LG’s had a rough couple of years trying to break into the Android big leagues. For quite some time now, not many took them seriously when it came to premium handsets. While the company has managed to release offerings that were comparable spec for spec, they lacked the premium look and feel—something that HTC, Nokia and Samsung always nailed.
With the G2, LG has stuck to a simple candy bar design with sculpted edges and a lacquer finish around the back. Despite the 5.2-inch display, the phone is not ungainly to hold, and the slight curved back gives you a good grip. The G2 loves fingerprints and will grab one every chance it gets.
We liked the black version a lot more than the white. The handset is devoid of buttons on the side as everything has been moved to the back. We feel this was done as a differentiating factor rather than a design choice; it’s not terribly inconvenient either. The buttons take their place just below the 13MP camera.
Overall, the G2 is a marked improvement from what we’ve seen from LG in the past. The phone feels solidly built, has good ergonomics and feels premium. It has a reassuring heft.
Display is one area where LG nails it and the G2 is another shining example of this. The Full HD IPS panel is incredibly bright for sunlight legibility and produces punchy colours that aren’t oversaturated like Amoled panels. This is easily on par with HTC’s SLCD 3 panel on the One or Apple’s iPhone 5. There’s barely any bezel on the top and bottom and even lesser on the sides which gives the illusion of all screen.
In terms of software, there’s Jelly Bean 4.2.2. The interface has all the tricks of the Optimus G Pro, along with some new ones. The G2 is powered by Qualcomm’s finest Snapdragon 800 SoC. This quad-core beast can scale up to a scorching 2.2 GHz and has 2 GB of RAM to keep it happy. Despite the speed, the G2 never gets hot even after using the camera, GPS or gaming. The rear gets slightly warm but nothing more.
The audio and video players are skinned differently in the G2 and one big enhancement is support for 24 bit, 192 kHz audio, which is studio quality. This lets you get the most out of your Flac audio files and the difference between them and MP3s is very noticeable, given the right earphones. The speaker is fairly loud, although it’s best left for alerts. There’s a 16 GB and 32 GB version available, but sadly none of them has a slot for memory expansion.
The video player plays back most video formats including MKV. A new addition is Audio Zoom, which lets you selectively listen to audio from parts of a video and drown out the rest. The problem with this is in order for it to work, you need to use digital zoom and that ruins the quality of the video.
Phone: LG G2
Specs: 16 GB or 32 GB; 5.2-inch display; 13MP camera; 2.26 GHz quad-core; 2 GB of RAM; AC Wi-Fi;
Software: Jelly Bean 4.2.2; Optimus UI, Snapdragon 800 SoC
Price: Rs 44,500
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(This story appears in the 29 November, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)