LG says all-metal G3 would have cost $300 more than regular price


LG G3 IMG_5364

We still don’t have any sort of official pricing of the LG G3, but we figure it’ll hit somewhere around current flagships offered by rival OEMs. Boasting some of the most high-ended specs you can throw on a smartphone, there’s no question LG is going to have to cut some corners if they hope to keep profits high on the device.

One area some were a little confused/let down on was LG’s choice to once again go for plastic on the flagship. While metal is no doubt more premium feeling, it’s clear plastic is more economical. But exactly how much more would an all metal LG G3 run you? Well, according to LG’s Vice President of Mobile Design Chul Bae Lee — around $300 extra.

In an interview with TrustedReviews, Lee defends his company’s choice to go with a faux metal plastic, citing costs they simple couldn’t pass on to the consumer. He also mentions metal would have made the phone heavier, more slippery, and added to bulkier bezels all around.

Well, we’re not sure hot HTC managed to pull it off, but then again they haven’t been posting the most spectacular financials. Maybe there’s some logic behind plastic after all.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. $300 for a brick of solid metal? okay

    1. Sounds like they’re saying it would be 700-900 or something, which sounds like a lie.

      1. If they want to pay that for aluminum, I work for Alcoa I’ll show them some real nice aluminum

  2. I call BS. A two ounce block of aircraft grade aluminum is worth less than $1 and can be milled into a shape like the G3 in about 10 minutes. HTC and Apple do it for less than $15 per phone.

    1. I’m not trying to justify his number, but its more than material cost. They have to buy machinery to stamp the metal, tool it up, and maintain it. I highly doubt that would equate to $300 per phone though.

      1. They’re saying the hardware makes it worth more than what’s in metal phones. Insanity!!

        But oh well. I don’t know what they have in their phones and it still looks very nice.

  3. It’s just their way of being dismissive of a couple of competitors who use aluminum.

    They all do it to each other, no big whoop.

    That, & they could be attempting to brace some for a handset that may have an aluminum body & gauging potential sales w/the mark-up in price compared to their typical flagship.

  4. Not a fan of metal anyway. It messes with signal too much and the weight makes it less shock absorbent.

    And i think people are getting hung up on 300 dollars for a piece of metal, when there would also be a good amount of R&D involved in fitting everything into a metal chassis. Look at the HTC One, it’s as big as the G3 with a screen half an inch smaller.

    1. That has to do with the speakers. LG doesn’t have the same hardware. That’s why. I thought HTC already explained that?

      I’m not justifying HTC, but if the speakers were just some boring speakers they could have easily done it: have less bezel.

      1. Another case of an OEM walking over the consumers. HTC succeeded with telling people there’s “important circuits” (or whatever they tried to sell) under the black bar, and LG will probably to an extent succeed with this wild claim.

        1. Huh? But I thought each speaker had a dedicated amp made to help with boosting the sound and giving the quality that it had? No other phone has technology like that, and technology like that in mobile devices is quite new, though it has been done before, hence the HTC Surround.

          Also, they said they could have used more screen instead of bezel, but the aspect ratio would have been off. The only fix would have been to make the phone wider. Hence, the HTC One M8 Prime *should* be logo-less.

          But from what you’re saying, I guess that’s not the case?

          1. Initially they tried to back up the inclusion of the black bar: “That black area with the HTC logo on M8? Underneath is a huge amount of circuitry, antennae, etc. It’s not “empty” by any means.” – Jeff Gordon.
            Boomsound does not extend under the black bar, and we have seen with other devices that the ratio could have been maintained while increasing the size of the lcd.
            Boomsound is great I love it, don’t get me wrong, and I would prefer the added height then to lose boomsound, but the extra bezel besides is too much when you consider you now have boomsound plus a lot of bezel. I’d just like to point out you can see for yourself without disassembly that boomsound only have a few holes cut out and the rest is cosmetic.

    2. hey i think no nickname just explained something to you

    3. Funny you say that… I get better signal reception in my M8 than I ever did on my G2

  5. Metal doesn’t make a phone more slippery. Brushed Metal does. My gosh. The M8 gets SO slippery when I’m at home and it’s cold. LoL!!

    I had to get a case. I never had a slip problem with the M7.

  6. So how did HTC manage to do a 90% metal phone and boom sound speakers for $199?…. Which you can now get for $99 on some carriers through Father’s Day.

    1. Lol! The HTC One M8 is NOT $199, it’s $700, which is subsidized by a two year contract on a US carrier. You’re paying the full amount in your monthly bill over 2 years, or all at once if you buy it unlocked. Either way you’re paying them the full cost.
      And for that price you can get a Galaxy S5 with a better screen, much better camera, faster processor, bigger battery, faster charging with USB 3.0, fingerprint scanner, etc.

