LG G3 review

A great handset that's only slightly let down by lacklustre design

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Media on the LG G3 is predictably excellent for a number of reasons: the screen and audio experience being two of them.

The QHD screen is something that has to be seen to be believed – the criticisms of it earlier aren't that it's a bad screen (quite the opposite, it's stunning) but more that the effect isn't that much better than a Full HD screen.

It is better though, and even average movies look a touch sharper than they would do otherwise – plus you've got a much bigger display to look at.

LG G3 review
Video shows off the power of the QHD screen

For instance, I was browsing through some video files I had on a spare SD card, and came across one that was shot in QHD resolution. Well, that was what I thought when watching it back… it was actually a 720p file when I checked it out, which was amazing given the flawless detail on offer.

The preloaded stuff from LG is obviously the most amazing thing, and nobody that I showed off the starry night scenes to wasn't gobsmacked by the detail on show. However, it was the same reaction that I saw with the G2, and with the G3 you'll need to be ready to put up with that larger screen.

I do wish the Video player was still a separate app, as rooting through the Gallery isn't that much fun. It's still in there, too: the option to use it comes up when you start a video for the first time.

Music

The music player on the LG G3 is both simple and sophisticated at the same time. It can handle really high quality audio (LG had to rewrite some of the core code of Android to facilitate this last year) and the new phone has a built in amplifier to make music sound louder and clearer with less distortion.

LG G3 review
The music app is low-key and stays out of the way

This means if you're properly into your tunes, then 50MB FLAC files will be noted with a small 'Hi-Fi' icon next to them, and sound really rather nice. But even the tunes you've ripped in low quality from a CD sound OK – nothing amazing, but team the LG G3 with a decent pair of headphones and you've got a brilliant sound system.

There's not a lot more to say about the music player though, because as with many high end smartphones it's more out of the way than in your face.

LG G3 review
The rear speaker is loud and powerful, but still tinnier than the best out there

You can control the tunes from the notifications bar, or the dedicated widget on the home screen. The Android 5.0 trick of having full screen album art on the lockscreen is there too, and it looks awesome.

The speaker on the rear of the phone isn't as good as the competition though. I've come to adore front facing speakers such as those on the One M9 and Nexus 6, not to mention the Sony Xperia Z3 and to not have it here is a failure. It's loud, that's for sure, and the internal amplification means it doesn't distort too much, but it's only OK.