For those of you who missed the live webcast, LG announced it’s new flagship phone, the LG G2 today at New York. The major tagline for this phone was – ‘ Learning from You’. LG is looking to re-design the smartphone to cater to the user’s needs, rather than us adapting to clunky devices. So, after much market and usage study, LG has packed a core set of features, which it unveiled today.
First, a cursory overview of the specs before drilling down. The LG G2 will be the first phone to pack the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. It provides upto 2.3 GHz per core of performance, and has around 2 GB of RAM, which is great. The phone has a 5.2-inch screen, again based on market research, about 2.7-inches wide. It will be powered by Android 4.2.2, and is very likely to have LG’s custom Android skin on top.
Buttons and Battery
In keeping with the ‘Learning from You’ tag, LG conducted research, which revealed that most users support the phone with their index finger on the back-side. The LG G2 now has the volume buttons and the power button on the back, just underneath the camera sensor. This is a simple, yet brilliant idea and basically removes all buttons from the device. Since there is no more need for buttons on the sides, the edges are now tapered with the bezel at a stunning 2.65mm. The only hardware button remaining is the back-button.
Given that the volume and power buttons are now at the back, it gives room for new design perspective, but also introduces the problem of battery. Packing hardware on the back means less room for hardware. The G2 engineers came up with a smart new idea for the battery, involving increasing density, and a step-design.
The result is a massive 3000 mAh battery packed into this phone, which is pretty amazing by any standard.
The new LG G2 will have a 5.2-inch Full HS IPS display. The width of the phone is about 2.7-inches, again a product of market research. LG has inculcated more neat ideas into the display, such as using a dual-connector based system for recognizing taps, different sub-pixel arrangements. Most interestingly, it now powers the screen using the Graphics RAM, which allegedly uses 26% less power as compared to the normal RAM that is used in mobiles. Faster phone, and better battery life are the main areas LG has worked on, and it looks like it has succeeded.
LG has put a 13 MP OIS stabilized camera on the G2. OIS is optical image stabilization, which is basically moving the lens in response to phone movement, so as to reduce the effect of shaky-hands on the image quality. They are one of the first OEM’s to put OIS on a 13 MP camera till now. This also means that the phone can handle longer exposure times, and hence better low-light performance. It also has a 2.1 MP front-facing camera for video calls.
If you recall, the volume and power buttons are right below the camera sensor. What’s to stop fingerprint smudges ? LG has put an Anti-Fingerprint Sapphire Lens to deal with just this problem. While it may or may not be the best camera-phone on the market, it certainly pushes the boundaries of the flagships.
Sound quality is not something we usually delve much into on phones. All sounds seem rich enough, and the small intricacies that differentiate good and great sound are almost lost on the ear. The LG G2 aims to improve the sound playback ability on the G2, and rather than sticking with the traditional CD-quality 16-bit 44.1 KHz sampled sound, it aims to please professional recorders, and the HiFi sound output.
So, the LG G2 is now capable of 24-bit 192 KHz sampled playback, full studio quality sound. This is staggering, and can capture minute details like breath intakes, and fingers on piano-keys ( to quote the webcast ), and is probably more than enough to please sound engineers.
UX – User Experience
The LG G2 packs quite a few innovative new UX features. Some of them are :
- Turn the screen on / off by tapping the screen twice. This removes the need to hold the power-button on the back, and makes access-time lower
- AnswerMe – Pick up the call by placing the phone to your ear. This is an attempt to get back to the old-phone style, where you can just pick up and talk. No more swiping or button tapping to pick up the call. Also, this will be useful for gloved-users, and one handed users. Plus, the power-off button can be set to and end, call, making calls so much easier.
- Plus & Pop – Open up a slide bar of headphone related apps, like Music player, video player on connecting the headset. The phone can now predict what you are going to do next, and phones are now getting smarter by the day.
- TextLink – This is a really cool feature, where the G2 scans your text message for times and places, and makes calender and map suggestions on request. So, you can add calender items, and check your availability directly from the messaging app, reducing the need to toggle a few screens.
- SlideAside – Quickly switch between the 3 most recent applications.
- Guest Mode – Swipe a G n the screen to open up a kid-friendly guest mode, which has the apps you want it to, and lets you control usage.
The LG G2 packs a lot of new innovative features. So far, the phone looks sleek, has intuitive design and UX, packs a great screen and battery, and promises to be a top-notch flagship if delivered as promised. Many details are as of yet unknown, such as whether it has a microSDHC slot, removable battery, release date, international availability, and pricing, although LG has made it clear that it will make the device available in all major markets by October.