LG G2 Review: Can Innovativeness Seduce You?

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LG G2 Review

G2 is LG’s bold answer to the Sony’s Xperia Z1 & Samsung’s Galaxy S4. LG G2 is one of the most anticipated phones of the year 2013 due to the innovation in the ergonomics of smartphones & forming the base of the Nexus 5 coming by the end of the year.

It belongs to the high-end class of smartphones with the price tag of more than ₹ 40k. It comes in 2 variants- 16GB available at ₹ 40,490 & 32GB available at ₹ 43,490. According to the price segment, you’ll expect the device to be buttery smooth, lightning fast, rich in features & gorgeous.

I spent 2 sleepless nights with the G2 & I fell in love with it. So what makes this device so hot? Read out the complete LG G2 Review.

Pros and Cons

  • Innovative Design
  • Great Display
  • Feature rich User Interface
  • Good Battery Backup

  • No expandable storage.
  • Not so attractive (plastic) back panel.

What does the Retail Package come with?

  1. The Handset.
  2. USB Cable, USB charger, Headphones.
  3. Warranty Card & Quick Start Guide

User Experience

i. Design: Impressive

Unlike Samsung, LG has put in some efforts to make this phone look better than the rest. The device lies between the LG Optimus G Pro & LG Optimus G (physically).

First Impression: Great Looks, Inventive, Cleverly Designed.

For a black (variant) device, the front will look like a complete screen except the LG logo at the bottom (below the screen). There is very thin bezel (2.65mm) left around the display. Even the space above the screen is sensibly utilised.

The sides are clean, except the SIM card slot. The top covers IR LED & a secondary mic whereas the bottom is filled up with dual-speakers, USB port & an audio jack.

The non-removable back panel gives some mixed expressions. The USP of the product is a set of hardware buttons below the camera on the back panel. These buttons are handy irrespective of your orientation. There is a nice bulge given to the power button stuffed between the volume rocker.

PLASTIC textured back panel with the hardware buttons

The disappointment is with the back panel’s quality. It reminded me of the same PLASTIC back that we saw in Galaxy S4 or the Note 3. It has angular textured lines; but I liked the texture in G Pro rather than G2.

G2 weighs around 143 grams having height of 5.45inches & width of 2.8inches. The rounded edge on the back side gives a very good grip to the phone.

ii. User Interface: Great Customizations

I always loved the LG Optimus UI. G2 is loaded with OptimusUI 3.0 with number of personalisation options. The overall UI is very smooth to operate.

OptimusUI 3.0 has great customization options.

You can easily customize the home screens & lock screen. It comes with 2 themes out of the box. You can select screen animation & transition effects too. There are 7 screen swipe effects.

You can even select the transition on screen time-out or screen lock out of 3 options. The lock screen can have weather animation according to live weather forecast.

When you swipe from bottom to up (at the capacitive buttons), you will find 3 shortcuts (which cannot be changed) – Google Search, Quick Memo & Voice Mate.

iii. Display: The Edge-to-Edge Beauty

The 5.2 inch Full HD IPS display will make you fall in love with the phone. It is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The 1920×1080 pixel display gives a pixel density of 423.64ppi. (Anything above 300ppi is satisfactory).

The edge-to-edge display  The screen shows vibrant colours on full brightness. The sharpness, colour reproductions, contrast, everything is perfect. Viewing angles are great.

iv. Typing: Wide Screen Helps

The 5.2 inch wide screen makes you feel comfortable while typing in portrait as well as landscape mode. You can also use the Path Input feature (Swipe).

Following the footsteps of Samsung, even LG gives an option to switch to One-handed Operation in typing mode & dial-pad. So don’t worry if you cannot reach the entire keyboard layout.

There are bunch of emoticons, but using them will convert the SMS to MMS mode.

v. Browsing: Screen Crispness added to taste

The default browser in G2 has multi-tab feature, but misses the incognito mode. Not to worry, as they have given Chrome browser given out of the box.

