Print 39 comment(s) - last by Chaser.. on Jul 24 at 10:27 PM

Mid-tier device packs a rather weak hardware spec, but some nice software features

Perhaps looking to cash in on the cachet of its flagship smartphone, South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570)(KRX:066575) has launched a similarly named smartphone with a wildly different hardware spec -- the LG G3 Beat.  Where as the LG G3 packs an industry-leading spec with features like a 5.5-inch, 2560x1440 display (538 ppi) "quad-HD" (QHD) display, a Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 801, and up to 3 GB of LPDDR3, the spec on the G3 Beat is towards the bottom end of mid-tier.

Think of a 2013 mid-tier device and you'll come pretty close to the spec on this 5-inch handset:

  • Body
    • Chassis: Plastic
    • Backplate Colors: Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold
    • 137.7 x 69.6 x 10.3mm (5.421 x 2.740 x 0.406 in.)
    • 134 g (4.727 oz.)
  • Hardware
    • CPU: 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (quad-core)
    • GPU: Adreno 305 GPU @ 400 MHz
    • Memory: 1 GB DRAM
    • Buttons: Soft-buttons (on-screen)
    • Storage
      • Internal: 8 GB NAND
      • MicroSD
    • Camera
      • Rear
        • 8 megapixel
        • Laser rangefinder autofocus
        • Quick shoot UI
          • Gesture shoot
            • Clench hand into fist in front of screen to trigger shooting countdown
          • One touch shot
            • Long-press to focus and shoot
      • Front
        • 1.3 megapixel
    • Screen
      • 720p (1,280x720 pixel)
      • 294 ppi
      • 5.0-inches
      • IPS LCD
      • Multitouch
    • Wireless
      • 4G LTE
      • HSPA+ (21 Mbps)
      • 802.11 b/g/n
      • Bluetooth 4.0
      • A-GPS/Glonass
      • NFC
    • Battery
      • 2,540 mAh
      • removeable
    • Other
      • MicroSIM
      • MicroUSB
      • 3.5 mm Jack
  • Price
    • "Prices and details of availability will be announced locally at the time of launch."
  • Availability
    • South Korea -- July 18
    • Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) -- late July or early August (rebranded as the LG G3 S)
    • North America -- ??
LG Electronics Mobile's CEO and President Jong-seok Park says of the device:

Smartphone manufacturers cannot ignore this growing segment of consumers who want the best balance of looks, features, performance and, of course, price.  The LG G3 Beat represents our commitment to the mid-tier smartphone market that demands mature technology, proven branding, great innovation and attractive price, all in a single device.

He'll need to deliver on his promise of aggressive pricing.  He's facing tough pressure from Chinese OEMs that have undercut the price of his flagship device.  The Chinese rivals are also tightening the screws on the budget end.  Last, but not least, competition is coming from unexpected places -- like the somewhat reinvigorated Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Nokia Devices unit.
No U.S. launch plans were announced.  If the LG G3 Beat/G3 Beat S does come stateside, it will likely be to prepaid carriers as an unlocked budget option.

Source: LG [press release]

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People will moan
By hughlle on 7/17/2014 11:19:08 AM , Rating: 3
about it being last years hardware, or that X sells A for the same price with a faster gpu etc..

But at the end of the day, when people are in the budget phone market, the vast majority won't read past the price tag. Alas for some reason, many "budget" phones being released these days are still commanding prices that are mot certainly not budget-orientated. If i were going budget, right now i think i'd just go Nokia, they seem to have solid hardware, a decent OS (sorry reclaimer!) and a very very attractive price tag.

RE: People will moan
By retrospooty on 7/17/2014 11:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno. This looks like a good budget phone. If you want a 5 inch screen and SD + removable battery, there arent alot of options. Plus good screen/bezel ratio.

Not that I care, my full size G3 is on the Fedex truck right now as I type. Should have it within a few hours.

RE: People will moan
By hughlle on 7/17/2014 11:40:22 AM , Rating: 1
Not saying there aren't some sensible folk on this site ;) Looks good to me as well. But sd card and removable battery, i think that even those are issues that are not really decision makers for people any more. Your regular joe does not want to worry about multiple batteries or sd cards. THey just want to have a phone that simply works out of the bopx, no fiddling around with this or that or buying A or B to go with the phone. They want everything they need in the box, job done.

RE: People will moan
By retrospooty on 7/17/2014 12:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... I guess like EasyC says, its going to depend on the price. If it's like a $500 Samsung budget, not really worth it. If its really a budget price, its good.

