We take a look at LG"s supercharged, Korea-only G3, powered by Qualcomm"s latest Snapdragon 805 processor

The LG G3 isn"t old news just yet. We"ve recently reflected on our first couple of months with the phone, & in many countries it"s only just making its way out onto the market. But the march of technological progress continues, not least in LG"s home country of South Korea, where arch-rival Samsung already has its own 2K-toting, Snapdragon 805-powered version of the Galaxy S5.

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LG"s answer khổng lồ the GS5 Broadband LTE-A is the G3 Cat. 6, a turbo-charged version of the G3 with tư vấn for Korea"s super-fast LTE Category 6 networks — but perhaps more importantly, an upgraded CPU và GPU too. The G3 Cat. 6 is powered by a 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, paired with Qualcomm"s latest Adreno 420 GPU, a step up from the Snapdragon 801-plus-Adreno 330 of the original G3.

The G3 Cat. 6 is a Korea-only product, and LG tells us there are no plans lớn launch this version internationally. (Though it is available to import.) But that"s not going to lớn stop us tearing into the new G3"s hardware & seeing how it measures up to the original. Read on to lớn find out more.


About this review


We"re publishing this đánh giá after a week with the SKT version of the LG G3 Cat. 6 — LG-F460S — running software version 10F. While this G3 isn"t properly tuned for European networks, it does support a bevy of LTE bands including Band 3 (1800MHz), the main band used by EE in the UK.



Our đánh giá unit was provided by 28mobile.com, a Hong Kong-based, Swedish-owned điện thoại thông minh importer. If you"re interested in picking up an LG G3 Cat. 6 of your own, 28mobile ships worldwide & offers a 28-day money-back guarantee. Prices start at A$885 (US$825).

Video walkthrough


LG G3 Cat. 6 hardware



To the untrained eye, both the LG G3 Cat. 6 & the regular G3 are almost indistinguishable — externally, và especially when viewed from the front, they"re pretty much the same phone. The front is dominated by that gigantic 5.5-inch, 2560x1440 display, the back furnished in plastic with a metallic finish. More or less everything we said in our original LG G3 nhận xét holds true here too — the G3 Cat. 6 is about as comfortable as it"s possible to lớn make a 5.5-inch điện thoại — & the back, while decidedly plasticky, doesn"t attract fingerprints the way some older Samsung phones do.

This thing still looks and feels like a G3.

There are some subtle hardware tweaks to lớn note, though. Being a Korean G3, you get the nifty extendable TV antenna that protrudes from the đứng top of the device — though as before, the preloaded TV phầm mềm doesn"t vày anything outside of Korea. Và things are arranged differently behind the battery door, too. The microSD và microSIM slots now live on either side of the rear buttons, và a notch at the đứng đầu of the SIM slot makes it easier khổng lồ remove your SIM thẻ without having khổng lồ wiggle it free. The gold contacts for NFC và wireless charging have moved around too, so accessories designed for the vanilla G3 likely won"t fit the Cat. 6 version.

One thing that hasn"t changed is the battery — the G3 Cat. 6 uses the same 3,000mAh unit as the regular G3, và the batteries are interchangeable with the same model number: BL-53YH.

In fact, the Cat. 6, lượt thích many Korean smartphones, comes packaged with an extra battery và an external charger (BC-4300). (And usefully, the the charging dock also serves as a portable stand for the phone.)

LG G3 Cat. 6 internals



The big changes are on the inside: mainly a beefier CPU và GPU.

The biggest changes are on the inside: The G3 cat 6 steps up khổng lồ a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor (APQ8084), while keeping the 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage seen in the higher-specced OG G3. In addition to lớn upping the clock speed, Snapdragon 805 uses Qualcomm"s updated Krait 450 microarchitecture, and is paired with the company"s new, 4K-capable Adreno 420 GPU. Since in some instances the Snapdragon 801-based G3 seemed to struggle a little with the device"s enormous resolution, we were curious lớn see how the new model, with its updated GPU, would fare. And as we"ll discuss later, there"s a definite performance increase khổng lồ be seen, both in synthetic benchmarks and day-to-day use.

