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Living with the LG G2: a long-term review

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Living with the LG G2: a long-term review

No man ever steps in the same river twice


In a seemingly very distant past, I was 11 years old. A kid that age has very few worries at that stage of his life, and I was no different, with the exception that I had a typical child craving for a particular toy that had an ad looping day-in and day-out on Cartoon Network. It was a rifle. You know – the airsoft type that shoots with one of those plastic pellets? Now, airsoft handguns were all the rage at that stage of my life – practically every kid in the neighborhood had a piece (and a bunch of pellet-shaped bruises) – but none had a rifle. I won't go through the set of rather shameful tactics a kid 'has' to go through to get a stupidly overpriced item like this – you all likely know too well – but long story short: I finally got one.


Now this rifle was a downright monster, complete with a magnifying scope and good for 'precision' shooting at up to 50 meters – it even had non-standard, larger pellets that supposedly helped with accuracy. It looked sturdily made, and I am fairly sure it had a ton of lead on the inside to make it feel realistic. And it was beautiful, not to mention that all those kids in the ad seemed to have a blast out of using it! The package, in other words, was perfect... until, of course, it wasn't. A few weeks into using it, I realized that it was no good for shooting at more than 10 meters, and that's only when no wind was present. I then quickly started stumbling into a recurring problem: it would glitch and the pellets would get trapped inside, forcing my dad to open it up and get it out. You can imagine that he was none too happy about it when this started happening every other day. Then, sooner rather than later, I ditched the rifle and it was the biggest disappointment of my adolescent life.


Why oh why?


So why did I just charge two paragraphs of not-phone-related-mumbo-jumbo worth of your life? I mean, you're all obviously smart enough to not get sucked into marketing fluff like I did – you're on PhoneArena after all, looking for the in-depth commentary you deserve. You're likely older than 11, too. Point is, while there certainly wasn't an airsoft-toys-reviewing committee at the time, there certainly are for phones nowadays – loads of them, actually. Unfortunately, these can get a little detracted from what I've always thought the essence – "Ultimately, will I like using this product?" – and get sucked into a standardized, droning commentary about the hardware and what it means, with a few lines on the software and its usability. So am I implying that this plunge into the depths of the LG G2 is somehow more objective and complete than the myriad of quality reviews, just a Google search distance away? Kind of, but not exactly.


If you're a PhoneArena regular (doesn't really matter), then you'll probably know that it hasn't actually been too long since I joined the team. In my estimates, we probably get about a dozen, give or take, devices a month for reviewing, and a bunch of accessories. Now, not all of these are exciting or good enough to go truly in-depth with, yet I can tell you first-hand just how meticulous the reviewing process is – it's standardized, measurable and as close to scientific as we can get. And I actually agree with the methods we use – they aren't simply something shoved down my throat. Sure, a lot of it stays behind stage, but these observations do shape the final review that gets to you. Yet, despite all these checks and guidelines, it isn't at all surprising that every now and then a colleague will simply come and cop a feel of a new device you're reviewing and make an observation that, as a reviewer, you've missed, usually through nobody's fault. And that's the practical reality and also why you're reading this – because it's simply impossible to live with every product for a few months in order to get sufficiently acquainted with it. But in the case of the LG G2, it's well worth it. And I did.


Here's how this is to go down


Living with the LG G2: a long-term review
So how exactly is this going to go down? A question I struggled with for a while, since coming up with a structure for such a massive quantity of insight into the world of the G2, along with the bid to delve deep, ruled out our traditional, categories-driven approach. After a while, however, it dawned on me that what people are looking for is quite simple, really – “Just how well will the LG G2 feel in my own hands?”, a question that gave me a direction – this piece needs be every bit as personal, idiosyncratic and direct as we all are in our day-to-day patterns. So kind of like a diary.


I by no means claim that what you're about to read is an all-encompassing, fully complete take on the G2 – one would need a lot more than a few pages for that and there's still a fairly good chance it won't be what it set out to be. But it is personal, and it is direct, and it is very much idiosyncratic, just the way it should be. Sure, my views won't necessary match yours, but the human brain, having been provided a context and a perspective, is pretty good at drawing parallels. And ultimately – that's the point – for you to draw parallels and hopefully even find this helpful, should you ever end up considering the G2.


Continues on page 2...

