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LG G2: Review, Comparison & UK Release Date

grand master

 

 

LG announced their latest smartphone yesterday evening: the LG G2. Also known as the D802, the new smartphone packs a huge 5.2-inch display and a powerful 2.3GHz quad-core processor. Along with the radical re-design with slimmer bezels and back-mounted buttons, LG are hoping the G2 can repeat the success of the Nexus 4.

 

Hands-On Review from the G2 Launch Event

 

 

The G2: LG’s New Flagship Smartphone

 

LG G2.jpgA couple of years ago, LG was one of the world’s top smartphone manufacturers. Known for devices such as the LG Chocolate and the LG Prada, LG competed head-to-head against fellow manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung.  In the years since, it’s fair to say that LG have fallen behind. Rival manufacturer Samsung, which is also based in South Korea, pulled ahead with flagship devices such as the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note II. Meanwhile, Apple has sold millions of smartphones including the iPhone 5.

 

Last year, LG released the Nexus 4 in conjunction with Google. The device was seen as a turning point for LG: it was incredibly well received and had estimated sales of 3 million. With the LG G2 (also known as the LG D802), LG are hoping to extend the success of last year’s Nexus 4. Their latest smartphone builds on the Nexus 4 in almost every possible way: it has a larger screen, a full HD display, new software features, a higher-resolution camera and a more powerful quad-core processor.

 

5.2-Inch Display & Full HD Resolution

 

The first thing you’ll notice about the LG G2 is its huge display. Continuing with the trend of ever-larger smartphones, the LG G2 packs a 5.2-inch display. This compares to the 4.7-inch display on the Nexus 4 and the HTC One and 5.0-inch display on the Galaxy S4 and Xperia Z.

 

The G2 is designed as a mainstream smartphone but the size of its display puts it firmly within phablet territory. The original Galaxy Note, which started the whole phablet trend, had a 5.3-inch display which is only a little larger than LG’s 5.2-inch display.

 

Despite the large display, LG have tried everything to keep the smartphone manageable in size. Even with a much larger screen, the LG G2 is barely larger than the Samsung Galaxy S4. To achieve a more portable form factor, LG have reduced the bezels to just 2.65mm in width. This means the display can take up more space on the front of the device: it practically spans from edge-to-edge. To achieve the slim bezels, LG uses “Dual Routing” technology. This makes use of two separate sensors to power the capacitive touchscreen.

 

Due to its slim bezels, the LG G2 is similar in size to most mainstream smartphones. It’s smaller than most other phablets.

Size Comparison.jpg
Size comparison of the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S4, the LG G2 and the Galaxy Note II. Although the LG G2 has a larger display, it’s similar in size to the Galaxy S4.

 

As with most other high-end smartphones, the LG G2 has a full HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The pixel density is 424 pixels per inch – this is beyond what Apple deems as “Retina display” quality. The display uses LCD technology with 3 subpixels making each individual pixel.


Back-Mounted Buttons

 

Form Factor.jpgAlmost every smartphone today has volume and power buttons placed around the sides of the device. With the G2, LG has departed from the normal philosophy. Instead of having side-mounted buttons, the volume and power buttons are located on the back of the device. They’re placed just below the rear-facing camera. It’s perhaps the most innovative and unique feature about the G2’s design.

 

The rationale for back-mounted buttons is the increasing size of today’s smartphones. According to LG, people with large smartphones often struggle to reach side-mounted buttons. Particularly when you’re trying to reach volume buttons during a phone call or when you’re trying to unlock your phone with just one hand, the awkward grip associated with reaching for a button can sometimes lead to your smartphone tumbling to the pavement. With back-mounted buttons, volume and power controls are more easily available meaning this is no longer a problem.

 

As a time-saving measure, LG have also built shortcuts into the volume control buttons. Long pressing on the volume down button will take you directly into the camera application. Meanwhile, long pressing on the volume up button will take you into “Quick Memo”.

 

Finally, LG has implemented a quick way to wake up your device. This is called KnockON. One problem with back-mounted buttons is that anyone leaving their phone on a table would need to pick up the device before reaching for the power button. With KnockON, tapping twice on your phone’s display will wake the device up. This means there is no need to pick up your phone.

 

Software Enhancements: Guest Mode, Slide Aside & Quick Apps

 

With the Galaxy S4, Samsung focussed on enhancing Android by adding new features to the TouchWiz user interface. LG seem to have repeated the same strategy and have introduced a whole range of new features on the G2. New features include:

 

  • Guest Mode.jpgGuest Mode. There are often privacy implications when lending your phone to somebody else. For instance, many people lend their smartphones to children in order for them to play games. You may also lend your smartphone to colleagues so they can make a phone call.

    One potential issue with lending your smartphone is that others can access your personal information. This includes text messages, e-mails and social networking profiles. There is also a risk of charges to your account (e.g. if they make in-app purchases through your Google Play account).

    With the G2, LG have tried to solve this problem by introducing a new feature called “Guest Mode”. Guest Mode sets up a restricted area within your phone. This is cordoned off from your personal information. You can access Guest Mode by configuring a separate unlock pattern or unlock PIN. It’s similar to the Kids’ Corner feature on Windows Phone 8.

    For other tips on sharing your smartphone with children, see our guide to internet safety & parental control software.

  • Slide Aside. The G2 has a new multitasking feature called Slide Aside. By using the new feature, you’re able to park up to 3 applications to the side of the screen. You can swipe applications off to the side using a 3-finger swipe. The applications can then be accessed quickly and more easily.

