LG announced it’s flagship phone the G2 in August 2013 to compete the likes of Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and the Xperia phones. LG G2 is now available for purchase in most of the international markets and one of the few smartphones that comes with the Snapdragon 800 processor which is currently rated as the best processor for a smartphone. The G2 comes with a 5.2 inch IPS + LDC Full HD screen and 2GB RAM along with 32GB on board storage.
LG has added quite a few innovations with respect to the design of G2. With the best hardware and a 13MP camera with OIS, will LG G2 be able to match up with the competition? Lets find out how it fares with respect to design, hardware, camera, performance and battery life in this detailed review.
Before reviewing the phone aspects, lets have a quick look at the specs.
Specifications of LG G2:
Color- Black / White
CPU Speed- 2.26GHz Quad core
CPU Type- Snapdragon 800
Display- 1920×1080 Full HD IPS Display, 5.2″
RAM- 2GB LPDDR3 800MHz
Storage – 16GB/32GB
Network- CDMA (1x / EVDO Rev.A)2G (GSM / EDGE)3G (HSPA+42Mbps / HSPA+21Mbps)LTE (SVLTE, CSFB, CA, VoLTE, RCS, MIMO)
Dimensions- 138.5 (L) x 70.9 (W) x 8.9 (D)
Battery- 3,000mAh / Embedded Li-Polymer
Camera – 13MP OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer), 8x Digital zoom, Sapphire Crystal Glass Lens, Multi-point AF (9 Points), Full HD 60fps Recording/Playback
Here is the video review of LG G2, if you want the text version, read on.
Design and Build Quality
When it comes to design aspect, there are few things which make LG’s G2 stand out. One of the main features with respect to design is the position of power and volume buttons on the phone. The marketing for the LG G2 mentions the positioning of its on/off button as one of the highlights as it has been placed at the back and this is first on a smartphone.
Rather than placing the buttons on the sides like typical smartphones, LG has placed them below the camera and they claim that placing it in the back wont mess up with the volume keys while using the phone.
Apart from this, another good aspect of G2 is that LG has kept the bezel around the screen very less. LG has managed to cram a 5.2-inch screen, which measured as 65mm wide, into a chassis that’s just 70.9mm wide. The bezel along the long edges really is almost non-existent, and is surprisingly narrow at the top and bottom too. The top portion of the screen houses the speakers, sensors and a notification light. There is no hardware buttons, instead they are on-screen. There isn’t anything on the sides except for the SIM tray. At the bottom, you will find the dual speakers, 3.5 mm jack and also the microUSB cable slot.
At the back, you have the 13MP camera with LED flash and the power button + volume keys.
Overall the build quality and fit and finish of the product is really good. Even though it is made of plastics, it gives a premium feel and way better than what is found in Galaxy S4.
The display on G2 is 5.2 inch IPS LCD. The display itself is superb, with a full-HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels giving it a pixel density of 424ppi. The IPS panel has great colour rendering and excellent viewing angles. You won’t be able to find any faults with the display on the LG G2, you will love using it.
The brightness levels are also really good and you can easily switch to auto mode most of the time.
The camera on LG G2 is a 13MP shooter with LED flash. LG has also added Optical Image Stabilizer to the camera along with 8x digital zoom. There is also Full HD 60fps recording and playback. The camera on G2 is an extremely capable unit and the shot produced by G2 is really good. LG has employed a similar UI like the one found in Samsung’s phones and there are quite a lot of modes available.
While the shots taken during daytime are really good, the low light shots are decent although there is good amount of noise. It did produce good results with low light photography and was better than the Note 3, although it didn’t beat the Lumia 1020.
Here is the camera review of LG G2:
Similar to the Note 3, the camera interface is extremely fast and you can shoot pictures quickly without any lag.
Here is the daylight camera sample from LG G2:
Here are some sample images taken using the LG G2 camera.
The LG G2 is powered by a top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with 2GB of RAM. Our review sample had 32GB of internal storage, but no MicroSD slot for adding extra capacity. With the powerful Snapdragon 800 processor, performance is never an issue on G2. Screen transitions, web page renders, video playback and other tasks done were all fast and smooth. We’ve no complaints about this handset’s speed and there was absolutely no lag anywhere during our tests.
G2 runs Android 4.2.2 and when you see Note 3 running Android 4.3, this is kind of disappointment. But since there is not much of a change with respect to 4.2.2 and 4.3, it is not felt. Similar to Samsung, LG also uses the custom UI and it feels smooth and comes with themes to customize the look and feel and icons.
There is also a search option to search the installed apps and widgets in the phone which is pretty handy.
The notification center is also has good implementation. You have almost all of useful features added to the notification section and it is also customizable. Apart from the quick access controls, you also have the brightness and phone volume controls in the notification section. There are quite a lot of options in the settings including gesture and one handed operations.
One good feature about G2 is the on-screen buttons which are customizable. You can change the keys and their arrangement from the settings. There is also an additional guest mode if you want to give the phone to someone else with a restricted access.
Similar to Note’3 multi window option, LG has a QSlide app. QSlide is an additional utility that sits in the notifications area and provides access to a range of pop-up apps that open on top of whatever you are doing at the time. These are resizable and include quite a lot of apps calculator and a note-taker, file manager, browser etc. You can only open two apps from the QSlide.
Here is a quick video demo of QSlide:
The LG’s version of Android has many good features, for example when you insert the headphones, you get 4 shortcuts which you can use with the headphones. There’s also an eye tracking system that pauses the video you are watching if you look away from the screen and keeps the screen awake while you’re looking at it.
LG has also added the double tap to wake up the screen feature so that people who are not getting used to the power button at the back can still easily use the device. The call quality and the speaker volume is pretty good on the device. Overall, the performance of LG G2 is really good and we don’t really find issues here.
The battery on LG G2 is a 3000 mAh non removable one and it is pretty good for a high end smartphone. The Note 3 comes with a 3200mAh battery, but the screen size of Note 3 is 5.7 inch while on LG G2 is only 5.2 inch. The 3000mAh battery performs really well on LG G2. If you are a power user, you should be easily able to get one day of battery power with G2 and if you are an average, you can pull out more than a day’s battery with the G2 which is good by smartphone standards and this could be one of the main reasons for you to choose G2 over other Android flagships.
Probably the only issue is that the battery is non-removable unlike the Note 3 or Samsung Galaxy S4. On the whole, you won’t have complaints with G2 on the battery aspect.
LG has done an excellent job with the G2, its design and build quality. The battery life on the phone will be a big plus for many potential buyers. It packs the best hardware you can find on a smartphone with an excellent display and a good camera. Although the power button placement is a bit odd and takes time getting used to, but shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. G2 comes in both 16GB and 32GB storage option with no SD card support which is probably the only feature the G2 really lacks.