Review: LG G2 – The button location and display sets the phone apart

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Smartphones are an integral part of any work we do in today’s world. Right from checking and replying to emails to getting directors to taking gorgeous pictures, smartphones can do that. But every few months, a smartphone comes out with improved specifications from different hardware manufacturers and most of them run Android.

If you are looking out for a phone that has a killer spec, and if you’re making a checklist of high-end specifications in a phone, then your probability of ending up with LG’s G2 is so high. Right from customizable software to IF blaster to the most powerful processor, the G2 has it all. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S4, which is considered to be one of the most powerful Android smartphone, might have just lost its charm with the G2′s specifications. Today, let me tell you why the LG G2 kills off its competition, being a high-end powerhouse, and what the device still misses out on the software part.

Hardware

The first thing that would create the wow-factor, when you turn on the phone, is the display. LG has been making some exceptional displays on their mobile phones, and since LG wanted to get things right with G2, the company has put the best ever display the company can produce for the mass market in G2. The devices’ 5.2-inch 1080p IPS display is sharp, bright and crisp than their previous line-up of devices.

We compared the display with HTC One and the Galaxy S4, and we give the G2 a thumbs up. The display is probably the first feature that impressed us, besides the light weight character of the phone. While we’re not sure what LG has done at the backend, surprisingly, the auto-brightness feature works as expected. The device is able to give a really good visibility even under direct sunlight, as well as in complete darkness.

One of the biggest changes that the company is betting on, is the change in the position of volume rocker and the power/lock button. LG claims that their research revealed, that most of the smartphone users place their fingers right at the place where the G2′s hardware buttons are. The hardware buttons are placed right below the camera at the back of the device, leaving the phone’s sides neat and clean.

lg g2 3 21 Review: LG G2   The button location and display sets the phone apart

We tried the reactions from some of our readers while reviewing this device, and we got a mixed response for the new button placement. While most of our readers found that the new button placement is comfortable, some users took a lot of time to get used to it. But we think that LG would stick onto this design statement for some more devices to come.

On the other hand, LG has worked on the software front to address the power button position change in the phone, by introducing the Knock – Knock feature. If you love the phone except for the button placement, then this feature is for you. All you have to do is just to tap twice on the devices’ screen and the device comes to life.

While this is one of the most biggest change in the LG G2, the other design elements are just the same and there’s no big change in that. For some reason, LG G2 feels like it has got a lot of influence from Google’s Nexus which LG manufacturers.

While using the phone, the grip is what mattered the most. The device was little slippery and I had to carefully hold the device when using it in one hand. If the device had a matte finish at the back, the users would have felt a little safe while holding the device.

There’s more to the device other than the design elements of the device. LG is powering the G2 with a 3,000 mAh batter which is probably the best battery equipped in a smartphone. Sporting this kind of a battery in a device is definitely worth it. The device gives you some extra hours of usage when compared to other smartphones in that range.

Software

By this time, looking at all the devices that LG has come up with, there’s a really good improvement in the software the company is cooking in its new range of devices. The LG UI 3.0 is good, but for some reason, we think that the device has got a lot more stock apps than before.

The best part which is clearly visible in the new software inside the G2 is the optimization LG has made to the software to take advantage of every single feature that comes with the device. Right from the camera to the graphic processor, LG has clearly optimized the OS to be crisp and sharper than before.

While the overall software in the OS is good, there’s something which has to be told to you before you go ahead with buying the device. The notification drawer is probably the most used part of a smartphone and LG has done something which requires a lot of customization to do before you make the notification drawer usable. Considered to be one of the best feature in Android, LG has put a lot of control than regularly required into the Notification Drawer.

Right from turning on the Wi-Fi to opening LG’s branded apps like QSlide or Quick Note, everything is visible in the Notification Drawer, covering up the first half of the screen. So if you are a person who get a lot of notification, then you might be able to take advantage of the second half of notification drawer, instead of the entire screen. This was a huge disadvantage for me initially. But thanks to our Contributing Author for helping me out clean off the notification drawer.

Multi tasking is yet another feature that a lot of Android users have to use. And with the LG G2′s LG UI, the multi-tasking just got better. If you have placed the phone on a flat surface, then you’ll be able to do a three-finger swipe to access the Slide Aside feature, which will let you put apps to run in the background, saving some memory.

Now, here’s another feature that LG has packed into G2. Voice Mate, LG’s answer to S Voice and Siri is now a part of G2. While the device also has Google Now built into it with Android 4.2, Voice Mate might just fall short of its functionality with users.

Performance

Right from the beginning of the review, there was one thing which I have been stressing about. That’s the specs the G2 has in it. As you know, G2 has got one of the most powerful specification ever on a smartphone that’s coming out from a large smartphone manufacturer like LG.

 

The Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 900 quad-core processor is the king here. The processor screams with heavy duty use like gaming and other processor intensive tasks. One of the biggest change you can feel while using the device is the smooth scrolling. Thanks to improvements to the processor and optimization to the entire OS. All through the testing process, I did not find any lag issues with the G2, which is pretty huge for an Android device.

While the processor screams and the device does not have any performance lag, there’s one more thing which comes into consideration here. And that’s the battery life. G2 was able to give me 8 hours and 48 minutes of battery life easily under heavy usage. The 3,000 mAh batter is really a worth addition to the device. Until I started using G2, I have always has this perspective that they suck so much battery, but the G2 proved me wrong.

Camera

This is one of the best part of the LG G2. The devices’ camera is brilliant and I think the company is finally back in the game with the G2′s camera. The 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization is worth the replacement for a separate camera during vacation.

LG has also put a sapphire crystal glass lens which is scratch-resistant and is capable of shooting 1080p videos with 60 fps. The company has taken complete advantage of the new 60 fps camera and has packed a lot of features which some users might use regularly.

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While we have already seen some of the features that the G2 has in other competitive phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, its’ worth noting that these feature might excite some users using the phone. The low-light shots are really good, and overall, we give a thumbs up for the camera on G2.

Bottomline

To wrap this review off, LG G2 is the best in the market when it comes to the specifications. The device does not have any lag, which is one of the reason why I love the G2. If you’re looking for a high-end Android device that will not have any lag, and sports a really good camera, the G2 would be the phone we would recommend.

If LG brings an expandable memory slot to G2, it would have a place for itself in the market. Besides these, the G2 is a perfect companion if you are a heavy Android user.

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