Lg G2.

The Optimus tag has been replaced with cutting-edge hardware and a bold button layout

LG has been on a tear as of late, releasing phones that tick all the marks for hardware aficionados, while paring back their user interface slowly but surely. The G2 is the culmination of these efforts. It's currently the hardware king with the Snapdragon S800 CPU (though that will be changing soon enough) combined with a big screen and everything else Internet phone fans have a hankering for. But we've seen enough to know that it takes more than hardware to make a great phone.

The software is equally important. This is an area where LG has historically struggled, often adding too much of the wrong stuff to Android and delivering a product that nobody ever asked for. While we admire any company who thinks outside the box, everyone here has been waiting for LG to get it just right. A perfect phone is surely something that can never be, but the G2 comes close. Read on and see where the G2 excels, where it fails, and why the former outweighs the latter.

Inside this review: Hardware | Software | Cameras | Bottom line | G2 forums


Hands-on

It's quite the piece of phonery. As soon as you turn it on, you'll notice two things — the buttons, of course, and the screen. You may or may not be digging the buttons, but I think you'll like what you see when you look into the face of the G2. 

Of course, there's more to the G2 than buttons and the screen. 

Hardware

G2.

If you're in the camp that says hardware is all that matters, you've found your dream phone. It's well built for the most part, has deliciously thin bezels astride the 5.2-inch screen, and will run most anything you throw at it with nary a flinch or stutter. It's stylish and thin, has a great curved shape, and ergonomically it feels very nice in your hand. It manages the size as well as the user can expect, and operation with one hand is certainly possible with minor adjustments. 

The display is what we spend all of our time looking at, and is the most important spec to get right

What we didn't like (you knew this was coming) is the extra-glossy materials the G2 is built out of. It suffers from the same problem Samsung's Galaxy S4 does — it looks like it's cheaply made. Clearly it's not, and using it for more than a few minutes will affirm this. It's a solid device. But it looks like a cheap mass-market product. We understand that smartphones are a mass-market product, but we've seen devices use plastic in ways that look and feel good and wish LG would follow suit. If you were expecting a textured, premium feel as we've seen some from of LG's past products like the Optimus 2X, you'll be disappointed. 

Don't let this stop you from buying or enjoying the G2. Slap a case on it if it bothers you as much as it does me. I'm not a case user usually, but the G2 is one of those phones that would force me to use one.

What's on the outside

G2.

We have to start with the display. It's a gorgeous 5.2-inch "Tru-HD" IPS LCD, checking in with a 1080 x 1920 resolution that gives us approximately 442 pixels displayed per inch. The quality, clarity and color reproduction rivals the celebrated HTC One display in every use case. The viewing angles are excellent, and you will appreciate the time and money LG has put into their LCD technology every time you watch a video or look at a picture. The display is what we spend all of our time looking at, and to me is the most important spec to get right. LG has done more than get it right, and you really need to see it to understand just how damn good it is.

G2.  G2.

Sharing the front of the phone with the gorgeous screen are the usual array of sensors, a 2.1MP camera, the earpiece speaker and a multi-color notification LED. While not nearly as thin as the side bezels, the top and bottom bezels are small and symmetrical. At the very bottom of the face of the phone you'll find an LG logo that we wish had been left out for appearances sake.

G2.  G2.

The sides of the phone house none of the standard controls as those are around the back — and we'll be talking about that, shortly — but there are a few things to take notice of. At the top of the phone you'll find one of the microphones, on the left side you'll find the micro SIM card tray, and on the bottom there rests a headphone jack (the 3.5mm standard), a microUSB charging and data port, and symmetrical speaker grills. Under those grills, there is a loudspeaker on the right and the main microphone on the left. The edges are all gently curved, which makes for a nice, seamless feel while holding and using the G2.

G2.

You will either love the buttons or hate them, but either way you will be able to adjust

Now we get to the back. Likely as a way to keep the bezels so impossibly thin, LG has moved the volume controls and the power button to the rear of the device. You will either love this or hate it, but either way you will be able to adjust to them unless you have very short fingers. On the AT&T version, the controls are nice and wide, and having the power switch made from a different material than the volume rocker allows you to operate everything by feel rather than turning the phone around to look where your fingers are. The controls work exactly as expected, they are just placed on the rear rather than on the sides where normal, sane people expect them to be. Surrounding the power button is a flashing ring that you would think acts as a notification light, but I'm not seeing this behavior. It does flash when the screen is turned on or off, though.

Also around back, and equally important, is the excellent 13MP camera and LED flash. We'll talk more about these further down the page.

What's on the inside

Cores

The features can be used without affecting the performance in ways that make you want to turn them off

Under the great screen is where the beast lives. Of course, I'm talking about the Qualcomm Snapdragon S800 power plant. Consisting of a quad-core array of Krait 400 cores, an Adreno 330 GPU, an extra fast 2MB L2 cache on a 28nm die means it's simply the best ARMv7 system-on-chip available. The version in the G2 is clocked at 2.26Ghz, and it chews through even poorly-coded software with ease. While I'm sure LG spent time optimizing their code to run as best as it can on the G2, the UI is heavy and full of features. With them all enabled, there is nary a stutter or complaint when using the phone. This is impressive, as things like Q-Slide apps, motion gestures and LG's Slide Aside features are heavy and processor intensive. You may or may not find these features useful, but it's nice to know they can be used without affecting the performance of the device in ways that makes you want to turn them off. 

I think we have finally reached the point where the hardware is so damn good that we can throw any software on it and get great results. This makes me excited for the future, because a slim, less feature-rich (but highly optimized) operating system running on similar hardware should blow our hair back. I'll put it bluntly — the G2 is as fast and lag free, while running software that's feature-rich and heavy, as the Nexus 4 or Nexus 7 is running bare-bones Android. That's something we haven't been able to say before, and we're glad to see it. 