60 Comments
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posted on 03 Dec 2013, 07:57 19

1. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)


Who is this chris P. I like your articles. Can you make this type of in depth articles and in depth reviews regular here? With most, if not all top flagship phones?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:18 12

3. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Chris P. is one of the very good writers at PA. I also like his articles. :)

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:05 6

12. cezarepc (Posts: 716; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


The only thing missing is "Dear Diary" at the beginning. lol joke

Yeah my fave PA authors now are Chris and Michael.

posted on 06 Dec 2013, 14:52 1

39. MAXXtreme007 (Posts: 22; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Yes, this in-depth review was great! I was honestly hesitant at first reading about his rifle, but it got better and better! Great article Chris! Chris and Michael are both superb authors!

posted on 05 Dec 2015, 17:43

62. Hexa-core (banned) (Posts: 2131; Member since: 11 Aug 2015)


He's great!

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 23:15 1

28. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)


Agreed with everyones statement. Further in-depth review should be mandated for all brand flagships. Maybe even a guess brand like "CHINESE" branded phones to see how they really stack up to everyday usage. Wonderful article and you also hit all the key points. Looking foward to more in-depth reviews.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 07:59 11

2. E.S.1 (Posts: 306; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


I have my LG G2 for about a month now. The phone is awesome, not even a single complaint...

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:25 1

6. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)


Its awesome. The only problem with LG is their updates. They are really slow to update their phones. Even though the xda community helps in solving most of the problems, i still prefer them giving new updates regularly. My S2 had 2.3.3, then was updated to 2.3.6. Then 4.0.1 then 4.1.2. My friend had bought the LG 2X at the same time and he didnt get updates for a long time. infact he was stuck in froyo for what seemed eternity.
LG makes great phones. And i hope they update their flagships atleast. And i hate that 18 month rule from Google which is plain bs. It should be atleast 36 months for flagships.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:45 3

16. Piotrek007 (Posts: 112; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


Are you for real ?? There are already LG G2 versions with 4.4 kitkat update and internationally it is going to seed at 1Q of 2014 !!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 01:25

31. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)


4.4 is obviously a must. What about after that. Once the 18 month cycle finishes. I doubt LG will update their phones. Hence im blaming google. 24 months is a minimum time for updates to be given to phones.

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 20:26

36. mattkl (Posts: 212; Member since: 01 Feb 2010)


Why would you blame Google? Did you clearly think you comment through?

Google cannot keep up with every single Android device out there past 18 months efficiently. But guess who can? The manufacturer of your device since they only have a certain amount devices to service. Google allows them to take the most current Android OS and modify it accordingly to their hardware. If LG decides to not support updates after 18 months then that's not Googles fault. Google does not hold back the latest update from the manufacturers after the 18 months, so be upset at LG or whoever makes and services your device.

posted on 06 Dec 2013, 03:45

37. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)


you do know that Galaxy nexus is not getting kitkat? I blame google and only google for that.

posted on 06 Dec 2013, 13:38

38. mattkl (Posts: 212; Member since: 01 Feb 2010)


There you go getting a little closer to the point. I still don't blame Google though. They did NOT make the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Samsung did and if they wanted they could continue to support their phone and the software on it. Google will not upgrade it and Samsung decided not to support it past the 18 months either. Why would I be more upset with Google than Samsung? Do you get upset at Walmart for not upgrading the software on your GE microwave?

When I found out the GNex wasn't getting updated I made my own decisions and bought a Droid Maxx. I'll be buying a Note 3 off contract in a few. I have seen no plans as of yet from Samsung about updating the Note 3 at this point and I'm not upset with Google or Samsung about that (although not a huge Samsung fan). I read and have my expectations up front. If you get a phone that you like at the time then you'll be fine. Sounds like you buy phones you don't like hoping they'll support and upgrade until you're satisfied? Loved my GNex for the 2 years I had it, don't expect any more from it. Good luck. Maybe research a phone before you buy it so you won't be so angry. Not sure why you keep a phone you're unhappy with. Make moves, be a man, complaining like a child won't get you an update or new phone. You could always root if you're capable.

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 11:24

51. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


I m not sure of this. but isnt the reason why Galaxy nexus is not getting the update is coz its chip manufacturer closed down or something ?
I sure wont blame Google even if the reason wasnt this. For what its worth, they brought out 4.4 so that devices with lower h/w can run the latest Android.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 06:08

61. pp3k3jamail (Posts: 23; Member since: 31 Dec 2013)


The galaxy nexus is old and shouldn't get a updated especially while the nexus 4 and nexus 5 is out

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 11:21

50. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


He was just speaking from his past experience with LG. You cant argue that LG sucked when it came to timely updates. But I feel ,since it has start collabrating with Google, the updates has been more frequent.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 23:07

27. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)


irrelevent statement...4.4 is scheduled to seed...need i say fanboyism

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:25

4. denmcdon (Posts: 90; Member since: 07 Jun 2009)


My g2 doesn't creak?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 15:45 1

19. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


Hey denmcdon,

That's likely because there are several versions of the LG G2. We have 2 Korean models at the office, and both creak pretty seriously.