  • Quick Apps (QSlide). LG’s “Quick Apps” pop up and run in a floating window above your normal applications. This allows you to do things without leaving the current application (e.g. to take notes or to perform a calculation). Quick apps include a memo application, a calculator, a file manager, a web browser and a video player.

  • QuickRemote. As with the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, the LG G2 has a built-in infrared blaster. The QuickRemote application allows you to control other devices using nothing but your smartphone.

13 Megapixel Camera, Optical Image Stabilisation & Audio Zoom

 

Camera.jpgWith the G2, LG have packed a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. This comes with a LED flash and optical image stabilisation (OIS). Optical image stabilisation should give better low-light photography and smoother videos.

 

With OIS enabled, the G2 will detect shaking and other types of motion whilst you’re taking a photo. It then tries to compensate for this by moving the lens in the opposite direction. Because the lens is stabilised, a longer exposure time can be used without images becoming blurred. Take a look at our Lumia 920 review for more information on how OIS works.

 

The G2 is the fifth smartphone with optical image stabilisation. Optical image stabilisation can also be found on the Lumia 920, the Lumia 925, the Lumia 1020 and the HTC One. The Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 do not support OIS.

 

Like Samsung did with the Galaxy S4, LG have also introduced a range of new shooting modes on the G2’s camera. These include a “dual camera” mode where you can use the front-facing and rear-facing cameras at the same time.

 

For people who record videos using their smartphone, LG have introduced a clever new feature called “Audio Zoom”. Whilst recording a video, zooming in on one person will also cause the phone to focus on audio coming from that direction.

 

LG G2: Comparison to Galaxy S4 & iPhone 5

 

The LG G2 compares as follows to Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Apple’s iPhone 5:

 

 

LG G2
LG G2.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S4

 Galaxy S4.jpg

Apple iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Front.jpg 

Processor

2.3GHz quad-core

1.9GHz quad-core

1.3GHz dual-core

Display

5.2-inch TFT display

5.0-inch AMOLED (organic LED) display

4.0-inch TFT display

Screen Resolution

1920x1080 pixels

1920x1080 pixels

1136x640 pixels

Pixel Density

424 pixels per inch

441 pixels per inch

326 pixels per inch

Operating System

Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Apple iOS 6

RAM

2GB

2GB

1GB

Storage

16GB/32GB

16GB, 32GB or 64GB

16GB, 32GB or 64GB

MicroSD Expansion

Up to 64GB in some versions, TBC for UK

Up to 64GB

No

Cloud Storage

TBC

50GB (Dropbox)

5GB (Apple iCloud)

Camera

13 megapixels with LED flash & OIS

13 megapixels with LED flash

8 megapixels with LED flash

Video recording

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

Battery

3,000mAh (non-removable)

2,600mAh (removable, 17 hours talk time)

1,440mAh (non-removable, 8 hours talk time)

Weight

143g

130g

112g

NFC

Yes

Yes

No

Infrared

Yes

Yes

No

Text Input

On-Screen Keyboard

On-Screen Keyboard

On-Screen Keyboard

Approx. Price

TBC

£450

£529

SIM Card Size

Nano SIM

Micro SIM

Nano SIM

 

All three devices are compatible with giffgaff. You can benefit from some great savings when you buy your phone SIM-free and use a giffgaff goodybag. If you’re using a LG G2 or the iPhone 5, please remember to order a “Nano SIM” card.

 

LG G2: UK Release Date & Pricing

 

The LG G2 will roll out across the world over the next eight weeks. The first country to receive the G2 will be South Korea followed by the United States. A UK release is currently expected for October.

LG are yet to confirm the SIM-free price for the G2.

 

Your Thoughts…

 

End of Article.jpgLG’s latest smartphone, the G2, features a new design with slimmer bezels and back-mounted buttons. Because of the smaller bezels, the design can pack a phablet-sized screen into the form factor of a standard smartphone. The G2 also introduces new features such as Guest Mode, Slide Aside, Optical Image Stabilisation and Audio Zoom.

 

What did you make of the LG G2? Were you impressed by LG’s latest smartphone? Do you think they’ve done enough to take on the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S4? We’d love to hear your thoughts… please drop us a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Ken Lo writes about mobile technology and the mobile industry at Ken's Tech Tips.

13 Comments
consultant

Thanks

I do like large screen phones and this one looks really good

wonder what the price will be

maybe one for  giffgaff to sell Smiley Happy

newcomer

I feel that LG is  great options for smartpone users because of less expensive respective to other smartphone brands. But my first choice is unlocked blackberry and next is iphone. 

beginner

I would love this phone, it looks fantastic. But it all depends on price. So far I think I'm going to have to stick with my Nexus 4 for a while longer,it's doing it's job well anyway.

cim
phenomenon

Looks impressive - only about 2mm taller and wider than the Nexus 4. 

 

I'd prefer a more stock android personally but this looks like a very good spec indeed and a lot of nice little plus points e.g. image stabilisation, the rear buttons look very usable, the knock on screen and suggested longer than a day battery life.

 

Could indeed be one for gg to consider selling if the price is right.

 

kingpin
Really hope this is the base for the nexus 5. If it is, it will be an instant buy.
enigma

The LG G2 looks amazing! Thanks for the review/blog, love those tables with the side-to-side comparisons! Smiley Happy

looks really good!
pupil

Looks a good handset. Will be interesting to see what it retails for. +1 in that it could be just right for Giffgaff. 

head honcho
This is the point where smartphones overtake the specs of my pc!!
rookie

I was thinking exactly the same thing 'jw'.