Jun 20 AT 2:36 PM Nick Sarafolean 25 Comments

LG G3 battery: fully up to the challenge

LG G3 (30) (JPG, Resized)

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.

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • www.phonewbie.com

    2 hours to fully charge is not bad especially if you put it on the charger when it’s at say 40 percent. it would be fully charged much quicker

    • breaking

      FIFA World Cup
      England faces Spain – at the airport!!! lololololololol

    • Brandon

      I’m replying on my LG g3, and if youre listening to music, or texting while it’s charging it takes much longer, I had it plugged in for about 2 hours last night and I went up 20%. I’m not complaining I only charge when I’m sleeping, but I think this review makes the time it takes to charge shorter, but charge time is not a reason not to get this phone, it’s amazing in every other aspect!

  • Jake

    Interesting, since the 2600 mAh in my Galaxy S4(running GPE rom) takes half that time. Of course, I use an external battery charger 99% of the time, so don’t really care how long it takes. Maybe it’s faster that way.

  • Dan

    “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.”

    Was that 11 hours of screen on time?? Giving out at 5pm is pretty terrible if you’re the type of person who goes out after work and into the evening :/

    • yChoon

      What are power banks for duuude >.>

    • http://www.androidandme.com Nick Sarafolean

      Newp. I don’t think I’ve ever found a phone with 11 hours of screen-on time unless you’re doing some weird tweaks or using an extreme power saving mode.

      I’d say closer to two-three hours of screen-on time when the screen is at max brightness.

      • Linh Nguyen

        Yeah, I have yet to see a phone that offers even 7-8 hours of screen-on time at a decent brightness. If I can get around 5 with 60-70% brightness, I’ll be happy.

    • Chris

      I agree…my moto x makes it usually from 8-10 with usually no less than 5 hours screen on time

  • Jacqueline

    Thanks for sharing this. I have doubt about the performance of LG G3. Now after reading this, I have decided to ditch my Nexus 5 due to poor battery performance and definitely consider replacing it with LG G3 that have 5.5 inch screen latest Android version and support wireless charging feature. It is rumored that Verizon will introduce this Smartphone in the US around mid of July. I am now eagerly waiting for its availability.

  • abrahavt

    OI will be replacing my Nexus phone with the G3. Never buying a phone again where I can’t swap out the battery myself.

  • chris

    This phone is not for me. It fails in direct sunlight and battery sucks. Its like a beta version of a QHD phone. I’d rather wait for the note 4.

    • ben

      I have a S4 and it is horrible in direct sunlight, way, way worse than my old Motorola Razr maxx and doesn’t get that kind of life out of it’s battery. I get that you like Samsung but stick to facts

      • Paul

        He said a Note 4, not an S4. The S5 has one of the brightest most viewable screens on the market and the Note lineup usually trumps the standard S lineup. “Facts”

    • andrew white

      The Note 4 maybe faster charging, but where I live it is about $300 more expensive..basically on par with the base model iPhone 6 Plus.
      My G3 charges from 15% to fully charged in under 2 hours.
      I fully support kickass Android phones that are capable of blowing over priced Apple products out of the water.
      Long may LG and Samsung give us SD cards and removable batteries.

  • Joe

    Total lack of methodology of testing will leave this site with fewer and fewer techophobs, others will flee and never return. “Light use, moderate use, heavy use”…is this 2009? …phew

    • charlie88

      I have to agree. I guess it’s a nice read, but they could’ve given some more info. How about looping a video until the battery dies like some other sites do? Some sites have even used special apps or scripts that mimic usage and checks for how long the battery goes before dying. Some kind of standardization would be nice.

  • Bill

    Nice but I was hoping for a comparison with the S5 and M8 battery times in the review under the same conditions.

  • Set To Reflect

    All these stupid reviews talking about the Korean model. . . I can’t wait t see how disappointed people get when the other versions are released. I will rape you all.

  • McLovin

    I could be wrong but there are no free lunches in the world of thermodynamics and lithium batteries. If you charge it fast you will increase the heat. The more heat the shorter the lifespan of the battery.

    Is this battery replaceable or is this another Steve Jobs legacy that will fill up our land fills with phones with non user replaceable batteries?

  • Tom_Jones

    Anything less than 24 hour battery life under hard conditions is unacceptable in my book. They should not get a pat on the back for running out at 5pm under heavy load, that is pathetic.

  • cheeto

    Put on airplane mode for a quick charge. It worked great for all my phones and it works very well with my g3. Btw this phone is soo awesome!

  • abu afak

    I have the New LG G3 and the battery life is by FAR the WORST I’ve ever seen.
    Mine runs down in app 24 hours even withOut use.

    With use the number probably isn’t even calculable. A Few hours.

    Worth noting I had the predecessor LG Optimus Pro G which was much better in ALL respects except Processor speed.

  • clipper

    complete and total horseraddish, my average charge wait time is estimated 8-10 hours

  • tami

    The lg g3 batter sucks and so does the charging time. The g2 had amazing battery life and charged fast and stayed that way even with heavy use. The g3 has died on me everyday about 4 after being taken off the charger at 7. Then it’s not charged again until 11. This is totally unacceptable and you people have no earthly idea what you are talking about.