reviews / 03/11/2014

Review: LG G3 Beat

G3-beat copyThe LG G3 Beat is being marketed as a “premium compact” handset by LG.

The company is also marketing the handset to a different target audience: 25-35 year old females ‘on the move’; be it a woman starting a career or family. LG’s Thomas van der Linde also said they are not excluding men. The G3 Beat as it is known here and in South Korea (LG G3 S elsewhere) is a mid-range handset.

Looking at the size of the LG G3 Beat (5″), when compared to the LG G3 (5.5″), I understand why LG says they’re targeting women. It just fits better in a smaller hand, than a bigger 5.5″ would. However, if you’re a guy who prefers a 5″ handset, do not rule it out.

The G3 Beat has what LG calls a floating arc design with thinner edges, which I must admit, feels great in the hand. The back has a matte finish so you don’t see any smudges. The handset has the same design we’ve become accustomed to since the G2 and G3 – there are no buttons on the front. The only button, located at the back in the top centre, has been raised slightly (compared to previous models) for better reach with the index finger. The design is very minimal with the charging port and 3.5mm audio jack located at the bottom. The micro SIM and micro SD card fit on the inside, beneath the removal back cover. The battery is removable. Its dimensions are¬†137.7 X 69.6 X 10.3mm and it weighs 133g.

G3Beat

The G3 Beat has a 5″ HD IPS display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels (294ppi). In terms of how big it is (LG managed to get this right with the G2 and G3, so the G3 Beat is no different), it’s still smaller than the iPhone 6, which is 4.7″. It’s a good size to do what I think is standard now on smartphones of this size – read magazines, browse websites and watch videos.

The handset is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal memory and a 16GB micro SD card included in the box. Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth, NFC and WiFi with hotspot tethering.

G3 Beat

The G3 Beat ships with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and has the same interface found on the G2 and G3. It comes preloaded with standard Android apps and no extras like social networks. With LG’s Knock Code – the knock to unlock feature, there are more than 86,000 unique combinations. Knock Code is an excellent feature, so you don’t have to lift the handset up if its lying on the table to unlock it. I got so used to this particular feature that when I went back to my own handset, I really missed it.

LG says the G3 Beat has the same camera as the G3, with the laser auto focus feature. However I wouldn’t say they are the same. The G2 and G3 are more high-end with more options. The G3 Beat has an 8-megapixel camera, and also with the tap to shoot function. While it does take decent pictures, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of options I got accustomed to on the G2. There are 2 modes on the G3 Beat – auto and panorama. I love the macro option, amongst others, which is absent here, but as expected from a mid-range handset. Other settings include HDR, choosing a size/MP, cheese shutter (using a keyword to trigger selfies, such as smile, cheese, whisky, LG or kimchi), self timer, or memory slot. Incidentally, the cheese shutter, as cheesy at it is, works well – it recognised the keywords immediately. The front-facing camera is 1.3-megapixels and has ‘beauty mode’. It has a function to take selfies in the dark, using a virtual flash, which is a white display light overlay. The main 8MP camera records in full 1920×1080 HD is either mkv/mp4/3gp/avi formats.

G3 Beat picLG G3 Beat sample pic, unedited

The battery life on the G3 Beat is amazing. It has a capacity of 2540mAh, which takes you well into the night, with battery left to spare, on average use. Standby time is great too. You can turn on the battery saver feature if you need it.

The G3 Beat is a great mid-range handset if your price point is R4999. It has a very premium feel to it, not what you’d get from other handsets in the same price range. If you’re worried about size, it doesn’t feel like 5″.



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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