LG is hoping its new flagship smartphone, the G3, will beat the competition with a screen resolution that's better than full HD and a camera that uses infrared laser to speed up autofocus.
After weeks of countless leaks, LG finally launched the G3 Tuesday. HTC, Samsung Electronics and Sony have introduced new high-end products this year, but LG decided to wait. The extra time allowed its display unit to finish developing the G3's party piece, a really impressive-looking 5.5-inch screen with a 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution, or quad HD.
Plans for the screen, which has a density of 538 pixels per inch, were first announced by LG Display in August last year.
Smartphone aficionados have expressed worries that the increased resolution will have a negative effect on the battery life, but LG said that the G3 will be able to run for as long as competing products. The G3 has a 3000 mAh battery and a number of features to help increase battery life, including the ability to control CPU speed and screen frame rate.
Smartphone makers over the past few months have focused on design, and have been using more premium materials such as metals and glass. However, LG has decided to stick with a plastic shell, like Samsung did with the Galaxy S5. But LG has designed a new material it calls "metallic skin" for the back cover, which looks particularly attractive in the "Metallic Black" and "Shine Gold" colors.
The advantage is that plastic doesn't affect radio reception and allows the device to be charged wirelessly, LG said.
On the software side, LG has redone the user interface, giving it a flatter, less three-dimensional aspect and using fewer icons in, for example, the camera app.
Like its competitors, LG said it has done a lot of development work to improve the main camera. The G3 has a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and an automatic focus that uses infrared laser to measure the distance to the object being photographed. To speed up the process, which takes approximately 276 milliseconds, the transmitter uses a cone-shaped signal that is turned on when the camera is activated and can scan multiple objects at the same time.
Unlike some other vendors, the company decided to stick with a 2.1-megapixel-resolution front camera. To attract selfie addicts, the HTC One M8 and the One Mini 2 have a 5-megapixel front camera, while the Huawei Ascend P7 sports 8-megapixel on the front. But the use of larger pixels helps the G3's front camera produce images that compete with selfies taken with the competing phones.
LG has also decided to skip a fingerprint reader for authentication. The technology simply isn't mature enough at this point, according to LG. The company instead lets users knock on the screen to unlock it.
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