• Our LG G2 review: Out-Galaxying the Galaxy

    Software:

    I noticed that the built-in keyboard is really good. It has excellent auto-correct. Itís so good Iíd mention it in the same sentence as the iOS/Windows Phone keyboards.

    In the past Android overlays got a bad rap because they werenít useful and slowed down phones. Then 2 things happened: Overlays like Touchwiz on the Galaxy S3 and LG Optimus G became more useful while phones got much faster. While the G2 is much faster itís overlay is now a bit much.

    Like Samsung, LG has taken the Ďmore is moreí approach to software. To turn the phone on you can press the power button, however if thatís not enough, you can also turn it on by double tapping the screen when itís off. Unfortunately, double tapping the screen doesnít work for me 100% of the time like pressing the power button does.



    By default when you pull down notifications, thereís a row for switches, Qslide (like a quick launcher), brightness control and a volume slider. These take up half the screen. If you want to change your settings from the pull down youíd normally look for the settings button (in this case a wrench) - the problem is that the pull down has TWO wrenches. Someone at LG forget that more is not necessarily better.

    Like most Android phones you can switch apps using the task switcher. The task switcher is easy enough to use. Press the task switch button and then swipe up or down to see what other apps youíve used recently.



    With the G2 thereís a separate task switched feature called Slide Assist. To use it you open up an app and swipe left with 3 fingers. You can do this with up to 3 apps which you can then switch between by swiping left and right with 3 fingers. Itís the answer to a question no one asked.



    One bit of software I do like is LGís remote control software. Unlike the GS4 (and HTC Oneís) software, the LG remote is just a remote. You add your devices and then control them.



    You can create custom remotes with custom buttons which can learn IR codes.



    Samsung and HTC take note, this is what I want in a remote control. Not the crap that you ship with your phones.



    Quickmemo lets you write down notes. You launch it by swiping your finger from the LG logo up to the home button then to the Quickmemo shortcut. I donít remember if it did this on the Optimus G but you can write down a note and then have it float on top of your apps. That way you can write down a phone number, have it float and then bring up the dialer or your phonebook. Thatís pretty useful. You can also use Quickmemo to take screenshots and then write on them (does this by default) and then save them.



    Those who have trouble seeing small text will love the G2. Many of the built-in apps like the Email and messaging clients can be pinch zoomed. LG also uses a relatively fat font which is easier to see.



    In order to minimize the G2ís footprint LG uses on-screen buttons on the bottom. One neat customization is that you can choose the layout of the buttons. Do you want it back, home, switcher or switcher, home, back?

    There is a clever guest mode. When you set a pattern to unlock your screen you can set a second pattern which activates guest mode. In guest mode, you can choose the apps. In Guest mode you can see the notification area but you canít pull it down. These features pretty much make the G2 a must-have if you have kids who play with your phone.

    Other extras include a File manger, Dictionary, Translator (with offline mode), Polaris Viewer and a Video Editor.

    While 4.3 was just released, under the G2ís hood is Android 4.2. If youíre thinking that if you get a G2 it will be stuck with 4.2 forever I should point out that LG updated last yearís Optimus G from 4.0 to 4.1 - whether theyíll update it again is anyoneís guess but I should point out that both the Canadian Galaxy S III and Note II from last year are also on 4.1. Anyways, if you get the G2, based on previous experience youíll probably get at least one update.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our LG G2 review: Out-Galaxying the Galaxy started by howard View original post
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Howard i was wondering if the HTC has more ppi how is the G2 better display wise?
    1. Extraordinary's Avatar
      Extraordinary -
      Deal-breaker is the battery which is sealed in there. I like being able to change my battery anytime for little cost.
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Extraordinary View Post
      Deal-breaker is the battery which is sealed in there. I like being able to change my battery anytime for little cost.

