Danger comes from where you least expect it, or so it seems to be the case for today’s mobile world tycoons. Samsung’s domination over the Android landscape is possibly not as threatened as we anticipated by the likes of Sony or HTC as it is by up-and-coming Oppo and OnePlus.
Yet one historical Sammy rival might still be in contention. A local antagonist. Yes, we’re talking LG, always a step behind the Galaxy makers, but not anymore. Well, technically, they’re still behind, as the G3 will roll out months after the Galaxy S5.
Then again, maybe that’s the right strategy. If an S5 Prime is in the cards, everyone will forget all about the original, half-assed GS5 and look towards the next big thing’s ultra-high-end flavor and G2’s greatly anticipated sequel.
At the same time, the LG G3 is shaping up to be a key piece of the Google Nexus 6 puzzle, with all signs pointing to the former being the latter’s basis and inspiration. So you see, there’s really a lot riding on the powerhouse we intend to preview in the following lines:
LG G3 rumor roundup, part 1: Design and build quality
As G3’s formal announcement undoubtedly draws near, the aesthetical riddle is easier and easier to crack. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell G2’s rear physical button experiment worked, and so the newly leaked images come as no surprise.
What’s (pleasantly) surprising is the key layout looks far more refined than last year, smoother and extremely polished. A tiny fingerprint scanner is nearly guaranteed to help decorate the plastic backplate too, while the front, oh, what lovely front we think the G3 will boast.
Urging you to take the scoop with a solid grain of salt, LG’s next-gen flagship is tipped to sport almost no vertical bezels, a minuscule upper horizontal border and a slightly thicker lower screen verge. All in all, if the gossip pans out, the G3 should easily move up the ranks of the most compact phones around. Too bad LG isn’t warming up to aluminum or a better-looking build material than crappy plastic.
Throwing caution aside, LG is poised to move beyond Full HD screen resolution in a matter of months and adopt the so-called Quad HD, or 2K, pixel count. The Koreans may go all-in on size as well, raising the bar from 5.2 inches to 5.5, albeit you’re probably not going to notice anything.
One of the many benefits of microscopic bezels is the ability of fitting superior screen real estate into a smaller overall package, and we reckon LG will do just that. Design a 5.5-inch G3 as easy to handle as the 5.2-inch G2.
Back to res, let’s mention if we’re right about everything, the resulting pixel density is, wait for it, 534 ppi. Overkill? Maybe. But I still want one. Bad!
CPU, RAM and cameras preview
Snapdragon 800, 801 or 805? Let’s rule the first chip out, despite User Agent Profile information. It’s way too old. And then there were two. Three, if we choose to question hearsay on Odin’s sluggish development.
Well, even if LG’s homebrewed processor will be ready in time, it’s a gamble. So we’re back to S801 or S805. Don’t ask me why, but my money’s on the latter. I just feel it in my gut.
RAM? 2 GB is, like S800, a thing of the past. 3? 4? The former is clearly more plausible, yet we can’t help but root and hope for the latter. It’s implausible, mind you, but not impossible.
As for cameras, current speculation circles 13 and 2.1 megapixel sensors. Hogwash! LG will definitely upgrade the MP count on at least one. And improve optical image stabilization again. They have to if they want to compete with Samsung and especially Sony.
Software, battery and other features
LG’s user interface has been traditionally subtler and less intrusive than Samsung’s TouchWiz and HTC’s Sense, keeping things much closer to a stock Android experience. No reason to believe the software approach will drastically change, however a flatter UI is in the cards, along with mysterious “advanced personalization” features.
Of course, all of that will spice up Android 4.4 KitKat and, hopefully, a “vanilla” Google Play Edition shall follow the standard version sooner or later.
We don’t have much to report on the battery life front at the moment, though we’d expect capacity to be increased from 3,000 to at least 3,300 mAh, while “other” features nearly set in stone include water protection and 4G LTE speeds. MicroSD storage expansion? File it in the possibility section.
Release date and pricing
It’s no secret mobile production and upgrade cycles have diminished over time, so just because the G2 went official in August 2013, it doesn’t mean the G3 will break cover this August. On the contrary, we’re pretty sure the next-gen spearhead is to get a formal announcement in May or June and start selling in early July, at the latest.
The pricing structure obviously depends on uncertain specs like RAM, fingerprint recognition or storage options, but at the end of the day, you know the drill. $200, $250 with 24-month contracts stateside, roughly $650, $700 unsubsidized. Sounds fair? Why don’t you elaborate in the comments section below?