In the past few days, we’ve seen a slew of devices get the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop all around the Canadian region. Just yesterday, we saw the HTC One M7, Motorola Moto X (2014) and Moto G (2013) get the update, as well as the HTC One M8 a few weeks ago. We’ve just gotten word that the next handset to receive Lollipop in the region is the LG G3, and it should be rolling out as we speak.
We’ve heard so far that G3 users on Rogers and Bell have received the update, and users on TELUS, Fido, MTS, Sasktel, Videotron and Virgin Mobile should be receiving the update shortly as well. If you have yet to receive the update notification, be sure to head to Settings>About device>Software update>Update to check manually.
As for what’s new in the update? Just like other in Lollipop updates, the majority of changes found on the G3 are under-the-hood, including the switch to the new ART runtime, additional security features and many more. You’ll also see some cosmetic changes in the update, but LG’s G UI skin doesn’t have as many visual enhancements as we see on devices running a stock version of Lollipop.
Canadian users, have you received the update to Lollipop yet? Let us know when you get it!
LG unveiled its latest curved smartphone, the LG G Flex 2, at CES 2015 last month. We’ve already unboxed the device, and given you our first impressions. While we are in the midst of testing the device for our full review, we thought we’d take a look at how it compares to LG’s 2014 flagship, the G3. We’ll take a look at design, software, camera and more, and see how these two devices stack up against one another in this comprehensive look at the LG G Flex 2 vs the LG G3.
Read more: LG G Flex 2 unboxing and first impressions
To begin, it’s quite obvious where these devices differ on the design front. The curved screen on the G Flex 2 gives the device a unique look and feel, though what once was the size of the G Pro series now fits squarely in the realm of the G3’s territory. The G Flex 2 has been shrunken down to the benefit of many users who thought the larger 6-inch original was just too big. The curve of the G Flex 2 still goes from top to bottom, and like the original G Flex, LG claims that the curve results in a more resilient device all around. The curved phone has a self-healing back that is supposed to make scratches on the back disappear after some time. Additionally, there’s the benefit of an overall flexible device that can take some pressure when flattened.
It’s no secret that LG is testing the waters on a few unique features with this handset, and they all offer some benefits to the user that aren’t as gimmicky as you’d expect. Both devices offer a removable back panel, but steering away from the glossy plastic finish of the G Flex 2, the G3 offers a sleek brushed design without the benefit of self-healing properties.
LG’s now iconic button layout found on the back of most of the company’s handsets is present on both smartphones. The back of the devices house the power/standby key and volume buttons sit under the camera optics that includes laser autofocus technology. There are no buttons on the sides of either device, which means both handsets can be kept pretty thin. Moving to the front, both devices offer 5.5-inch screens with very limited bezel on both devices.
Thanks to its curved screen, the G Flex 2 almost literally sits perfectly in-hand, while the G3 is just a plain slab-shaped smartphone we’ve come to expect from most OEMs. The Flex’s self-healing back adds quite a bit of extra grip to the device compared to the smooth feel of the G3. While size has a lot to do with the handling, we give the ergonomics badge to the G Flex because the curve does make “hand gymnastics” easier to perform.
One aspect many people have worried about is fitting the G Flex 2 into a pocket. We can assure you that it is quite comfortable, but we should warn that if you wear jeans with extremely tight or small pockets, the G Flex 2 may be a tad uncomfortable. Either way, we’re looking at very attractive devices that show LG has really made strides in their design language, especially with their signature back button layout.
Each of these devices feature a 5.5-inch display, but the G Flex 2 sports a lower-res display due to its curve. The LG G3’s screen was one of the first to sport Quad HD or 1440p resolution, bringing high powered display experiences into the mainstream. However, there have been a few reports of some compromises with the G3’s high-res screen. A bit of over smoothing could be seen in mostly text-heavy areas, especially in the browser. And with so much pixel power to emote, certain elements might have a slight stutter in place of completely smooth movements. Such claims, at least in my experience, proved to be fairly rare. Though the power of a Quad HD display might not be noticeable without a keen eye, I still thoroughly enjoy mostly media consumption on the higher resolution screen.
