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LG G2 Review

LG G2
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Interface


The LG G2 is running Android 4.2.2 out of the box, but LG has, naturally, used its own custom user interface to shake things up. LG's UI is highly-customizable – probably the most customizable custom UI present, and while Android purists will most probably frown upon that, LG argues that such features are much appreciated in its home market of Asia. In terms of looks, the G2's interface is quite TouchWiz-like – bright and vivid colors are present in pretty much every screen, while not-so-subtle animations are adding a generous amount of playfulness to the whole experience.

We still don't like things such as the colorful dummies for those people in your contacts list that lack an image, or fact that LG has just crammed each and every setting it could think of in the notifications tray, but oh well, that's the way South Koreans seem to like Android. Personally, we'd prefer the more grown-up appearance of HTC's Sense 5, but LG's UI isn't bad as well, and has that perfectly fluid movement one would expect from a cutting-edge device such as the LG G2.


Processor and Memory


The LG G2 is a beast of a smartphone. With the most powerful Qualcomm processor available — Snapdragon 800 — the G2 simply blast through them benchmarks like no other phone currently on the market. The CPU is a quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 monster, while the graphics chip is the capable Adreno 330. We're absolutely certain that the G2 is more than up to the task of running each and every 3D game or app out there. System-wise, the G2 is also a great performer — noticeably better than the GS4 — as it exhibits no visible lag throughout the system.

When it comes to the system memory, the G2 will be well-equipped to handle your multitasking activities with its 2 GB of RAM, while internal storage comes in 16 GB or 32 GB flavors. Sadly, you cannot expand this using a microSD card, since such a slot is missing from the handset.



Phonebook


The G2's phonebook is absolutely full-featured, as it has separate tabs for the dialer, call log, contacts list, favorites and groups. Needless to say, LG's giving users the option to categorize and organize their contacts any way they like. On the whole, working with the phonebook is quick and easy – you can call people directly from the contacts list, thanks to the green dial buttons placed next to their names, which seems cleaner and more appealing than Samsung's 'swipe-to-call' gesture, or 'click-on-the-contact's-icon-to-display-quick-dial-buttons' option. Thankfully, LG has also added the option to search for contacts using the dialpad (in a T9 manner), which is a very convenient way of finding contacts. If you're mostly calling a bunch of people, though, the 'Call logs' tab will work perfectly for you, as it manages to fit a good number of contacts on the screen. Still, there's also the Favorites tab, which might prove to be even more convenient for you, as it automatically displays the people you've called most frequently.

But, being such a great fan of customization, LG has also included tons of other options to let you personalize your phonebook, including the ability to reorder the tabs themselves! Thankfully, since those options are hidden in the contextual menu, they don't really stand in the way of normal usage.

LG G2 Review
LG G2 Review
LG G2 Review

Messaging


LG G2 Review
If we have to say which one is more customizable – the phonebook or the messaging app, we admit we'd have a very hard time, as both seem to be equipped with an impressive array of settings. Speaking of messaging, while the UI of the app is not particularly comfortable, as the text bubbles are quite big, which makes it really difficult if you want to read through a longer conversation, you do stuff like altering the looks of those bubbles, as well as changing the background of text conversations to whatever you feel like. You can also schedule a text to be sent at a particular time in the future, and you can also insert various Android smileys to add some colorful emotion to your messages. All in all, the messaging app left us with mixed feelings, as it's not really consistent in terms of UI design, but it's more than certain that it'll get the job done. Plus, it'll surely appeal to those who enjoy tweaking every single aspect of their smartphones.

Typing on the LG G2's onscreen keyboard is pretty good, as it should, considering the enormous 5.2” screen. We enjoy using the portrait keyboard as it's spacious and even has a separate row of numeric keys above the letters, but the landscape one is a mixed bag. While there's more than enough width to the keys, they are a bit stubby, which doesn't make them very easy to press accurately.

Organizer


You didn't think that LG will sell you a G2 without all the organizer tools that you may ever need, right? Good, because the G2 has some very versatile apps for tasks, alarms/world clock/timer/stop watch, voice recording, weather and, of course, a calendar. While most of these apps function very well, the calendar is a great example of why having too many features may make the UI feel too crowded and complex. The main screen of the calendar tries to fit together a month view plus a day, week or an agenda view, all at the same time, and it fails miserably at this, because it's simply not easy enough to use, especially if you have many appointments set. However, if you're sticking to something like week, day or agenda views only, things get much more intuitive and pleasant.

