The LG G2: clever features, impressive specs – but is it enough?

by: Bogdan PetrovanAugust 9, 2013

The-Friday-Debate aa

Evan Forester

On this edition of the Friday Debate, we talk about the newly announced LG G2, a powerful Android flagship with a bevvy of clever tricks, but also a couple of controversial features. Critics point out the unoriginal design and somehow clumsy UI, while LG believers praise the innovation that the company has baked into the G2. So, which side are you on?

Join us in the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!

Joe Hindy 

From what we’ve seen so far it looks like a really awesome device. It’s sad to say, but brands like LG and Motorola aren’t taken very seriously these days by consumers and, what’s worse, not taken overly seriously by even many of us bloggers. For instance, I’m sure everyone worth their salt in this industry can tell you more about JBQ leaving AOSP than they can about the LG G2 (don’t get me wrong, JBQ dipping out is a HUGE deal). JBQ quitting seems to have overshadowed the entire LG G2 event. It is a huge deal that JBQ stepped down but to put it bluntly, it sucks for LG that their release event was overshadowed by this bad news.

As for the phone, I happen to really like it. The buttons on the back are a fresh design change, the camera looks to be truly capable, and I’m really, really digging that 3100mAh battery. These kinds of things are the stuff that people have been asking OEMs for. More battery, better camera, and something fresh. I personally think LG has hit a home run with this design and it’s something people definitely need to pay more attention to. The processor is great, the RAM is on par with other flagships as is the storage. Of course, I hold in reserve my opinion on the software until I see a review, but even the software seems to have stuff we haven’t seen before. An example is the guest mode for your phone where you can use a second PIN on your lock screen so people can have a guest pass to your phone. That is insanely awesome.

I think the world should be talking about this more. Really.

Andrew Grush

Even dating back to my pre-smartphone days, I’ve pretty much always gravitated three phone brands more than any other: LG, Samsung and Nokia. Sure, I’ve had and enjoyed other brands, too – but I kept coming back to these three.

In recent times, I’ve moved away from Nokia due to their refusal to embrace Android, but Samsung and LG products are still regular picks for me.

I truly believe that LG is an under-rated company with a ton of potential.

Ever since the release of the Optimus G and Nexus 4, LG has been on an upswing and they aren’t slowing down any with the LG G2!

There seems to be little to complain about with the G2. It has solid specs, a unique design, and some pretty cool special features like “answer me” and “guest mode”.

I reserve full judgment until the device actually ships and AA gets a chance to review the G2, but I have to admit I’m excited for this one. While my Nexus 4 certainly fits my needs right now, I’d be very pleased if the LG G2 does end up being the basis for the Nexus 5.

Darcy LaCouvee

LG has produced a world class device here, and continues to try and push the envelope. When you have a bird’s eye view of the industry, and attend the events, play and use the phones on a regular basis, you begin to see that – from all the way down to the cheapest Android they make, all the way up to their latest flagship, that LG is packing more value, better tech, and just a little bit more than their arch rival, incumbent Samsung.

While the G2 might not be revolutionary for those of us sedated by the rapid onslaught of high end device releases over the past several months, it still has my eye. I love what LG is doing. Their display division makes some of the finest screens on the planet. LG G2 will deliver Snapdragon 800 to the masses before Samsung does.

The inclusion of a larger battery, and their desire to increase the ratio of display / body – making the G2, I think, the highest ratio of display to body of any phone on the market, today. Nice.

Bottom line – for the first time, I’m actually thinking of not getting the Note 3. Samsung is really, really going to have to pack some epic tech in their for me to remain loyal. And ultimately, I think the G2 is one devilishly handsome and appealing device. I hope it intensifies competition between the mobile tech giants.

David Gonzales

It’s a winner. And it certainly looks the part. So like +Joseph Hindy, I’m really having trouble understanding why more people aren’t creaming their pants at the idea that such a thing as the LG G2 now exists — with a “right-sized” hi-res screen, an impressive camera, and a huge battery, plus the latest flavor of Android — and it’s already on its way to market.

