Are the users already bored or they feel weird while using the side buttons to unlock the screen and toggle the sound? LG feels so, and they claim it’s after a research and after feedback from people, they decided to remove all that from the sides and take it to the new place where it has never been on any device – the Back panel. The new LG G2, the flagship device from the company launched recently is in my hands as I share my thoughts about the device. There’s some good stuff, there’s quite some unneeded modifications which are just made to keep the device unique. Let’s see how good the G2 is.
Design, Form Factor and Exterior
Design wise, there’s a lot of changes but the issue is that there was no change needed. There are thousands of devices from the various manufacturers which have the buttons on the side and top, but LG decided to give the buttons an importance with the new position. Still, if you are one of those who has a finger placed on the back panel, these buttons could come handy for toggling the sound while making a call.
Apart from these changes, nothing much else is different except the very thin bezel which is something pretty cool because you get to have almost an edge to edge display diagonally on the sides, with the bezel being just 0.1mm thick. LG has done a good job by placing the flash beside the camera lens, because for those who are going to use the volume keys as the camera shutter button, will not be disturbing or covering the flash.
The rear buttons aren’t limited to the functions of what they are named for, because long pressing the volume down button would open the camera app, and the long press of volume up button opens the Quick memo app, which can be changed to anything else.
The gestures on the screen are excellent, and we would talk about it below. As of now, the colors and the output of graphics is excellent on the 5.2-inch 1080p display, which the company says, is the maximum screen size one can get for a 2.7-inch of width of the device. LG has brought in an option for the users to wake the screen when the phone is lying flat, and you don’t need to lift the phone to press the back button. It’s the Knock Knock gesture which would wake the screen when you do a couple of gentle taps on the screen. It works well, but not always.
The front has got the three touch based buttons on the bottom, where the Home, Back and Options are accessible. On the top of the screen is the few sensors along with the 2-megapixel camera. Overall, it’s a very neat design but you got to face it – The back button would take the load and not the camera lens, thus the scratching and fading away of the color of the button should happen after a few months of rough usage.
Processor, Internal Powering and Interface
The navigation of the intuitive interface is quick and very responsive, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor which is again backed by 2GB of RAM for the multitasking support. One good thing is that although you might not like a few customized features and settings that LG has provided, it isn’t fixed up there and you can modify most of the stuff based on your need. When you sum up everything, the user experience is very good because LG has offered some great widgets, options and the notification panel itself depicts most of the Settings section with more than 15 toggles for the connectivity and other settings in the top.
Guest mode is something exceptional, which lets you maintain the privacy when you give the device in someone’s hand. The guest mode has a separate pattern lock and you can set the apps which they can check in that Guest mode. But it’s not perfect as one can still go to the Gallery through the Camera app if they wished to, and here the App Locker app would do an easier job.
The camera is exceptional, in terms of both picture capturing and video recording because there’s Optical Image Stabilization where the lens does most of the job in coming up with the stable final image. It does present some good details even in dark conditions, without the flash assistance. There are lots of effects and modes one can use while capturing the pictures, including the Normal, Shot & Clear, HDR, Panorama, VR panorama, Burst shot, Beauty shot, Dual camera and Time catch shot. You can check out a few shots below, while we did a full round of photo capturing in various conditions, and you can check out the quality based on these.
LG G2 Camera Capture Samples
The sound quality is good, but the output isn’t as much as that provided by the Galaxy Note 3 or the HTC One, if we are comparing the latest best devices. The 1080p video playback is flawless, and one can easily like it because the device is quite bright under direct sunlight.
The battery included in the device is 3000 mAh, which does provide a decent time of continuous usage but it gives up pretty fast when you do continuous video recording or Wi-Fi Tethering because that’s when the device gets heated up and the battery percentage decreases 2-3x faster than normal.
This week we did a hangout using the LG G2 and you can watch the same below.
Firstly, the pros – The display is brilliant, and the camera for us, is even better than the Xperia Z1’s and Galaxy Note 3’s cameras in many instances, mainly because of the Optical Image Stabilization. The interface is impressive too, with the several options for people to play around with, and the device is very much comfortable to hold.
Now, the cons – The most important part – Back buttons. They are good in some way, but bad in many ways. For an instance, I browse through the various videos and news on my feed every morning and during lunch, and that’s when the volume needs to be adjusted while the device is lying on the table. I now have to lift the device and toggle the volume, or go to the home screen to lock the screen by double tapping it. That’s not easy to do always. The G2 heats up quite fast on some heavy usage and thus the battery too drains very quickly. Another point that worries us, is the fixed storage with no option to expand. We had said about the same about the LG Nexus 4 too, remember? The storage expansion should have been possible.
Overall, the LG G2 is priced quite well especially to compare with the other flagship devices which are launched at the same time – Sony Xperia Z1, Samsung Galaxy Note 3! And the device is well worth it, if you are ready to adjust to the new button placement to lock your screen, which you do tens of times every day, and if at all you are happy with a device which would not allow more storage (although there are many ways, like the cloud storage to get things adjusted).