by Josh McDaniel and Tim Yu
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 11:59 PM MDT
On June 5, 2014, LG received FCC OET approval for the LG LS990, otherwise known to handset consumers as the Sprint variant LG G3. Then, just two weeks later, on June 19, the device received a Class II Permissive Change filing that appears to show slightly improved radio capabilities.
The LG G3 has a strong spec/feature list:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974
- Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- 5.5” QHD display (1440 x 2560 pixel resolution)
- 3 GB RAM
- 13 MP back camera
- 2.1 MP front camera
- 32 GB internal storage
- 64 GB microSD support
As expected, the FCC docs show that this phone does not support SVDO nor SVLTE, as it is a tri-band, single radio handset. It does include support for Wi-Fi calling. Unfortunately, LG didn’t include the antenna diagram with this flagship, opting to make that diagram a permanently confidential item.
Included in the documentation is also the testing certification for QI wireless charging, which has become prevalent on many flagship devices. Though it is not included in the actual retail device, which comes with a standard non wireless charging back cover, a wireless charging cover is apt to be available for retail sales soon after release of the handset.
On LTE, the G3 supports the following carrier bandwidths:
- Band 25 3/5/10 MHz FDD
- Band 26 1.4/3/5/10 MHz FDD
- Band 41 10/15/20 MHz TDD
Radiated power levels for each LTE band show middle of the road performance, lower than that of some of the mid-range tri-band LTE devices available and/or coming to the market. For review, here is a summary of the radiated power levels:
- CDMA BC0 (850) 21.03 dBm
- CDMA BC1 (1900) 23.08 dBm
- CDMA BC10 (800) 22.75 dBm
- LTE Band 25 (1900) 21.28 - 22.9 dBm
- LTE Band 26 (800) 17.49 - 20.51 dBm
- LTE Band 41 (2500/2600) 20.37 - 22.87 dBm
While the publicly available FCC docs do not include the aforementioned antenna diagram, they do divulge the peak antenna gain structures for each of the supported bands/band classes. For best RF performance in an internal antenna flagship smartphone, we expect to see around -4 dBi for below 1 GHz, around 1 dBi for 1-2 GHz, and around 3 dBi for above 2 GHz. In those regards, the LG G3 is a disappointment, and that may account for its middling radiated power levels. For reference, below is the peak antenna gain table:
But as always these don't show the whole story as some devices that show higher power level actually perform worse than those which show lower power levels. It varies by device but it is an unknown until users run thorough tests against the previous LG G2 flagship and other flagships (Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, etc.).
The LG G3 was announced to be in stores starting July 18, 2014, but in a surprise move by Sprint, it was launched July 11, the same day that AT&T launched its LG G3 variant.