RE: People will moan
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/17/2014 4:58:41 PM , Rating: 3
Y'know, if you don't want to mess with multiple batteries and microSD cards, you really don't have to. The phone works just fine without any fuss at all right out of the box.

If you don't to deal with multiple batteries, you don't have to. It comes with one that you never have to look at until it wears out a few years down the road (and then, you can replace it yourself without needing a PhD). If you don't want to expand your storage you don't have to. But one thing for sure, the average Joe will see it added value if he has the flexibility to do these things if he wants to later on. It is a mistake top assume the average Joe is too stupid to shop for all the features he can get within his budget.

Samsung has known this recipe for years and is the largest selling smartphone maker in the world because of it.

RE: People will moan
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2014 11:30:41 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung has known this recipe for years and is the largest selling smartphone maker in the world because of it.

Agreed. Yet people keep coming up with elaborate BS reasons why SD slots and removable batteries aren't value added or this "average Joe" doesn't care. in reality people.

RE: People will moan
By Chaser on 7/24/2014 10:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
I am a power user of Android, have a new smartphone about every 6 months. My phones: HTC One M7, S3, G2, S2, more.

I could care less about a removable battery or SD card. I do not store movies on my phone thus extra memory capacity is not necessary. My music is 2-3GB max, photos and videos about another 3. I have no need or desire to watch major video productions on a 5" inch display.

Battery life has improved substantially with the S5, G2/G3 and One. Its finally where it needs to be to be convenient. But with the older phones pick your poison. Lug an extra battery around all day or find a place to plug it in like leaving an extra wall charger at work and/or use the car's USB port.

With my purchase decision criteria I could care less about either capability, ESPECIALLY now with a phone that has 32GB of on board memory and excellent battery performance.

Sure there's things the average user might appreciate. But for you diehard battery/SD card types you're on the fringe. People simply don't value those "features" as critical purchase decision criteria. Sorry but look at the iPhones. Love them or hate them they've been unreplaceable for years.

RE: People will moan
By EasyC on 7/17/2014 12:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
It really depends on what LG considers budget. Samsung considers 500$ as "budget".

I wonder how this would stack up (price wise) against the Sony ZL @ 350-400$. That's not a bad little device for those who desire a 5" screen.

RE: People will moan
By hughlle on 7/17/2014 12:17:20 PM , Rating: 5
It does seem that budget is a rather misused term these days. To me budget means <£100

RE: People will moan
By stm1185 on 7/17/2014 12:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Except it is a bad little device compared to the Nexus 5, as this LG phone is. If the price comes in north of $300; it is garbage.

At those specs, $200 might even be pushing it.

RE: People will moan
By EasyC on 7/17/2014 12:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
At 200$, the Moto G already exists...

RE: People will moan
By bug77 on 7/17/2014 1:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. It's a Moto G 4G with a slightly bigger screen and a 25% larger, removable battery. It should be priced south of $300.

RE: People will moan
By Motoman on 7/18/2014 10:55:26 AM , Rating: 2
A Moto G is $99. A Moto E is $129.

RE: People will moan
By bug77 on 7/18/2014 11:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
A Moto G is $179. However, this should be compared to the Moto G 4G (because it has both LTE support and a SD card slot). That can be had for $219.

RE: People will moan
By Motoman on 7/18/2014 11:18:00 AM , Rating: 3
What the f%ck people.

At BBY right now, the Moto G is actually $69.99. On Verizon. Their Boost version, for some reason, is $10 more.

At Newegg, $99:

At Fry's, $68.99 on Verizon:

...and if you go straight to Verizon, it's $99:

If you say it *should* be compared to the Moto G 4G, you're probably right...but still wrong about the cost of the Moto G. By over $100.

RE: People will moan
By bug77 on 7/18/2014 12:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
Those are all carrier branded devices. When will you, Americans, learn to read the price of a product? Hint: if it comes with strings attached, it's not what the sticker says.

RE: People will moan
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2014 1:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
Strings? They're no-contract phones.

RE: People will moan
By Motoman on 7/18/2014 2:11:00 PM , Rating: 2
...what strings would those be, praytell?

RE: People will moan
By CyCl0n3 on 7/21/2014 10:36:31 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe he meant "unlocked and unbranded " with no strings attached?

RE: People will moan
By Motoman on 7/21/2014 11:57:30 AM , Rating: 2
The prices I quoted, and linked to, were full retail price. Walk out the door, and you own it. No subsidy, no contract.

So...what strings?

RE: People will moan
By CyCl0n3 on 7/23/2014 2:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
Newegglink says: Moto G compatibility Carrier Service: "Boost Mobile"
Frys: clearly says "Verizon Moto G"
Aswell as the verzion link.