As was the case with the original G Flex, we learn in the 2nd iteration that the lower resolution is fine and just as enjoyable. The G Flex 2 has a 1080p screen which benefits from the curve, giving the user a more immersive media consumption experience. The screen will often not be as close to your face for the curve to fully make sense when it comes to talking, but the feature is mostly used to benefit durability and handling.
We have noticed that the G Flex 2’s 1080p panel doesn’t stutter quite as often as the G3’s, which makes the case that super high pixel densities could indeed impede general performance.
If anything, both IPS displays work very well where they should. Brightness is good in broad daylight and colors have the vibrancy that makes all media look great. Ultimately, this comparison makes it even clearer that our tried and true resolutions are still viable in today’s cutting edge environment. You just have to pick which enhancement you want: the subtle bump up via higher resolution or the unique and fresh feeling effect of a top to bottom curve.
LG has once again given us an incredible feature set in both of these devices. We give the company credit for keeping each new release fresh by keeping the processing packages updated, even if the G Flex 2 is not necessarily supposed to be considered a flagship device. Indeed, the new iteration of LG’s smartphone lines sports the latest and greatest – the Snapdragon 810 – backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and up to 3GB of RAM.
While performance has been great during in-app tasks and gaming on this device thus far, LG’s G UI runs into a few issues on the G Flex 2. Though our testing has not fully completed yet, we do believe the problems come from not only a lack of optimization in this Lollipop edition of LG’s interface, but also the sheer amount of bloatware that you typically get in devices made for the Asian market. We’ll need to reserve judgment on the Snapdragon 810 until we get our hands on a device meant for the US market.
The LG G3, on the other hand, has what is now almost considered old technology – the Snapdragon 801 – alongside the Adreno 330 and up to 3GB of RAM. Performance on the G3 has remained reliable despite how fast the market has been changing, and with updates to the G UI up until now, getting through the elements feels smoother despite what little stutters I mentioned before due to the Quad HD resolution.
Obviously the cutting edge is a place where many of us power users want to be, but while the Snapdragon 810 is pretty big deal, more variables might be skewing its performance experience in this very first crop that includes a Lollipop build that could use some updates.
The G Flex 2’s main differentiator on the design front is obviously the curved display, but it doesn’t stop there with the unique features. The self-healing back, if it is anything like on the G Flex 1, will remove superficial scratches over some time, but anything more than that will likely leave permanent marks on the device. This is something we’ve already seen in preliminary testing. Removing the back of the G Flex 2 doesn’t allow you access to the battery, but the microSD and SIM card slots are still exposed underneath.
Speaking of the battery, we have yet to conclude longevity tests in just the couple days that we’ve had this phone thus far, but we can give you an example of one day’s power usage. Ten hours was what it took to get the G Flex 2 to go into its critical power saving mode, resulting in a total of around 3.5 hours of screen-on time. The 3000mAh battery unit likely won’t go the long distance, but it should be able to get you through a full day with a little more frugal usage.
The battery of the G3, on the other hand, is replaceable and packs the same capacity. Our original review of the G3 put the battery life on par with its main competition, despite its higher resolution screen. We haven’t seen a huge change in battery performance from our full review, though the option to replace the battery easily gives it a bit of an edge in the long haul. Otherwise, the G3 doesn’t really benefit from any unique hardware features, but it still does sport a microSD card slot and all of the regular fixings for connectivity. Moreover, both devices still have the Knock On capability enhanced with Knock Code, which you can use as a customized way of unlocking the phone.
It’s important to note that our G Flex 2 does not work on US carriers for LTE connectivity, and our testing will be relegated to WiFi and 3G internet. With that said, call quality has been about as standard for the G Flex 2 as it was for the G3.