The full specs

Operating System
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Linux Kernel 3.4.0
  • LG Optimus UI version D80010d
Display
  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD
  • 1080 x 1920 resolution (424 ppi)
  • Multi-touch, 16M colors
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Processor
  • Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800
  • quad-core Krait 400 at 2.26GHz
  • Adreno 330
Memory
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (25GB available)
Camera
  • Front: 2.1MP with 1080p/30 video recording
  • Rear: 13MP autofocus
  • Simultaneous video and image recording
  • Geo-tagging, face detection
  • Optical image stabilization, HDR
Battery
  • 3000mAh Lithium Polymer
  • non-removeable
Connectivity
  • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
  • LTE 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 / 850
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wifi, Wifi Direct
  • DLNA, Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, LE
  • A-GPS, GLONASS
  • NFC
Miscellaneous
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Proximity sensor
  • Compass
  • Ambient light sensor
Dimensions
  • 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 143 g 

Software

G2 home layout

Forget the LG Android phones that ran the Optimus UI from 2012. If you've used one of LG's newer phones, you know they have been hard at work to deliver a better user experience than we've seen in the past. If you're looking for Google's Android, you'll want to look elsewhere, but LG has built their software into something they should be proud of, and it offers plenty of features and eye-candy for those who want the features and eye-candy.

I'll admit that out of the box the software wasn't to my liking. But I know two very important things (and so do you) about any device with Android roots:

  1. You can customize almost anything
  2. Not every phone should deliver the "Nexus experience"

With that in mind, I sat down and spent a few minutes getting rid of the things I didn't want to see, and adding software from Google Play. I'm left with something that's completely usable and productive. While I'd rather have a slim and utilitarian feel, chances are you'll find the way that works for you as well.

LG's user experience

G2 Software G2 software G2 software

There is a lot to digest here. In fact, it's more than you'll be able to grasp from a written review, no matter how many words are spent. LG has touched everything, so if this is your first foray into a custom manufacturer build of Android, you're in for an awakening. It's not bad, I won't lie to you. It's certainly not going to fit everyone's tastes, but as I mentioned above the good news is that you can "adjust" a lot of things. 

In general, things are very colorful and every line item in the settings is full of options. You can change the font style and size, or enable face-tracking ability under the Display setting. You can set things like looping through your home screens or disable rotation under the Home screen setting. One-handed operation allows you to shift the location of on-screen elements like the keyboard or dial pad. A really cool and unique feature is Guest Mode, where you can display only a few apps of your choosing on a single screen when others are using your device.

All these settings and features seem to work well, though I found it to be a bit of an overload. Thankfully, most of them can be deactivated easily and other than having the line-item in the device settings they remain invisible to the user. 

The good news is that the button layout is customizable, the bad news is that all the options still sort of suck

Most of these features are self explanatory when you use them, such as having multiple home screens and lots of LG widgets. Some need more explanation, like the Q-Slide apps and Slide Aside feature. And some are just plain cool and deserve a bit of playing with, like Knock-on. We'll touch on some of the highlights, but be sure to carry yourself into the G2 forums and read what other people using the phones have to say. Often, the best information comes from users just like yourself and not from reviewers who have to juggle around multiple devices and might have missed a nuance because of it.

G2-Buttons   G2-buttons

One of the first things you'll notice is the on-screen button layout. The good news is that it's customizable, the bad news is that all the options still sort of suck. You have a choice which buttons to use — back, home, menu, QuickMemo, and a notification panel pull down. You're given no option for a multi-tasking button, nor an option to remove the menu button. Multi-tasking and app switching is done by long pressing the home button.

You can theme the button interface with different colors and turn transparency on and off. We understand the addition of a notification panel pull-down button, as the G2 is one of those phones where people may find it difficult to reach the very top of the screen when using it in one hand. The menu button is part of Android's legacy, and while it doesn't create any issues, it does buck the unified application design guidelines and standards put forth by Google. If we ever want apps to have the same navigation features, these menu buttons and the apps that need them have to go. On the plus side, there is no Appleesque physical clicky home button to wear out.

Backup  Backup

LG also offers a complete backup service, where all your apps and their data, personal data, system settings and media are bundled and saved to a compressed file on the device itself. These can be scheduled, and there is even an option to restore data from one device to another. If you're prudent — and you should be — you can then move this file or files to your computer or into the cloud for safe-keeping. LG includes a nifty utility that acts as a wireless gateway to copy files to and from your device from any computer with a web browser, but we've had trouble getting it to work as advertised.

Oops

All things considered, we think LG did a pretty good job here. We're ready to stop the ubiquitous eye-rolling that happens when we talk about LG's custom UI, and they are now on par with HTC or Samsung. That's a good thing. Android benefits from the changes and additions manufacturers make to the open-source code that is Android, and we've seen plenty of occasion where they do it better.

Bundled apps

G2 bundled apps

I'm not suggesting you automatically disable all the AT&T bundled apps, but if you do I understand completely

The G2 is a phone that LG built for AT&T. We always need to remember that the carriers are the customers of the folks making most of our Android phones, and that means they will fill them with applications that they want you to try. I'm sure they know that those of us who are in to smartphones will do whatever we can do to delete, fold, spindle and mutilate these apps, but that's OK. They don't have these phones built for the enthusiasts, no matter how vocal we are. 

The good news is that since the G2 runs Jelly Bean, you can just disable most of them. I'm not suggesting you automatically go into the settings and disable all the AT&T bundled apps without trying them first, but if you do I'll understand completely. Trust me, I understand completely.

Here's your list of what's included.

