LG G2 Review : An Impressive Android Phone Sprinkled with Innovation

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The LG G2 is the Korean company’s second-half flagship with lots of bells and whistles. At first glance the G2 might look like any other flagship phone that has been released in the second half of 2013 with faster internals, a big screen, and a decent camera. However, the device has a few tricks up its sleeve that make it stand out from the crowd.

Lg G2

Specs

  • 2.3GHz Snapdragon S800 processor
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 2GB RAM, 16/32GB of internal storage
  • 5.2-inch True HD-IPS+ LCD Display
  • Dual band Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Miracast
  • microUSB v2.0 – SlimPort, USB OTG
  • Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Compass, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, LTE (Cat4)
  • 13MP camera with OIS, 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery

Video Review:

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Build Quality

The G2, like any other LG phone in the recent past, is made up of plastic. The front of the handset is adored by the Gorilla Glass 2 and a LG logo at the bottom. What is stunning about the G2’s front is the absolute lack of bezel space, which when combined with the all black look of the front gives the handset a very futuristic look.

LG G2 Switched Off

The sides of the G2 are completely devoid of any physical buttons, except for the presence of a mini-SIM card slot on the right side. The Volume and the Power buttons are placed on the back, just below the camera while the 2.1MP front camera, notification LED and the earpiece are located at the top in the front of the device. There is also a small LED surrounding the G2’s power button, which blinks or glows when you receive an incoming call.

The 3.5mm audio jack and the speaker grille are located at the bottom of the G2 making sure the speakers don’t get muffed easily. There is also a typical faux-metal ring running around the edges of the device to give it a premium look.

LG says that placing the buttons at the back makes more sense ergonomically, because on such large devices, our index finger is always resting at the back. After a couple of days, I got used to the location of the physical keys and they did not pose any usability issues. Whether they actually make any sense is still debatable though.

The G2 has a non-removable back cover, which squeaks and creaks when pressed hard. It is also a major fingerprint magnet.

Overall, while the G2 looks very understated in a good way, LG should have laid more emphasis on the build quality to give it a more premium fit and finish.

Rating : 7.5/10

Display

The LG G2 sports a 5.2-inch Full HD (1080*1920) IPS display nearly putting it into the phablet category. Every time you switch on the G2’s display, you will be impressed with its brightness, size and the near-lack of bezel space. The viewing angles are also excellent, and the curved edges of the glass makes swiping across the screen a pleasant experience.

Even after using the G2 for nearly two weeks, I was amazed by the display’s size and the surrounding lack of bezel space. This is, undoubtedly, the highlight of the LG G2.

Lg G2

I was, however, not very pleased with the sunlight legibility of the G2’s screen. Even on full brightness and squinted eyes, I was hardly able to make out what was being displayed on the screen. The color reproduction of the screen is also not accurate, and it actually boosts the colour to make everything look punchy. While this will please the general consumer, it will be a big turn-off for the purists.

Rating : 9/10

Camera

The G2 is the first phone from LG to use a 13MP sensor with Optical Image Stabilization. The use of OIS means that the G2 should provide decent, if not stellar, low-light performance. Apart from OIS, the 13MP sensor on the G2 is largely similar to the one we saw in the Optimus G Pro, including the F/2.4 aperture size.

Below is a list of all the camera features that the LG G2 packs -:

  • Intelligent Auto
  • Audio Zoom
  • Beauty Shot
  • Time Catch Shot
  • Night mode
  • VR panorama (a.k.a Photosphere)
  • Dual camera shot
  • Cheese Shutter
  • Full HD video recording at 30 FPS or 60 FPS
  • Dual recording mode with 1080p@30FPS from back camera and 720p@30FPS from front camera
  • HDR video recording
  • Live effect videos at 480p
  • Tracking Zoom

Performance wise, the G2’s camera is a major step-up from all the previous offerings from the Korean company but still falls short from being the best. In proper lighting conditions, the handset can click some excellent pictures with plenty of details. However, LG goes way overboard with their processing algorithms, which might just ruin your images.

Below are some examples -:

Lg G 2 Camera Sample

Lg G 2 Camera Sample-1

(Notice the leaves in the above image. They look very smudgy and fake. Considering how good the lighting conditions were, I was expecting much more from the G2’s camera.

In night mode, the G2 is just a notch below the HTC One and the new iPhone 5S. Even though the G2 has OIS, it clicks two images in ‘Night’ mode with different exposure levels and then combines them into one. This is similar to Samsung’s Night mode implementation on the Galaxy S4 and the Note 2. The problem with this implementation is that the subject of your picture needs to be perfectly still, otherwise you will end up with a blurry mess. I will let the images below do the talking for themselves.