The laser auto focus was definitely the focus of the LG G3, and brought very fast focusing atop optical image stabilization and a camera app that kept things really simple. The G3’s camera experience was very well-received by us and thus it should come as no surprise that the experience on the G Flex 2 is largely the same.
Right down to the apps themselves, the experiences in shooting with the LG cameras are largely the same. You get simple elements for picking resolution or changing from the decisive number of modes that include HDR, panorama, and dual shooting. However, magic focus seems to have been left out of the Flex.
Both cameras have 13MP resolutions on their rear-facing cameras, and both include video modes including 4K recording and slow motion through 120 frames per second. What made the G3 camera experience so enjoyable was the fast point and shoot capability. While using the minimal camera interface, you just tap a point and the lasers focus on it very quickly, snapping the shot in very little time. And actually, the G Flex 2’s camera seems to be a bit faster at focusing than the G3. Where as the focus might jump a little before settling on the G3, autofocusing on the G Flex 2 was pretty spot on and direct in the first go. This isn’t the biggest improvement, but one that was easy to notice when shooting side by side.
Picture quality takes on a pretty similar affair in the G Flex 2, as these quickly shot photos (shown in the gallery below) show good color reproduction to the scene. There isn’t a high level of saturation in the post processing that you might now be accustomed to in competitor’s cameras, though it is something the photographer will have to decide is a true benefit or detractor, as more vivid photos tend to be preferred by users.
HDR modes do add a little more color to photos, though its main function of lightening darks and clarifying blown out areas may not be particularly strong. The sometimes overly-aggressive noise reduction in the G3 seems to have returned, however, which is a trade-off. Sometimes the pictures are just softened a little too much and fine details can suffer.
What does prove itself well is OIS+, helping shaky hands capture clear photos and helping video keep from getting too jittery. Self portraits have been made easier with a new gesture allowing you to review the picture you just took with a natural downward angle movement – the 2.1 megapixel front facing camera is still just a standard performer, however.
LG G Flex 2 Camera Samples
LG G3 Camera Samples
We’re still testing the G Flex 2’s camera, though it’s clear so far that these two camera experiences are very similar.
When it comes to software, the G Flex 2 is running LG’s G UI on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the G3 is still running Android 4.4 KitKat, though the G3 Lollipop update has already started rolling out to some users. Snce our G3 hasn’t been updated yet, the main differences you’ll notice in the G3 is the older softkeys, the older recent apps switcher, and the notification dropdown.
But from there, not much more has changed in G UI, as many of the elements take on LG’s typical style. The Settings screen is still a tabbed layout and the quick settings above the notifications are still a little too crowded for comfort. The Smart Notice widget does get a few more capabilities on the G Flex 2, but the most enjoyable Smart App experience is still the keyboard, which is just a blast to type with on the Flex. It has a customizable height and extra button layout with number keys up top, making it one of the most enjoyable OEM keyboards on which to type. The only real addition to the Flex interface is a peeking feature that is triggered by swiping down on the turned-off screen, which is basically a quick way to check the time and the notification bar.
Just like the the version of LG’s UI found on the G3, the G Flex 2’s UI is still a little too cluttered for its own good, as our early performance issues seem to prove. Lollipop was a needed move forward for Android, but LG kept things looking and feeling mostly the same in the G Flex 2, which might not be a good thing for everyone.
Pricing and final thoughts
The LG G Flex 2 has launched in Korea, and will be available for pre-order on February 27th in Singapore. AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular have announced their plans to eventually carry the device sometime in the spring, though no exact date has been given. It will also launch on Vodafone in the UK, and will make its way to Australia, though there’s no timeframe for its availability. The phone has been rumored to launch at around €599.99 off-contract (~$600 US), but we’ll need to wait and see the exact price when the launch date gets closer.