  • Amazon Kindle
  • AT&T Address Book — particularly invasive, as it tries to preempt your Android contacts.
  • AT&T Code Scanner
  • AT&T Drive Mode
  • AT&T Family Map
  • AT&T Hot Spots
  • AT&T Locker
  • AT&T Messages 
  • AT&T Navigator
  • AT&T Ready2Go
  • AT&T Smart Wifi
  • Carrier IQ
  • City ID
  • Wild Tangent Games
  • Mobile TV
  • myAT&T
  • YPMobile

Of course, LG has a full compliment of apps built into the OS that you may not find useful, too. Flashlights, Task Managers, Several Notepad apps, those and more are there at the ready. Luckily, most of these can be disabled as well if you find you would rather not have two video editors or four messaging clients. You know the drill here.

The Camera

G2 camera

Just like the hardware section, there is plenty to get excited about here. The G2 offers one of the best smartphone cameras available today. Outdoor shots in bright conditions are good, just as you would expect, but the results from less than perfect conditions are also top-notch and consistent. There are various shooting modes — which we'll look at shortly — but what impressed me the most was the great automatic mode. I played around with all the settings and different options, but ended up favoring the 10MP setting (it uses a native 16:9 aspect ratio that I've grown accustomed to) with White balance, ISO, Focus and Brightness at the defaults while shooting in "Normal" (automatic) mode. I was pleased with the results. Any camera can take good pictures if you fiddle with the settings and take care to set things up just right, but how it performs in automatic mode, where you can pull it out of your pocket and take a quick picture, is important. While if your serious about taking photos you'll use a camera, the G2 delivers quality shots.

G2 camera

We can't ignore the other camera modes and settings, though. From photo sphere-like VR panorama mode, to Time catch mode, which captures ghosted images of moving objects, LG has almost every gimmick you can think of in the camera settings. I played with them, and you will, too, but to be honest their something so niche and subjective that there's no way I can decide what you should think of them. Don't let them be the deciding factor in your purchase, but do give them a try when you're playing with your new phone if you pick up a G2.

The test photos, all under normal and automatic settings, are below. Some were in good light, some were in not-so-good light, and one was under a hokey fake electric gaslight that glowed orange at one of those eateries that think hokey orange fake gaslights are good ambiance. The last example is of course the front-facing camera, which is also excellent — it's bright, clear, and a treat for video chatting.

Camera sample  Camera sample

Camera sample  Camera sample

Camera sample  Camera sample

Camera sample  Camera sample

Camera sample  G2 camera

Video samples

The video cameras — both front and rear — are pretty awesome, too. The front camera will shoot in 1080p at 30 fps, and its 2.1MP sensor is nice and bright. It's perfect for video conferencing, or making short intro videos, on anything else where you would want a clear and well exposed video of your face.

The rear camera takes some great video as well. The focus is fast, the colors are accurate, and the image stabilization helps even a middle aged man who drinks too much coffee take videos that don't look like the Great San Francisco Quake. Here's not just a sample, but one of the videos I made with it for a couple of very special friends who happen to be junior fish nerds in training. You will use this video camera and share short clips more than you do now,  because it's so easy to make videos that look good. And your friends and family will thank you for it.

The verdict

Network speeds

How it all works together

There was a lot I really liked about the G2 on AT&T. Conversely, there were things I could do without as well. Most phones are going to be like that. In general, the G2 is a fine phone, and does the things it needs to do rather well. Call quality was acceptable on both ends, though I've used phones that were clearer sounding. Wifi signal was good, both on 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and the 802.11 ac channel works as advertised, reaching intranet (read: not internet) speeds of over 200Mb/s download — though I'm not sure that's necessary on a phone and still think the benefit of ac Wifi is the extended range in the 5GHz spectrum. On the cellular side of things, I have to say I'm really stoked with what AT&T is doing with their network. LTE is good where you can get it, but their HSPA 3G "4G" network is vast and fast in my area. And it keeps getting better. This makes for an almost seamless handoff when you leave an LTE area. I routinely bitch and moan about the evil that carriers do, so when they do something good I need to praise them. Nice work on your network, AT&T.

battery  battery  battery

The phone lasts from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed, no matter what I ask it to do during those hours

Battery life was good. The G2 easily lasted me a full day without disabling anything, and would even stretch things out into part of the second day if I needed it to. I wasn't blown away by the battery life, however. Maybe it was my expectations, or maybe it was the fact that there's a 3000mAh battery under the hood, but I thought it would be better. I've done a lot of thinking and trying to make sense of it all and I've come to a conclusion — while the screen is on, and you're working the G2 hard, the battery life is much better than any phone I have here to compare it to. A 90-minute movie or a long session of playing a game drains a lot of juice, but far less than we're used to. I think that's the S800 at work. But (and there's always a but) while idling the G2 uses more battery than phones without all the stuff going on in the background. If my theory is right (and a few other people with the G2 are seeing similar results) that means if you do stop the things you might not want — like auto sync of weather info, or turning Bluetooth off, or using Wifi when you can — it will probably be much better. Folks using the G2 long-term will soon have a game plan, like they do with every other phone.

Just know that while using all the tools available on the phone, and gobbling up AT&T's data on their included SIM, the phone lasts from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed, no matter what I ask it to do during those hours. That's really all I can ask for.

Pebble connected

Everything else works as advertised, too. Using Bluetooth for both audio and calls went without a hitch, as did the LE module when used with a Pebble. GPS was spot on, and you'll be pleased with the fact that navigation uses less battery than the phone you have now. There is nothing here that doesn't work just like it should. That's refreshing.

Of course, the subjective things — button placement, physical size, glossy materials and the like — can't be measured as working or not working. These are things you'll only know once you hold the phone itself. I could deal with them if I had bought a G2.

Should you buy this thing?

G2

$600 is a lot of money. Whether you pay for it all at once, use AT&T's Next program, or take the subsidy and overpay for the privilege of only having $200 in up-front costs. That's why many of you are here reading this, and other, reviews. You want to find out as much as you can before you dust off the wallet.

