CPU Performance

By now, the Snapdragon 801 is mostly well-understood. It has four Krait 400 cores at either 2.26 or 2.45 GHz, an Adreno 330 at 578 MHz, a faster ISP, DSDA support, and higher clocks on the memory interface, along with support for eMMC 5.0 for faster NAND speed. However, OEM design choices can have significant effects on the relative performance of a device. For example, the Galaxy S5 trailed behind the HTC One (M8) despite a faster SoC due to worse thermal dissipation. This was because water resistance necessitated a new design that effectively encased the SoC in a polycarbonate cage, trapping heat in. The LG G3 has the same SoC and same build materials as the Galaxy S5, but the midframe is magnesium, not polycarbonate. This means that peak performance can be higher than the Galaxy S5.

WebXPRT (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Google Octane v2  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

Kraken 1.1 (Chrome/Safari/IE)

SunSpider 1.0.2 Benchmark  (Chrome/Safari/IE)

BaseMark OS II - Overall

BaseMark OS II - System

BaseMark OS II - Memory

BaseMark OS II - Web

BaseMark OS II - Graphics

Relatively speaking, there's not much in the way of interesting things to talk about here, despite the new configuration. The G3 seems to trail the other S801 devices in web performance but it seems to depend upon the benchmark. This seems to be partially because of the G3's willingness to throttle, or because of the display's heat output. Either way, the trend is clear because of how often the display brightness is capped to 90 or 95 percent of the maximum to cool off the phone. When this isn't an issue though, the short benchmarks tend to show the faster performance of the G3.

GPU Performance

While the state of CPU benchmarking is heavily subject to difference in the performance of the web browser, things are a bit better in the GPU side. All Snapdragon 801 SoCs have the same GPU clocks, so this means that it'll be much easier to examine throttling behavior and reduce variability due to confounding factors.

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Overall

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Graphics

3DMark 1.2 Unlimited - Physics

BaseMark X 1.1 - Overall (High Quality)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Hangar (High Quality, Offscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Onscreen)

BaseMark X 1.1 - Dunes (High Quality, Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex HD (Offscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Onscreen)

GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan (Offscreen)

Here, we can see a noticeable trend. In the short tests, the LG G3 does great, easily nearing the top of the scores. However, 3DMark's extremely long-running test means that the G3 noticeably suffers in performance compared to the competition, and this is worsened by the G3's sinusoidal throttling patterns that cause significant degradation of performance for periods of time to balance out the high performance periods. On the on-screen tests, the G3 does worse than the high-end competition, which suggests that  QHD/1440p truly does need Snapdragon 805's Adreno 420 in order to keep real-world performance from regressing relative to the Snapdragon 801, 1080p-screened counterparts.

NAND Performance

NAND performance used to be an afterthought, and effectively never discussed in most reviews. However, after the original Nexus 7 revealed the headaches that come with poor I/O performance this metric has increasingly come under greater scrutiny. To quantify this performance, we turn to Androbench with custom settings to evaluate Android smartphones.

Internal NAND - Sequential Read

Internal NAND - Sequential Write

Here, the G3 is off to a great start. The sequential read speeds set new records and sequential write speeds are almost as good as it gets. This means that LG isn't cheaping out on NAND, which means that shooting 4K video and similarly intensive situations won't be a problem on the G3. However, random I/O performance is much more important as that's where people will notice poor performance in the form of stuttering and pauses.

Internal NAND - Random Read

Internal NAND - Random Write

Here, we see a similar pattern. The LG G3 does great in random reads, but random write isn't quite as great. It's still perfectly usable and shouldn't present any problems for smoothness or general performance. The Moto X continues to hold its considerable lead here due to its F2FS file system that allows for much faster random I/O performance. Overall, the LG G3 shouldn't have any issues with I/O pauses, although you should still keep around 25% of your storage open to keep up I/O performance.


Camera Performance Software: G3 GUI
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  • piroroadkill - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    Basically, the screen is stupid, costs more, wastes battery, slows down performance, heats it up so it throttles more, and isn't actually noticeably different compared to 1920×1080 at viewing distance.

    Yeah, so predictable. LG is doing the worst kind of spec-sheet oneupmanship.
  • Homeles - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    I picked up a G2 last year, and was a bit frustrated that the G3 came out so quickly. Looks like I'm not missing out.
  • piroroadkill - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    Yeah, the G2 is a fine device, and I'd choose the better battery life.
  • mahalie - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    The G3 has significantly better battery life than the G2. You can complain that the screen is unnecessary all you want, but the phone performs wells and has great battery life, so what's the issue?
  • fokka - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    the g3 beat the g2 in one test here, what numbers are you referring to?

    the issue, as i see it, is that the 1440p display adds cost, decreases performance, battery life and screen brightness, not to mention overall screen quality, compared to using a good 1080p display, all while adding very little in regards to usability and visual advantages.

    many people, me included, think that LG should have gone with a "good ol'" 1080p display in this generation and improved upon the great battery life that the g2 offered, instead of using a 1440p screen with borderline useful benefits mainly for bragging rights.

    of course not everybody agrees with this stance, but it seems to be the one main complaint about this otherwise mighty fine piece of technology.

    and you are right, the g3 (still) performs well and (still) has great battery life, but with a more reasonable 1080p display those points could have improved even more. that's all i (!) am saying.
  • retrospooty - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    You may be right about the screen. Looks like some trade-offs were made, but it's still a good phone that stacks up well against it's competitors. It's still a good 5.5 inch phone that is basically the same size as an S5 or One M8. That and I cant remember the last time I had any phone on 100% brightness. I have a G2 now and keep it as 66%. In rare cases I move it up to 70%. 75% is simply too bright to look at.
  • flatrock - Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - link

    I just checked the brightness on my G2. It's at 41% and is plenty bright for indoor viewing at that level. I might put it up to 75% while using it outdoors such as at my son's soccer game. Unless the sun is shining directly on the screen, 100% is overkill. In a dark rooms I set the brightness somewhere in the teens.
  • ColinByers - Monday, September 29, 2014 - link

    Well, LG G3 is definitely one of the better phones on the market, all though there are a few like HTC One M8 and Motorola Moto G that can compete with it (see http://www.consumertop.com/best-phone-guide/ for example).
  • upatnite2 - Friday, July 4, 2014 - link

    Same thoughts! I can deal with the battery life, but brightness and contrast are major issues. We're seeing at least a few reviews that mention "dim", which isn't a good sign, and I'm starting to wonder about performance after it heats.
    If they put in the same display as last year, LG would sell tons more, and myself included.
    Now, I have to wait to see if the S805 vsn comes to the states and if it's any better, wait for the N6, or get a used G2..
  • HotInEER - Monday, July 7, 2014 - link

    I agree. 3 things are keeping me from trading in my HTC One M8 for this. The brightness, contrast, and lack of built in wireless charging. I don't want a flip case for that feature. Can't stand them, and sure in the heck are not paying $60 for a stupid case for that. I'd consider buying a additional back for wireless charging, however I've read on numerous sites that the US models do not have the pins.

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