LG G3 Beat keeps the G3’s laser autofocus camera, but not the Quad HD screen (Updated)

LG has announced a smaller version of its G3 flagship device, but has sensibly avoided calling it a “mini,” and gone with the G3 Beat instead. Why sensibly? At 5-inches, its screen size equals that of HTC’s One M8, so the name simply wouldn’t fit. Aside from breaking that trend, the G3 Beat is at its heart, still a shrunken down G3, so let’s take a more detailed look at its spec sheet.

Updated on 07-18-2014 by Andy: LG has sent out another press release saying the G3 Beat will be released in Europe under the name of the LG G3 S. A blog post on LG’s German language portal states the phone will out there during August, and it’ll be priced at 350 euros, which converts to about $470. The G3 S is identical to the G3 Beat.

Predictably, the G3 Beat doesn’t share the G3’s 2560 x 1440 pixel screen resolution, and perhaps even more predictably, makes do with 1280 x 720 pixels instead. LG has kept the thin bezels surrounding the display though, giving the device a high 74.1 percent screen-to-body ratio. LG says it has employed the same “floating arc” design as the G3, meaning it has gently curved, smoothed out sides, and tapered edges to improve how it feels in the hand.

Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, running at 1.2GHz, powers the G3 Beat, along with 1GB of RAM. This is the same setup found in many mid-range smartphones today, including the popular Motorola Moto G. The 8GB of memory inside the G3 Beat can quickly be increased with the addition of a MicroSD card, plus other features include 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

LG has carried over the G3’s cool laser autofocus sensor to the G3 Beat, mating it to an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, which is fitted above the newly redesigned rear controls. Both these features are great additions to the G3, so we have high expectations for them here too. On the software side, the camera gets Gesture Shot, where clenching a fist activates the 1.3-megapixel front cam’s three-second timer, and Touch and Shoot minimizes the time it takes to snap a photo. Finally, Android 4.4 KitKat is installed.

The G3 Beat has only been fully announced for South Korea at the moment, where it’ll go on sale July 18, but LG also says it’ll be released in Europe in the near future too. There’s no mention of the U.S. at this point, but we’ll keep you updated.

CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR A ROUNDUP OF G3 BEAT RUMORS, SPREAD BEFORE ITS ANNOUNCEMENT

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