LG G2 The Ultimate Review
LG G2 is the end of the “Optimus” era, as it can be considered the exception from the rule. While everybody struggles to create a brand within a brand: Samsung aiming for Galaxy, Motorola going with Droid; LG is leaving behind its Optimus brand and introduces a simply G2 which blows up the entire Optimus line, and goes directly for the high end performance competitors like Galaxy s4 and HTC One. In a way or another, they are just trying to get their share of the profit, and believe it or not, they actually manage to laugh in the face of the competitors in some aspects, and the score for the overall package is quite impressive considering that LG G2 stands as a solitary smartphone with no previous line-up to support their performances.
Well, enough talking now, let’s see what this review contains and if can stand for its specs in front of its main competitors.
- RAM Memory
- Network and Connectivity
- Dimensions and Weight
- Pros and Cons
LG G2 is meant to be a rival for Galaxy S4, HTC One and iPhone 5 and looking “under the hood” will unveil its potential. We are looking at a 5.2 inch IPS LCD Full HD capable of 1920 x 1080 resolution at 424 ppi with 2.65 mm bezel display powered by an Adreno 330 GPU. The 2 GB of RAM memory along with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 quad core Krait 400 at a 2.26 frequency is enough to power the smartphone and bring it to a reputable performance. When it comes to storage, LG G2 has two versions, one of 16 GB and one of 32 GB and it is available in two color versions: white and black.
As for the cameras, it has a 13 MP rear OIS with auto focus and LED flash, covered with sapphire glass camera and a 2.1 MP front facing camera. The whole pack is wrapped under the Android 4.2.2. OS trademark with the Optimus UI ( The only thing which gets a glimpse about the Optimus predecessor line-up ). It can run up on LTE, LTE-A, HSDPA and GSM Networks and has NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 among the microUSB port. As a last piece of info before going further into the analyses of the G2 is going to be the 3,000 mAh battery and the general dimensions and weight: 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm and the 140g.
LG G2 is the master piece of LG’s designers as it managed to combine the large screen with great usability without feeling awkward in the hand. It is one of the few smartphones which actually made a good impression in my hand without giving me the feeling that I should “treat” it with both hands, while giving me enough information on the display without losing any details. The smooth edges and the awesome back stripes are making it look aggressive but in the same time friendly and professional.
One important aspect about the design is represented by the small “wasted” space near the display, also known as bezel, which is incredibly small and well used in the combination with the size of the display. Whenever you get the GS in your hand, the fingers are properly holding the smartphone without covering any of the display, giving you a sensation as it was custom made for your hand.
Keep in mind that this is not a phablet, even if you might be tempted to say so about it because of the large screen, but thanks to the efficient design and placement of the components, they could make it feel like a regular smartphone with a huge display.
The rear camera is well protected and the LED Flash integrates into de back cover without giving you the sensation that it was placed there “just because”. The silver line which goes all around the front facing side is very slim and gives you the impression that the smartphone has metal case, when it actually is made of plastic. Good contrast between the black cover and the silver line in order to downgrade the “cheap” plastic case.
Of course this might be “review” but it is a personal point of view, that’s why some of you might argue with me about the following aspect: the placement of the physical buttons.
I heard many people complain about G2s buttons but I really found them useful and very clever placed. In case you didn’t knew, the buttons for G2 are placed on the back of the smartphone, in the top half, near de camera. This was a bold decision by LG which divided people in…almost half. Some are very angry because they cannot adapt to the new location of the buttons and some ( like my case ) find it very useful and quite intuitive to use.
In the lower half of the back side LG placed 2 bumps or stripes on each side doubled with a rounded cover which helps the ergonomics of the smartphone and for the first time, the back of a smartphone gets some real action from the user, following the idea: “ while it’s there, why not use it”.