Web page scrolling is smooth, double-tap-zoom & pinch-to-zoom works great. Browser settings have some bunch of customisation options with text-size, text scaling, zoom on double-tap, etc.

The browser gets an interesting feature known as Capture Plus which can store entire web page in a “png” format. Considering the display size & screen crispness, overall browsing experience becomes perfect.

vi. Extra Features: Worth a Flagship

  1. knockON: Double tap on the screen to turn on or turn off the display.
  2. Clip Tray: Clip Tray has 20 trays where you can copy your text or images & then use it when needed.
  3. Capture Plus: Saves entire web page as an image.
  4. Slide Aside: Keeps upto 3 programs saved for multi-tasking by swiping 3 fingers to the left. You can retrieve those programs by swiping 3 fingers to the right.
  5. QSlide: You can open upto 2 additional windows on the main screen that you are working on. These could be easily accessed from the notification panel showing a list of apps in the QSlide tray. These windows could be re-sized & transparency could be adjusted according to your needs.
  6. Quick Memo: Used to take notes on any screen (even during calls).
  7. Audio Zoom: It amplifies the sound from a specific point that you have selected in video recording mode & de-emphasizes noise from other surroundings.
  8. Plug & Pop: Plug in the earphone or USB cable & it will pop out a list of related apps that could be used.This list can be customized too.
  9. Guest Mode: You can safeguard your personal information by allowing other people to access the guest mode. You can also select the list of apps which could be allowed to be used by the guest & create a different lock screen for the guest. It is very similar to the Kid’s Corner in Windows Phone 8.
  10. Quick Remote: You can turn your phone into remote control for your TV, set-top boxes, AC, etc. You can also create your own remote control from the point of designing to programming in very simple steps.
  11. Zoom to Track: Select a moving object from the video & it will zoom into the object for the entire clip.
  12. Tracking Zoom: In a video recording mode, zoom into a moving object & follow their actions in a frame.
  13. Answer Me: Decreases the ringtone volume & answers call when you lift the phone upto the ears.
  14. Camera Features: Stated in Camera Section.

Camera

camera_LG G2

Rear Camera

G2 sports a 12.98MP rear camera with Optical Image Stabilizer capturing images with a resolution of 4160×3120 pixels. It has 8x zoom & 9 point auto-focus. The front camera is 2.1MP taking 1920×1080 pixels shots.

Camera could be accessed by long pressing volume down key; something unusual at first.

The Auto-focus is disappointing.

The auto-focus on the device that we received took ages to focus when tapped. It was highly disappointing that even with the zero shutter lag, it took roughly 3 seconds to focus on the desired point. In low light it takes almost 5 seconds.

If not focussed, the camera will auto-focus on the centre point taking 3 more seconds to click the picture after you tap the ‘Click’ button. When compared with Optimus G Pro, this problem did not persist in G Pro. A software update might be able to solve this problem.

The 8x zoom is not useful.

Images produced by the 12.98MP camera are crisp, sharp & represents true colours. Pinch to zoom is available for the 8x zoom rear cam. But using upto 2x zoom is advisable as going further would lose the picture quality.

The 2.1MP front camera clicks images with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The images are satisfying in normal mode, but disappointing in Dual-Cam mode as discussed below.

front cam-LG G2

Front Camera

Camera Modes Available: Normal, Shot & Clear, HDR, Panorama, Burst, Beauty, Dual Cam, Time Catch, Intelligent Auto, Sports, Night, Cheese Shutter.

Out of these, some features were interesting-

  1. Shot & Clear will detect moving objects in a frame then allows users to delete or retain those moving objects. Check out the screenshots below.
  2. Dual Camera, as the name suggests, uses both the cameras in a single picture. Awkwardly, this mode snaps poor images with a resolution of 1280×720 by the rear cam & approximately 327×250 by the front cam. When clicked at the night time, the front cam does not at all retain colours.
  3. Intelligent Auto will automatically detect the mode of the scene (macro, night, etc.) & adjust the settings accordingly.
  4. Cheese Shutter shot will click picture when you say ‘CHEESE’.

