LG G2 mini Review
Not to be left out of the pack, LG issued a G2 mini, with the hope to bask in the rays of the G2 flagship's market recognition. Samsung started this trend, releasing the S3 and S4 mini versions, then HTC followed suit with the One mini, and now LG wants in, too.
The phone keeps the general shape of the flagship, as well as the signature keys on the back, but sports a 4.7” 540x960 pixels display, a basic Snapdragon 400 processor, and an 8 MP camera. That's a rather dramatic departure from the characteristics of the G2, so has LG managed to strike the right price-to-value balance with the G2 mini, or is it just riding on the G2's name recognition? Let's check that out...
In the box:
- In-ear stereo headphones
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
The G2 mini is comfortable to operate with one hand, but the keys on the back are unwieldy to use with this placement.
We mentioned a general resemblance of the shape and chassis design between the G2 and the G2 mini, but at closer inspection the munchkin looks less refined. It's thicker, the side bezels are wider, and the plastic feels of lower quality. The G2 mini has one thing going for it, however, compared to the flagship sibling in its international version – the rear cover is removable, so you can easily swap the battery, or add more storage via a microSD slot.
The phone is fairly comfortable to hold, aided by the coarse pattern on the back that prevents slippage. At this size, though, the power/lock key on the back, and the volume rocker there, feel somewhat oddly placed. Instead of being right under your index finger, the rear buttons are now somewhere under the first phalange, so you have to bend the digit significantly, and search for the lock key each time. Thankfully, the volume rocker is not flush with the surface, like on the G2, but rather protruding slightly at the ends, like on the G Pro 2, so it's easier to feel and press without looking. The back keys feel tight and sturdy, with a nice clicky feedback to them.
At the bottom the LG G2 mini sports two elliptic openings covered with what looks like speaker grills, but in fact only one of them is a speaker, and the other houses the single microphone. LG equipped the handset with an infrared beamer at the top, which can be used to control your TV, or other home electronics, via the accompanying application.
Pixel density leaves something to be desired, but the other characteristics of the IPS-LCD panel are good.
The 4.7” panel sports 540x960 pixels of resolution, which rings in 234ppi pixel density. This is acceptable for general usage, but those of us spoiled by 720p or even 1080p displays, are likely to notice the difference in detail presentation. The interface elements look cruder, with the individual pixels still quite visible. For a device whose price places it in the upper midrange category, we would like to see an HD 720p display, which would have meant the respectable 330ppi – as much as LG had on its flagship way back in 2012.
The screen colors are somewhat off in the red and light blue departments, as shown in our color chart test, but nothing you'd notice with an untrained eye. Just like on the G2, the 8533K color temperature is far from the 6500K reference, and gravitates way towards the cold side of the spectrum, making white/grey appear blueish.
With the 334 nits we measured, the display's peak brightness is rather average, so outside the screen is not very visible. You'll also have a problem when the sun is shining on the panel, as the screen reflects quite a lot of light right back at you. The measured 4 nits of minimum brightness is a good achievement, though, so you can us the G2 mini with comfort in a very dark environment. Being an IPS-LCD screen, the G2 mini display sports very good viewing angles from all sides.