Of course, there’s the whole, “Oh, so and so might still have more RAM, or a bigger screen, or more buttons…” but the fact remains, this is the phone that’s already here, right now. LG’s top competitors are really going to have to pull off some magical stuff to get past the G2 and what it has to offer now.

But then again, maybe all it takes is more product placements and a bigger advertising budget. I hope not.

The LG G2 is surely going to capture the hearts of many current non-LG smartphone fans, and with that, I hope it kicks off a new race to wow consumers with less courtroom action and more innovation.

Now that it’s official, how do you feel about the LG G2?

Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.

[poll id=”344″]

  • G2forme

    G2 is the best Smartphone to date.
    beautiful design

    innovative UX
    almost everything with G2 are great!

    • MasterMuffin

      G2 for you then (see what I did there xD/xd)

      • G2forme

        PhoneArena conducting a poll
        G2 is leading by miles over htc one , s4 & others

        • MasterMuffin

          No wonder!

    • Cao Meo

      I hate the glossy plastics, but overall it’s great phone. Still we need to find out more about the camera.

  • Dexter

    On the hardware side it beats the competition in every direction. It also has e very good design, though i’m not so sure about handling a phone of this size. On the software side though i can’t say it is really my cup of tea. It imitates heavily on TouchWiz ( yet misses some of its features) and I already don’t like touchwiz that much. It feels really bloated. But the software side is really a matter of opinion and taste rather than just declaring an absolute good or bad

  • MasterMuffin

    For some reason I can’t vote, so I’ll just post it here: I think G2 is the best Android has to offer right now. Great specs, great looks (though that rear material is horrible), great battery life (most likely above average) and some software features that I don’t care about, but they are probably cool for many people. Only way that Samsung can really beat this with Note 3 is to do the same that LG did, as small bezels as possible and something actually new!

    Also to Hindy’s part, wasn’t the battery 3000 mAh not 3100?

    • weed

      Can’t vote also. Can’t view the result either. Using Chrome on Android 4.2.2, tried both desktop and mobile site.

    • omgmystickisHAAARRRDDD

      for some reason I think I’ll be disappointed with the note 3… don’t know why just a gut feeling that samsung won’t have anything wowing

      • MasterMuffin

        Same here :(

    • Steve Praditya

      Samsung is very poor. Their design is lacking premium material (HTC and Apple Alumunium). I’ll be honest with you, The only thing I care about is the future of these smartphones. Apple manage to take care their product (iPhone 3GS) to get iOS 6. iPhone 3GS was released 4 years ago, and Look at it now. It’s still getting iOS 6. Many Apps on the appstore require iOS 5 (minimum). After all this years, salute to Apple to support iPhone 3GS so the users still can install their great apps.

      • Jillxz

        Deleted post.

  • Tamadrummer94

    Great hardware, abhorrent software. Their skin is really a knock-off TouchWiz, which is bad enough in its own right. Half-baked features, super ugly, and no polish. It’s gonna hold back software updates, and with 5.0 around the corner, I think upgradeability is the biggest and best feature any manufacturer can offer.

    • Charles Chambers

      Well said.

    • Tamadrummer100

      wow really? so you personally experience the g2 and it was not polished and the features are half-baked? you can look into the future and know for a fact the LG won’t update? and you say g2 is ugly… I bet if you were to design a phone it would’ve had been even worse

      • Tamadrummer94

        First off, the stench of troll is nearly unbearable. Nice username you got there bud. And second, I don’t think the phone’s design is ugly at all. Quite the contrary, actually. But the software design is kitschy and cartoonish, and with LG’s already poor track record with updates, I’m willing to bet the G2’s upgrade path will be short.

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    Not letting me vote either. LG G2 is/ will be the latest and greatest for Android, and it will be hard to beat. Samsung Note series seems to have a serious competitor, and competition is a good thing.