Record 1080p videos at 60fps

The rear camera can record upto 1080p videos at both- 30fps & 60fps. The colour reproduction in the video mode was good. If you want the quality of the video to be good then do not dare to go above 2x zoom (of the 8x given).

 

Camera start-up time ~1 sec
Shutter Lag Zero Shutter Lag*

 *if & only iff focused

 

Camera Samples:

Zoom Test:

Panorama Mode:

Panorama_LG G2

Panorama_LG G2

HDR Mode:

Low-Light Camera Samples:

Other Modes:

Video Sample- Full HD @ 30fps:

Video Sample- Drive Test @ 30fps:

Multimedia: Good Features

loudspeakers_LG G2

Speakers

Audio:

G2 is loaded with dual speakers cleverly placed at the bottom (separated by the USB port). The audio levels are above average but not the best. When tried in mild traffic, the LG default ringtone was audible keeping the phone in the jeans pocket with speakers faced down.

The stock music player app (named ‘Music’) has a silver skin with all the expected features of shuffle, repeat, playlist, etc. It also has a bunch of equaliser options.

Plug & Pop feature adds to uniqueness.

Plug & pop feature will detect the earphones plugged into the audio jack. It will pop up a list of apps that uses the audio output. You can also add or remove apps from the list.

Video:

The video player has some uniqueness than the stock player seen in other phones. You can see a thumbnail on the seek-bar where you want to seek. Then you can tap on that thumbnail to seek to that position.

A better Video Player.

You can also view the video list while watching the video. It has tracking zoom feature which will track & zoom on an object that you have tapped. I felt this feature to be useless.

You can JUST view 4K videos

Surprisingly, unlike Note 3, G2 did play 4K video with some greenish & pinkish tint spread over the screen.

Gallery:

The Gallery has pinch to zoom feature in thumbnail view. The File manager has sorting options according to Audio, Video, Image or Document.

Notifications & Ringtone:

The notification LED on the top of the screen could also be customized according to your requirements. You cannot change the colour of the LED but you can check & uncheck which notifications you wish to see.

The default LG ringtone is loud & clear but you’ll have to keep the vibrations on if you don’t want to miss calls when in traffic or noisy surroundings. You can also select the type of vibration & its intensity.

Hardware Performance: “All I Ever Wanted”

G2 is packed with the latest processor available from the chips-manufacturing giant- Qualcomm. It has Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 chipset sporting a Krait 400 processor clocked at 2.26GHz. Also the Adreno 330 GPU & the 2GB LPDDR3 RAM will satisfy all your gaming needs.

The best you would expect.

The smartphone will not at all disappoint you in terms of performance. My 2 days encounter with the phone experienced no lags or delays at all. I would advice you to buy this phone blindly. It wins your heart.

Internal Storage: 368MB used; 10GB free (for 16GB variant).

RAM: 1GB used; 813MB free.

Restart Time: 33.91secs

Benchmark Score
AnTuTu 31342
Quadrant Standard 20176
Nenamark 2 59.8 fps
Sunspider 0.91 731.0 ms
3D Mark 16339
Geekbench 3 Single: 860; Multi: 2161

Pre-installed Apps & Games

Useful Apps: LG Backup, Memo, Notebook, Quick Remote, Tasks, Video Editor, Dictionary, Polaris Viewer 5, Quick Translator.

Extra Apps: Chrome, Life Square, Play Books, Play Movies, SmartWorld.

Games: No pre-installed games

dictionary_LG G2

dictionary_LG G2

Connectivity options

What it has-

  • 2G, 3G
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi with hotspot & direct
  • GPS
  • USB 2.0 (MHL with OTG)
  • FM Radio
  • NFC

What it misses-

  • 4G
  • Dedicated HDMI port

Battery:

G2 is packed with a non-removable 3000mAh SiO+ battery with some special designs in the battery house. The battery is step designed into 2590mAh & 410mAh to fill up the unused space at the sloping edges on the sides of the back panel.

