With Samsung touching new heights with all the S4’s and Note 3’s, it’s really hard to create a flagship android device that actually stands out. LG has tried to make a mark by disobeying an established design rule and opting for something new, something more useful. Yes, LG G2’s X factor, the back omni-button, is what’s really different apart from pumped up specs.
I haven’t really been intrigued by LG as a android device manufacturer but with their recent releases, Optimus 4X HD, Optimus G, things have started to change. Let’s cut to the chase, see what LG G2 has to offer and get started with LG G2 Review.
Design – It Matters, A Lot
The most interesting, innovative and probably annoying (for some) aspect of the LG G2’s design is the daring re-positioning of the usual Volume rocket and power button at the back panel. There has been a paradigm shift with LG ditching the long established design language for something more useful. Apart from that relocating the buttons also give the device a singular look and a higher degree of finish on the sidelines. From a purely design perspective, I, for one, like it!
Keeping aside the design, in terms of usability, it took me a couple of weeks to get acquainted to the new positioning. On a number of occasions I pressed the volume up button rather than down and vice versa. Plus there has always been the tendency to reach out the sidelines for turning on the screen. But soon after you have adjusted to the unusual positioning, it actually becomes really comfortable to use.
Onto the more noticeable features, the front of the LG G2 consists of a single piece of toughened glass protecting the 5.2″ IPS panel. The uniformity complimented by edge-to-edge display, absence of hardware buttons looks classy and neat. The back of G2 is rather disappointing, made of smooth plastic with noticeable diagonal highlights, it fails to instill a sense of holding a ‘premium’ device and not to forget the finger print magnet it is.
Another thing that irks me is vulnerability of rear camera glass. Because the buttons are placed just below it, I do feel that there will be unwarranted contact with the camera glass and thus greater possibility of attracting dirt, finger prints, scratches.
Display – HD IPS Does The Job
LG G2 sports a 5.2″ inch True HD IPS+ TFT LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (effectively 424 ppi pixel density). In plain simple terms it means you’ll get a crisp, bright, vibrant and color-accurate display with no color over-saturation (Samsung haters would love this ;)).
Another aspect of display is the True-HD IPS+ technology which delivers impressive viewing angles when viewing the display at angles other than the normal. The screen also features a polarization layer which is supposed to increase visibility in direct sunlight. Though I don’t really have an understanding of the technology behind it but it does what it is supposed to do and the same was evident whilst using it outdoors.
The device features on-screen buttons rather than any physical buttons for home, menu and back. Now this does give it a more cleaner look on the front but it also means that the effective screen size is reduced to 4.9″ inches (with buttons occupying roughly 0.2″ inch).
Software – Borrowed Style
LG G2 comes loaded with Android 4.2.2 duly customized by LG. Barring a few notifications, settings here and there, pretty much every aspect of the Android OS has been tweaked. A lot has been added to enhance the user experience and multi-tasking abilities of device. I’ll be discussing some of the more important ones. If you are more of a “know-by-use” sort of person then feel free to skip to next section.
QSlide is LG’s name for windowed applications. Selecting one (total of 9 available) of the listed QSlide apps from the notification panel places a small window atop the current application you are working on. Thus allowing you to quickly use it and close it without needing app switching.
For using this you need to slide three fingers across the screen to save the current state of an application and by sliding three fingers again across the screen, the saved application can be immediately restored. For me it is a gesture based Recent Apps switching mechanism eliminating the need to use on-screen button. Fancy inclusion.
This far more useful than QSlide and Slide Aside. Usually when you select text you only have the option to copy or paste, android’s basic functionality. LG has enhanced this and added the ability to use the selected text with a range of applications for example if you were to select an address, then Text Link will aptly suggest the Google Maps app. This is a great time saving feature and you’ll find yourself using it more often than not.
LG G2 has a built in IR sensor. Using it with QuickRemote you can set up a variety of remotes for different supported devices and others not present, QuickRemote is capable enough of “learning” new remotes as well. This is a nifty inclusion and works out of the box. A certain plus point for lazy bum couch potatoes. Indeed.
Other Samsung’ish Features
Amongst other not specific to LG, features are:
- Smart screen, Smart video wherein the display stays on for the time period camera detects your face, and pauses video when you look away.
- Guest Mode (sort of Knox) isolates the applications installed and allows access to selected apps. The is a handy feature if your device is accessed without your knowledge at work, home or college.
Performance – Strong Specifications
LG G2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with a 2.3 GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU, a 450 MHz Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM. Too many technical specifications? Yeah, I know. I don’t get this either.
The bottom line is while using the device for basic tasks, while application switching, transitioning between screens, viewing high-resolution images, loading videos, etc everything is blazing fast, happening instantaneously at the touch of a finger…!
For the more heavy users, LG G2 doesn’t disappoint either. It is a perfect device for gamers, with spacious 5.2″ inch display, 2 GB RAM, dedicated GPU, even the most resource intensive games such as GTA run without any hiccup. Everything is smooth as silk on LG G2. Period.
Camera – Woah!
G2 is loaded with a 13 MP rear shooter and a 2.1 MP front facing camera. Both these camera are capable of recording Full HD videos (1080p). The video shooting is remarkable. As for image capturing, In strong lighting (outdoor or indoor), G2 is capable of capturing marvelous images. Plus the intelligent inclusion of HDR mode lets you further enhance the quality of image, though it takes more time to process.
At night or under mediocre lightening conditions, the camera takes a hit. However in comparison to most of the smartphones night photography in LG G2 is reasonably good courtesy the presence of OIS (Exmor RS).
LG G2 doesn’t offer a microSD card slot. So you’ll be limited to internal storage (16 GB offers 10 GB usable storage and 32 GB offers 24 GB usable storage) and cloud storage. Without any thought, I’d recommend 32 GB variant especially for music lovers, budding photographers and for on the go video viewing.
G2 comes with a non-replaceable battery of 3000 mAh battery capacity. Under normal usage with 4 Gmail accounts in sync, Whatsapp, Viber, Skype running in background, casual web browsing, 30-40 minutes of video watching, some leisure music listening and screen brightness cranked up to 75%, the battery lasted for around and about 18 hours. In short impressive performance.
In sum, LG G2 in true sense deserves the tag of “flagship” device for LG. A great improvement over Optimus G. Though the plasticky back panel does give away the charm a bit but other significant improvements like relocation of Volume rocket, Power button at back, sharp HD IPS display with life like colors, brilliant camera, great hardware overall, G2 has made its mark in android market.