      Seems to be going the way of the sabertootn. Almost all new phones are now with a non removable battery.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      Howard i was wondering if the HTC has more ppi how is the G2 better display wise?
      The PPI doesn't matter after a certain point... unless you're a microscope.
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
      The PPI doesn't matter after a certain point... unless you're a microscope.
      Lol.......
    1. David Walcott's Avatar
      David Walcott -
      One of my old coworker showed it to me yesterday at my job. It has a beautiful screen on it. It was like look in a HD TV the colors were so vivid on the wallpaper it had. The only thing I did not like with seeing it only for a couple of minutes was it was had to tap on the power button with it being in the center. I know with the phone being so thin it was designed to be more ergonomic. I found it was hard to tap when having it with one had. Other than that I did not get much time to play with it. I just was blown away with that screen and lack of bezel around the phone. I would be very angry if I scratched that screen if I owned that phone.
    1. savbers's Avatar
      savbers -
      Quote Originally Posted by David Walcott View Post
      One of my old coworker showed it to me yesterday at my job. It has a beautiful screen on it. It was like look in a HD TV the colors were so vivid on the wallpaper it had. The only thing I did not like with seeing it only for a couple of minutes was it was had to tap on the power button with it being in the center. I know with the phone being so thin it was designed to be more ergonomic. I found it was hard to tap when having it with one had. Other than that I did not get much time to play with it. I just was blown away with that screen and lack of bezel around the phone. I would be very angry if I scratched that screen if I owned that phone.
      That's why you're supposed to double tap on the screen to turn it on.
    1. Tarball's Avatar
      Tarball -
      I almost wish I had waited for this instead of getting an S4, I think I'd really prefer that nice IPS LCD screen to Samsung's AMOLED.
      Oh well, I'm sure in 6 months there will be another phone that's even better than this one .
    1. NickC's Avatar
      NickC -
      Great review! I just got my G2 today and LOVE it! Has more features too than the G Pro I exchanged for it.
    1. carsmovies's Avatar
      carsmovies -
      Just finished playing with Howard's G2. Love it. In other reviews they were slamming the rear plastic but I found it to be quite nice with a slight textured feel and not as slippery as the GS4. A couple things Howard didn't mention in his review (he'll update soon) is that you can not only turn the phone on by tapping the screen twice but also turn it back off the same way as long as you tap it on a blank part of the screen. Also you can not only change the configuration of the bottom on screen buttons but add a fourth button to do another function. Earpiece and speaker phone volumes are a little more quiet than the iphone 5s but not dramatically so imho. Not a deal breaker for me.

      I think this might just be my next phone coming from the HTC one.
    1. kintamanate's Avatar
      kintamanate -
      How does not having side buttons a PRO?

      So, if I want to raise or lower the volume of my phone on a table, I have to pick it up off the table and fiddle with volume controls versus leaving it on the table and pressing the buttons that are needed to control volume?

      Same scenario - phone is on the table, I have to pick up the phone and press the power button to see missed calls/messages, rather than giving it a tap or the side of the phone?

      What if I'm browsing the phone on the table and the screen goes off, I have to pick it up to turn the screen back on? I thought phones were supposed to eliminate steps, not make things more inconvenient.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by kintamanate View Post
      How does not having side buttons a PRO?

      So, if I want to raise or lower the volume of my phone on a table, I have to pick it up off the table and fiddle with volume controls versus leaving it on the table and pressing the buttons that are needed to control volume?

      Same scenario - phone is on the table, I have to pick up the phone and press the power button to see missed calls/messages, rather than giving it a tap or the side of the phone?

      What if I'm browsing the phone on the table and the screen goes off, I have to pick it up to turn the screen back on? I thought phones were supposed to eliminate steps, not make things more inconvenient.

      Not having side buttons makes the phone easier to handle. If you want to adjust the volume you'll have to take it off the table to adjust the volume. You can also adjust it from the notification pull-down.
    1. Eluder's Avatar
      Eluder -
      Quote Originally Posted by kintamanate View Post

      Same scenario - phone is on the table, I have to pick up the phone and press the power button to see missed calls/messages, rather than giving it a tap or the side of the phone?

      What if I'm browsing the phone on the table and the screen goes off, I have to pick it up to turn the screen back on? I thought phones were supposed to eliminate steps, not make things more inconvenient.
      No, you can double tap the screen while it's down to wake it up/unlock. When you use it, you'll see how quick and handy it is.
      I personally find this design great because you get this massive and gorgeous screen, but the footprint of the phone is that same as the HTC One.
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eluder View Post
      but the footprint of the phone is that same as the HTC One.
      Hmm, really? the G2 is both wider and taller, also when put side by side the G2 looks substantially bigger in my opinion.
      And i just can't see myself buying another LG phone after all the issues with the G2X, Also the One has such a unique design and great speakers and the G2 is just another Galaxy look alike.
    1. TelecomZombie's Avatar
      TelecomZombie -
      can't see myself buying another LG phone
      Damn must be an Echo.
    1. Eluder's Avatar
      Eluder -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      Hmm, really? the G2 is both wider and taller, also when put side by side the G2 looks substantially bigger in my opinion.
      And i just can't see myself buying another LG phone after all the issues with the G2X, Also the One has such a unique design and great speakers and the G2 is just another Galaxy look alike.
      Not when I layed them side by side. The G2 was roughly the same size as the htc one since the one has the stereo speakers and all.
    1. Mr Mystery's Avatar
      Mr Mystery -
      Not trading my One for this. I'll wait and get the HTC Two or Note 3 (or both )

      Sent with the HoFo App
    1. NGeorge's Avatar
      NGeorge -
      I agree... I love my One... the GS4 (and G2) is just too "plastic-y". I'd been waiting for a phone with superb construction like an iPhone--without being an iPhone... and on that front, HTC delivered amazingly--and the speakers are just icing on the cake... I don't think I could go back to a plastic phone. The One just feels better, and is on par, if not even a touch nicer than the iPhone on the construction front.

      Hopefully I won't be waiting around too long for a similar phone with Sprint tri-band LTE lol

      Nat