  • kroms

    Broken poll system. Nothing is working. Just like BB strategy.

    Oh well , onwards we go. !

  • Jarl

    both the optimus G pro and the G2 were on my list for a new phone. sadly, past experience is keeping me away from LG.
    i had the optimus 2x, the first phone to feature the tegra 2. but it hardly got any android updates and for a tegra 2 device its quite slow, my ‘old’ Transformer TF101 is quite a bit quicker. Also a friends Optimus 3D got replaced SEVEN times, that doesnt really make me trust LG.
    on top of that, we had to wait very long for the optimus G pro to even be available in the netherlands, it just got released here.
    i think LG does have it just right with the 5.2″ screen, the snapdragon 800, etc, and the volume/power on the back is a nice touch.
    But for now, i picked the HTC Butterfly S, i’ll check back with LG next year and see how they’ve evolved.

  • Charles Chambers

    If they hadn’t messed with the multitasking button, it’d be super awesome. I hate touchwiz and this mimics it too much. I still have to give an edge to HTC for boom sound.

  • RaptorOO7

    I was impressed until I saw no microSD and no removable battery. You can say what you want but this is nearly 2014 and 32GB before formatting and OS is not sufficient. Do not tell me the cloud is the answer when data rates are over priced. What does it cost to add microSD and a removable battery, oh lets ask Samsung since they do make a GS4 S800 variant (not in the US stupid Samsung) but they do make one.

    • Piyush

      So you want to say nexus device are not the best because they dont have both of this features.

      • VinnieColaiuta

        I would agree with Raptor007… All the best hardwares & software will amount to nothing if I can’t have expandable memory for all my mp3, pdf magazine, movies, jpgs… It’ll be even worse if the battery can’t last long enough…. Seriously what’s the point of weak battery on a machine with “Battery-draining Powerful Soft/Hard-wares” that you’ll have to disable… It’ll be like a brick in your hand…

        • Abdullah B

          I never would have agreed with you if I haven’t just nearly filled up my 32gb htc one lol. But you are absolutely right. I mean, there is no point having a device that is as powerful as a laptop if it has a fraction of space inside.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Yup, Nexus devices are great price performance, but I got the 32 GB Nexus 7 new, not the 16 GB, at 1080p FHD, movies take up twice the space, you can get a 64 GB micro SD card for around a dollar a gig. If it’s high congestion time, or your on a train, streaming at Blue Ray DVD quality can be difficult, even over landline WiFi, let alone if your in a tunnel, a non 4G area, buildings in the way, in the country on the intercity run. Many folks commute every day, they love their high end devices, load overnight over landline WiFi, while charging and sleeping. Millions around the world go to commuter parking, to go from regional cities, to capital cities, 200 or more days a year, so LTE Advanced great when you can get it, but give us some variety of choices on that 2 hour each way trip, through storage.

          • Jillxz

            Good heavens. What do you guys put on those phones. Movies ? Tons and tons of music ? Books ? Magazines ? Heck , no wonder you run out of space. I read , listen to music ,and have so much space left over on a 32gb with no sd card. But I don’t keep tons of those things on a phone. Get an e-reader for reading..And as far as watching movies on a phone is just ridiculous. Go watch movies an a big screen.

          • Abdullah B

            I Haven’t got movies. I just take a lot of pictures. And with HTC zoe, I take a lot of those too. So yeah, it’s basically all pictures for me. If only I could have got my HTC one on a 64gb Couldnt get it in the UK. But no lol. No movies on a phone, a tablet, maybe. Although I have an ultrabook for that.

          • Jillxz

            Too bad about that HTC One not having 64 gb . I am waiting for it to come to Verizon and I don’t think it will have the 64 gb. That is exclusive for AT&T. Don’t know why it has to be this way.

          • Abdullah B

            Sad times, I just wish they could release variants of devices without it being exclusive to this country or that network/carrier. But oh well, :/

      • John-Phillip Saayman

        When did someone say Nexus was the best?

