Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
01st Oct 2013
LG unveiled its latest flagship handset that's meant to give the HTC One and Samsung GALAXY S4 a run for its money. It's the company's first smartphone in recent years that doesn’t carry the Optimus moniker. According to LG, the G2 comes with an innovative rear button that doubles up as power key, volume rocker, QuickMemo, and camera shutter. But is that all there is to it, or does the G2 brings more interesting stuff to the table? At the launch event in Delhi, we got to spend some time with the handset, and here is our first impressions about LG's latest flagship.
The G2 looks like a smaller version of the G Pro. However, there are quite a few things that are different — the G2 lacks hardware buttons on the front. Although the build is quite solid, the phone still feels plasticky. The phone sports a 5.2" screen , which is slightly bigger than that of the S4. Due to its thin bezels, the G2 looks hardly any bigger than its Samsung counterpart. The thin bezels come with its own set of drawbacks such as unintentional interaction with the touch screen. It's difficult to grip the phone without accidently clicking something on the screen. From its usability perspective, I'd would have preferred bigger bezels, at the expense of screen-size.
As already mentioned in this article, the G2 lacks the usual set of buttons such as power key and volume rocker. All these controls have been take care of by the rear key, which is sandwiched between a volume rocker. According to the manufacturer, this new key placement is perfectly accessible to your index finger. Now that's true to some extent: The buttons are easily accessible, however when you press the keys, the phone tends to pop-out of your hand. So while I appreciate that LG has thought out of the box, it doesn't really better the conventional setup.
As speculated earlier, the LG G2 sports a 5.2” IPS screen. At 450 nits, it’s 50 nits brighter than the recently-reviewed Optimus G Pro. What you get here is a full-HD screen with pixel dimensions of 1080x1920. The screen is incredibly sharp, and produces fantastic colours. Thanks to a layer of Gorilla Glass 2, you don't have to worry about scratches. It's one of the best IPS screens currently found on smartphones.
The device is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 chipset clocked at 2.2 GHz. Like most top-end Android handsets, the G2 features a 13 megapixel autofocus camera. LG claims that the smartphone offers superior low-light imaging with the help of OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation). Apart from that you get 16 GB internal storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, 4G connectivity, and 3000 mAh battery. Details specs are given at the end of this article.
UI And Apps
The G2 runs Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with LG's customised UI on top of it. Now, many may complain of not getting the latest version of the OS, but that doesn't matter to me, as long as the user-experience is good. The units we tested had no sign of lag or slowdown. Whether it will remain snappy after installing third-party apps remains to be seen. Much like Samsung's TouchWhiz, LG's UX is mostly garish. While that is a subjective call, I find the transition effects on icons to be very in-your-face.
If you liked the S4's gimmicky features, then the G2 won't disappoint you either. Some of the interesting add-ons include:
You can unlock the G2 by simply tapping twice on its screen. It is a welcome addition, but this one has been inspired by Nokia's Tab-to-unlock functionality.
This one automatically answers calls, after lowering the ringtone when the phone is raised to one’s ear.
Not only can LG G2 be used to remotely control popular home entertainment devices, it can also learn from conventional remotes and be customised to operate multiple devices with flexible layouts and keys.
Using this feature, you can minimise up to three apps at once by swiping from right to left using three fingers, and then switch between them by swiping in reverse (left to right, and again the use of three fingers in a must). This functionality is not only unnecessary, but an inefficient way of getting things done.
Protects the owner’s privacy by displaying only pre-selected apps when guests access the phone with a secondary unlock pattern. Very much similar to Microsoft's Kid's Corner.
With QSlide, you can use two apps side-by-side. It's very similar to Samsung's Pop-up window. However, LG's version is better, since it offers additional controls such as the ability to control window sizes and transparency.
Like most top-of-the-line Android phones, the G2 comes with a 13 megapixel camera. To make sure the lens doesn't get scratched, LG has covered it with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Much like high-end Lumia phones, the G2 offers two-axis optical image stabilization. Judging from the test shots taken at the venue, the camera quality seemed very good. We'll soon carry out an in-depth test of the camera, once we get the review unit.
In A Nutshell
The G2 is priced at Rs 41,500 (16 GB), and comes bundled with a complimentary QuickWindow Folio case. The LG G2 packs in an impressive display and powerful processor. After a long time, LG has come up with a device capable of going head-on with the GALAXY S4 and Xperia Z1. To find out whether it's the best Android phone currently available in India, keep an eye out for the upcoming review.
- 5.2" HD-IPS screen with 1080x1920 pixels.
- Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection.
- 16 \ 32 GB internal storage, Lacks microSD card slot.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset.
- 2.26 GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB RAM.
- Wi-Fi, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, A-GPS, FM radio, Infrared port, Micro-USB 2.0 (with OTG support).
- 13 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash.
- Features Optical Image Stabilization.
- 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera.
- Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass.
- Available colours: Black, White.
- 3000 mAh Li-Polymer battery.
- Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean).