Hands-on: LG G3 review

LG has unveiled its latest smartphone - the LG G3 - at global launch events, running with a theme of wanting to keep things simple.

Taking a swipe at rivals and saying that simple is the new smart, the LG G3 packs the latest tech into a skinny package, fronted by an incredibly sharp 5.5-inch display.

The display will steal the headlines, offering a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, or 538ppi. That places the LG G3 higher up the definition scale than the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

In the real world, that display is hugely detailed. There's huge amounts of vibrancy and punch to images, but LG say that there's been plenty of optimisation to ensure that the 3000mAh battery won't be quickly drained.

Looking closely at the display it's incredibly detailed and smooth. We didn't have the opportunity to test the display with different sources of content, but everything we've seen so far looks hugely slick and this could be a real plus point for those looking to upgrade their phone.

One of the keys to making this big-screened device so pocketable is the skinny bezel approach. Like the G2 before it, one of the key strengths on the G3 is the design.

In the hand, the LG G3 feels solid, but the use of plastics means that despite the hugely impressive specs and the boast of a metallic skin, it's perhaps not the most premium feeling. The curves of the device, however, sit nicely in the hand, so even though you're sporting a phablet-sized display, this handset is close in size the HTC One M8.

Of course there are no buttons around the device, instead using the rear controls as per the LG G2. They're smooth under the fingers and although some have criticised the rear controls, it's simply a case of adapting how you use your phone.

Launching on Android 4.4 KitKat, the LG G3 is heavily skinned with LG's own interface. Talking about simplicity on the stage, LG pointed out how the UI has been stripped of unnecessary shading and clutter, but there's still plenty of functions on offer.

At first glance, we'd say it's looking a little more complex than stock Android, however we won't jump to any conclusions: we'll save these for a full review closer to launch date. First impressions are that LG seem to be offering much of the same UI structure of Samsung's TouchWiz of old.

Sitting under the hood is a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, but there will be different versions offering 2 or 3GB of RAM, as well as 16 and 32GB storage options, along with microSD for expansion.

On the front there's a 2.1-megapixel camera, which LG boast is perfect for taking selfies - looking to stay strickly on trend - but we couldn't examine the results from our test photos. On the rear is a OIS+ 13-megapixel camera, along with a new feature in laser focusing.

LG boasted that this was something that was only on high-end DSLR cameras, promising lightning-fast focusing, faster than you'd be able to react. With a focusing time of 0.276 seconds, the time we spent playing with the camera certainly proved it to be fast.

As with other large-displayed devices, it's a real pleasure to compose photos on the big screen and that fast focusing time certainly proved to be true. We weren't able to take any of our shots away to examine the quality, however the samples we've seen look impressive, again something we'll examine in detail when we get a final sample for review.

The sample we saw was a Korean model, sporting the antenna for TV reception.

There's a lot to learn about the new features that LG is offering - focusing on security, smart notifications and the new smart keyboard - as we didn't really have the chance to see how well these things responded to real-world use.

We will bring you a full review of the new LG G3 closer to launch in July 2014.