  • _jliu

    The G2 looks very impressive, and I do think it is one of the best Android phones that have been announced. I really hope the next Nexus phone will be based off of the G2, because I think that stock Android and the G2’s design will be a winner. Maybe just move the power and volume buttons back to their normal spots. ;)

    • OMGgary

      Not sure they could move them without doing a fairly radical redesign of the phone.

  • Ruz

    From my point of view i still havnt come across any flagship Android phone till date and this is because some phone lacks A so some lacks B, every other high end phones lacks one feature or the other that we want..

    We want the best of camera quality in our phones, we want the latest OS to use out of the box, we want the highest battery power for our phones, what else we want to see is the list below…

    1. Screen Panel – can they improve IPS performance further like how sony has done with Triluminious display?
    2. IP certifications – i believe our phone must come with all the protections like water, dust & scratch coz we dont want our expensive phones to die in a day or month or a year
    3. Flash – can we see higher capacities here? Please
    4. microSD card sucks – why cant i use 128gb+ microsd? why the restrictions
    5. Corning gorilla glass – dont know much about sapphire but cornings new display is what i m looking fwd to see. Corning Gorilla Glass 4
    6. DSLR quality camera for smartphones which performs not only best in low light but day light as well
    7. We want mics – yes mic port is needed
    8. HDMI – atleast one micro hdmi port is needed, we want to have clutter free cables and connectors to directly connect phones to tv with best quality possible
    9. Sound – yes we want best of sound quality from our phones so that we can put our mp3 players to rest in peace
    10. UI – yes lg ui is not the best and we want the best of wallpaper, navigation, choices, options, icons, etc
    11. battery – is 10k mah capacity not possible?
    12. Network – all the network compatibility possible
    13. removable battery and mmc card
    14. USB3 – why usb3 is still not used? usb3 not only does faster transfer but it also has high charging capability. I WANT Them in phones
    15. FM & GPS – yea all the fm and gps is required
    16. Dual active SIMs – i dont see any reason why dual sims cant be implemented on high end phones where its required the most. Only high income people will go for such phones and they usually have 2 numbers and have to carry 2 phones at a time which is very frustrating. Dual sims must come with similar options as there are many things we can do with 2sims such as calling on first and data on second, incoming for first and outgoing on second, both for calls and data. All these options must be well integrated into the phone menu
    17. Projector – i know this one is asking for too much, but still good to have

    • Steve Praditya

      There is no such thing as a “Perfect Smartphone” Ruz.
      First of all, I you want 10.000 mah battery, then the phone will be thick like more than 14mm.
      Second, If you want DSLR quality phone. You wasting your time complaining about this thing. You know that DSLR’s have a big lens right? Will you willing to sacrifice the design of your phone so the rear camera can be attach to this Big Lens thing. I mean do you want a phone or a giant DSLR with a cellular connectivity? Suite yourself

      • Ruz

        i guess u have not read about the latest innovations, right?

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        True, 10 k mAh is a big ask at the moment, Li ion doped carbon nano tubes can do it, but they’re a long way from retail, (it’s the high surface area to volume / weight that makes it possible.)

        • Steve Praditya

          yes even iPad can add that much battery because ipad has a large surface of area.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Don’t forget large screens put out more light, therefore they use more power and for higher resolution images, it takes more processing power. iPad 3 used to get hot, but by iPad 4 processing power, had advanced enough to keep it cool. So it’s heavier, if it’s bigger and it doesn’t run any longer, as a comprise 7″ers are popular, too bad the res, chip, memory specs are so bad on iPad mini.

  • John A

    Im glad to see you folks liking this phone as to me, it seems very impressive indeed. I was very surprised by the poor attitude to the phone from the guys over at Pocketnow, even verging on distain.

  • Steve Praditya

    Well in my opinion, I don’t like the UI. I like Sony and HTC UI more than Touchwiz or LG’s UI. But It’s truly remarkable that the company change the smartphone design to be like that. 1 point for LG’s. and I like the specs. Especially with the new Snapdragon 800 inside. It’s a beast. If LG manage to sell The G2 in my country (Indonesia) with a pricetag of max $650, I will definitely consider buying this phone.