We can"t reviews a G3 without commenting once again on its enormous, high-resolution display. For the most part the Cat. 6 is a repeat performance of what we"ve seen from earlier G3 models: you"ve got 2560x1440 pixels spread across 5.5 inches of real estate. LG has been tweaking the contrast-boosting characteristics of the G3s display since the device"s initial release, making images appear less over-saturated on recent firmware releases.

In any case, what we see on the G3 Cat. 6"s display is very similar to lớn the screen of our European review unit (LG-D855). There"s a noticeable difference in trắng balance — colors appear cooler on our euro model, whereas the Cat. 6 has as yellowish hue lớn it. It"s not clear whether this is due to lớn different software tuning or variances in the panel itself. Nevertheless, these are changes you probably won"t notice unless you"re holding both side by side.



Viewing color charts on both devices reveals a similar pattern of contrast-boosting being used, too — fairly uniform across most colors, though with some weird artifacting in the reds, indicative of more aggressive over-saturation in that color. Bottom line: lượt thích the regular G3, the mèo 6"s panel looks perfectly fine. Colors don"t appear as vivid as some rival LCDs, not to mention AMOLED, but for day-to-day use we have no qualms with the display of either model.

And while neither G3 burns as bright as Samsung"s SuperAMOLED on the Galaxy S5, we"ve had no trouble using the G3 Cat. 6 — or any G3, for that matter — outdoors in bright conditions.

You"ll need to be in Korea to take advantage of those ridiculous cat 6 network speeds.

On the networking side, the big news on G3 Cat. 6 is the one thing we can"t chạy thử here in the UK — Category 6 LTE speeds of up to 300Mbps. Since that"s what this G3 is named for, chances are that"s what LG believes will draw customers in in South Korea. Despite the lack of Cat. 6 networks in the UK, our SKT-branded model was able lớn connect lớn EE"s 1800MHz LTE network, delivering speeds comparable with the Euro-specific model.

Since this Korean phone isn"t tuned for networks outside of that country, it takes longer khổng lồ lock onto LTE than the European G3 after first booting — it"s often up to lớn ten minutes before the Cat. 6 picks up a 4G signal for the first time. However this only seems lớn be a problem when first connecting khổng lồ the network — once it had locked on, the connection was stable và fast. Và the device was quick khổng lồ pick up LTE once again when moving between coverage areas.

Quick comparison: LG G3 versus LG G3 Cat. 6 specs


CategoryLG G3LG G3 Cat. 6
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 801 at 2.5GHzAdreno 330 GPUQualcomm Snapdragon 805 at 2.7GHzAdreno 420 GPU
Dimensions46.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm
Weight149g150g
Display5.5 inch, Quad HD IPS LCD (2560x1440)
PlatformAndroid 4.4.2 KitKat with LG UI
Internal Storage16/32GB + microSD up khổng lồ 128GB32GB + microSD up to 128GB
RAM2/3GB3GB
Built-in Wireless ChargingYes (outside of U.S./Korea)No
Battery3,000mAh removable (BL-53YH)
LTE max speeds150Mbps300Mbps
Carrier availabilityGlobalSouth Korea: SKT, KT

LG G3 Cat. 6 performance and battery life



With an updated CPU microarchitecture, faster clock speeds & an upgraded GPU, you"d expect the LG G3 Cat. 6 to be faster than the regular version, and that"s exactly what we found in day-to-day use và in benchmarking apps.

The Snapdragon 805-powered G3 is indeed faster, & the difference — to us — is noticeable.

Over the past couple of months LG has been improving scrolling performance và animation smoothness in successive software updates for the European G3; nevertheless, the Snapdragon 805-powered G3 is faster, & the difference — to us — is noticeable. Touch input is a little more responsive. Certain apps, and parts of LG"s launcher are faster, & scrolling speeds are quicker across the board, likely due lớn the faster GPU. Is it as perfectly smooth as some devices we"ve seen from HTC? Not quite, but it"s smooth to lớn the point where any animation stutters are a rare enough occurrence that they"re basically a non-issue.

The G3 Cat. 6 is also slightly quicker to lớn boot up than its predecessor, springing to lớn life around five seconds faster from a cold boot.


