Review: The LG G2

g2-banner1Having a G2, felt like carrying Batman in my pocket.

Why do you purchase a smartphone? Is it for aesthetic purposes? Is it to watch videos while simultaneously surfing the web? Is it to take amazing photos without having to lug around a heavy DSLR camera? Well, it doesn’t matter anymore, since the LG G2 does all that, and way, way, more. To make a comparison, this G2 is the Batman of smartphones. While parading around in stylish black, it’s equipped with all the gadgets and power you could possibly need from a device that fits snugly in your pocket. It’s good with girls, too.

Design and Screen

DISPLAY Type True HD-IPS + LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.2 inches (~424 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2

LG played it pretty safe with this one. Taking some notes from Samsung’s book, the G2’s design is pretty similar to the S4, with the addition of a silver bezel lining the phone all the way around. Let’s face it, there isn’t much more you can do with a smartphone these days.

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The G2’s big, beautiful 5.2 inch 1920 x 1080 display, which gives us a 424 PPI density is definitely the winner in today’s smartphone market. One thing you may notice about the screen under daylight is the “grid” all the way around it. This is just a by-product of the LCD display and isn’t something to worry about. Once the phone is turned on, and you’re not in excessive direct sunlight, it completely disappears.

Lg The bottom edge of the phone has a 3.5mm headset jack, micro-USB port and a speaker and microphone.

The G2’s backside is the business end of the phone. LG decided to put the volume buttons and power button just underneath the camera module. The button design varies a little based on your carrier model, but they all do the same thing.

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LG says the reason the volume and power keys were placed on the back is because
“that’s where your finger naturally wants to rest when you’re talking on your phone”. While this may be true for people with larger hands, I found them to be slightly harder to reach at times. The camera’s position directly above also made it pretty easy to smudge the lens for the first few days. Then something happened, after the first week of use, muscle memory kicks in, and it’s like I’ve been using these my entire life. What sorcery is this, LG?

Hardware

On paper, the G2 is an absolute beast! Reaching numbers we didn’t expect from this generation of phones, it can easily be compared to the computing power you would get from a much larger, bulkier tablet.

OS Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800
CPU Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU Adreno 330
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black, White
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– SNS applications
– MP4/DviX/XviD/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– MP3/WAV/FLAC/eAAC+/AC3/WMA player
– Photo viewer/editor
– Document viewer
– Organizer
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input

The Snapdragon 800 is what really sends this device into orbit around the competition.

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The one thing I would have hoped that LG took advantage of was the maximum camera output of 21MP but instead settled for 13MP. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a a beautiful camera, but the potential was there.

The G2’s Adreno 330 allows for seamless transition through media. While watching YouTube videos and simultaneous gameplay may sound counterproductive to some, I found it quite useful when I needed some help for a tough level or similar situations. If gaming is something you intend to do plenty of on your phone, this is a chipset to die for.

BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery
Stand-by Up to 790 h (2G) / Up to 900 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 16 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 17 h 30 min (3G)

Battery life on the G2 is superb. I was able to keep the phone on for up to three days with minimal use. As for multitasking with maximum strain, it held out for a solid 16 hours before glorious death.

Here’s the comparison of the G2 to the Moto X and the Samsung S4.

lg-g2-spec-comparison1

Camera

The G2’s camera is absolutely spectacular. The software in place along with the powerful 13 Megapixel lens supported by the Snapdragon 800 will leave you wondering how the hell this quality is possible on anything other than a DSLR. At times, I even preferred this phone to my Nikon D3100 in terms of image quality.

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Gorgeous quality in almost any condition, with a high quality flash.

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The only thing that bugs me is the software that LG has wrapped the Android OS with. It isn’t ideal for a camera interface, but does provide some aesthetic value.

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Final Reaction

The LG G2 isn’t cheap. With a price tag of $500 ~ $600 for an unlocked version, it’ll run close to that of a 4S or an Iphone 5. While its competitors have pulled ahead in popularity, in all honestly, I would take the G2 any day of the week when given the choice. The G2 is powerful, slim, well designed, and provides functionality as well as unparalleled power from a mobile device in its category. With the exception of some visual software upgrades, it trumps the competition, gloriously.

Grade: A

Writer’s choice Phone of the Year: 2013

It’s a great choice for anyone who isn’t a huge fanboy of Samsung/Apple and wants a superphone in their pocket.

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.

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