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LG Readies G3 Flagship For Summer Availability

New York – LG promoted simplicity of design, ease of use and a Quad HD display in launching its flagship G3 smartphone, which will be accompanied by more marketing support than its predecessor when it becomes available in the summer, marketing executives said.

All four national carriers will offer the Android 4.4.2 LTE/HSPA+21 phone at an unspecified date in the summer. Pricing was also unspecified, but the G2 was launched at $199 with two-year contract last September.

LG will provide “more marketing support” for the G3 than it did for the G2, which also benefitted from a major promotional campaign and was the first LG flagship phone to be launched by all four national carriers, senior U.S. marketing VP Chang Ma told TWICE here at a press event. The G3 will benefit from a “full integrated marketing support,” he said.

New ease-of-use features include the industry’s first resizable onscreen QWERTY keyboard and the company’s first phone with one-touch picture taking, which lets users automatically focus and snap a shot simultaneously by tapping on the part of an image on which they want to focus.

The G3 will also be the company’s first phone with Quad HD (2,560 by 1,440) display and the first in the industry with laser autofocus, which speeds up focusing of the 13-megapixel to 276 milliseconds to ensure users don’t miss a picture. Laser autofocus is available only on select DSLRs, the company said.

In other changes, LG boosted screen size to 5.5 inches from the G2’s 5.2 inches, but the phone can still be used comfortably with one hand because of a narrow-bezel design that brings the width close to that of 5-inch phones and delivers a screen to front-panel ratio of 76.4 percent, said James Marshall, head of mobile product marketing during a webcast originating in London. The phone measures 5.76 inches by 2.94 inches by 0.35 inches.

The Quad HD display offers four times the resolution of a 720p HD display and crams 538 pixels per inch onto the screen by using pixels that are 44 percent smaller than those on an average FullHD display, the company said.

The company also turned to an arched matte-metallic back to maintain comfort in one hand. Like the G2, the G3 features rear-panel on/off and volume buttons to enable one-handed use.

Other key technology advancements include more than 11 million subpixels, or twice that of FullHD displays, to deliver more realistic onscreen color reproduction.

Also to simplify use, a smart keyboard can be swiped to increase keyboard size; consumers can long-press the space bar and slide their finger on the spacebar to position the cursor, and users can swipe up with their left or right thumb to select the word that the keyboard suggests. The combination of features is promoted as speeding up typing while reducing errors by more than 75 percent.

A personal-assistant-like Smart Notifications feature also simplifies use, executives said, by using plain English language to, for example, remind users if they haven’t returned a call, ask whether they want to delete little-used apps, and remind them to put the phone in battery-saving mode when the battery is low.

To simplify cosmetic design, the phone features sides and front panel with no buttons, improved rear keys, and a color strip along the bottom of the front panel to match one of the five colors available for the metallic back panel. Three colors will be available in the U.S. When the screen lights up, wallpaper colors will match the color variations of the phone’s front and back panel. In other enhancements, CPU speed goes up to quad-core 2.5GHz from 2.2GHz, RAM goes up to 3GB from 2GB, the phone’s speaker gets a 1-watt amplifier, and the screen goes to Quad HD from FullHD at 423 ppi. The battery size remains at 3,000 mAh with battery life growing by 20 percent despite the larger, higher resolution screen. The new model also gets a MicroSD slot lacking in its predecessor. The slot accepts cards up to 128GB.

The new model also adds Knock Code to wake up the screen and unlock the phone by tapping a numeric code on the screen; Content Lock to prevent photos and documents from being viewed even connected to a computer; and a kill switch that can be used to remotely wipe the contents of a phone, lock it, or completely disable it in the event of theft.

Like its predecessor, it will support select features of LTE-Advanced.

Also like before, the phone features a 13-megapixel main camera but with improved optical image stabilizer. The phone will continue to record and play back 192kHz/24-bit WAV and FLAC files. Memory capacity will be 16GB or 32GB depending on carrier.

Other key features include 2.1-megapixel front camera, dual flash on the main camera, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart Ready, AptX, NFC, A-GPS/GLONASS and USB 2.0.

Audio Zoom was eliminated because it wasn’t used much by consumers, said Ma. Audio Zoom downplays background noise and zooms in to capture the subject’s audio.

To go with the phone, LG will offer its first folder-style QuickCircle case, which lets users check the time, place calls, send text messages, take photos, control the phone’s music app, and get health updates through the case’s circular window.

The phone will also work with an accessory Qi wireless-charging device and with the company’s first smart watch, whose ship date hasn’t been announced. Another new accessory is a stereo Bluetooth headset with audio performance developed by Harman Kardon.

The phone also features Q Pair, which enables its caller ID notifications and text messages to appear on the company’s G Pad tablet. The tablet can also be used to bang out text messages for transmission by the phone.