Pros

  • It's fast
  • It's the most future-proof phone available today
  • It has an excellent camera
  • The screen is amazing
  • All the gimmicks / features actually work

Cons

  • It's a little big
  • Your OCD side will be constantly wiping the fingerprints off the back unless it's in a case
  • There's a lot of bloatware from AT&T
  • The rear buttons are less than optimal
  • Carrier models usually lag behind when it comes to critical security updates
The G2 is a fine phone, and does the things it needs to do rather well

I'll be blunt, because that's what I'm good at. In my opinion, at this very moment, the G2 is the best Android phone on AT&T if you want a phone filled with features. It doesn't look as good as the HTC One. It doesn't have the Samsung name behind it like the Galaxy S4. But it does have the best hardware available if you're into specs, and it's the only Android phone I've used that allows you to actually use all these features without affecting the performance. Other reviewers go on and on about fonts, or keyboards, but those things are all changeable. Maybe they should have spent more time changing them than complaining if they bothered them that much — I did. The buttons on the rear take some serious adjustment, and the odd on-screen button configurations can be infuriating, but as a complete package I think anyone interested should just bite the bullet and do it.

 
There are 114 comments

Rmbrown1964 says:

Looks nice, but I'm going for the note 3.

Posted via Android Central App

chiporlee says:

Why not the LG?

Posted via Android Central App

crwolv says:

He probably is for the same reason I am the AMOLED screen which is superior and that's not an opinion I have proof on XDA forums ,crwolv

Posted via Android Central App

SteveB2 says:

"The focus is fast, the colors are accurate, and the image stabilization helps even a middle aged man who drinks too much coffee take videos that don't look like the Great San Francisco Quake."

Gold Jerry, Gold......

Nice review too!

Lol my favourite line in the article as well. Good review Jerry :)

Mtn_Scott says:

Nice Lamprologus multifasciatus.

jonathan3579 says:

Thank you for this review. I'm a very satisfied G2 owner and have found the majority of the G2 reviews shitty and unprofessional.

cobalt_mcg says:

"shitty and unprofessional" made me laugh.

jonathan3579 says:

Well the issue has been reviewers who are too afraid to step out of the Apple Samsung box.

thaghost says:

Engadget gave it a good review and Phoneareana gave it a 9.4.

I have a question for you. When recording video, does it jump or constantly refocus? They mentioned that on the Engadget review with proof. I tried to verify it with video from this review but I couldn't b/c he filmed water.

Thanks

tx_tuff says:

I tried out recording at a high school football game and had the refocusing problem. But that was right after I got the phone and hadn't had a chance to play with settings or anything. At the time it was set to 30fps, shipped that way. I have since changed it to 60fps but haven't tried it again.

thaghost says:

Thanks. I just looked at the review for the Verizon version and the author said if you put it to 60fps it would be smoother.

darrylz07 says:

This phone was great overall,but can we be more realistic here?hearing this plastic thing over and over again is already getting lame..not everyone cares about it..and I'd say most users don't. Just think of the fact that samsung sells millions of phones, do you think it will sell that much if alot of people minds about it?

Posted via Android Central App

jivester says:

I care about it...and it is not just that it is made of plastic but that it is cheap feeling and looking plastic. You don't hear reviewers saying the same thing about the Moto X or Nexus 7...that is because their plastic feels so much better in hand and looks better to0. Just my opinion...

thaghost says:

I've personally held the Moto X in my hand and it felt cheap to me. That turned me off from the phone.

ScottJ says:

All plastic is cheap. That's why it's ubiquitous. It's also an extremely lightweight and durable material. It has one additional property that makes it especially suited for smartphones: It is relatively transparent to radio signals.

riclee says:

Who cares what it's made of or how it feels.
Your going to put a case on it anyway.. .correct???

flipponater says:

Not me....i can't stand cases

Posted via Android Central App

thaghost says:

Nope, I'm not a case guy.

turdbogls says:

just because you dont want to hear about it, doesn't mea no one else wants to hear about it. i guess he should also throw a review of cases on here since most people slap cases on their phones. he was asked to review a phone....and he did a fine job of doing that.

markdowd84 says:

He definitely made the point of saying that the plastic build is subjective - something that other critics don't say. Just because other phones have been criticized for having a plastic build doesn't mean that the build should be ignored on this phone.

NoNexus says:

Yeah but people tend to focus on it. Just about every Samsung thread has 20 posts about it.

I am setting the Vegas line that the over/under on posts referring to the faux leather plastic back comments at 30 for 100 comments.

Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone

ScottJ says:

"Nexus!"...Just thought I'd throw that out there.

It's my bet that when people have a chance to feel the white one (yes, they use different materials), that raises to 60/100.

There are many very nicely built and durable products made of plastic, that also look good and feel premuim. This phone is not any of them.

JJones1210 says:

Thank you for posting a fail, full review of this phone. So many reviews have been terrible, and I have no idea why. I have the Verizon G2, and seriously love this phone.

md308 says:

JJ, how much bloat is on the Verizon version vs. AT&T, and what do you think of revised rear buttons on the Verizon?

Holding out for the Nexus 5, but if it lets me down, this will be my new phone, just have to pick a carrier...

tx_tuff says:

The bloat is about the same as the AT&T version. The buttons on the back are smaller because of the wireless charging (have seen a picture with the back off and it was a must), but they are not hard to get used too and use Knock On way more then back buttons anyway.

chiporlee says:

Same idea .home if nexus specs are close I'll take that

Posted via Android Central App

jlczl says:

Nice review.

Note 3, G2, or Nexus 5. Not sure but so far the G2 looks really good. Waiting to know for sure what the Nexus 5 brings to the table.

Posted via Android Central App

miller7796 says:

Curious, what car mount is that? I'm needing to replace mine.

