Here is why LG G2's buttons are on its back

Here is why LG G2's buttons are on its back
The LG G2 comes with all of its physical buttons on its back. It’s the first phone of this kind, and while this may seem weird, LG explained its decision thoroughly, convincing us why this is the way to go with large smartphones.

The LG G2 features a 5.2-inch display - it’s big, actually that display is just a fraction of an inch smaller than the one on the first phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note. Yet, the G2 is substancially narrower and more convenient for single handed use.

As size of smartphones increases, so does the difficulty of using buttons on the side, according to LG. The first smartphones were small and convenient for one-handed use averaging around 2.4 inches in width. That has grown to 2.7 inches now and the G2 is 2.79 inches.

If you had the buttons on the sides, you’d be forced to do a lot of hand gymnastics to reach them on such a device, and chances to drop it increase. Consider this a pre-emptive measure.

Secondly, the back buttons are where your fingers naturally lay when you hold a smartphone. LG claims it’s simply more convenient.

Third, the back buttons double in function and for instance you can use the volume down button to open the camera and capture images. It’s extremely useful for selfies!

The fourth reason is that getting those buttons on the back actually allowed engineers to narrow down the side bezel and the screen looks almost edge to edge.

Those three are the main reasons for having the buttons on the back, but it’s up to you to decide whether that is meaningful innovation or just a gimmick, what do you think?

Related phones

G2
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(21.3h 3G talk time)

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37 Comments

1. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Can you last longer than G1

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Until I demo the phone, buttons on the back seem awkward.

14. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I'm pretty sure that even after first LG G2 "Hands-on" videos in Youtube we will notice that people don't keep their index finger there.

27. RiseAgainst94

Posts: 281; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

I think they seem brilliant. Pressing the volume button has always been an unnecessary stretch. I think LG made the right move putting them where your fingers naturally lay.

33. heyhi

Posts: 137; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

something to get used to...when i saw the first pic that came out i thought it was ugly, but now seems ok..besides you usually look at the front part, not the back, so who cares...about usability and ergonomics waiting the reviews..i guess LG wouldnt make that move if it wasnt a good deal. "The fourth reason is that getting those buttons on the back actually allowed engineers to narrow down the side bezel and the screen looks almost edge to edge." phone looks great beacause of that. the back of the white one looks nicer IMO.

3. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

I don't think that it is so ergonomic and comfortable as LG wants to convince us.

12. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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 here.

30. US_Eminem

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

yeah nobody keep their fingers in the middle of the back of phone .....they usually keep it at corners .......LG would have hit the right spot if they made the buttons at corner of back ........but then the phone would have became more uglier

35. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

".....LG would have hit the right spot if they made the buttons at corner of back ....." then they should release two versions - left/right handed.

4. iWinDroid

Posts: 28; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

makes sense..but is the power button chrome plated or what? coz it will fade for sure after few months of use..

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"It’s extremely useful for selfies!"?? Seriously? So the emphasis is on the front camera? Selfies are for wannabes...no thank you! Not everyone has the index finger hovering around the middle of the back, if you observe a l'le more closely, there are WAYS on how people handle the phone.

9. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Yes, but you also have to consider that people adjust when they handle different phones. The way you handled your old phone is probably not the same way you handle your new phone (unless they happen to be identical in their dimensions). So, you have to factor in that people adjust their grip in response to where the buttons are. I remember when I had an HTC device, I adjusted my grip to better use the top power button than when I used a Samsung device with it's side power button.

16. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Adjust...yes, that we do. But i don't like the look of this one. Let's see what the reviews and critics say about it. Or rather, hear it from the ones who gets this device on this site.

13. iWinDroid

Posts: 28; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

u can do selfies using the rear cam, so that means that u'll get better quality picture of urself using the rear w/ higher megapzels than in front cam & its gonna be easier , since the cam shutter is on the back.. try to imagine shooting at urself using the rear cam & the shutter button is on side w/ this BIG phone, let's see if u wont injure ur hand! :P

15. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

You'll still need to hold it with two hands front or back... Cause the buttons are close to the lens...you'll find yourself adjusting your fingers to the button.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think that the consumers will ultimately decide if this is a good innovation or not. I'd rather a company attempt to offer something new than keeping with the same old, same old. It may turn out that people find it to be really useful as LG hopes they do. I hope this encourages other manufacturers to try to be bold in their innovation process. I would rather see a phone that offers something we haven't seen before over a phone that is just a tweaked version of last year's product.

8. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

100% agreed

23. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

I agree Dr. Phil, but I like to see the phone in person before I decide whether the phone is good enough for me.

31. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Yes, but these attempts come at a great price for the company. What would be much smarter for LG is to put out 2 versions.. the traditional button lay out and the new one. THEN let the market decide which they like better. With today's phone market, the manufacturers cannot afford unsuccessful phones.

34. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

They would've had to redesign the phone with the 2nd version in mind. Remember, they had some various reasons for putting the buttons on the back besides the fact that it "felt natural". Also, how many people would feel like trying something new when there is an option for the "same old, same old" that people feel comfortable with? This in a way "forces" (I use that in quotations because LG isn't really forcing consumers) consumers to try something new. The market system is still at play where if consumers just don't like the device then they won't buy it.

7. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Even not convinced with the buttons position, I still think it is very nice a OEM try something new when we are so used with the way things are now, I am not saying that this is inovation, but everything begins like that.

10. tizz06

Posts: 15; Member since: May 17, 2012

it makes since so now no one can say its a left or right handed phone since its in the middle i think its a good idea

11. Doctor_Drei

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 27, 2013

button still looks awkwards not to mention ugly..

17. Pyoung0560

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

What would happen if you accidently drop it on its back and lands on button, will it just damage the button along or button and camera?? things to consider

18. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

Front is copied from Samsung Galaxy S4 and back volume button is new invention but look ugly.

24. zennacko unregistered

Bottom looks like the iPhone 5 as well, but a totally whopping new design when it has to be a rectangle (without round corners, because Apple invented that) is simply hard to achieve.

19. mclifford81

Posts: 91; Member since: Jan 26, 2010

It really is a good location, if you own a larger pone such as a S4 as I do naturally my fingers rest right in the middle on the back.

20. laheelahee

Posts: 213; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

cool... makes me want to try it :)

21. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

I would have preferred an SD slot on the back but maybe that's just me.

22. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

It's not the first phone to have physical buttons on its back. Acer also tried this with the Liquid Gallant Duo last year. Only the power button was on the back, next to the camera. They also used the same reason as LG (that it's easier to reach) but according to reviews it wasn't.

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