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LG G2 is the new Android heavyweight to beat: specs review

LG G2 is the new Android heavyweight to beat: specs review

Coming up with a truly outstanding high-end Android smartphone is a challenge, to say the least. Putting together the best components into a single package and slapping a shiny logo on the product just isn't enough anymore. Manufacturers have to think beyond specs and focus on creating new ways of perfecting the end-user experience as well. The freshly announced LG G2 is an Android smartphone that seemingly fits that description as it blends cutting-edge hardware with innovative features and user-friendly design traits. But at the end of the day, will the LG G2 be a win or a fail? Well, it sure has the potential to become a leader in its category, so allow us to walk you through all that makes this smartphone so awesome.

Design:

LG G2 is the new Android heavyweight to beat: specs review
At a glance, the LG G2 looks more or less like your typical, high-end Android smartphone, with a giant touchscreen occupying most of its front. No physical buttons take up any space as virtual on-screen ones are in use instead. 

Flipping the LG G2 around, however, reveals the handset’s unique trait, namely the positioning of its power and volume keys at the back of the device. To be more specific, they are positioned along the handset’s middle axis, in line with the opening for the main camera. This design choice has been made for several reasons. Firstly, reaching these keys should be easier no matter what hand the device is being held with, although whether that’s really the case may vary from one user to another. Secondly, the lack of physical keys on the G2’s side has helped with reducing the physical width of the device, which, together with the super-slim bezel surrounding its screen, makes grasping the smartphone easier despite its size.

The LG G2 - learning from you

The LG G2 - learning from you

Speaking of size, the LG G2 is 138.5 millimeters tall and 70.9 millimeters wide. That makes it about as large as a Samsung Galaxy S4 or a Sony Xperia Z, for example, and that’s a notable engineering feat since both these devices come with screens slightly smaller than the G2’s 5.2-inch panel. The thickness of LG’s newest flagship is a hair under 9 millimeters. That makes it a tad thicker than other top-of-the-line Androids, but hey, we’d gladly accept it as it is given the fact that a generous, 3000mAh battery is placed behind its back cover. 

In terms of looks, the LG G2 clearly won’t set any new standards in smartphone design. Its maker has chosen to stick with a tried and tested material, namely plastic, which (in general) is more durable over time than metal or glass, but doesn’t feel as premium to the touch.

The LG G2 will come in just two colors, and the selection couldn’t have been more conservative than this. Only a black and a white G2 variant will be launched, but on the bright side of things, its maker will be offering a selection of colorful QuickWindow cases. Colors include black, white, pink, purple, blue, mint, and yellow.

Display:

As rumored, the LG G2 sports a marvelous, 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels. Sure, we’ve seen panels with higher pixel densities, but nevertheless, a figure of 424 pixels per inch is clearly nothing to complain about. In fact, we’re sure that everything displayed on the G2’s panel will look sharp and detailed, especially since a standard RGB sub-pixel arrangement is in play. But that's not all that makes the G2's screen so special. Through the use of Graphic RAM, LG has managed to reduce its power consumption by an amazing 26% when displaying still frames and about 10% overall, thus increasing the battery's longevity even further. Add its respectable peak brightness output of 450 nits to the mix and you end up with what's likely to be one of the best smartphone screens around. Using the screen while wearing gloves – a must-have feature for high-end smartphones – is also an option. 

Processor and memory:

With its quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip ticking at 2.26GHz, the LG G2 is as fast as any top-of-the-line smartphone should be nowadays. In fact, it is definitely among the fastest smartphones to ever hit the benchmarks, leading us to believe that the G2 will excel in terms of real-life performance as well. Somewhat disappointingly, there are “only” 2GB of RAM packed under the hood instead of the rumored 3 gigs, but in reality, we’re sure that is going to be enough memory to provide a silky-smooth multitasking experience.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that an identical hardware configuration powers a number of other smartphones, some of which are already on the market. The list includes the upgraded Samsung Galaxy S4 variant, which launched in Korea recently, and the upcoming Sony Xperia Z Ultra. So in other words, there will be other high-end Androids out there offering just as much processing power once the LG G2 hits the shelves – LG’s flagship will be on the top of the Android foodchain, but it will be sharing the spot with other handsets.