Are you on a Verizon/AT&T/etc version?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 17:59

23. papss (unregistered)


I have the att version and unless i twist it it doesnt mske a plsound.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 19:23

25. denmcdon (Posts: 90; Member since: 07 Jun 2009)


Chris I'm on verizon

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:25 3

5. R-vjn (Posts: 193; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


This article is really great. A real in-depth review i must say.
From my point of view, the best phone of 2013 is the G2.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 08:45 2

7. androidfanboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)


This article is so catchy and all the articles on this site need to be like this

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 09:25 5

8. iDroid8 (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)


The first of Chris P's articles that I read. And it was nicely refreshing-being so different from other PA articles. :-)
P.S.-Chris, we don't mind these kind of introductions. Keep it up!

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 10:09

9. 0scar1Ox (Posts: 12; Member since: 05 Oct 2013)


Do LG G2 after 2 months lag sometimes, like in UI or gaming? I mean, have it's performance droped a bit?

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 13:04

14. Omarc07 (Posts: 437; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


i have an lg g2 and galaxy s4 only that i gave my mom the s4 but anyways when playing games on both i noticed the s4 has lagged more when playing gta 3 or gta vice city the lg never lagged it plays both games smoothly

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 00:52

30. Tito73 (Posts: 15; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


Actually my note 10.1"had note 2" doesn't lag with fifa 14, real racing 3, gta 3,...cpu 32 nm exynos cortex a9 quadcore 2gb ram, jb 4.1.2! S4 lags because of lack of optimization! But I have some ui lags sometimes!
Next phone will be lg or htc 5,2 inches at the most!

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 15:44

18. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)


Hey 0scar1Ox,

I haven't noticed any kind of slowdown.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 10:32 1

10. yasir-921 (Posts: 81; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


My review regarding the G2 is also same as yours.
Before the G2, I was using the Galaxy S4. Before it, I switched from the Note 2 to Xperia Z. When I sold my S4 and went to buy new one. I had multiple options: Nexus 5, Note 3, Xperia Z1, Htc One/ One Max and of course the G2. I quickly opted the G2.
I had already read a dozen of reviews of G2 including PhoneArena's, GSMArena's, Android authority's, Android central's etc.
Now its 3 weeks since I am using the LG G2. The white colour is more attracting in my eyes. I must say that this phone is amazing. Its a new experience after using every Samsung's Note and S Series.
For getting used to the back keys on it, It took me little time to adjust. Weather in landscape or potriat, the back keys are a joy to use. May be it is because that I read several reviews and had a high desire to own a G2, the back keys were no trouble for me.
The U.I, Display, Design, Utility Features are new for me. Moreover, the Camera is amazing. Shooting FHD video at 60 fps is really really smooth.
Not only this, I have rooted my phone and used XDA's Auto Hide Keys to hide the navigation keys occasionally. I am currently playing Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2. I hide the nav keys and play games on full screen. This exprience is also amazing.

To conclude, I say that instead of going for Note III opting for G2 is a wise decision.

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 10:52 1

11. freebee269 (Posts: 539; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)


very nice review. the only problem i've had with my at&t g2 is the low light performance of the camera. it's pretty bad. if it wasnt for some devs on xda that have modded the camera app and libraries to improve the camera's performance, i would not use this camera at night at all. i also have the battery issue of mysteriously draining from time to time. most nights when i put the phone on the charger it's at around 50% life left. but some nights it's at around 20% life and i know i havent used it any more than i did when it was at 50% the night prior. so there's definitely something that's randomly killing the battery. i've gotten used to the rear buttons and i can say i actually like them. i use a diztronic tpu case that's pretty thin and adds very little bulk. i too noticed the little stutter in the homescreen ui the first couple days i had my g2. but then someone on xda came out with how to turn off thermal throttling in the phones hidden menu and that solved that issue for me. it also solved the lag in the camera app. the only thing that worries me about the future for this phone is lg's speed of bringing out updates. they are pretty bad about that. i remember when i had an optimus g and it took forever for that phone to get an update and the update wasnt even the latest android that was out. i fear lg will give the g2 android 4.3 when other oem's are giving their phones 4.4. 1 last thing that kind of surprised me was the OIS on my g2. when recording video's with my g2 and having to walk or record kids that force you to move alot because they move alot, the ois isnt that great. i have a lumia 920 that has ois and i can tell you that my g2's ois is just not as good as my lumia 920's ois. but all in all, the g2 camera is good for what android has to offer.

i recommend this phone to people all the time and have actually caused 2 people to get it.

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