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Metal LG G3 would cost $300 more says design lead

Luke Johnson



Adding a metal body to the recently launched LG G3 would have made the phone $300 (£179) more expensive, the company’s lead designer has said.

The LG G3 was officially unveiled last week following months of premature teases and leaks. Despite having been widely tipped to land with a premium metal finish, the QHD display hosting handset instead touched down with a cheap plastic body, skinned with a faux-metal effect.

With this lack of a premium build having disappointed many, LG’s Vice President of Mobile Design, Chul Bae Lee has spoken out on the decision, claiming there were a number of reasons for the move – primarily cost.

If you could charge $300 more for the phone, maybe we could make it metal,” Lee said speaking with TrustedReviews.

Although LG has yet to formally announce an official LG G3 price, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 rival has already popped up on a number of pre-order sites with a fee of around £499.

Despite the addition of the 2560 x 1440p QHD display, the LG G3 looks set to hit retailers almost £100 cheaper than the launch prices of the S5 or M8.

It’s not just cost that kept the G3 from featuring a metal form though. Lee has suggested that meeting certain design requirements ruled the high-end material out.

“To maintain the compactness of this phone, there is no other choice than this material,” Lee said.

“If I had applied metal to the G3 is would be much bulkier in the bezels and in all four directions. It would be very big and very heavy. It would be really slippery as well.”

He added: “What would be the best material for this phone? I don’t think metal would be the answer for that.”

Although suggesting metal would not be the optimum choice of material, Lee has ceded that the phone could have benefited from some more high-end touches.

He told us: “In order to show off the luxurious nature of the phone maybe we could have applied some high-end metal on the side or on the back, but I don’t really agree that the entire body has to be metal.”

Read More: LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Prem Desai

June 2, 2014, 3:31 pm

How much?

Lets not forget that for less than £179, you can have a whole new excellent phone e.g. Moto G

I think LG has forgotten its budget origins and getting a bit too big for its boots. There is no way I am paying this kind of money (iPhone territory) for an LG phone - no matter how good it looks.


June 2, 2014, 4:16 pm

The LG phone is as solid and just as good (if not better) than it's Apple, Samsung and HTC (not to mention Sony + others) competitors.
It's probably the best phone on the market right now.

Ethan 'blaze' Parker

June 2, 2014, 6:59 pm

I have to disagree with you, the Xperia Z2 beats it clearly.

Fëanáro Nénmacil

June 2, 2014, 8:24 pm

Disagree. Many will prefer Sony and HTC designs over LG. Not to mention their waterproof/resistant capability.

G3 2k Screen will have impact on performance and battery (and it's clocked higher too). LG has optimized their battery usage really well, judging from G2. On the other hand, Sony has optimized Z2 better than Z1 with bigger battery and screen that consumes less power, plus the stamina mode which is really useful. (I saw 2k Vivo Xplay 3S already and I don't think it worth the battery lost)

On the camera side, G3 has laser AF and OIS, but the Z2 has a big sensor and plenty of effects and Sony Steadyshot stabilizer is no joke.

HTC and Sony also have stereo speakers. So I disagree that you say "not to mention Sony and others" Remember in September at IFA this G3 will likely be overshadowed by Z3, Note4...etc.

@The article I really want to know how changing material would make the phone cost that high. This sounds like an excuse.

Prem Desai

June 2, 2014, 9:40 pm

It has the letters LG.

Please don't tell me that based on 1 half-decent phone, LG is now competing against the likes of companies such as Sony or Apple.

I'm not supporting the other manufacturers, but just pointing out that the LG badge does not have the kudos that they think it does.


June 3, 2014, 2:07 am

I don't really care about the brand name, I'm saying phone quality. But then again everyone has different likes and dislikes. I just think that overall the G3 is the best package, but it depends how you prioritize the pros/cons.

Evan Cm

June 3, 2014, 3:56 am

You see the LG brand name as representing a "budget" company, and therefore assume that any effort to release a high end device is doomed to failure. You fail to notice that in recent years LG has put a lot of effort into boosting its high end line. The G2 was one of the top performing phones last year, and on paper the G3 looks capable of challenging the leaders in the market.

Don't be so blind and stuck to dogma. Companies are constantly working to improve their product offerings, and LG seems to be on the right track so far.

Prem Desai

June 3, 2014, 12:36 pm

The LG G2 is an excellent phone no doubt. I'm sure the G3 is too. I agree with you when you say that LG have put in a lot of effort in the last few years.

However - you miss my point. LG is still a budget brand. Walk into any electronics store - their products are amongst the cheapest - this is their market. It's their choice. I didn't make them do it.

Present anyone with 2 phones - an LG and maybe an Apple or Sony. Ask them to pick one for themselves as a gift.
Which one do you think they'll pick??

I'm not rubbishing LG. I'm merely stating that they should remember their place - asking $300 just for a metal body is pushing it a bit ......

Prem Desai

June 3, 2014, 12:37 pm

Rightly or wrongly, people do care about the brand name - a lot.

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