The situation with the storage space available on the LG G2 is a tad unclear at the moment. What we know for sure is that both 16 and 32 gigabyte models are coming, but the presence of a microSD card slot isn't confirmed. Supposedly, the microSD card slot will be a feature present in versions of the device available only in specific markets. We'll update you as soon as we learn more on the matter. 


LG G2 is the new Android heavyweight to beat: specs review


Camera and audio:


LG has equipped its G2 smartphone with a 13MP main camera sensor and a 2MP front-facing snapper. But as well-informed consumers already know, the number of megapixels is just a variable in a greater equation. Simply put, other factors also affect image quality – factors like the presence of optical image stabilization, for example. Thankfully, LG has that advanced camera feature covered. The 13MP camera module does include OIS, which should result in a reduction of motion blur in photos caused by the shake of the user’s hand. Furthermore, the benefit of having optical stabilization should prove extremely valuable in low-light situations. That is because a stabilized frame is less likely to be affected by accidental motion blur even at slower shutter speeds. 

We cannot omit mentioning a detail that LG mentioned during the G2's introduction – the presence of a sapphire crystal glass lens over the camera module. It won't necessarily make photos prettier, but it is far more durable than ordinary glass and highly resistant to scratches. On top of that, the lens has been treated with a special coating that prevent fingerprints from sticking to it. And that's awesome since a smudgy lens can easily ruin that perfect shot. 

That the LG G2 can record high-definition video at 1080p shouldn't come as much of a surprise. It is a high-end smartphone after all. What's interesting, however, is that its 13MP camera can capture 1080p footage at 60 frames per second. That's twice the framerate other high-ends can achieve at this resolution, leading us to believe that videos captured with the G2 will look absolutely beautiful. Of course, we'll give its camera a thorough testing before drawing any final conclusions. 

Folks who value high-quality audio reproduction will be happy to know that the LG G2 stands above the competition in that respect, at least on paper. That’s because support for 24-bit digital audio files encoded at a 192kHz sampling rate has been added (FLAC and WAV formats are supported). In comparison, standard audio CDs – the kind of which you buy in a store – contain 16-bit, 44.1kHz audio tracks. So theoretically, the LG G2 can reproduce sound of much better quality compared to any other smartphone on the market. The tricky part, however, is that 24-bit, 192kHz audio is a bit trickier to find, not to mention that the files themselves occupy much more space compared to a standard MP3 file. Games, online radios, even the video that you stream on your phone, most of them contain audio that's comparable to CDs in terms of quality. But most importantly, the majority of users will most likely be unable to tell the difference between a CD-quality audio file and a 24-bit, 192kHz track, even while using the high-quality QuadBeat headphones that the LG G2 will come with out of the box in some markets. 


Software:

LG G2 is the new Android heavyweight to beat: specs review
We can spend hours sitting here, explaining to you in detail every single feature included in Android 4.2.2. (An update to Android 4.3 is to be released sooner than later, we assume.) But instead, we think it would be better to introduce you to the UI modifications that LG has implemented. These go beyond the traditional icon replacements, lock screen enhancements and screen transition animations. So here's what's new:

  • Answer Me – Simply put, an incoming phone is answered soon as the user lifts a ringing LG G2 up to their ear. It isn't totally unique of a feature, but it is sure nice having. Best of all, it is something that will likely be used on a daily basis. 
  • Plug & Pop – That's another useful feature that detects when the earphones or a USB cable are plugged in and then presents the user with a list of actions – it may offer to launch the music player, for example. Again, it is nothing groundbreaking, yet handy nonetheless. 
  • Text Link – If a text message contains a string of information you'd like to interact with, just mark it and this feature will handle the rest. It may offer you to save the data in a memo or perform a search about it on a map or on the internet. 
  • QuickRemote – Yup, the LG G2 can be used as a remote control thanks to it infrared beamer, which is pretty awesome. What's more is that it isn't limited to remotely controlling popular home entertainment devices. It can also learn from conventional remotes and be customized to operate multiple devices with flexible layouts and keys. No more searching for the right remote since all you'll need is the LG G2!
  • Slide Aside – That's how LG's take on multitasking is called. Think of it as a way of saving an app in its current state for later use. That is done by swiping to the left on the screen using three fingers. A swipe to the right brings the app back. Users who are tired of digging through the list of recently launched apps only to find the one they need will surely appreciate this feature.
  • Guest Mode – A feature that parents must definitely take note of since they are the ones who will be using this the most. Basically, it allows a guest account of sorts to be configured, with access to only specific applications and limited functionality. Individual unlock patterns can be set so that the Guest mode is activated right from the lock screen.

Some other tricks have been included as well, such as the use of a double tap on the screen to wake up the LG G2 from stand-by and to turn it back off again. The keys on the back can not only adjust the volume, but also launch the QuickMemo app or serve as a camera shutter. Overall, the UI features added by LG aren't anything out of this world, but what's nice about them is that they aren't just gimmicks that nobody needs. Instead, these extras can come in handy and if one finds them useful, they are likely to take advantage of these features on a daily basis.


Expectations:

On paper, the LG G2 is a smartphone that has lots of potential to become a hit. The cutting-edge hardware is definitely there, including a capable processor, spacious screen, a promising camera, and an extra large battery. These are all specifications that smartphone aficionados take into account before anything else, and whoever is checking out the LG G2 will surely be impressed, to say the least. The software aspect of the device has not been overlooked either as a handful of stand-out features come pre-loaded on top of a fairly recent version of Android.

The unusual design of the LG G2, however, is something that might make potential buyers think twice before getting one of these. And it is not because having the volume and power key on the back is necessarily a bad solution. Rather, people are likely too used to having their keys on the side and might find it uneasy to adjust to their arrangement on the G2. 

Yet ultimately, it is the flawless end-user experience that makes a smartphone great, and we have a feeling that the LG G2 won't disappoint in that aspect. Needless to say, we're eager to get our hands on one of them for a spin and share our real-life experience with you, guys. Stay tuned for more LG G2 coverage and expect our full LG G2 review someday soon!

47 Comments
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posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:35 14

1. nobihitoshi (banned) (Posts: 9; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


note 3 will be the most powerful smartphone of 2013 .....

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:46 32

4. rf1975 (Posts: 232; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


With the help of cheated benchmark and paid troll/reviewers.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:48 9

5. nobihitoshi (banned) (Posts: 9; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)


u really have guts to stop samsung from selling millions of note 3??
i dont think so

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:05 3

9. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


you have the fore sight to know how many it will sell without seeing the final product? i dont think so...........besides he never said the note 3 wont sell did he

besides this whole sales defense you throw out to defend samsung is the same the apple fanatics used.

why dont you not worry yourself with sales and just enjoy tech, enjoy the device you have etc. people that ring sales into it like its the winning argument to everything need to re-evaluate themselves

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 20:21

42. joey_sfb (Posts: 1973; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Review and tech site also needed funding. They don't get it from their fans more from paying sponsors e.g Samsung and Apple.

posted on 08 Aug 2013, 03:40

48. AwesomestMaximuss (Posts: 89; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


And lg,sony,htc and most of all nokia..so whats ur point??

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:13

11. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Its bound to have a Snapdragon 800 for it's US model so the rest is up to software optimizations. The performance won't be that much different if at all. It's all about the features which all the 'cool kids' will root and give up anyways.

LG addressed issues people had with the original camera of the Optimus G. It has the Knock Knock feature for those who would use the phone on a flat surface, screen facing up. Voice activation could potentially be a later feature due to the Snapdragon 800, but who knows. It's flip cover functionality is more extensive than Samsung's S4. The quick-access to the camera is just holding down the volume down button anytime -- more reliable than a wrist shake.