    The HTC ONE is still my favorite at the moment!

  • arcwindz

    How to say it… I can’t vote, so i’ll just say it
    I agree with what joe hindy said, impressive specs, fresh thin bezel design, and big battery. Hooray for all that!
    But why 5,2 inch?
    I have experienced s4, HTC one, xperia z/zl and I found that I like the zl, a compact 5 inch. HTC one rates the second best, and xperia z is the worst.
    Sure I haven’t touches g2, but seeing it, I feel like it wouldn’t be as comfy as if it was a 5 inch.

    • Ian Dimare

      LG G2: 138,5 x 70,9 x 9,14 mm
      SGS4: 136,6 x 69,8 x 7,9 mm
      Xperia Z: 139 x 71 x 7,9 mm

      LG=biggest screen and comparable size.

      • arcwindz

        Indeed, and you can see that it’s almost the same dimension as xperia Z which i don’t like.

        • Ian Dimare

          yes but Xperia Z is angular and unergonomic, LG will be for sure better

  • Ivan Budiutama

    G2 IS very water mouthing. The spec and all. I think the new features are very neat, especially love the guest feature. However, being a Nexus user (Galaxy Nexus user to be specific), many will agree with me that once you go Nexus there is no turning back to other. Especially with the recent 4.3 updates gotta love those MOARH buttery smooth and significantly longer battery life. LG is not well known for their fast updates, aside Nexus 4, but it is Google so we can rule it out. What I am trying to say, IF in any case I got G2, then my first question would be “when will I get the 4.3?” I guess I am too much spoiled by Galnex and might as well wait for the next Nexus.

    • flesbier

      Very water mouthing indeed! ,)

  • Raaj

    I am yet to see any threat to the Note series as a computing device in any way from any of these smartphones/phablets/tablets out there.

    Select, cut, copy and share part of a picture or part of a screen shot. Something that is possible only on the laptops, the Note series manages to do that.

    Multi-window, a laptop only feature, is staple of the Note series. No it is not the same on the gs3 and gs4. In the Note, you can actually “use” this feature!

    All other features of waving hands to answer (makes you look a retard, if it doesn’t work the first time), or volume buttons in the back (makes you look like a weird pervert always rubbing the “ass” of the phone!), or using your eyes to control telemetry of the screen (what if you are cross eyed!) or any other feature for that matter are all gimmicky!

    No doubt everyone has their unique way of getting their jollies, but productivity machines are hard to come by and no phone is going to give hardcore competition to the Note series just by “upping the processor” or “upping the screen size” or including a camera that shows “green a little more greener”.

    • abazigal

      Most people aren’t looking for a full-blown computing device to be their next smartphone either. I have quite a few friends who got the note2 solely for the larger screen, and simply haven’t bothered to explore its other features or incorporate them into their daily workflow.

      They basically just use it like an iPhone with a bigger screen!

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Snapdragon 800, can handle both Ultra Definition (4k) and LTE Advanced, 5.2″, with a small bezel sounds good to me, my Nexus 7 is slightly too large, probably even with the smaller bezel coming in a few days on my N7 new. I do a lot of landline WiFi, so I wouldn’t mind a Tegra 4 phablet, low on bezel, around 5, 6″.

  • Vighnesh Aravind

    it is the best of android wihout doubt

  • abazigal

    And now for the million dollar question.

    I just finished watching the keynote, and I must admit that I too am very impressed (but bear in mind that it is a rehearsed event aimed at wowing you).

    How well will this thing work in real life? I personally feel that specs alone tell only one side of the whole user experience story.

  • Eddy

    The G2 is easily a competitor for every other high-end smartphone out there. The “weird” button layout works for us, and it’s paired with some smart touch functions that are well thought out. The phone looks and feels great, and just works as a smartphone should.