Charles Az says:

What car dock is that? Looks cool...

http://www.shopandroid.com/clingo-universal-hands-free-mount/3A78A8426.htm

But I have to say, I wouldn't use this one for the G2. I love the car mount, been using it for almost 2 years, but it's the kind that's sticky. I had it pull the rear buttons off one time. They snap right back in, but still.

Charles Az says:

Thanks, looks cool, 2 questions for you: Does it leave any residue on the phone? Can it hold a phone an inch or 2 higher than center so I can still use the phones camera? Thanks again

yep. I do time-lapse driving videos with it that way :P

jazbojenkins says:

How do you do that? App? or something else? TIA

NexusKoolaid says:

I plan on replacing my old Galaxy Nexus soon. I've been a bit disappointed with the volume levels of that phone, especially the ring/notification volumes. What are the volume levels like on the G2?

Normal? they seem fine to me. not HTC One loud, but loud enough as long as you don't cover the speaker

codiusprime says:

Played with one at the Verizon store and that thing is FAST, I can definitely tell a difference between it and the fiances S4. That being said the software still looks awful. Excellent review Jerry.

ilhe1s says:

Nova, Apex, Etc... Problem Solved!

skipatrol says:

This. I played with the Verizon version of the g2. S4 with nova runs just as fast. Although the G2s screen was beautiful.

Posted via Android Central App

ksc6000#AC says:

Jerry, the standby time on this phone has been bad for a lot of people until they did a factory reset. If you got the phone from ATT and started to set it up and use it..the standby is bad. But for some reason if you factory reset it once..the standby time goes up by a LOT. For example, I was losing 2-3% an hour at times just having it sit there. Then I did a factory reset, using the phone in the same way and same setup, and it's like 0.3 to 0.5% an hour.

justlaxin13 says:

I think i've been running into this problem. I had my battery drop like 4-5% during an hour meeting today with it in my pocket the whole time. For the record, when you say factory reset, are you just talking about the data reset you can do from the settings menu? Thanks.

ksc6000#AC says:

That's right.

justlaxin13 says:

Thanks, I haven't seen this pop up in the att specific forum yet, but I've heard rumblings. I'll give it a try.

Posted via Android Central App

bos1 says:

I wonder if that's an ATT thing? My Vzn model only loses 2-3% overnight, no factory reset and not even debloated yet.

antonbeasley says:

I watched a video that if you do NOT kill background processes, battery life would flourish. I'm sitting at about 42 hours with 3 hours of screen time. Weird... But it works. Give it a try

JayWill says:

Very fair review Jerry which I found refreshing. Thanks.

baldypal says:

"On the plus side, there is no Appleesque physical clicky home button to wear out."

i'm with you on this one, Jerry. The Samsung home button is what keeps me from buying any of their devices. I love on-screen navigation.

NoNexus says:

Lol... Had one for 2 years now, no signs of wear. That argument is invalid with the exception of it is another potential fail point.

On screen buttons take space, the bottom bezel is gonna be there and might as be used to save screen real estate

Posted via your wifes, girlfriends phone

ScottJ says:

"That argument is invalid with the exception of it is another potential fail point."

Uh huh. That was Jerry's exact point.

"On screen buttons take space, the bottom bezel is gonna be there and might as be used to save screen real estate"

Without physical capacitive buttons the bottom bezel can be made smaller, leading to a larger screen and compensating for any real-estate lost to the not-always-visible buttons. Hardware buttons aren't a deal-breaker for me but they are going the way of the do do.

That said, "Nexus!".

ayg says:

LG's implementation of the home button the AT&T G Pro is the best I've used so far. Its very slim and is integrated with the indicator light. I think that's one of the things I'd miss if I went from a G Pro to the G2.

Honestly I'm probably going to get a Note 3 anyways here in a month or so. But I like the G Pro a lot more than my Note 2.

Chondog says:

Fantastic and thorough review.

JayWill says:

Oh by the way Jerry, regarding Wireless Storage. You have to type this exactly into your browser (direction of the first two slashes is important) ...

\\192.168.1.238/G2

I found this by accident when I misinterpreted the \\G2 description on the second line.

By the way, you can also use this to map a network drive to your phone from Windows Explorer and connect and transfer files via SMB.

Pretty cool native ability.

peterfares says:

This is actually meant to be used with SMB in your FILE browser, not in your web browser. The web browser just happens to be able to browse file systems, but that still doesn't make sense why \\192.168.1.238/G2 works

What you're SUPPOSED to do is open your file explorer, click the directory address bar so it goes into edit mode and then type \\192.168.1.238 OR \\G2 in and press enter. Give it the supplied username and password and you have file browsing. You CAN mount it as a drive if you want, but you don't need to.

This is a pretty awesome feature to have built in.

JoeZone says:

No SD card

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msatlas says:

I've had my Verizon G2 for 6 days now. I picked it because Verizon's not getting the Nexus 5. I chose the G2 for the hardware in spite of the LG and Verizon bloat, which is pretty awful.

I wanted good battery life so it was between the G2 and the Maxx. The G2 has a nicer screen, and while I'm not a crazy power user, I do have a habit of keeping a fair number of apps and browser tabs open and switching between them. The G2 handles this no problem, the Maxx reasonably well but there's still some of that good old Android herky jerkyness.

For me it came down to the G2 was about half as expensive as the Maxx after the VERIZON30 promo code that works on the G2 but not the Maxx. I preferred the cleaner Android experience of the Maxx, but you can (mostly) fix the software issues of the G2 much easier than trying to say, overclock a Maxx. After spending a couple hours with the G2 I got it to where the software is acceptable. Would stock Android be better? Absolutely.

I will say, that while I can nitpick the LG bloatware to death, I'm somehow still very happy with the phone. Probably because the hardware's so good. It's the first Android phone I've had where it just flies through a bunch of apps and never feels like it's getting bogged down with stuff.

