LG G2 mini review: Big mini

GSMArena team, 25 April 2014.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: LG, Android

Introduction

With the new season well under way, the LG G2 mini is trying to have the last word in the compact class just like the original did last year at the high end. With the same design as the flagship (slim bezel, rear buttons and such) and the biggest screen among the minis, LG's compact smartphone is putting its best foot forward.

LG G2 Mini

But then, just like the flagship, the LG G2 mini is going after a certain competitor and not exactly keeping it a secret. The screen resolution, the chipset, the imaging skill are the same as the Galaxy S4 mini's. In other words, if anyone was hoping for something along the lines of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, they'll be disappointed.

LG G2 Mini LG G2 Mini LG G2 Mini
LG G2 mini official photos

No, the G2 mini isn't a compact powerhouse. It's a well-rounded package still, and one that even does a couple of things better than the flagship, in hope to find a place in the crowded place where minis have to deal with ex-flagships and aggressively priced mid-rangers.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with HSPA; Optional Penta-band LTE cat4
  • 4.7" 16M-color qHD (960 x 540) IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 2 display protection
  • Android OS v4.4.2 KitKat; LG Optimus UI
  • Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, 1 GB RAM, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset
  • 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, geotagging, smart shutter and VR panoramas
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps with mono sound; HDR mode
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera, 720p video recording
  • 8GB of built-in storage
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC (in the LTE version only)
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Voice commands
  • Multi-tasking with mini-apps and optional transparency (QSlide)
  • Knock Code unlocks the phone with a screen tap combination
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • User-replaceable 2440mAh Li-Ion battery
  • IR emitter for remote control of home appliances

Main disadvantages

  • Screen could've used some extra resolution at that size
  • Snapdragon 400 is blatantly midrange stuff
  • Below average loudspeaker performance
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Confusingly comes in different versions with different internal hardware

The qHD resolution is only just enough for the 4.7" diagonal, especially considering the competition will offer 720p screens in the same price range. The Snapdragon 400 chipset places the G2 mini squarely in the Android midrange - in fact, the quad-core variety (four Cortex-A7's at 1.2GHz) is not necessarily better than the dual Krait setup in the Galaxy S4 mini.

What's definitely a step in the right direction is the removable battery and the added microSD card slot - the phone could've been slimmer perhaps without them but we'd have the added flexibility any day over a couple of millimeters less around the waistline. The latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat and the matching edition of the Optimus skin are another point in favor, offering some features that are only available on the premium G2 and G Pro 2.

The LG G2 mini is quite compact for the screen size as well - and handling quite comfortably - the rear-mounted keys contributing handsomely.

LG G2 Mini LG G2 Mini LG G2 Mini
The LG G2 mini hanging around in our office

Follow us for a tour of the exterior to find out more about how the LG G2 mini feels and handles. The usual stops include the display and battery performance.

Next Page »

Pages: 1234567891011

 
Reviews > LG G2 mini review: Big mini