The only feature from the S4 I thought was cool and wish would be perfected is the Air View feature -- the rest are ok.

The notification shade looks way too cluttered, but I do appreciate the customization options available for the average consumer who does not root. It's much more than any other OEM skin.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:30

16. GTR722 (Posts: 209; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Xperia Z ultra, already in stores, will kill it.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:49 8

33. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Yuck 3000mah batt with a poor 8mp cam..
And a very uncomfortable size and ugly large bezels

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 16:15 4

35. vishu9 (Posts: 247; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)


Not to mention.. No LED Flash!!? What was Sony thinking?!

posted on 08 Aug 2013, 01:18 1

46. Mittal (Posts: 426; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


i think they forgot !

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:05 1

24. roobs (Posts: 41; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)


Many people will prefer G2 against the Note 3 although that the latter might be better because Note 3 won't be pocketable as the G2.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 16:14 3

34. vishu9 (Posts: 247; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)


Shut up troll.. Like you've seen in it already

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:43

2. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


LG G2 is not the first phone to have physical button on its back. In 2012 September was released Acer Liquid Gallant with power button on the back next to the camera and as far as I remember, such idea was fail.
Even after first LG G2 "hands-on" videos in YouTube we can notice that people don't keep their index finger there. As far as I have noticed, people tend to keep Index finger in such position only when they are pushing phone to the ear, in other ways they don't keep Index finger there just because it is not comfortable.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:15 6

13. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Here is my drawing which represents whole idea:

http://s16.postimg.org/pefgx2979/Humans_Palm_By_LG.png

P.S.
I don't want to be offensive, but it looks really awkward. Also I hope that PhoneArena is never mind that I have posted it here. Peace! :)

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:39 2

21. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6621; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Best figure ever.

+1

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:56

23. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Than you, PapaSmurf. :D

I don't have anything against this phone or LG as a company also LG G2 has really good technical specifications, but talking about buttons on the back design solution... (at least such is mine opinion)

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:06 1

26. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Yeah except when you handle a phone 5"+ your thumb is generally too short, so you generally release your index and middle finger to the center of the back to support the phone while your thumb reaches for the home/back button. You won't have to strain your thumb as much. Unless you're like Shaq. But how many people are?

Not many people hold their phones perfectly horizontal. It's usually diagonal, so the thumb is lower, so it can press the home keys easier.

Funny drawing, but not accurate at all.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:43 1

32. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


LG G2 - while your four fingers are trying to keep phone firm in the palm, your index finger is pushing device out of your palm while trying to push power button on the back of the phone, isn't that contradiction that your index finger does opposite action than all other four fingers do?
Also LG G2 isn't so big (it is just a bit bigger than Samsung Galaxy S4) and you don't need such big palm as Shaq has. Also I suggest you to watch LG G2 "hands-on" videos in YouTube and you should notice that people don't keep their index finger there because it is just not comfortable.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 16:45

36. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


Yeah, you don't keep your index finger there though. You move your finger there when you want to use the buttons, and it comes naturally because your hand moves into position many times as a normal part of using your phone.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 16:53

37. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4599; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"You move your finger there when you want to use the buttons..."

True, but at that moment you will keep it not firm in your palm, then what is the point of all this?

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 20:44 1

44. rusticguy (Posts: 2810; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Palm G2

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:43 4

3. zachattack (Posts: 439; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)


^ fail

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:51 4

6. R-vjn (Posts: 129; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


I guess LG did it right with the LG G2. Awesome...!!

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:38 5

20. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


lovely. people say the design is like S4 but to me its similar but way more sexy, especially the front. never thought i would actually be praising LG.

posted on 08 Aug 2013, 01:21

47. Mittal (Posts: 426; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


yeaa i love the front side!

