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LG G3 sports quad-HD screen and laser autofocus

The smartphone will start shipping in June in Europe and the US

By Mikael Ricknäs
May 27, 2014 02:06 PM ET

IDG News Service - 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 an infrared laser to speed up autofocus.

After many news leaks, LG  launched the G3 on 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, an impressive-looking 5.5-in. 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.

LG's new smartphone, the G3
LG's new smartphone, the G3, has a 5.5-in. screen with quad HD. (Photo: LG)

Smartphone aficionados have expressed worries that the increased resolution will have a negative effect on the battery life, but LG said 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.

The company didn't announce pricing.

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  decided to stick with a plastic shell, as Samsung did with the Galaxy S5. But LG 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 reworked 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 did 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 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-megapixels 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.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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