So as long as its locked or branded (hardware or software wise) IMO its quite fair to say string attached to it.

RE: People will moan
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/17/2014 5:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. If this phone is priced like a mid-tier phone, it will be damn good for sure. If it is hitting the $400 price point, LG will have a real winner here.

$500 IS Samsung's mid tier. Their top tier phones run $650-$750 off contract (16GB S5 is $700 from Bell in Canada).

Samsung is a very popular phone maker and their insane pricing reflects that they know it.

RE: People will moan
By EasyC on 7/17/2014 5:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, I feel like it would need to come in at the 250$ price point.

At 400$, the Sony Xperia ZL and Nexus 5 have this thing beat by quite a bit.

At 250$, you have competitive option to the Moto G with a bigger screen.

RE: People will moan
By Spuke on 7/17/2014 5:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I care, my full size G3 is on the Fedex truck right now as I type. Should have it within a few hours.
You suck!

RE: People will moan
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/17/2014 5:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
G3 on the truck? Didn't you just get an G2 less than a year ago?

Jeez, you rich! Adopt me - I need a sugar daddy.

RE: People will moan
By Omega215D on 7/18/2014 12:58:22 AM , Rating: 2
Don't have to be rich to buy a new phone within the year. Just sell the old one to put it towards the new one and after that it shouldn't take that much of a wage to pay off the rest.

RE: People will moan
By rountad on 7/18/2014 10:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
I just got mine, too. I am still setting it up and getting used to it.

Although it doesn't have all the Sambloat, there is still plenty of Veribloat :-/

How do you like yours, so far?

RE: People will moan
By Mr Perfect on 7/18/2014 10:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, this isn't a bad little phone. I was looking at pre-paid service providers yesterday and what they where offering where abominations unto phonedom. We're talking Android 2.3, 4 in screens, single core CPUs and 5MP cameras for $150 to $200. If you really wanted to splash out they offered a two year old Galaxy S3 for $300. Make this G3 Beat $200 to $250 and you've got something.

RE: People will moan
By piroroadkill on 7/17/2014 2:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
Pure bollocks, motorola g 4g is the only "budget" option worth talking about.

RE: People will moan
By grooves21 on 7/17/2014 3:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't say ONLY. There are also the Moto E and the Nokia 5XX/6XX Phones.

RE: People will moan
By retrospooty on 7/17/2014 4:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
That and this "G3 Beat" is good if priced in the same ballpark as the G. I think it will be quite a bit higher though.

RE: People will moan
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/17/2014 5:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'm hoping that the Lower-end SoC and 1GB memory will keep this within the $400 price range. If it is much more than that I think those two factors will keep people away from this one.

I hope LG plays it smart with this one. It has real potential.

RE: People will moan
By RaistlinZ on 7/17/2014 10:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
At $400 I don't see any reason to buy this over a Nexus 5, which is cheaper, faster, and gets all current updates.

RE: People will moan
By Gondor on 7/18/2014 1:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Plus Nexus 5 doesn't come with mangled UI ...

RE: People will moan
By Reclaimer77 on 7/18/2014 9:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
There's no way this phone will be priced in the $400 range anyway. Not sure where he got that number...

This is NOT a Nexus competitor, the Nexus is high-end. Or at least highER end.

RE: People will moan
By bug77 on 7/18/2014 10:31:21 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently, LG Germany just pegged it at 350 euro a piece. Even if that translates to $350, it's still too much imho.

RE: People will moan
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/18/2014 10:00:12 AM , Rating: 2
If you don't need/want the user-replaceable battery and microSD card and don't mind having to recharge at shorter intervals (faster proc /more memory goes thru battery power faster), the Nexus 5 is definitely a better choice.

But nobody is saying they will price this at $400. Perhaps it will be less than the 16GB Nexus 5's price. maybe it won't. I don't know.

RE: People will moan
By nafhan on 7/18/2014 11:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
People on tech forums "will moan" about it being last years hardware. People actually using it will probably not have any issues with it.

Like you and the article said, price is going to be a huge factor. The other big factor, though is the screen size. There's not that many budget phones with 5 inch screens - even though the resolution is pretty low for something that big. That'll definitely be a selling point at the budget end of the market.

I want a bad ass 4 incher
By jmunjr on 7/18/2014 11:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
4 inch phone with solid quad core, ram and internal storage plus a user replaceable battery. If the internal SD is at least 32GB I can live with no micro-SD though it is still preferred.

Who makes one? I guess the upcoming Galaxy S5 mini will be close but with a smaller screen I expect a smaller price. Sub $400 seems right.

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