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:54

7. twens (Posts: 444; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


the note3 is not a phone...its a phablet. a smartfon with tablet like performance and features. When it comes to phones i think Lg takes this one this yr...thats is, if the camera and software has no issues. I feel this phone is better looking and nicer than all android smartphones this yr. I dont care about plastic...i just like the huge screen and no buttons idea...very sexy. nice job Lg but i am a note fun so note 3 is where my money is...

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 13:55

8. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I think PA won't give it more than 9.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:12

10. shamataa (Posts: 202; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


the notification center takes up half the screen meaning u can only see 3 or 4 incoming updates and other stuff at one time. Big NO for me.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:15

12. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)


I agree. As much as I like the phone in general, that notification shade is sinful.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:22

14. PK1983 (Posts: 144; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


The best news coming from today's launch is that the Nexus 5 will be amazing.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:22 1

15. McLTE (Posts: 620; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Everything about this phone looks great.. but that stupid button on the back.

I'm trying to use my phone as if it had the power and volume buttons back there and all I can think is.. WTF were they thinking?

To me this is an attempt by LG to do something.. ANYTHING to be different.

This will fail. Miserably. People will pick up the phone and be like.. wtf? on the back? it's not comfortable.. NEXT.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:31

17. TBomb (Posts: 76; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


in the conference they said that putting it on the back allowed them to thin the trimming on the edges. whether or not thats the whole reason is unknown but its definitely thin

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:32

18. gazmatic (Posts: 502; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


this has me interested in android again... does it have USB on the go?

that is the only feature i care about nowadays

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:36

19. Sonny_09 (Posts: 48; Member since: 24 May 2013)


This is kitchen sink, a knock-off of its compatriot s4. If s4 is confusing maze, I bet this would be a disturbing blackhole.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 14:55

22. .AppleJack (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)


I think this flagship is Original but at the same time it's very similar to the SGS4, whatever I do prefer this one, you know its not too "plastic"

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:05

25. Exhaloprez (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Nov 2008)


Anxious to hear about the clarity on telephone calls. Love what the phone offers but to me the primary goal of the device to hear and be heard with clarity.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:09

27. mike2959 (Posts: 155; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


Once again better than half of the "rumors" don't pan out. Size of the battery, ram, etc...

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:09 1

28. Raigo90 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 May 2013)


Actually, I like it. It`s seems different!

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:12

29. Whateverman (Posts: 3158; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Very nice looking phone. Can't wait to see it in action, in person. And hopefully they'll go in this direction with the G Pro 2 and add a stylus.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:23 3

30. .KRATOS. (Posts: 85; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


So plastic now doesn't bother anyone as i c but with the S4 they unleash a world war on its plastic body weird

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 17:22

40. Shatter (Posts: 1766; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Its because all the haters are hipsters that won't buy a popular phone.

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 15:28

31. persikon (Posts: 28; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


Where is the beautiful multi-colored LED home button????

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 16:56

38. TechBlue (Posts: 55; Member since: 06 May 2010)


Maybe I missed it but shame on u phone arena for not mentioning that this phone has a non removal battery or not ??? If it does That's fantastic If not Frack u all phone makers for not making a phone with non removal battery. i dont want a disposable phone

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 17:04

39. TechBlue (Posts: 55; Member since: 06 May 2010)


correction " for making a phone with non removal battery"

posted on 07 Aug 2013, 19:41

41. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 723; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


now we've seen the g2, and note 3 around the corner and also the honami w/4k display.

posted on 08 Aug 2013, 00:41

45. -box- (Posts: 3565; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Double-tap to wake up? Never heard of that before.. OH WAIt, Symbian and Nokia Amber!

In all seriousness, the LG G2 (not to be confused with the T-Mobile G2, aka HTC Desire Z) looks to be a decent device for an Android, and if I had to have an android this would be high up the list, as LG is a bit of an underdog right now. If there were a higher-spec MotoX that would make the two androids with the most appeal to me, or, in reality, for me to recommend to people who have to have Android.

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