Something I am really passionate about is incorporating health and fitness in to every day living, and I love that all sorts of companies are getting on board and finding ways to make being healthy an every day occurrence. When LG kindly offered me the opportunity to review their new all signing all dancing G3 handset from a health and fitness perspective, I was keen to find out whether it could genuinely help to lead a healthier lifestyle or whether the ‘fitness’ additions were just a marketing gimmick. (Obviously, I know very little about phones from a technical point of view, so if you’re interested in that I’d recommend checking out TechCrunch.)
I took the G3 for a proper test run when using it as my sole phone on my month long road trip through California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and think it’s absolutely brilliant.
The G3 comes with its own proprietary health software, ‘LG Health’. It is basically an inbuilt activity tracker that acts as a background pedometer, but will also track running, cycling, hiking and even inline skating. When you set it up it asks for your height, weight etc and sets up your health profile. I was slightly perturbed that it immediately told me I should lose 8kg (EIGHT) and would prefer if the focus was on health and activity rather than weight loss. I appreciate that a lot of people do use tools like this for weight management though, I would just rather that wasn’t the default. Maybe it could ask what your goals are?
Photo courtesy of Three
The phone will set you a target number of steps a day and when you hit it you’ll get a notification congratulating you. It was pretty satisfying to get that little achievement every day and I hated days when I didn’t hit my target, so I guess this way a pretty motivating tool integrated in something that people generally carry and look at all the time – their phone. If it’s integrated in to something you use generally then it’s not a hassle to use (as an external fitness tracker could be) and so I think uptake in the use of it will be much better. When we’d had a particularly big day I liked being able to see with one swipe how far I’d walked – we covered nearly 8km wandering around Disneyland!
I went running with the running app and found it very easy to use. I took it out at the same time as my TomTom Runner to check the accuracy of the measurements and found them pretty much the same, which I thought was impressive. The size of it makes it less convenient to run around with – it’s very thin, and an arm strap for it would be quite big, but I usually take some kind of backpack on longer runs anyway so didn’t find it a problem. Less convenient for shorter runs though, or if you don’t want to take a whole running pack out with you.
I was impressed with the battery life too. My phone is an archaic iPhone 4 and the battery is truly shocking. I could use the G3 a lot during the day (taking photos, checking messages etc. with the fitness tracker always running in the background) and it would still last 2 whole days without the need for a charge. I could use the running tracker without fear of it killing the battery for the rest of the day, which should be a given but was surprisingly refreshing!
The screen on the G3 is huge and so it’s really great for fitness apps. If I wanted to go through an NTC routine while I was away it would be displayed on the big, bright, Quad HD screen which made it really easy to watch and follow (apparently it is the highest resolution screen on the market). I think it would also work well for YouTube videos if you use those as part of your routine.
There’s also a huge range of apps on Android to make the most of your handset – I downloaded the adidas miCoach app and Nike Training Club for my journey (as well as Minion Rush, obviously) and loved using them with the big vivid display.
If you’re the kind of runner who loves to document their running with photos, the G3 camera is great. It’s got a super special laser auto focus (yes, LASERS) that digitally focuses photos, which means that photos on the move are clearer and sharper than they may otherwise be. The photos it takes are beautiful. Here are some photos from the roadtrip:
Running the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Some extreme hill reps on the Enchanted Rock
Beauty in the Painted Desert, Arizona
With my Santa Cruz cruiser from Santa Cruise!
They kick the butt of photos I take with my iPhone.
I am pretty clumsy, especially when out and about, and will admit to dropping the G3 a few times. The screen and casing have both held up well and don’t show any signs of damage, which I was impressed with given how thin the phone is and the large expanse of screen glass.
Overall, I think it’s a pretty great phone for an active lifestyle. It seems pretty resilient, has some cool healthy features and has a battery that’ll last all day, even if you’re out ruling the world and kicking butt from sunrise to sunset. My own misgiving would probably be the size, but the size is actually pretty average for a lot of the newer smartphones, so I guess I wouldn’t let it put you off!
Thanks so much to LG for giving me the chance to review their G3 handset. All opinions are my own (as always!).