BenchmarkLG G3 (D855 2GB)LG G3 Cat. 6 (F460S)
Antutu2818231831
Quadrant2337824250
Vellamo Metal13841533
GFXBench Manhattan378443
GFXBench T-rex8511017
GFXBench Battery172175
Epic Citadel (Ultra HQ)3440

When it comes to lớn synthetic benchmarks, the broad strokes are this: a small but significant bump in performance in CPU-bound benchmarks like Vellamo"s Metal, but more noticeable gains in GPU-bound tests like GFXBench — particularly in the demanding Manhattan kiểm tra sequence, which uses OpenGL ES 3.0. Thermal throttling seemed lớn take less of a toll on the Snapdragon 805-based G3 compared to lớn the 801-based model, as GFXBench tests showed less tail-off in frame rates with successive runs.

On the whole, the benchmark results paint a picture of an SoC that"s more comfortable throwing around QHD nội dung than its predecessor — making the G3 Cat. 6 a more capable gaming device as a result. It also backs up our anecdotal findings using the Cat. 6 over the past week — this is indeed a smoother, faster G3.


Battery life is virtually identical lớn the Snapdragon 801-based G3.

In benchmarks & real-world testing, battery life has been virtually identical to lớn the Snapdragon 801-based G3, so you"re not sacrificing longevity for that tốc độ boost. Scores in GFXBench"s battery life test, which continually loops the T-rex test sequence, are within a few minutes of each other. And using the G3 out và about on LTE and Wifi, our performance mirrored that of the original G3 — around 16 to lớn 17 hours between charges, with around 4 to 4.5 hours of screen on time. (Though push it hard, especially on LTE, và you"ll be able lớn deplete the bundled 3,000mAh battery in as little as 10 hours.)

The G3 Cat. 6 also includes a "Sync optimization" feature designed to lớn "optimize" the interval at which apps sync to save power. We"ve seen similar software features on Sony phones in the past, though curiously we"re not seeing it on any of the existing G3 models. The idea is similar khổng lồ the thinking behind "Project Volta" in app android L — group apps" requests for background data together and then allow them khổng lồ sync on a mix schedule, rather than waking the device arbitrarily. That said, we didn"t notice any substantial impact on battery life when using this setting; your mileage may vary depending on how much stuff you"ve got syncing in the background.

Finally, for those wondering, the optional (and still experimental) ART runtime is available on the G3 Cat. 6, however we noticed at least one show-stopping bug when using the pre-release runtime — the phone would take a couple of seconds to wake when pressing the power nguồn button or using KnockOn. ART has been hit và miss on other G3 models too, so that"s not too surprising.

LG G3 Cat. 6 software


If you"ve seen the LG G3"s software, you"ve seen the Cat. 6"s software. Aside from the fact that things are generally faster, this is the same user experience you"ll find on any G3. What is different on our model is the hefty helping of bundled apps. We won"t tar them all as bloatware, as we"re not sure what they all do, but they vày resemble the kind of preloaded apps you find on carrier-branded phones in the West.

The SKT-branded variant we"re using also has its own optional skin, which takes over the dialer, contacts app và other parts of the system, giving SKT"s choice of UI, not LG"s. This choice is provided during setup, though you can change it later in the Settings app.


Most of SKT"s bloat is easy lớn ignore, uninstall or disable.

Importers will be happy lớn learn that the vast majority of SKT"s bloat is easy to ignore, remove or disable. If you are importing a G3 Cat. 6, you"ll need to mess with the roaming settings page lớn disable the roaming clock, which defaults on when the device is outside of Korea. Only problem? You need to lớn be roaming in order to lớn access this menu. If you"ve got a foreign SIM lớn hand then you can put it in, change the setting, then swap back lớn your regular SIM.

Beyond that, the G3 Cat. 6 functions as any other G3. LG"s muted, pared back UI may not have the polish of htc Sense or Google"s Material Design, but clean and modern looking, & an improvement on what"s come before. Và of course you"ve got useful features like KnockOn khổng lồ wake the phone with a double-tap, & KnockCode to showroom security with a pattern of taps.

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For the full story on the LG G3"s software, kiểm tra out our đánh giá of the Snapdragon 801-based model.