Over the past couple years, it seems like tablets have been losing traction. As phones get larger screens, the need for a smaller tablet has waned. Smaller tablets still have their uses, and our LG G Pad III 8.0 review takes a look at an 8-inch tablet that has a few nifty features.
The LG G Pad III 8.0 has the following features and specifications:
- Display: 8.0″ IPS LCD FHD (1920×1200)
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8952 Octa-Core
- Memory: 16GB Internal, up to 2TB microSD supported
- RAM: 2GB
- Camera: 5MP Rear-Facing camera with Auto Focus, 5MP Front-Facing Selfie camera with Selfie Light and Gesture Shutter
- Video capture: Full HD 1080p
- Video codec: 3GP, 3G2, DivX,® WMV, AVI, ASF, MKV, WebM, FLV, and MP4 formats
- Audio codec: MP3, M4A, AAC, ACC+, eAAC+, MIDI, WAV, WMA, AMR, FLAC, and Ogg formats
- Data connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual Band), A-GPS, Glonass
- Frequency: HSPA+, LTE
- Battery: 4,800 mAh
- Operating system: Android 6.0.1
What’s in the box
- LG G Pad III 8.0
- Micro-USB charging cable
- Charging adapter
- Quick Start Guide
As far as design goes, the LG G Pad III 8.0 looks like your typical Android tablet. The back has a nice textured surface to it which provides a nice grip when holding it in one or two hands. The LG logo is centered about one-third of the way down from the top and the rear camera is located in the upper left-hand corner. Flip the tablet over and you’ll found your typical bezels, the LG logo centered on the bottom and the front facing camera off-centered towards the right at the top.
The right side of the tablet has a slot cover about one-third of the way up from the bottom which is where you can insert a microSD and nano SIM card. On the top half of the right side, there are three buttons (from top to bottom) for power, volume, and a QuickButton. By default, the QuickButton is mapped to toggling reader mode which, when pressed, turns the display to greyscale mode to make reading easier. The QuickButton can be changed to launch any app that’s installed on the tablet as well in the settings.
The top of the tablet is where you’ll find the IR light (perfect for using the tablet as a remote for your LG TV), microphone, full-size USB Type-A port which allows you to attach a USB drive or stick, and finally your 3.5mm headphone jack. On the bottom of the LG G Pad III 8.0, you’ll find your Micro-USB charging port as well as two five-hole cutouts, the right one of which is for the speakers.
Unfortunately, the LG G Pad III 8.0 only comes in a 16GB variant and even though you can add a microSD card for more storage you’ll have to watch what apps you have installed so you don’t run out of space.
The LG G Pad III 8.0 has an FHD 1920×1200 resolution display. The display is clear and crisp and colours are fairly nice without being oversaturated. While there doesn’t seem to be an adaptive brightness setting on the tablet, adjusting the brightness worked as it does with any other Android device, and there is also a night brightness setting which will set the brightness to 0% between a designated time of your choosing, as well as a reader mode which can be toggled in the settings or by pressing the QuickButton to reduce the amount of blue light on screen. As mentioned in the design section above, toggling this actually puts the tablet in greyscale mode but it definitely is nice if you’re planning on reading for extended periods of time.
The LG G Pad III 8.0 ships with Android 6.0.1 installed. While Android 7.x Nougat is the latest, devices are slowly being updated to it. While there is no word if this tablet will get Nougat, it runs just fine on Android 6. The tablet does run an LG Launcher simply called Home. There are two variations of it: Home & App and Home. When Home & App is used, your home screen is set to a single screen with an app drawer icon to access all your apps. When using the Home launcher variation, your home screen has a few apps on it, swiping right accesses the QuickMemo+ screen on the left while swiping left access all your apps.
I’m a huge fan of the Google Now launcher and usually install it over OEM launchers when given the opportunity but in the case of the LG Home launcher, I didn’t feel that same “need.” Home is pretty clean and clutter free. If you wish, you can skin it with themes from LG SmartWorld, or change minor things like font and font size. The tablet also supports opening two apps in dual windows at the same time for supported apps, which is definitely a nice feature to have with a larger screen.
As for additional apps, there’s not a lot of “bloatware” pre-installed on the LG G Pad III 8.0. In fact, the apps that are pre-installed are pretty useful. There’s LG Backup, QPair (which allows you to pair with your smartphone to see calls, messages, and notifications from your phone on your tablet), QuickMemo+, QuickRemote (for use as a remote with LG TVs), RemoteCall Service for online support, and the LG SmartWorld app for customizing your tablet. Other preinstalled apps include Evernote, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, OneNote, and a shortcut to activate Spotify. While you can disable these apps from the App settings window, you can’t uninstall them completely from the tablet.
Overall, the LG G Pad III 8.0 performs well, even with only 2GB of RAM. I had no issues with any apps I tried and most games — including Hearthstone, Pokémon GO, and a few slot games — ran fine as well although higher processor intense games like Need for Speed: Rivals felt slightly laggy — but nothing unmanageable. Apps like QPair and QuickRemote (luckily I have an LG TV) worked great as well and were easy to set up.
When attaching a USB stick or USB drive to the full-size USB port on the top of the tablet, it was easy to access photos, music, and videos and play them on the tablet. It’s an interesting addition to a tablet and worked well, and definitely easy to use for increasing your media library while on the go.
The tablet does take a nano SIM card, unfortunately, it is locked to Rogers or Fido networks in Canada. That being said, during our testing LTE speeds were as expected and the LG G Pad III 8.0 is definitely a tablet you can take on the go and not have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi network or tethering to another device.
Even though the LG G Pad III 8.0 only has a single speaker, it is fairly loud and clear although don’t expect much in the way of bass. In addition, the sound does come from the bottom of the tablet and you do notice the directional quality of it. One nice thing about the speaker placement though is that when you are using the tablet in landscape mode, your hand doesn’t cover the speakers if you have the buttons on the top of the tablet, which in my experience tends to be the way most people turn their tablets for horizontal use.
Camera quality is something that usually lacks on tablets, and the LG G Pad III 8.0 really is no exception. While both the front and rear 5.0 cameras are o.k. for taking photos in a pinch, there is no rear camera flash so you’re limited to outdoor or well-lit areas for photo taking. The front camera does come with a “selfie-flash” but all it really does is reduces the preview side and wraps most of the screen in a light pink color in order to project more light towards you while taking a selfie. It doesn’t do a horrible job, but it’s definitely not an actual flash.
One area that the LG G Pad III 8.0 excels in is battery life. During our testing, we easily got between 8 and 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, including 9 hours of straight movie watching. It also holds a charge well, and we didn’t notice much of a reduced screen on time battery life when used over multiple days.
The LG G Pad III 8.0 is available in Canada for $239.99CAD at Best Buy, Rogers, and Fido locations. For an 8-inch tablet with extra features and LTE support, this tablet is definitely priced right. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the tablet is available in the United States (that we could determine).
The LG G Pad III 8.0 is a great tablet for travelling given its decent battery life, LTE connectivity, and extra features like Reader Mode, the QuickButton, and a full-size USB port.
*We were sent a sample of the LG G Pad III 8.0 with a Fido SIM card for the purposes of this review.
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