Software features


And now that we've gotten the general software part out of the way, it's time to take a look at the mix of unique software features that LG has produced for its new flagship phone. Here are the more prominent additions:

  • Knock on: Double tap on the screen when it’s off, the phone will automatically turn on. Do the same when it’s on at any dead space of the screen, it’ll turn off the display. This one is actually very useful, especially if you can't get used to the new position of the power/lock key. It's a feature that's also found in Nokia's new smartphones, and we can definitely see ourselves using it very often. Unfortunately, turning the screen off using this gesture may be a bit tricky sometimes, depending on exactly where you tap. Sometimes, this may actually cause you to run an app or do something else, which may be quite irritating. In that line of though, the feature is very useful, it's just not implemented perfectly and takes a bit of getting used to.

  • Guest mode: Two different lock patterns for you and your guest. Essentially, it adds another user profile for the phone, which gets them to guest mode where the admin can restrict certain apps. Naturally, it’s a useful thing to find, especially if you don’t want any unwanted app purchases. We're happy to report that the feature does work as advertized – there's absolutely no problem setting guest mode up with all the accessible apps that the admin has selected.

  • Answer Me: When the LG G2 rings, you simply pick up the phone, hold it up to your ear, and it’ll automatically pick it up. No need to finagle with turning it on and actually pressing on the answer key.

  • Text Link: The LG G2 inspects various texts, and automatically suggests links to relevant apps. For example, if someone sends you a text regarding a time and date for a meeting, you can have the LG G2 automatically populate the appropriate info to the respective apps – such as putting it into your calendar.

  • Slide Aside allows you to save up to three apps that can always be recalled later. - LG G2 Review
    Slide Aside: Simply swipe to the left with 3 fingers on a specific app (any app in fact), the app will be placed into a saved state. Once you select up to 3 apps for Slide Aside, you can access them at any time by swiping right with 3 fingers – essentially another way to multi-task (like multi-windows for TouchWiz). Unlike Sammy’s implementation, this one works with any and all apps. However, due to the requirement for a three-finger gesture, Slide Aside isn't particularly comfortable to use. Even if you do get used to it, though, the limitation of just three apps is somewhat counter-productive, because the phone simply won't let you slide-aside any additional apps, meaning that you'll be required to do some Slide Aside app management. On the other hand, it might be useful if you just need one or two (or three) apps always ready for you.

  • Capture Plus: Capture everything on a page, not just the cropped image on the screen – like stuff in the web browser and email. For example, you can capture an entire web page – stuff you'd normally need to install a browser add-on on the computer to work. Once again, impressive functionality, though we're not sure how many people are going to need this. Maybe there's a reason why such functionality is available as an optional add-on on the PC?

  • Quick Remote: Universal remote control with IR blaster. Now, the G2 learns the pattern from ANY IR remote controller – like garage car openers too, on top of the usual TV ones. Point the other remote to the LG G2’s IR blaster, and it’ll learn the pattern of the IR. 

Internet and Connectivity


LG G2 Review
You may think that the 5.2” screen makes browsing a breeze, but this isn't necessarily the case, especially if you stick with the LG browser that on the homescreen by default. That's so because it doesn't inflate text, which means that it's still quite small to read comfortably even on such a gigantic screen. That's why we'd recommend that you use the Chrome browser, as it will make reading that much more comfortable for you. One thing we dislike about Chrome, however, is that it doesn't snap your view once you start scrolling vertically or horizontally – this is something that the iPhone and even Windows Phone have already managed to get right, while Android's Chrome is still lacking it.

The LG G2 is choke-full of connectivity features. It has the must-haves such as LTE, HSPA+, 3G and 2G, as well as Wi-Fi a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac. Additionally, there's also A-GPS (works flawlessly), Glonass, NFC, DLNA, MHL and an infrared port.

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LG G2

LG G2

OS: Android 5.0 4.4.2 4.2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9.4Excellent
Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (423 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz, Krait 400 processor
2 GB RAM
Size5.45 x 2.79 x 0.35 inches
(138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm)
5.04 oz  (143 g)
Battery3000 mAh, 34.3 hours talk time

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