G3's launch is the final flagship Android device for 2014 - meaning LG will be battling with Samsung, Sony and HTC for mobile supremacy

LG has launched a £499 smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen that's sharper than Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and a laser-focus camera that the company claims is the fastest in the world.

The unveiling of the new G3 means that all the major Android manufacturers have now launched their flagship handsets for 2014, with LG’s device squaring off against the HTC One M8, Sony's Xperia Z2 as well as the Galaxy S5.

The most noticeable feature from LG’s offering is its mammoth 5.5-inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution that easily outclasses the 1080p offerings from the One M8 and the S5. However, that’s not say that the latter two are in any way lacking – they just don’t come class when it comes to specs.

In terms of processor, memory and RAM the G3 also matches or beats its rivals with all leading Android devices using the same Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm for a smooth experience - although LG’s 3GB of RAM is only matched by that of Sony’s Xperia Z2.

In terms of cameras the G3 is offering a 13-megapixel lens with optical image stabilizing, a dual-LED flash for low-light situation and an autofocus that uses an infrared laser beam to measure the distances. LG will be hoping that these extras will give it the edge over the competition, although Samsung still beats it in the numbers game with the S5's 15-megapixel camera.

In terms of build design it seems that LG is trying to match up to HTC’s One M8, whose curved aluminium body is unanimously praised as offering the best build quality and feel of all the Android devices. LG has opted for a finish that looks like metal but is actually just plastic – it certainly won’t beat the One M8, but it could offer pause for thought when matched against the S5.

In terms of battery life and LG’s customized Android experience we’ll have to wait on reviewers’ verdicts to see how the G3 stacks up, but judging from the launch alone LG has built an impressive flagship smartphone that might well draw some fans away from other devices.