It also has a GRAM (Graphic RAM) chipset which, the manufacturer claims, will save battery life with 20% less power consumption.

battery saver_LG G2

battery saver_LG G2

Results of the tests performed-

1.       Game Play:

[Conditions- No Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, Bluetooth. Full Brightness & Full Volume.]

Temple Run Oz- Battery Drained by 5% in 16 minutes of Game play. (Back Panel Heated)

Asphalt Motoz- Battery Drained by 5% in 10 minutes of Game play. (Back Panel Heated)

Other Racing Games- Battery Drained by 3% in 10 minutes of Game play. (Back Panel Heated)

2.       Browsing: (using Android browser)

[Conditions- No 2G, 3G, Bluetooth. Wi-Fi on, Full Brightness.]

Continuous Browsing- Battery Drained by 9% in 20 minutes. (Back Panel becomes very Hot)

3.       Video Play:

[Conditions- No Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, Bluetooth. 720p movie in full screen view at full brightness, full volume.]

Battery Percentage

Time

Result

100%

7:49

Start

99%

8:30

*1% in 40:28 minutes

98%

8:35

1% in 5:01 minutes

97%

8:41

1% in 5:35 minutes

96%

8:47

1% in 5:28 minutes

*Note: I started the movie just after the battery was fully charged; so it starts from 100% & takes long to drop to 99%. After 99% the behaviour is normal.

4. Charging Speed: We couldn’t check the charging speed using LG’s charger (as the charger was not given to us). The following tests were performed using Galaxy S3’s travel adapter.

[Conditions- No Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, Bluetooth. Display off & phone locked.]

Battery Percentage

Time

Result

40%

3:40

Start

46%

3:50

6% in 10min

52%

4:00

6% in 10min

59%

4:10

7% in 10min

79%

4:40

20% in 30min

Note: Charging via USB port of a pc will be very slow. (18% in 1 hour)

hardware slots_LG G2

SIM Card Slot

Final Verdict

Buy Innovativeness

I have written some alternatives below this line, but please don’t read that, go for G2.

Alternatives– Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z1, HTC One.

  • A Power User
  • A Music Lover
  • A Gaming Freak
  • Looking for good Battery backup
  • Interested in buying something NEW. 😉

  • Looking for a device with expandable storage.
  • Allergic to heated phones 😉




LG G2 Specifications:

Read this before proceeding to Specifications- Why we don’t trust specifications?

Hardware

LG G2

Chipset Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800
Processor (CPU) 2.26GHz Quad-core Krait 400
GPU Adreno 330
RAM 2GB RAM (LPDDR3, 800MHz)
Display Type IPS Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Size & Resolution 5.2” Full HD (1920×1080)
Primary Camera 12.98MP OIS, multi-AF, LED Flash, 8x Zoom, 4160x3120pixels, records 1080p @60fps
Secondary Camera 2.1MP (1920x1080pixels)
OS Android 4.2.2 (JellyBean)
Battery 3000mAh SiO+ battery
Memory 16GB or 32GB (no SD card slot)
USB Yes (v2.0) with OTG
EDGE Yes
HSPA+ Yes
Wi-Fi Yes (with Wi-Fi Direct & hotspot)
Bluetooth Yes (v4.0)
GPS Yes
Dimensions 138.5×70.9×8.9mm (Height: 5.45 inches)
Weight 143g
Dual SIM No
Colors Black, White
Online Price 16GB– Rs. 40,490 32GB– Rs. 43,490

Let us know about your opinions & experiences with the phone in the comments below.

For buying LG phones in Pune:

Contact Sameer Navale @(+91)9767553510 [SSE at LG Mobile]

Device sponsored by Cell AC

Contact them at the below mentioned number/address and tell them you found them through MobileJury to get the best deals. Ph. 020-65207097 Add: Shop No 6 & 7, Opp. IDBI Bank, F.C. Road, Shivajinagar. Pune - 411004

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