Hands-on with the LG G2, LG’s answer to the Galaxy S4

Jordan O'Brien
September 9, 2013

We’ve arrived at IFA later than everyone else, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to get our own grubby mitts on all that there is to offer — and first off comes LG’s flagship, the device it launched over in New York earlier this month — the G2.

Design & Display

The first thing you’ll notice about the LG G2 is its incredibly thin bezel. It’s there, it’s just hard to notice it as the screen just feels edge-edge.

This is especially noticeable as it’s the only thing that really helps the G2’s otherwise bland design — and no we don’t mean understated, the G2 is one of the most boring phones we’ve seen in a while.

The G2 is meant to be LG’s answer to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, but it doesn’t even come close to them in terms of aesthetics.

Whilst the Samsung Galaxy S4’s design isn’t anything to call home about, the LG G2 feels likes its chubbier cousin.

The 5.2-inch full HD display is just as nice as the S4’s, with colours being reproduced really vividly, but we can’t help but feel let down by the brightness — even our iPhone 5 was capable of a higher brightness.

Viewing angles were excellent though, no matter what angle you looked at this device from you were sure to see the screen clearly — as long as you’re in a dark room of course.

If you’ve ever owned a phone before, then you’re likely to be aware of where all the buttons on the device usually are — either the side or the top, right?

Well LG has thrown out that logic and decided to place all the buttons on the rear of the device — which frankly feel either really odd or really comfortable.

We’re not going to complain too much about the placement of the buttons, we found that whilst initially odd — it really depends how you hold your phone.

We also found the buttons incredibly useful when it came to taking a photos, as you could change the settings so the lock button will act as a shutter key.

This way of taking photos felt really sturdy — much sturdier than using the touchscreen.

Camera & Software

It’s not as if that matters all that much though, as the G2 does have optical image stabilisation, which means when taking photos with the G2’s 13MP rear facing camera, the camera itself will move to compensate your shakiness.

The quality of the camera shots were also rather clear and crisp, we found ourselves really impressed.

Whilst the G2 does run on Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, LG has decided that it isn’t designed well enough, so has put its own skin on it — which looks exactly like TouchWiz.

Within this UI you’ll also start to see that the LG G2’s striking resemblance with the S4 is more than skin deep, with guest modes, Plug ‘n’PLay’ and picking up the phone to answer a call all being on-board.

LG has also added its own multitasking function, which we tried but hated. Essentially it’s swiping three fingers in from the side and then it will show you a selection of recently used apps — quite frankly we prefer the standard multitasking menu, which is rather difficult to get to (you have to hold down the back button).


The LG G2 is more Samsung than LG, and whilst we know that it always helps to create something that you know will sell — we can’t help but feel LG could have done something a lot more special.

LG has created some really impressive phones in the past, such as the Nexus 4, but the G2 feels like it’s borrowed too heavily from Samsung.

Don’t get us know, the G2 is still a fantastic phone for anyone who doesn’t want a Samsung phone but also wants a great Android phone, but after our brief playaround with it, we won’t be rushing out to the shops for one.

That said, it could surprise us when we review it later this year.

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

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