2The LG G2
3LG G2: The Display
5Other Necessary Items
6Where’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.
7Quad-Core on Board
8Packed 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.
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.
10Innovative vs. Intuitive to Use
1113 Megapixels, Check
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.
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.