It's not a perfect phone by any means. With the Nexus 5 coming out on almost every carrier except Verizon, the only real reasons to get this phone is if you're stuck on Verizon and willing to mess around with the software. I suppose there could also be an argument made for picking it over the Nexus 5 for the fatter battery, but ehh that's a tougher call.

Pros:
+ Great battery life. I play with my phone a lot when I'm at work, and without plugging in at all during the day I'm at around 40-50% charge left at the end of my work day.
+ Performance is fantastic, animations smooth, apps open quickly, multiple tabs in Chrome no problem, very stable. Compared to a Motorola Droid Maxx the G2 is noticeably better.
+ Awesome screen. Clear colors, good resolution. Compared to AMOLED it has much more natural colors but viewing angles aren't quite as wide. A fair tradeoff.
+ Super small bezels around the screen. It doesn't feel like a big phone. A little bigger than my old Galaxy Nexus but thinner and weight is fine.
+ Camera is quick, good amount of controls in the app, and takes quality pics.
+ The one LG custom thing that's actually kinda decent is their lock screen with customizable shortcuts, and you can still add widgets like stock Jellybean lock screen. But it also has some weird behavior (see cons).

Cons:
- Buttons on back of the phone make waking it up a little tricky. The Verizon G2 has smaller buttons than all other variations of the phone.
- Knock-on feature is supposed to let you wake up screen with double-tap on screen when off but works maybe 2/3 of the time at best. Also lets you turn off screen with double-tap on empty part of screen but if not in LG launcher this only works if you tap status bar.
- Glossy plastic back is a fingerprint magnet.
- There's a junky looking sticker with the IMEI number on the back of the phone that started getting getting ragged looking from 1 day of use. I took it off and stuck it to the box (which already has the IMEI printed on it).
- Lots of Verizon & LG bloatware.
- LG launcher is pretty bad. Home screens are OK but the app drawer forces all the Verizon & LG bloatware to the first two pages and puts your installed apps after them. You can rearrange the installed apps but I couldn't find an option to sort them alphabetically. I ditched it for Nova Launcher.
- LG keyboard takes up too much screen real estate, replaced with Swype. If you don't want to spend $0.99 on Swype then download the stock Google keyboard.
- LG SMS app is very bad. Annoying popup notifications, and the message compose box in the conversation window is too big so with the keyboard up you barely see any of the conversation. If a word reaches the end of the line in the text bubble sometimes it shortens the word with a '...' instead of wrapping it around to the next line. Replaced with Chomp SMS.
- On-screen buttons (back, home, etc) let you customize layout but there's no option for a multitasking button. You're stuck with back, home and menu. It lets you add a button to open notification drawer if that sounds appealing to you. Can choose multiple themes but no plain black. There's a "black gradient" option but it stands out more than plain black buttons on Nexus & other devices. In some video apps the buttons don't do a good job of hiding themselves compared to Nexus devices.
- QSlide apps are pretty worthless and take up an extra row in notification drawer. Can get rid of it by editing the toggles in the notification drawer and checking the box for QSlide toggle, then toggle QSlide off.
- Taking screenshots with the buttons on the back is doable but weird to hit power & volume down with 2 fingers when the buttons are so tightly spaced. You can also use Quick Memo which is accessible on the toggles on the notification drawer.
- Can't completely disable 'wifi networks available' notification. Always notifies you that you've connected to a network. At least you can dismiss these notifications, unlike...
- Stupid animations when you plug in a USB or audio cable. Like it pushes the whole screen up and shows a little animated plug going in on the screen above where you plugged in the plug.
- If you use most any charger that's not the one that came in the box you get a 'Slow Charging' notification that you can't dismiss.
- Something about the lock screen makes notifications for an app you're currently in go away as soon as you wake up the screen. Say I'm in Facebook Messenger and the screen shuts off. Someone sends me a message, and as soon as I interact with the lock screen the FB Messenger notification disappears.
- For some reason LG felt the need to make their own choose default app popup window, that's way uglier than the stock Android one.

tx_tuff says:

Don't know why you couldn't find an option to sort apps alphabetically but it is there on the Verizon version.

MrBungle999 says:

Your cons list is retarded. Do the animations when you plug in the charger and headphones really bother you that much?

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pinch55 says:

Great review, Jerry. I am glad to see a reviewer omit the nonsense that we all change in the first place, who uses the keyboard from the phone maker!? Plastic bla bla I don't a metal phone that dents and is made from a heat sink, I use a case anyway; mostly to protect the screen while on it's face.
That being said, I am still on the fence between this and the upcoming Note 3.

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Jaymil says:

I pretty much agree with everything you said in your review Jerry.

I upgraded from the HTC One which I loved but I was getting bored as most of us do. I wanted a larger screen and a better battery. I had a few complaints about the software but like you said those are all things you can change.. first thing I did was switch to the stock aosp keyboard. Then I installed buzz launcher and Handcent. Froze all the att crapware and most of the LG stuff.. rooted and froze the stuff I couldn't already.

My only real complaint about the phone was also the shitty plastic fingerpring/grease magnet that is the back but I bought the Poetic slim case for it and it's like a new phone now. Very low profile case that doesn't interfere with edge swipes on the front like most cases do and it gives it that soft touch feel on the back. It was like $9 on Amazon which is a steal. I also noticed the standby thing with the battery and thought it was a bit odd. Even at home on wifi it seems to drain faster than it should while in standby. It's still good by any measure just not as good as I thought it would be. Probably a software issue that will be fixed.

I know, right? It's like there is some special space-age coating on it that attracts every ounce of finger grease it can. Makes me twitchy, and is absolute HELL for getting good pictures.

NoNexus says:

You put you finger on the lens often? All the softcoat in the world won't help you there

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No. Why would I put my fingers where they aren't supposed to be placed? 

You're reaching. You may like glossy, hard, smudged plastic. I don't. I said as much.

