Amongst all the flagship devices released this quarter, LG G2 has had been watched with great respect by critics. LG has done some noteworthy stuff with this device. They’ve dropped the Optimus branding for their Android smartphones and they have started using nothing but stellar hardware internals. We all know LG can make great hardware. Yet, very few LG smartphones make it to being labelled with ‘Must Buy’ or ‘Expert Choice’ tags. LG has done a great job with the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5, but where it ends up being below par is the software. Let’s check if LG G2 suffers from the same fate or has LG finally figured out to design good software.
Design & Build Quality
Both the Korean brands, LG and Samsung are still finding it hard to leave plastic material behind when designing even their flagship smartphones. The LG G2 is completely made up of plastic and uses some kind of pattern printed at the back. Although, all is not uninspiring. LG has done a really commendable job in making the phone as compact as possible even with its really large 5.2 inch screen. LG has managed to do this by slimming down the bezels, unlike Sony and HTC whose devices feel really large and awkward to hold for their screen size. The LG G2 has rounded corners and slim sides, further improving the aesthetics. It could have been even better if LG G2 had matt or rubberised finish but it doesn’t. The body material feels slippery. Also, in spite of being equipped with a large 3300 mAh battery, it is just a millimetre thicker in comparison to Nexus 5 which has a 2300 mAh battery.
The front features a large touchscreen protected by Gorilla Glass variant, along with earpiece, front-facing camera, ambient light-sensor, and proximity sensor. Weirdly, there are no buttons on the sides. The lock/power button and volume rockers are placed at the back, yes, at the back of the device. So you have to use your index finger to use them. LG advertised that it is easier to use your index finger to unlock the device when compared to your thumb, but we do not agree. Agreed, that it is easy to press the power button at the back when you’ve placed it upside down but we were forced to do so because its placement at the back and we didn’t find it natural. LG has also included a notification LED light that encircles the power button at the back. Thanks to LG for including ‘Tap To Lock/Unlock’ feature which we used heavily to lock/unlock the device instead of using the button at the back. The back isn’t removable, unlike Samsung smartphones, which they use as an excuse for using plastic material.
The LG G2 features a large 5.2 inch True IPS full HD display with multitouch capacitive panel and Gorilla Glass 2 protection. The display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a pixel density of 424 ppi which makes it extremely suitable to browsing long web pages. The screen is amazingly bright and has very wide viewing angles. The surface of the screen is very smooth to touch and you can feel it while swiping over it. The display is closest to the surface in any smartphone right now. We can confidently say that it is one of the best screens we’ve seen till date, which might change in a couple of months though.
Camera & Multimedia Performance
The LG G2 has a 13MP camera with autofocus, OIS and LED flash. It uses a 1/3.06 inch sensor size with each pixel measuring a size of 1.12µm. So, it is competing with Sony Xperia Z1 and Nokia Lumia 1020 in terms of image quality. Both of them come with really large sensors. The Nokia Lumia 1020 is undoubtedly the best smartphone camera right now and the Sony Xperia Z1 comes dangerously close to it in spite of missing the OIS. We were confused if OIS presence is more important than having a large sensor or vice versa but after detailed comparison, there was no doubt in our mind that having a large sensor is of highest priority.The camera works great outdoors. There is a lot of delay in the viewfinder as the camera scan rate is very slow, especially in the low light. We found that the autofocus is slow but the images came out good even in low light, although not as good as the Lumia 1020 or Xperia Z1. It can record videos in full HD at 60 FPS which makes the videos look really smooth and the presence of OIS only helps it further. There’s even stereo audio capture while recording the videos. It even has ability to shoot HDR images and videos. While HDR images help a lot in getting great shots in tricky lighting conditions, the HDR videos are still more of a gimmick and users might not get the smoothest of videos when this mode is used. The power button also doubles up as a camera shutter key, which makes for a great usability factor while clicking self-portraits.
A great camera feature present in the LG G2 which is missed in a lot of reviews is manual focus. There’s an option in the camera focus settings that lets users manually control and on-screen slider which shifts the focus point as and when needed. This might be a great help and a joy to use for camera enthusiasts. There’s also Panorama and VR-Panorama for shooting ultra-wide images and they come out really good, although not a good as the ones from iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
The LG G2 is a great performer when it comes to multimedia playback. It comes with inbuilt music and video players that might not be lookers but they do their job very well as they can support a lot of commonly used file formats and even some uncompressed ones like FLAC. The Q-Slide video player can play videos over any other app, just like the floating video player and mini apps from Samsung and Sony flagship smartphones. The loudspeaker outputs clear audio but isn’t half as loud as stereo speakers used in the HTC One.
LG G2 Camera Samples
Performance & Call Quality
A 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor powers the LG G2. It features ARM v7I based Krait 400 CPU cores and Adreno 330 GPU. There is 2GB of LP-DDR3 RAM which makes it one of the fastest smartphones in the league of flagship devices launched this year. According to this comparison, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 stands as a joint topper with the Apple A7 as the fastest mobile processor chipset in the market today. It can multitask a heavy game and a multiple tabs of web browsing without a hitch. It can run all the currently available Android games at over 30FPS consistently. Let us just say that, no matter how processing heavy the task will be, LG G2 won’t falter at it. Call quality was excellent and reasonably loud.Software & UI
LG G2 comes with Android v4.2.2 JellyBean although its Nexus comes with Android v4.4 KitKat. LG has added in a lot of eye-candy to its UI such as multiple animations to the home screen, lock screen and custom designed UI elements. There’s a row of quick setting toggles in the notifications bar which can be customised but can’t be completely removed even if a user wants to. Launcher and home screens can be extensively customised, starting from wallpapers, icons to animations. Even with such powerful hardware, you can sometime feel a bit of lag while operating. There’s one scenario where launcher stops working and restarts, when you press the home button after using the camera. LG should start taking notes of UI design and optimisation from Sony and HTC.
Connectivity & Battery Life
The LG G2, similar to all the flagship devices is heavily loaded with all the wired and wireless connectivity features. It comes with HSDPA, dual-band Wi-Fi ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast, Bluetooth v4.0, DLNA, NFC, Micro USB v2.0 (SlimPort), USB OTG with USB Host and GLONASS A-GPS. Everything worked really great and without any flaw. Weirdly, it does not feature WiDi for screen mirroring which their range of TVs are compatible with.
A large 3300 mAh battery makes it a marathon runner in battery endurance. More than 24 hours of continuous calling, 10 hours of continuous video playback or 10 hours of continuous web browsing is possible. Unlike HTC One or Nexus 5, there is very little amount of battery drain while the LG G2 is in sleep mode.
LG G2 Quick Specs
|OS||Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean||Processor||Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400|
|Touchscreen||Capacitive touchscreen||Display Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels|
|Display||5.2" IPS-LCD||Primary Camera||13 MP|
|Dimensions||138.5 mm x 70.9 mm x 8.9 mm||Weight||143 g|
Buy LG G2 online
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