      1. More bloat, more lag, worse UI etc. etc.

        1. HTC: shittier screen, way worse camera, slower processor, smaller battery, slower charging, slower data transfers, very slippery, no fingerprint scanner, not water or dust resistant at all, way fewer choice of accessories, way fewer choice of custom ROMS, no removable battery, etc etc. :-)

          1. Isn’t the s5 still locked to all hell on Verizon? Thus making the roms point moot. And really your going to use the fingerprint scanner that hardly works as a reason?

          2. No idea. I really hate Verizon. Don’t blame the carrier’s stupid policies, they apply on all phones. I’m on T-Mobile so I can modify my phone all I want! :-)
            While the fingerprint scanner isn’t a big deal for me, some people like it. It will only get better over time as they update the software and more apps like Paypal become integrated with it. Either way, look at the rest of that long list.

      2. You started out great but then you started advertising Samsung products and you lost me.

  7. Metal is for sissies.

  8. I don’t understand why they don’t offer metal as a choice on top flagship phones. You can have the plastic version for $149/199 and the metal option for $250/300 and let buyers decide what they want.

    1. I’m sure it costs more to produce the same phone made out of different materials. Better safe than sorry I suppose.

  9. HTC also skimped in some key areas as well if we’re being honest. Weaker battery (less room because of the metal?), huge bezel (even considering the speakers), 4MP camera. Personally I’d rather have a plastic body and everything else top shelf, than a premium feeling but not as functional metal body, and nexus like skimps on camera and battery.

    1. This +1000

  10. I’m tired of this metal vs plastic debate…As long as I can view Phandroid on that $hit I’m good..period.

    1. Depleted uranium for the metal lovers and plastic for those who don’t mind plastic. Problem solved.

  11. $300 my ass! That is a giant load of horseshit.

    1. I agree, total BS. He meant to say they’d “have to mark it up $300”, not that it cost that much.

      1. He was crystal clear. Chavez wrote that it would cost $300 more than regular price. It’s nonsense, it wouldn’t cost a fraction of that more than regular.

  12. They should talk to the people who make the Ginsu knife (whatever they’re calling these days – Popiel sold the company about 30 years ago – which is less than the time my knife’s lasted). They make that blade, stainless, stamped, embossed and serrated, for about 30 cents. Maybe they could turn out G3 cases for 60 cents (although the knife is probably a much more expensive material than the case would be, but they do have to make a profit)..

    1. Ginsu doesn’t have to worry about signal reception.

      1. LG was talking about price, not reception. Let’s not compare apples and elephants.

        1. Seriously? You don’t think reception would have an affect on the design (and thus cost) of the body? I’ll answer that for you, it does. I do agree that $300 sounds ridiculous, but comparing the cost of a knife to the body of a smartphone is, to use your analogy, comparing apples to elephants.

  13. Doesn’t the removable back factor in here? Seems like that’s a big issue HTC doesn’t have to deal with in regards to their metal phone body. Samsung and LG have to consider this.

  14. It’s deflection. And even if it were true regarding costs, they basically are staying that they don’t want to decrease their profit margin.

  15. Plastic that looks like metal is the worst choice – makes it look cheap. If you are going with plastic, far better to just be honest about it like the Nexus 5, then you can apply a non-slip coating or whatever.

  16. $300? They need to step their supply chain game up.

    1. It’s much more than supply chain, although this number looks to be inflated. Bringing a metal body to market is a lot more than manufacturing and supply chain costs. You have technical, design, mechanical, textural, quality, etc. challenges to deal with as well. If you have tried those aluminum cases on eBay, you’ll know that slapping one of those on will destroy your signal reception.

  17. Plastic is fine with me. Now announce the bloody release date already and take my money LG.

  18. So surely it will be $300 cheaper than the HTC One M8?

  19. I see he taking shots at HTC talking about they are not doing good financial on the HTC m8. I love the competition

  20. Lol, HTC is the last person LG needs to be taking advice from. That’s why HTC is in the stinkhole they’re in now. Once you put a case on the phone, nobody gives a damn about aluminum anymore.

  21. Lol… LG has to understand Android fans don’t like the word “plastic” on a phone…

  22. I think its more important to not have a boring design than metal versus plastic. HTC announced the One E8 and that looks great as does the lg2, lg3, nexus 5 and moto x. These are all made of plastic yet they look fantastic where any samsung device over the last 2 and half years looks like total garbage, not because they are made of plastic but because their design team simply makes no attempt to make any of their devices pleasing to the eyes. Form should be just as important as function.

  23. Does he think want them solid gold or something?

  24. Not surprising to be honest, it’s a great design with good overall specifications, they haven’t cut any corners really.

    My concern with this device is the display resolution, Adreno GPU’s don’t scale well with resolution, in a complex 3D scene the framerate can more than half with this increase in resolution.

    If developers force games to render at 1080p it should be all right, but many won’t and the performance drop in some cases will be huge, think Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4 with the framerate halved, it would be unplayable.

  25. Then why doesn’t the HTC M8 cost $900? Why doesn’t the iPhone 5s cost $900?
    And for that matter, what about these?

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