LG G2 Review
Placing our attention on the hardware, LG made sure to stuff with it something beefy to hopefully fend off the competition. Along for the ride is a 13-megapixel monster, which unlike some other camera modules, is able to maintain a flush appearance with the surrounding surface – so there’s nothing sticking out with the lens. Adding some serious punch, it’s complemented by its optical image stabilization module, 9 multi-point auto-focus, 1080p video recording at 60 frames per second, and a sapphire glass for superior protection and anti-fingerprint coating. That’s a whole lot of stuff, right?
Well, it gets better. The LG G2 captures simply outstanding images! Even when compared with the best cameras of this class (Galaxy S4 once again comes to mind), the photos of the G2 are perfectly competitive, if not better in some areas. For example, details are simply amazing – you can zoom in and examine the actual shot at 100% scale, and still looks very good for the most part. The pictures are incredibly clear and well-exposed. That's one area where the G2 manages to outperform the Galaxy S4, the pictures of which appear a bit hazier in comparison. One thing that could have been better in the LG G2's images is the color reproduction. As a whole, colors are actually very good, but they do tend to be a bit colder than they should.
Other than that, the G2's 13MP camera is as good as it can get right now. You can easily do terrific macro shots, panoramas, and so on and so forth. It's an extremely capable camera.
Fortunately, indoor images are also great. They are very bright and relatively noise-free, though they also happen to be somewhat soft. But in such scenarios, it's always a matter of balance between softness and noise, and we think that the LG G2's camera pictures are just fine in that respect. The LED flash provides enough light when needed, though it isn't strong enough to illuminate even a small scene on its own.
But this is not all! The G2 also features 1080p video recording at 60 frames per second (current smartphone cameras of this same class shoot at 30 fps), and we've got to tell you, watching such footage is pure joy. It's way better than a traditional smartphone's 30 fps video recording. Once you see it for yourself, you'll never want to get back to shooting at 30 fps. The bad news is that the frame-rate drops substantially when recording in the dark, which kind of ruins the whole footage. For the record, such staggering frame-rate drops aren't present in premium competitors like the Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, or One.
In terms of image quality, the 1080p video is absolutely great and can easily rival (and beat) the best smartphones out there with its fine details, adequate exposure and realistic colors. The Optical Image Stabilization system is always welcome, as it manages to help the camera avoid most unneeded shakes, resulting in a relatively fluid video footage.
We're not in love with the built-in music player, as it doesn't show all the tabs at the top of the page at the same time. There are tabs letting you sort music in various ways, like albums, artists, genres and so on, using them is not very convenient. Other than that, the visual design of the music player is quite simplistic and likable.
It's a good thing that the LG G2 can play lossless audio right out of the box, saving you the need to install a third-party player. When it comes to its ability to play "studio quality" 24 bit / 192 kHz audio... well, we doubt it that most people will be able to tell the difference between this and the standard 16 bit / 44.1 kHz format. Still, the feature is there for those who might want or need it, and we're OK with that.
The QuadBeat 2 earphones that arrive with the LG G2 are capable of playing some very high-quality sound. The problem is that their form-factor, which requires you to stick them deep in your ears, makes them uncomfortable to use. We'd rather use something like Apple's EarPods, which have a much more convenient design that doesn't require you to make love with your ears in order to get some decent bass.
Do we even need to say that the LG G2 is an outstanding device to watch video on? Yep, the 5.2-inch screen is simply amazing for the purpose. No matter if it's locally-stored or streamed video, the G2 makes things come to life with that enormous screen, and your eyes will forever be thankful for this. Now, if this screen could just be paired to the HTC One's speakers...