The LG G3 is an accumulation on LG's long and somewhat over looked journey in smartphone innovation. Starting from the LG Optimus G, the design and features of the LG G3 is a testament to them sitting to their guns and turn naysayers into believers.
Most prominent of the LG G3's uniqueness may be its back buttons, which had been a loud design statement since the LG G2.
Or it could be its incredible Quad HD display, with numbers at 2560 x 1440 screen resolution and 538 ppi, it is the sharpest screen on the market at the time of this writing. You can truly see the sharpness and clarity of the LG G3 screen, which just blows away the competition.
But for me, the top unique feature of the LG G3 is in its camera - its focus system shoots LASERS!
As you may notice that the smartphone industry is going through a camera arms race. There is so much innovation going on at the back of your phone. Increasing mega pixels is a gimmick that no longer works - now its the time of image stabilisation, focusing speeds, "lytro" effects, sensor sizes, and more.
LG G3's camera is more than decent at 13mp with OIS+. The wow factor of the LG G3 camera comes from its laser aided focus system. One can easily point to it as way to compete directly with the Samsung Galaxy S5: It's main camera improvement was in the speed of its focus.
Most 2013 flagship smartphones need 1-2 seconds for auto focus. As a comparison, most decent digital cameras only needs 0.1-0.3 seconds. The speed of the Samsung Galaxy S5 auto focus is 0.3 seconds. The LG G3 clocks in at 0.276 seconds.
But with both being faster than a blink of an eye, which also clocks in at around 0.3 seconds, what else does the laser aided focus system offer? This is where it gets interesting ;)
Known as an infrared laser rangefinder, the laser gives the G3 a head start over the traditional contrast-detect method used in most smartphone cameras. The contrast-detect method is basically having the camera search the scene for things to focus on.
This is why you see smartphones going in and out of focus before "locking in".
On the other hand, the G3 shoots scattered infrared red lasers that bounces off objects. The G3 then picks up those reflections and processes how it should focus, all in 0.276 seconds.
Here's me at the Singapore Garden Festival at Gardens by the Bay to give it a field test.
Don't worry about taking selfies, this is a low-power Class I laser, so it will not damage your eyes out.
That selfie distance is also one of two ideal situations where this laser aided focus system works best. For the first 60cm under normal conditions, there is nearly instant detection of distance to the subject.
The other situation is of low-light conditions. With not enough ambient lighting to distingush the various objects for the contrast-detect method to work, most smartphones fall flat in the dark. The G3 literally shines with the scattered laser working great in dark conditions.
In the big picture, the LG G3 is yet another step the smartphone industry as taken in its fight to replace the still exisitng digital compact camera. Only time will tell what's next!
But until then, we can enjoy the gorgeous pictures taken from the LG G3, all in Quad HD glory.