LG emphasizes simplicity in new G3 smartphone

AP Photo/Lefteris PitarakisAn LG employee poses for photographers holding the company's newly unveiled smartphone called the G3 at a press event in London

AP Photo/Lefteris PitarakisAn LG employee poses for photographers holding the company's newly unveiled smartphone called the G3 at a press event in London

LG's new smartphone provides sharper pictures than other leading phones, while sporting a customizable keyboard that promises to make typing easier.

The G3 phone's high-resolution display has 538 pixels per inch. Most other phones are in the 300-pixel range, with a handful reaching the 400s. The phone's display measures 5.5 inches diagonally, yet the phone is only a tad larger and heavier than Samsung's 5.1-inch Galaxy S5.

But the G3 lacks water resistance, a fingerprint reader and a heart-rate monitor — all of which are found in the S5.

In an interview Tuesday, U.S. marketing executive Chang Ma said LG wanted to emphasize simplicity and avoid loading the phone with features that are complex to use or don't work well. With water resistance, for instance, Ma said LG would have had to “sacrifice other key features and functions,” including keeping the weight down and the device small enough to hold comfortably.

The G3 also promises fast auto-focusing and one-touch controls on its 13-megapixel camera. People will be able to unlock phones not with passcodes but a pattern of taps on the screen. The keyboard's height can be adjusted to make keys bigger or smaller, and users can choose which symbols appear on the bottom row.

But many of the innovations in the G3 are familiar. For instance, it offers a way to hide certain photos and video when lending a phone to others. Samsung's S5 has a similar feature.

LG said the phone will be available in a few markets this week, including its home country of South Korea. It will be available in the U.S. this summer through all major wireless carriers. Prices weren't announced.

LG has had trouble getting noticed for its smartphones in a market dominated by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. According to Gartner, LG had a market share of less than 5 percent last year, in fourth place just behind Huawei. Samsung had a 31 percent market share last year and Apple had 16 percent.

Last year's G2 phone was notable for moving the power and volume controls to the back, which the company said made the phone easier to handle and less prone to drops. But the phone got little attention. The G Flex, a phone with a curved display, was expensive, and the benefits of the slight curve weren't apparent. LG also makes the Nexus 5 phone under Google's brand.

Ma said LG has learned from past launches and will emphasize not the specifications and the technology but the benefits that they provide.

businessLG G3Science & TechnologySmartphone

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read