The LG G3 has been out for quite some time, so you can pick up the device in a number of different places. All four major US carriers have the device, as well as multiple UK carriers, Korean carriers, and many other parts of Europe and Asia. Nowadays, you can grab the phone with a two-year contract anywhere from $0-$149.99. Off-contract prices vary, reaching anywhere from $479.99-$549.99.
These are definitely the two top dogs in the LG camp and it should come as no surprise that they are very similar.
And so, there you have it, our look at the LG G Flex 2 versus the LG G3. These are definitely the two top dogs in the LG camp and it should come as no surprise that they are very similar. The higher resolution display of the LG G3 is its marquee feature, but if you’re looking for something more unique, the G Flex 2 has already impressed us with its looks and very nice in-hand feel. What points we do give to the G Flex 2 for its noticeably faster camera experience are taken away a bit by the new Lollipop edition of LG’s UI that seems to lack the optimization needed to meet Snapdragon 810 expectations. That said, we thoroughly enjoy the G Flex 2 so far, and that basically means we still enjoy all that the G3 offers – it’s just that the Flex is trying to bend the rules – making it a marginally more intriguing choice.
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The LG G3 was one of the first non-Nexus devices to get Android 5.0 Lollipop, though the update was largely limited to Europe and certain regions in Asia. The company told us a few weeks ago that Lollipop would make its way to the US G3 “soon,” and it looks like LG is upholding their promise. Less than a week ago, we saw the AT&T G3 get the Lollipop update, and now it’s Sprint’s turn. The update to the Sprint LG G3 is rolling out today, so be sure to check if you haven’t yet!
So, what’s new in the update? Obviously there will be a heavy dose of Material Design – a revamped settings menu, new lock screen – and much more. There will be quite a few visual enhancements after the update, but they won’t be as noticeable as a device running a “stock” version of Android, largely due to LG’s UI overlay. The G3 will now run on ART instead of Google’s older runtime, Dalvik, which will bring a good amount of performance improvements throughout the device. There are many more enhancements coming to the G3 with this update, so let’s take a look at LG’s changelog:
- Material Design for fluid animation, multicolored themes and 3D views
- More efficient battery use
- Android™ TV support
- Notifications on the lock screen and customizable options with prioritized notifications for events, reminders, messages and calls
- Updated Lock Screen features allow users to quickly access notifications and active apps
- Enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities for added Accessibility
- Integrated location menu enables users to easily activate GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks, while simultaneously checking the battery usage of apps running location service capabilities
- Enhanced Messaging with Google Hangouts™ support for SMS and MMS and a larger assortment of updated Emoji icons
- Upgraded Google Mobile Service™ apps automatically back up photos and video and can open, view, rename and share Google Docs and files
If you’re a Sprint user and haven’t gotten the update to your G3 yet, head to the Settings menu, then choose System Updates>Update LG Software>Check Now. Have you gotten the update on your G3? How are you liking it?
Almost a week ago AT&T began pushing out the OTA update for the LG G3 that moved the device to Android 5.0 Lollipop. It is usually safe to assume that once one carrier starts, the rest will soon follow. The real questions are who will be next and when will it start. Today Sprint is […]
Typically Wednesdays are reserved for Google app updates, but it would appear a number of devices are seeing updates today that brings Android 5.0 Lollipop to users. AT&T is in the process of shipping out the update to the LG G3 through typical FOTA updates. The update will come through carrying Android 5.0.1 with a […]
In a bid to integrate virtual reality (VR) to day to day life, LG is giving away Google Cardboards for free with the G3. Google Cardboard can be paired with LG G3 to play various VR games and VR-compatible apps that can be downloaded from Google Play.
“While still in its infancy, this is just the beginning of the virtual reality movement which until recently was expensive and inaccessible to everyday consumers… By leveraging Google Cardboard, not only are regular consumers able to participate in the VR experience, we’ll be able to introduce this technology to future developers who may one day show us how VR can be used to improve our lives,” LG Vice President Chris Yie said.
