LG G2 review: Beautiful monster

GSMArena team, 07 September 2013.

Tags: LG, Android

Introduction

While other companies were bracing for war at the IFA 2013 expo and lining up their latest phablets, LG was counting down to the G2 launch. The Koreans did a few cool tricks to promote the beast, like shooting the Earth from the stratosphere, but the G2 is an attention grabber even without the expensive PR.

LG G2 is powered by the best mobile chipset available, it has a beautiful big screen with almost no bezel to speak of, and it even runs the latest Android version. But that's not what the LG G2 is going to be known for. No, the G2 will be remembered as one of the few devices to bring true hardware innovation for the first time in many years. While most makers just keep on pushing the number of CPU cores or go overboard with screen size, LG takes a fresh approach to how you interact with a big-screen phone in the most natural way.

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LG G2 official pictures

With high-end smartphones going bigger by the day, the hardware design is struggling to keep up and slowly turning into a disadvantage. The lock key at the top of the HTC One is nearly impossible to reach, volume rockers keep switching sides and places until the moment you start guessing instead of knowing what you are clicking on? And this is just the beginning! How about those lockscreens with unlocking routines, which are getting increasingly weirder?

We guess we didn't realize how things could've been different until we actually get to see them from a fresh perspective. The LG G2 revolutionizes the Power/Lock key by putting it on the back of the device at the direct disposal of your index finger. You can unlock the screen with just a double tap too. No more finger stretching, using the other hand or doing some magical air gestures.

Now that we are done enjoying the new way of making things happen, we should also say a few words about the spectacular hardware the LG G2 is running on. The smartphone uses a brilliant 5.2" IPS+ display with great colors, contrast, viewing angles and very low reflectiveness. The G2 has the most powerful chipset on the market too - the Snapdragon 800 with a quad-core 2.3GHz Krait 400 processor, Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. Finally, there is the 13MP camera with optical image stabilizations and full HD videos shot in 60 fps. And these are merely the most obvious things! Here comes the complete list of features.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with HSPA; Penta-band LTE cat4
  • 5.2" 16M-color 1080p True HD IPS Plus FullHD capacitive touchscreen
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 2 display protection
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean; LG Optimus UI
  • Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU, 2 GB RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset
  • 13 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, geotagging, Intelligent Auto, optical image stabilization, Time catch shot, smart shutter and VR panoramas
  • 1080p video recording @ 60fps with continuous autofocus and stereo sound; HDR mode, Dual recording, optical image stabilization
  • 2.1 MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • 32GB of built-in storage, 24GB user-available
  • microUSB port, USB host support, USB on-the-go, SlimPort TV-out
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Voice commands
  • Multi-tasking with mini-apps and optional transparency (QSlide)
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Non-replaceable 3000mAh Li-Po battery
  • IR emitter for remote control of home appliances
  • Quick Window cases available at launch

Main disadvantages

  • The hardware controls at the back take some time getting used to
  • Below average loudspeaker performance
  • No microSD slot
  • Non-replaceable battery

Wow, what a long list of features! And look at those few alleged flaws - we are already quite used to seeing droids launching without an additional memory slot and with the battery sealed in. Somehow, the manufacturers managed to convince us - users - that we don't actually need to worry about replacing the battery. And while that may be ok for some, the 24GB of inbuilt storage is likely to run out at one point on a device that records 1080p videos at 60 fps.

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LG G2 live pictures

It remains to be seen whether the performance of the phone in the other departments will make up for that deficiency. Without further ado we drop all introductions and continue with unboxing the LG G2.

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Reviews > LG G2 review: Beautiful monster