We can’t get over a smartphone without taking a closer look at its display. And, man…this has one of the most performant displays ever launched for a smartphone. And we are not talking just about the impressive size of 5.2 inches, but about the actual feel of it. This is a True HD IPS+ display capable of 1920 x 1080 resolution, making it perfect for videos and games, but as this wasn’t enough, it has the pixel density of an Ultra Sharp display, at around 424 ppi. It displays an ultra realistic image with true bright colors and the actual feeling of depth without compromising the original image at all. We might say that it photoshops the image, but without the photoshop.
When it comes to competitors, LG G2 has a pretty good score for the pixel density overall, making it better than Nexus 10 ( 2560 x 1600 resolution with 10 inch display ): 299ppi, Nexus 7 ( 1920 x 1200 resolution with 7 inch display ): 323ppi, iPhone 5 ( 1136 x 640 resolution with 4 inch display ): 326ppi, Galaxy Note 3 ( 1920 x 1080 resolution with 5.7 inch display ): 386ppi but without even touching Oppo Find 5 ( 1920 x 1080 resolution with 5 inch display ): 440ppi and Galaxy S4 ( 1920 x 1080 resolution with 4.99 inch display ): 441ppi.
Well, we have to mention that LG G2 had the highest score for a display of its size so it stands very good at this aspect.
As the function of the display, I must admit that it reacts very well and its behavior on HD videos and games is pretty good, managing to handle very well on bringing out the best of the play. And the same can be told about its capacity of handling under very bright sun, considering that most high end smartphones have pretty poor performances under heavy sun and makes them hard to use in such conditions. The maximum bright offered by the display is 450 nits and combined with the good design, no view is wasted no matter if you’re indoors or outdoors.
LG G2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset which is one of the most powerful chipsets ever used on a smartphone. The amazing fact is that LG took this to the next level and thanks to a very good blending with their components, it made LG G2 one of the best smartphones on the market scoring very high on our benchmark tests. They even said that the final product will be tweaked to score even higher when it will be available for users. To make an idea of what hides under the hood, LG G2 scored an amazing 32500 points, which is twice as Galaxy Note 2 scored when we tested it.
But let’s see some other scores: Sony Xperia Z Ultra Snapdragon 800 scored a total of 29495 points followed by Galaxy S4, the Exynos 5 Octa 5410 version with 27400 points and S4 Snapdragon 600 @1.9Ghz scoring close to 25900 points. In our tests, HTC One Snapdragon 600 @1.7 GHz scored 24500 points, and others to follow scored lower than 20.000 points.
As you can see, LG G2 made quite an impression at the AnTuTu Benchmark and we are thinking about what LG said about their final product, and the extra power which it is going to deliver. Our mention is that during the benchmark test, the first test was the highest, followed by a lower one and so on, making it an average of 30.000 points, which still, beats the follow up, Sony Xperia Z Ultra who is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.
The response time was in fact very quickly and even if we over abused it, the smartphone never gave any signs of slowing down or stuttered screen. Of course, we ran the Epic Citadel test and even if it bombed the screen with over 2 million pixels, it gave amazing scores: High Quality 50.9 FPS, High Performance 56.5 FPS.
The combination of multitasking and apps switching is a piece of cake for G2 and believe us, we tried our best to make it slow, but never could. How this translates for a regular user? Well, very simple, this is a smartphone which will never get near close to lag screens or crashes, and it will give you a very good impression by following all the tasks imputed in no time.
Now let’s see what else is helping those performances. And we obviously talk about the RAM Memory who is processors best friend. LG G2 features a 2GB RAM memory which combined with the super power of Snapdragon 800 offered us a hard time crashing the device. With plenty of room for background apps, G2 RAM size is helping the processor and gives it enough room so that the user will never experience any crashes or lagged screen.
I personally think about G2 as an industrial device, where everything is over built and it will never encounter the situation where it will really use all the power, so on a daily basics usage it will provide a great experience.
Quad-Core Krait 400 at 2.26 GHz is more than enough to supply any task even by the most picky user, and I am curious about user reviews of this smartphone. I don’t think anyone will have any problems with it, and if there is anything to point at the G2 will probably not going to be any lack of power or performances.
