LG G2 Is Fast, Big, Beautiful and Just a Little Odd

0-LG G2 Is Fast, Big, Beautiful and Just a Little Odd
1-The LG G2
2-LG G2: The Display
3-SIM Slot
4-Other Necessary Items
5-Where's the Power Button?
6-Quad-Core on Board
7-Packed With Features
8-Quick Memo
9-Innovative vs. Intuitive to Use
10-13 Megapixels, Check
11-Fingertip Writing
12-Zoom, Zoom
10-In SummaryIn Summary
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LG G2 Is Fast, Big, Beautiful and Just a Little Odd

by Michelle Maisto

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The LG G2

LG Electronics is third in line when it comes to global smartphone shipments, but there's a considerable expanse between market leaders Samsung and Apple and the rest of the pack. With the G2, and its new G Series, LG is trying to shorten the distance.

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LG G2: The Display

The G2 features a 5.2-inch (1,920-by-1,080) Full HD IPS display that takes up every bit of the phone's front. The control buttons—Home, Menu and Back buttons—are on the display and can be ordered in a way a user finds most comfortable.

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SIM Slot

The SIM card tray is quietly located on the left side of the G2. Otherwise, LG made the G2 as streamlined and button-free as possible. At least in the traditional ways.

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Other Necessary Items

On the bottom of the G2 is the miniUSB port for charging, the speakers and the headphone jack. The G2 measures 5.45 by 2.78 by 0.35 inches and weighs 5 ounces. Like the Galaxy S III and 4, it can act as a universal remote and learn to not dim the screen while a user is reading.

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Where's the Power Button?

LG took a gamble here. It placed the volume rocker and power button below the camera lens, where a user's index fingertip easily rests. The design decision enables the G2 to be recognizable in a pack of Android phones, but it's better in theory than execution. The buttons don't feel distinct enough to be actually convenient. One winds up looking at the buttons more than if they were on the side of the phone.

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Quad-Core on Board

The G2 runs Android 4.2.2 and a quad-core Snapdragon processor. It's a very fast phone, whether playing HD videos, clicking through Web pages or moving between applications. In any screen, holding down the Home button will pull up the Task Master, showing all open applications.

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Packed With Features

Again, the G2 is like the Samsung Galaxy S III and 4 in that it's full of features and software tricks, some more helpful than others. This one, called Slide Aside, isn't easy to use, but when it works, it offers another way to see and access three open apps. One great feature is a double-tap to wake the phone or send it to sleep.

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Quick Memo

A Quick Memo feature could be very helpful—it lets a user post a message to her home screen to remind her of important items—but using it, determining whether the message will stay on the home screen, and learning how to post it there or remove it aren't intuitive or obvious. Which is silly, considering it's essentially a Post-It app.

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Innovative vs. Intuitive to Use

It would be sufficient to contain the Quick Memo to the home screen. Is that a possibility? Who knows. It was easier to delete the note than edit it.

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13 Megapixels, Check

The rear camera can take seriously beautiful photos, but it wasn't consistent. In a patch of shade, outside on a sunny day, the lens didn't grab enough light to properly light this shot.

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Fingertip Writing

The camera has lots of features, filters and options, including the ability to annotate an image. Sans stylus, however, those without slim fingers may feel they're working with a very blunt instrument.

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Zoom, Zoom

Nokia makes a big deal (rightly so) about the zooming power of its newest Lumias and how they create smaller areas of interest within the main image. The G2 also performs rather well on this front. In this photo, zooming in over the subject's shoulder offered a pretty good look at the Freedom Tower and a Frank Gehry–designed skyscraper on the Manhattan skyline.

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In Summary

The LG G2 is a very good phone—attractive, fast, feature-rich and slim enough to comfortably fit in a back pocket. But the back buttons may not suit everyone, the plastic can feel a little slimy, and the added features can border on frustrating. Is it enough to attract customers away from Samsung? Not likely.

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