - no graphics intensive games or videos. I have no regrets with this phone, the first time I can say that, so I highly recommend it.

Hakki Döngel

November 7, 2014, 4:50 pm

wow , i could only dream of that...
i have the 32gb - 3gb ram version and today i only got a lousy 2.5 hrs of screen on time. havent watched any vids, i was on wifi for an hour or so... there certainly is something wrong


December 7, 2014, 2:27 am

Just curious: have you solved this problem somehow?

Prem Desai

December 11, 2014, 2:15 pm

It is £300 now and I have got it.



December 13, 2014, 9:24 pm

I think it's a "beautify" button. It makes your skin tones look better in different lighting.

Had Enough With the BS

December 18, 2014, 12:39 am

You have settings and apps that are generating too much activity.
Learn to phone.

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