LG G3 S: Battery Life
Battery life is where the LG G3 S claws back some credibility. Smaller phones normally have smaller batteries, but that’s not a worry here as the G3 S has a sizeable capacity 2,540mAh battery.
This is considerably larger than
either the 2014 Moto G (2,070), Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini (2,100), or even
the HTC One Mini 2 (2,110). Given that the Snapdragon 400 chipset and 720p display are not the most power hungry combination, the LG G3 S lasts much longer than most phones at this price.
LG claims this power supply can offer up to 15 hours of 3G talk time on a single charge – 750 hours on standby – and we can’t argue with this. If anything, we think it’s a little conservative. We found the handset to be one of the longest lasting ‘mini’ devices on the market. Heavy users will still struggle to get two days from it, but you’ll rarely have to worry about running out on day one.
If you’re caught short pushing for that second day, a quick trip to the charger helps get things back on track. A 30-minute charging session saw 20 per cent adding back to the phone’s staying power. This should be enough to see you through the evening commute.
To further extend the phone’s life, a Battery Saver mode can be set to auto-enable when the power pack drifts below 30 per cent. This restricts some of the handset’s more power hungry features – screen brightness, Bluetooth, the notification LED – for those happy to make the life-extending trade-off.
LG G3 S: Call and Sound Quality
Call quality is perfectly satisfactory without ever standing out from the masses. The same can be said for the handset’s audio.
During our time with the device we suffered no dropped calls or unprecedented signal issues. In-call audio was crisp without being overly sharp and volume settings were easy to manage thanks to the rear-mounted keys.
The LG G3 S isn’t the best at removing background noise, however, as winter wind and background traffic made caused some problems during calls.
The phone’s inbuilt speaker is well balanced, but a little weak. Although underpowered, the rear located in-built speaker doesn’t over accentuate the bass or cut it short. General audio is typical smartphone space though – slightly tinny and hollow at its best and increasingly distorted the higher up the volume band you go.
Should I buy the LG G3 S?
It’s not a bad option, but there are better phones you could buy at this price. Though it looks and feels good, it’s a mishmash of lazy compromises elsewhere. A lower resolution screen and reduced processor can be expected, but the lack of an ambient light sensor is an unacceptable oversight.
The biggest problem is the camera, which is average at best. Excellent battery life adds some comfort, but we’d suggest picking up last year’s LG G2 while you still can. It’s better in every department.
An underwhelming downgrade to the LG G3. It’s competent in most ways, but the camera isn’t good enough for a phone at this price.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Battery Life 9
Calls & Sound 7
Screen Quality 6