LG’s G2: The phondleslab that wants you to TOUCH ITS BEHIND
The Android handset you’ll want to see the back of?
Open up the app tray and you will find quite a few bespoke LG apps which you are stuck with unless you fancy rooting your handset. Let’s be honest, most people don’t. The video and music players are both very good, the former having a nifty search feature that lets you search by frame but only changing to the searched-for scene when you tap the search bar.
The G2‘s video player is excellent
The music app will stream tunes from your DropBox account. The cloud-connected file browser, gallery and TV remote are a cut above the average too, though the gallery app, like all of its kind, is being rendered obsolete by Google’s new Photos app.
The 13MP main camera boasts some basic image stabilisation and photos taken with with it demonstrated fine levels of detail and very little noise. Colours looked accurate and the white balance was good too.
The G2 can record 1080p videos at 30fps but if you ask it to capture a still image while doing so it only offers up a 1MP snap, which is a bit naff. That aside, the G2 is very bit as good a photographic tool as any other smartphone bar the Nokia 1020 or the Sony Xperia Z1. The 2.1MP webcam can produce a good selfie too.
The back is fixed down, so don’t expect to swap batteries
A few final peculiarities to mention: the micro USB port, while happily supporting On-The-Go Hosting and media playback, needs a SlimPort rather than MHL cable for the latter. There’s also an FM radio which is an increasing rarity these days and, even more rare, support for 24-bit/192KHz audio playback. The music player can handle Flac files, the unexpandable storage permitting.
As for the nuts and bolts, the G2 is every bit as well endowed as you’d expect a flagship from a major Korean phone firm to be. There’s dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an IR blaster, Bluetooth 4.0, an NFC pick-up and, of course, support for 4G/LTE.
There is even a very decent pair of speakers built into the bottom edge of the handset – the best sounding pair this side of the HTC One, in fact, though their positioning means they are rather too easy to muffle when you are holding the phone in landscape for gaming. Wireless reception and call quality were well up to snuff.
A decent pair of speakers
The Reg Verdict
If you can live with the fixed battery and equally fixed storage, the G2 is a rather impressive bag of tricks. It’s surprisingly small and svelte for something with a 5.2-inch screen and that screen is a very good example of the breed.
The battery is usefully larger – to the tune of 400mAh – than that fitted to the Galaxy S4, and the camera is one of the best fitted to any Android smartphone.
The stand-out feature, though, are those rear-mounted controls, which really do make this large handset much easier to use. ®