Where in any part of his comment did he say he puts his finger on the lens often? Most of the comments I see your make make it apparent you have a reading disability. You should work on that.

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Ronzdaname says:

No expandable memory...broken deal. Going with the Note 3.

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benurd says:

Damn this was a good review! If this were the best phone on T-Mobile I'd most likely take the plunge.

Posted via Nexii 4 (2012) using the Android Central App

jdbii says:

great review. thanks.

Wesley1 says:

If the Note 3 weren't ready in 2 days here in the UK, I'd probably get the G2. I really love the screen with its tiny bezels, the great camera and the performance.

But coming from the original Note, I'll be sticking with Samsung, as it has everything that I want, other than optical image stabilization of the camera missing.

hmmm says:

I wonder how many people who like plastic over metal or metal over plastic end up putting a case on their phones?

bos1 says:

I've had the Verizon G2 for a week and a half and it's freaking amazing. My only small nits are: It's slippery (fixed by case), rear buttons on Vzn model are hard to find (also fixed by using a case so they're recessed and easy to find), bloat (easily fixable although I haven't bothered to do it yet), and some of the default UI stuff is a bit of an eyesore (also easy to fix/hide).
Other than that it's perfect. Battery life exceeds all expectations. I only lose 2%-3% in 8+ hours overnight. I ran Backcountry Navigator all day bushwacking around the Sierra and still had 86% battery remaining (data was off and the screen wasn't on that much, but still that's pretty impressive for having gps on and an app running recording a track for 7 hours). The screen is really nice and easy to see in sunlight. No lags. Some people have complained about knock-knock but it works perfectly for me. Root, Loki, TWRP are available and ROMs and mods are already starting to pop up. Can't say enough good things about this phone.

jeysiny says:

Bos what case did you get

Jeysin Posted via Android Central App on a GNex

bos1 says:

Just the cheap $20 one from Verizon. It's OK until better ones come out that fit the Verizon model.

jeysiny says:

Great. Thanks !

Jeysin Posted via Android Central App on a GNex

well I guess the S800 is something really awesome afterall. Lets see how the HTC One Maxx stacks up against the G2.

Btw is there a notify me check box on AC which will tell you when someone responds to your Post? Like how it is on WP Central, iMore and Crackberry?

quailallstar says:

Like the G2 but personally I like the Optimus G Pro (in white) a lot more.

ConTejas says:

Nice review, but could you (or anyone else who owns a G2) please comment on the speakers. I was thrilled when it was first rumored the "Nexus 5" would be awarded to LG and based off of the G2 hardware. LG makes some badass hardware these days, and you know Google and the Nexus devs will take care of the rest!

oldschoolsig says:

It's only one speaker. If you are looking for bad ass external sound, it's no HTC one. What it does have is headphone input quality that blows away my iPhone 5.

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There's one speaker. It sounds like a speaker. Nothing amazing, but plenty loud to hear what you need to hear when it comes to ringtones, speakerphone and quick videos.

tx_tuff says:

Great review! I have the Verizon version and freaking love it!! Would agree with you about the screen, it is just amazing watching something on it, almost want to use it more than my 60 inch HDTV.

One thing left out is how you can customize all the icons with having to use a different launcher. I added my own wallpaper, changed some icons, added some ringtones, and turned off everything I don't want and I'm not missing stock Android at all.

xgman says:

The overly and unnecessary shinny plastic on the Verizon model, especially on the bottom edge, looks even cheaper, but it doesn't stop me form owning one and a thin matte case will cover up even the best looking material. But I will admit that this phones plastic housing (and it does occasionally even creak)is about as ugly as they get. The Moto X's back is about a thousand times better and even some of the droids have carbon fiber matte backs that are nice. LG missed the boat on this one. I'll be really happy when the shinny trend is over.

oldschoolsig says:

One week I've owned the g2 on att. Coming from ios for 5 years, I am beyond pleased with the flexibility and speed of this phone. I actually prefer the back buttons and the features like qslide are simple to use and make for a great experience.

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planoman says:

Looks really nice! Good review! The att bloatware is nuts and seems to be getting worse!

I am not sure why, but I have bias against LG...maybe the skin because the Nexus 4 was pretty sweet!

mhunter6378 says:

Thanks Jerry for a great review! I have had the G2 since the in-store launch day on AT&T. It is a fantastic phone, one that I enjoy using each and every day.

mrich70 says:

Forget the phone....WHERE CAN I GET THOSE RIBS!!!

huntnyc says:

Jerry,
Great videos on the G2 and great review! I want to buy this phone but do not want to be tied into a contract with AT&T. Can anyone advise me the best and most reliable place to get the phone for full price? I would buy from AT&T but will use it on GoPhone and am not sure they will unlock it after 60 days like they say they will fo rpost paid customers. Negri has it unlocked but have never dealt with them before. Love the phone but hate contracts. Please help if possible and thanks again for fantastic review.

Gary

krant min says:

So, I am hoping Nexus 5 would inherit all these awesomeness!

texantony says:

I bought the G2 the Friday it came out and this phone is a beast. I bought it through at&t, but I paid $540. Made my transition a little easier considering I came from a WP8 phone. It the kid's corner, the double tap to wake the phone and of course google play has many of the apps I use, like skydrive, outlook.com (so glad this was here, no contacts to transfer), skype, etc. Anyway, I bought a Spigen case and now it looks sexy.

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jayochs says:

Hey FYI about the wireless storage feature..don't use chrome to try to access it. if you use windows, just go into windows explorer, and type in the IP or the model name that it tells you to type in.

Chrome wouldn't work right for me either, but windows explorer does, and it's as if it's just another bunch of folders on your PC. it's the best feature so far!

I know how to mount is as a Samba share, but LG suggests you can use the web browser. Depending on how it's mounted, you can. But their directions don't work. Minor issue on a phone that basically works exactly as advertised.