Lg G 2 Camera Sample-2

Lg G 2 Camera Sample-3

On the video recording front, the G2 does excellently, thanks largely to the Snapdragon S800. It is among the first Android handsets to record Full HD videos at 60FPS without skipping frames or using any other software gimmicks. The videos recorded had a decent amount of details, and were pretty satisfactory for a mobile phone camera.

Rating 8/10

Battery Life

The battery life of the G2 is another key strength of the device. The use of a beefy 3200mAh battery and the super-efficient Snapdragon S800 meant that the phone was easily able to last one day of heavy usage. I was easily able to get more than 4 hours of screen-on time over 18 hours from the G2, while being completely on 3G/Mobile data.

With Wi-Fi, I was getting a display time of around 5.5 hours over a span of 20 hours before the battery died. The charging time of the phone was decent as well, and it took slightly above 3 hours and 15 minutes for a full charge from 0 to 100%

Rating : 9/10

Software/Performance

The LG G2 runs on Android 4.2.2 out-of-the-box with LG’s own Optimus UI customization on top of it. The software remains largely the same as seen on the Optimus G Pro, with a few enhancements and changes. Need to link to the Optimus G Pro review here as a reference for software because of the similarities.

Lg G2 Notification

LG has, however, included quite a few unique features on the G2 including KnockOn and Slide Aside.

The KnockOn feature allows users to wake the device or put it to sleep by simply double tapping on the screen. The feature works very well in real life, but also has an unintended effect of accidentally waking up the device when held in hand without any cover. Numerous times, the display on the G2 would wake up while I was just holding the device in my palm.

Lg G2 Gestures

Another new feature that LG has included in the G2 is Slide Aside. With the new feature, the company aims to please the multi-taskers by easily allowing them to switch between multiple apps using a three finger swipe across the screen. The problem here is that the gesture is incredibly tough to perform on such a small screen without triggering any other action in the app currently running on the screen.

Performance wise, the G2 simply flies even though it has a lot of unwanted extras and bloat pre-installed. The Snapdragon 800 chip inside the G2 makes sure that the device never lags or even stutters for a second, even under heavy load. Lag had been one of my major complaints with the Optimus G Pro, and it is nice to see LG working on that front by either throwing more horsepower or improving their UI to eliminate the lag.

There are a lot of other software features on the G2 like Q-Translate, Voice Mate etc. The less said about these features, the better, since they are almost always eclipsed in feature and performance by similar offerings from Google.

There are a lot of poor UI/UX decisions on the G2’s software front including a notification bar that is nearly 70% occupied right out-of-the box and a Settings menu that has its own search bar! LG has also left no stone unturned to copy nearly all the gimmicky features that Samsung has included in its Galaxy devices.

A really useful addition from LG in the Optimus UI is the Guest mode. Leveraging Android 4.2’s multi-user feature, the G2 creates a guest account as soon as the user enters a secret unlock pattern. In this mode, all the user data and installed apps are hidden from prying eyes.

Below is a small list of features that LG has copied from Samsung on their Optimus UI -:

  • Smart Play/Pause
  • Direct Call
  • Quick Glance
  • Quick view Cover with Quick glance feature
  • Smart Alert

The weakest point of the G2 is its Optimus UI. The poor UI/UX and LG’s dubious software update record can be a major deal breaker for potential G2 customers.

Rating: 6/10

Gaming:

Thanks to the upgraded hardware, playing games is just a bliss on G2. I played a couple of games like Asphalt 8 and there was no lag, no hiccups and controls where responding wait to fast. What you will enjoy even more on G2 while gaming is the audio. The speakers just do an impressive job and the audio is just right to make sure you enjoy the gaming even more.

Lg G2 Gaming
Rating : 9/10

Note: The above details was added by Ashish

Conclusion

The LG G2 is a remarkable effort from the Korean company. The display, camera, and the battery life are a major step up from all its previous offerings, and even give the competition a run for its money. The only thing that LG needs to improve now is the UI/UX of their Optimus UI and its software update schedule. It has been nearly six months since its previous flagship, the Optimus G Pro, went on sale but the company has not yet updated it to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

The 16GB LG G2 is selling for around Rs. 38,000 at most of the major online retailers. However, the phone can be easily had for at least Rs. 34,000 using discount codes and other offers currently going on at most retailers. If you cannot find any such offer, wait for Diwali to arrive or the G2’s price to drop. Anything less than Rs. 35,000 will make the LG G2 an irresistible deal.



Review Overview
  • Build Quality7.5
  • Display9
  • Camera8
  • Battery Life9
  • Software / Performance6
  • Gaming & Music9
  • Valeu for Money8
Total Score8.1

An impressive hardware by LG and now they are stepping up their game both by innovating and better hardware configuration for premium devices.

Rajesh Pandey

I am all about Android You can find Rajesh on , and .

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