LG G3 is an ideal phone for experiencing virtual reality as it doesn’t depend on the usual head mounted VR device. The compact smartphone, on the other hand, fully uses its great display and audio capabilities to facilitate virtual reality.
VR for G3 takes full advantage of volume buttons present on its back and its 1W speaker with Boost AMP to provide sharp and more realistic sound effects. If you want a wireless VR experience, you can combine VR for G3 with LG Tone Infinim Bluetooth headsets.
As for how VR for G3 works, its design is based on Google Cardboard blueprint and its neodymium ring magnet works in coordination with the magnetic gyroscope sensor in the G3.
“With Google Cardboard, we wanted to create more immersive and delightful experiences for anyone on their mobile devices,” said Andrew Nartker, Product Manager for Google Cardboard. “We are excited about VR for G3, and the rich ecosystem of developers and manufacturers who are innovating with Google Cardboard and making VR more easily accessible.”
Buyers in select markets be able to avail VR for G3 in addition to some a free VR game, Robobliteration that can be downloaded using in-box QR code.
Source: LG Newsroom
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As the virtual reality space is making headway from companies like Google and Samsung, we have yet to see any VR hardware from many other manufacturers. With that said, LG has just announced their new virtual reality headset made specifically for the G3, called VR for G3. Think of VR for G3 as a higher-end version of Google’s Cardboard. It’s plastic frame is powered by the G3, and has cut outs on the front for the rear-mounted volume keys and camera. LG is leveraging Google’s VR platform rather than building their own, allowing users to download different VR experiences directly from the Play Store.
Just like Cardboard, VR for G3 features a neodymium ring magnet on the side that works with the magnetic gyroscope sensor in the G3 which allows the user to switch applications and scroll through menus without the need for a touchscreen display. What’s more, the headset doesn’t require any assembly process other than sliding the phone in the viewer.
VR for G3 doesn’t have a specific availability date yet, but it will roll out sometime this month in select markets. The headset will be free with the purchase of an LG G3. Moreover, VR for G3 owners can download a free VR game called Robobliteration, once they get the headset.
What do you think? Are you interested in VR for G3? Let us know your thoughts!
The Virtual Reality, or VR, movement has been picking up a little steam over the last year or so. Google certainly wasn’t the first, but they certainly did push the idea of using your smartphone as the screen and brains behind VR with their Google Cardboard project. It gave users and developers an easy way […]
The post LG to hand out VR headsets for LG G3 purchases later this month appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday.
A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Nexus 9 Andrei G. from Romania.
This week we are giving away a LG G3 Android Smartphone!
The 5.5 inch LG G3 comes packed with a snapdragon 801 2.5GHZ processor and a 3000 mAH battery.
Related: Best LG G3 cases
You can earn entry tickets into the giveaway by completing the following tasks in the RaffleCopter widget located below.
- [1 Ticket] 1 Free entry!
- [1 Ticket] Follow AA on Google+.
- [1 Ticket] Follow AA on Twitter.
- [1 Ticket] Download the AA App.
- [10 Tickets] Refer friends to the giveaway. You will be given a unique URL to share with your friends or social networks. You will receive 1 bonus entry (up to 10 max) for every person who you refer to the giveaway using your unique URL.
In case you haven’t heard, we have a new Android Authority podcast called the Friday debate. This week the team talks about Android One and Lollipop. You can find the AA podcast on iTunes, stitcher, pocket cast and RSS, we hope you tune in.
Terms & Conditions
- The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
- If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
- We are not responsible for lost shipments.
- You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
- We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
- Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
- We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
- The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.
Android Lollipop has brought in a whole raft of neat new features, one of which I find extremely useful on a day-to-day basis: Smart Lock. Smart Lock allows you to unlock your device when an approved (or “trusted”) Bluetooth device or NFC tag is near, a combo that is particularly suited to smartwatch and smartphone […]