JayWill says:

Yeah I submitted a bug report ticket to LG about it today via an online chat session. You're absolutely right. Minor issue, but I'm sure all kinds of people have typed the IP address into a browser and said, "huh"?

As I said earlier in the comments, adding a /G2 after the IP address in a web browser allows a connection. No clue why. They really should be providing instructions on doing a direct connection using a PC file explorer anyways.

yay!! Hats off to Jerry, great review!! And most important? He almost made it thru the entire review without saying the "S" word (Samsung)UNTIL 10:11... lol

I had the Korean version for one day but since returned it (too many "lost in translation" issues) for T-Mobile's version and i honestly like this one better. Battery life is noticably longer, and Korean version barely got me 2Mbps consistantly, on T-Mo's even HSPA gets me 6-8, and on LTE i'm fetchin' 13-20 : ) Plus T-Mo sent the free case and i gotta tell ya, it is a nicccccce case!

Thanks Jerry and thanx to all the "open-minded ppl out there" that are giving my "new fav device on the planet" a fighting chance : )

i guess the reason i want to see LG G2 do well is because i REALLY have come to love LG Mobile and if it bombs, i don't think i could go back to Sammy or HTC, and i'd rather go back to two tin cans & a string than become an Applegirl : )

BTC

darrylz07 says:

LoL..I like the last part of your comment

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Hmmm... I really like the Moto X. But I read often on my phone and the screen on the G2 looks amazing. I wonder if I could get used to the LG SW.
Anyway, one or the other is my next phone, I'm pretty sure.

bjsstranger says:

So if you read outside this phone easily wins. If you read at night in bed the amoled of the moto x is nice as the black in night mode is actual black as compared to the lcd bleed through effect. Your bed mate will appreciate this.

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MobileNick says:

Absolutely love mine! Unplugged for 13 hours now and I'm still at 75% battery!!

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carraser891 says:

how is it 442 ppi when the galaxy s4's smaller screen is 441 PPI?

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bmandrews7 says:

I have played with the "wifi storage" option I cant get it to open in a browser but it will work if you go to your windows explorer. It shows up as a network drive. Hope this helps

Xvigor55 says:

I wish there was a Google Edition version of this beast.

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s2weden2000 says:

ePicness

chiporlee says:

Jerry you need to do more reviews.

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coolbreeze78 says:

How does that button work in a car dock??

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saidull ali says:

I have seen many reviews on various sites, but i have to say by far its the best review i have seen. Thank you for your great work, which phone you are reviewing next?

razgri5 says:

Does anybody know if the phone only has mono speaker sound? I thought maybe it had stereo speakers down there, but Jerry said one of the speaker grills holds the mic so does that mean no stereo sound like the HTC one?

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nickmiller71 says:

Great review. With so many choices on AT&T lately, the G2 is a much tougher sell. I would like to have one, but I'll be investing elsewhere first, namely in the form of the Note 3.

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aaronwe says:

Every review of the G2 I read makes me more and more excited for the Nexus 5. I'll gladly take this hardware without the crapware.

Jacques says:

Great review, Jerry! I've seen other reviewers complain about software features...it's a freakin' Android phone, you can change them!!! If the Nexus 5 ends up disappointing, this one would clearly be my Plan B. :-)

ayg says:

So can we have 4.2.2 or 4.3 for the AT&T LG G Pro now?

crwolv says:

And just think this awesome piece of machinery is what the Nexus 5 will be based upon just like the LGOG was the basis for the n4. Let's just hope LG doesn't screw up the supply again

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Jed007 says:

you can win the LG G2 with Yugatech's index finger challenge

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QsSode7AMNU

Trish Nix says:

OMG, I love this phone. I came from a galaxy 2 and came real close to choosing the S4 galaxy....but I liked all the positive reviews of this phone and LG has exceptional reviews from past phones as well. I have had this one for about a week now, and I find new features every time I use it. I haven't read any manual yet, but the online YouTube videos have helped me a lot. The screen is very sharp, phone is slim and easy to fit in my pocket. I am still learning all the camera features, but YouTube is helping. Some people have complained about the knock knock feature not working, but it also depends on where you tap it. The videos help in that respect a lot. However, I am not used to that feature and find myself going to the back of the phone to turn it on/off anyway so the knock feature doesn't bother me. Messaging feature is pretty neat, I like being able to customize the background. Not used to the 4GLTE feature, so my issue is getting used to being online all the time, however, I did learn how to turn that part off when I need to. I encourage other LG newbies to try it at least before you switch to a other brand. Some retailers give you a trial period as long as you bring it back in like-new condition. ATT will charge $35 to bring it back though, be careful on that part. Coming from a samsung to this LG was a great move for me. Good job LG.

2DayTripper says:

Hey Jerry, It's been a LONG time since you made this review. I'd been waiting for my upgrade time with Att before bothering to look at new phones and the time arrived. This phone has been out for quite some time now and I'm wondering if you've changed your mind about anything. See, I'm going to go ahead and pick up this one, the LG G2, it's on the way overnighting to my house as I type. The best part is, since I was renewing my contract anyways, I got the LG G2 for free with my plan. I was bitterly torn between this phone and the S4... the reviews for both were so great. As usual though, I'm getting a product after it's been on the shelf for many months and haven't heard a whole lot of the really popular reviewers posting back to say what they think of the phone after having used it for so many months. Any input? Your review was fantastic, you touched on quite a bit and your writing is entertaining. Thanks!

DamianP says:

I have both the S4(work issued) and G2(personal) and have to say I MUCH prefer the LG skin over touchwiz as well as the battery life as well.(especially coming from a Nexus 5 which the G2 replaced).

Phone is good, but becoming a piece of shit: the microphone is the worst. I could park my old Droid on the table and still talk to my friends. W this piece of crap I have to hold the LG G2 next to my mouth or no one can hear me! WTF! Chinese made piece of shit.