Without a battery, a phone is nothing. It’s unable to perform any task. Unless, of course, you’re planning to use your phone as a hammer. But anything that requires the phone’s internals to actually work is a no-go, which means that the battery is of great importance on a smartphone. Too often we see high-end smartphones dominating in every aspect but the battery, so in our testing of the LG G3, we were interested to see how its battery performs.
We’re happy to report that the LG G3 is well up to the challenge of keeping itself going. The 3,000mAh battery is built to compensate for the powerhouse specs inside the G3′s body. We found that with moderate usage, it was easy to make it through the day from 7:00AM to about 11:00PM. The LG G3 left us with about 20% battery life at the end of the day, give or take a bit.
Editor’s Note: The review unit we were provided was a Korean LTE-A model. As such, all battery testing was done over Wi-Fi connections. Obviously, battery life will differ when using LTE, but we still felt that it would be important to report battery life based on Wi-Fi.
With a heavier day of usage, including streaming video and some games, the G3′s legs gave out closer to 5:00 or 6:00PM. Still, 11 hours of solid battery life is nothing to scoff at, and is more than we expected from a device like the G3.
What worried us about the G3 was the screen. With a resolution of 2560×1440, we weren’t optimistic about battery life. During testing, brightness was set to auto for nearly everything. But it appears that LG’s tweaks made the screen’s impact on battery life was less than expected. The screen, of course, drew the most power of any one component, but it was still possible to get a good 4 to 5 hours of screen-on time. Unfortunately, bumping the screen brightness to full caused the battery life to take a serious hit. Unless you’re planning on charging up your phone during the late afternoon, we’d suggest leaving the display on auto brightness, as full brightness drains battery life and is just unnecessary in nearly any situation.
There is a power saving mode on the G3, but we kept this off for testing. If you do enable it, expect better battery life at the expense of a few niceties.
One final note about the battery is the way that it charges. The LG G3 gets quite toasty when it charges. This is normal, so don’t freak out and think that your phone is going to explode. But you should also know that when the G3 gets warm like that, it will refuse to let you turn on full brightness to prevent heat damage. Not a major inconvenience, but it exists.
The second thing to mention is the charge time. While certain models of the G3 do have wireless charging, we weren’t able to test this. Charging the G3 with the included power adapter takes ages. That’s not an exaggeration: the G3′s mondo battery takes a full 2-3 hours to charge. We’ve seen slower charges, but we’ve seen much faster ones as well. If you’re banking on grabbing a quick charge here and there to top the phone up, don’t. The G3 requires some serious time to refuel.
With that said, we can conclude that the LG G3 has some of the best battery life of any smartphone. Even with its power-hungry display, the G3 manages to keep going for a full day of usage, and maybe longer if you’re lucky. The only downside is its slow charge time, but that’s to be expected when you have a battery this large. If you’re looking for a phone that can satisfy your battery needs, you’re not going to find much better than the LG G3.