We are looking at 32GB of internal storage, for any apps, pictures, music and video you would like to put into this one. But thanks to producer size unit and actual size usage, it will have only 25GB of internal memory to store your files. Even if we had the 32 GB version in our hands, there is also a 16 GB version available, both models
The LG G2 is running Android 4.2.2 with Linux Kernel 3.4.0 and LG Optimus UI version D80010d. Well, we have to admit that Android 4.2.2 isn’t quite the OS we were looking for, but in lack of any Android 4.3 update, we had to cope with old good 4.2.2. And it’s not as bad as you might think, as beside the font changes you can bring to G2, it can also run the gestures and button free operations.
It’s fun to see how this smartphone is helping you to run any app or function and the UI is very friendly and has some awesome functions which makes the smartphone look like it’s a part of you and not against you as some of them are failing to adapt to user needs. Here are some great functions which run on G2: you can answer a call without pressing, touching and sliding anything, just pick it up and put it near your ear. The proximity sensor will do the rest. Another feature is the three finger swipe which puts the app in saving state and slides it off for later use.
If you want to turn off the display, just tap twice on an empty space and Voila!, the display is off. The same operation can be used if you’re lazy to reach the physical unlock button, just tap twice and the screen is back on. The camera can be launched by pressing the Volume down button while the display is off and you can take a picture if you press the same volume down button. The volume up button, in the display off state launches the notes app. Are you afraid that someone might look into your phone if you give it to them, then no worries my friend as LGG2 sets a guest mode for those who cannot input the pattern you created. You can also see which apps are allowed and which ones are restricted in this mode, so you’ll never have to think twice before letting your phone to someone else.
The last cool feature is the Quick Remote which turns your smartphone into a remote controller for TV, Blu-Ray player, projector, air conditioner or any other LG product which requires a remote controller, while Update Center help you with the updates without having to go to Play Store.
The rear 13MP camera with autofocus brings out the best of what LG G2’s display can show, and can do simultaneous video and image recordings. It has the geo tagging and face detection, among optical image stabilization and HDR. The front facing camera is a 2.1 MP capable of 1080p at 30 fps video recording. The razor sharp quality of the pictures are quite a standard for this smartphone as it is capable of taking very good pictures even in long exposure mode without blurring or ruining the quality of pictures.
Even if the battery is not removable, it is a heavy duty battery made to supply the processor and display during the day. We managed to get all the test done and in the end, we still had some considerable amount of battery left, so there won’t be any unexpected surprises if you are using it in any situation. 3.000 mAh is more than enough for what this smartphone can use.
Network and Connectivity
• As expected, the network and connectivity of G2 rises for its power and it can run on GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 network, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 and LTE LTE 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 / 850. Wi-Fi dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Wi-Fi direct will provide you with excellent internet signal. Besides this it is also equipped with DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP and LE. And A-GPS, GLONASS and NFC makes the whole pack complet.
Dimensions and Weight
We’re looking at a 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm size smartphone, most of which is made by the big display. It fits any hand very well, and doesn’t tend to give you the oversized impression thanks to the bezel design. The whole pack weights only 143g, enough to feel it in your pocket but too light for the power it really has.
Pros and Cons
- Great camera performance
- Long battery life
- Good usage of the Qualcomm 800 chipset, with great performances
- Large display and a very good usage of the bezel design
- Physical buttons placement in the back ( even if, as I said above, find it very useful and easy to get used to it )
- Plastic cover
- Brightness controls
- Complex software settings for a regular user
For both under and over the hood view, LG G2 represents the state of the art smartphone form LG, and they have all the reasons to be proud of this smartphone. Their work was great and the blending between super fast processor, great RAM memory, big display and smart design, and the innovative physical placement f the buttons it really deserves our appreciation and “keep up the good work” whishes. As for me, this was a good and interesting experience, where I could test a smartphone who never encounter any errors and kept the same smooth running no matter how much I tried to mess up with it. I hope you’ll find the improved performance boost on the final product very useful, even if, trust me, there is plenty of power under the hood at this time.