A deeper look at LG's latest device with big features and interesting buttons

This hot little number here? That's the LG G2, and it just flew halfway around the world and into our hot little hands for some one-on-one smartphone love.

Yes, this is the phone with the buttons on the back. The volume buttons and power button have been moved there in deference to the size of the smartphone itself. That's the sort of thing that's going to take some getting used to, but the logic is sound — and it makes the sides of this phone just feel slick, without any unsightly bumps and bulges.

The front end is as nice as we recall from the launch event in New York City as well — that 5.2-inch IPS display at 1080p resolution. And this is one of the first Snapdragon 800 devices to be released, so it'll be fun putting that system on a chip through its paces as well.

We've still got to see what the U.S. carriers have in store for this guy — this is a decidedly non-American version we've got here.

For now, have a quick gander at a hands-on redux, and be sure to swing by our G2 forums! We'll have much more on the G2 coming up.


Reader comments

LG G2: The video hands-on redux


Beautiful. If the notification shade was less cluttered I would be able to stand the LG skin. Phill, can you swipe up on the home button for Google Now?

Oh yeah...I would gladly pay $650 for this phone.
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I' have never liked any LG phone, but this phone looks very sharp. I just don't like the LG skin much, and agree that notification tray is awful. I'm usually a stock android guy, but this phone may be intriguing enough to look past the skin overlay if its features are more than gimmicks.

Why can't manufacturer's just use the awesome simplicity of android and make all the added software in the skin into apps. And the if the apps become popular sell them in the play store and make more money off of them while keeping stock android.

Wonder if it will see root and unlock on VZW or any carrier?

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I don't understand these battles within android itself, like cmon they're all doing one big favor and that's stepping Android Os's game up.
Who cares what seems to be the "social status" of Samsung compared Lg or the damn UI comparisons.
And obviously the specs on this are better than the S4, so what is your point!?!?@

One of the editors (phil or jerry, since it was in the forums I think it was Jerry) around here said it best once.

Now one wants to think that they made a bad decision so once the decision is made, they will defend it to the end, rationally or not.

I am not saying either phone is bad. Just that it could be the rationale behind the comments.

You really could not go wrong this year with a flagship phone. They all have their ups and downs but all solid devices.

It's just like the GS4 with the rectangular screen....and the...Android OS...and...hmmm, oh it has speakers and stuff

Sorry Gs4 id not better and i own a GS3 and G. Note2.. Mom has a Gs4 i got her.... Gs4 isn't better than this phone... Period

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looks like a copy of the s4 even down to the touchwiz knock off UI. Come on LG if youre going to copy a company, at least copy one that their UI doesn't look like a 5th grader made it...

I know right? It's got the buttons on the back just like the GS4, and the knock-knock feature, and the IPS display, same size I might add, and the S800 processor, and the built-in battery that's the same size, the capacitive buttons, the OIS camera.....

Wait a second...

Wow, whats up with the criticism of Samsung's skin all the time? Who else packs as many features into a phone? Hell at least they have some cool features that are interesting. What makes these other phones stand out? How pretty they look? I mean seriously Samsung got where they are because no has put as much work into their phones and features and marketing. No they are no.1 and no one likes it (Well the average consumer does).

Posted via Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

I'm sorry but its annoying seeing it all the time.

Posted via Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

Who says a third party UI has to look awful and have features or look good and have none. Why not ::drum roll:: have an understated clean UI while still packing in USEFUL features that are well thought and work consistently (something TW does not do).

I am a huge Samsung fan.

Love and use all the features

It looks like shiat. I cannot stand the 20 seconds it takes to put Apex on it.

I've been holding on to my upgrade to get a new wireless charging phone. My DNA has me spoiled. Looks like its down to the Droid Maxx or the LG2.

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Wish you were right but Nexus will never give it's loyal customers 32gb of int memory, they still don't know how to build a good phone. Any company that would build a phone with great specs and throw in a cheap ass 8gb chip set for int memory is ass pathetic. I gave up on them, they are only interested in selling their Movies and other bull shit. I want a phone with great specs with at least 32gb of int memory if it has sd-card support, if no sd-card support 64gb should be the minimum. Putting that amount of int memory in a phone while under construction costs pennies.That is why the Nexus 4 didn't sell very good, no freaken memory. I understand the iPhone 5S will have a version with 128gb of int memory. Wouldn't that be something if Android did something like that.

That and most people here in the USA still think that $300 is too much. Most don't care that its off contract. I told a guy today that the Nexus 4 was now $199 & $249 and he thought that it was too expensive. A lot of people still get the free phones and nothing else.

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It comes down to price, they didn't murder your family they made a cheap phone. Pennies add up when your taking a loss or subsidizing a phone so it can be sold cheaply. There are plenty of other options out there for you.

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Edit: Also yea the reason it didn't sell well had nothing to do with memory. You people are like a damn broken record.

Lack of storage was a factor

But not a huge one, the bigger were the carrier restrictions and the lack of LTE (doesnt matter if you think HSPA is jsut as good, LTE is a buzz word)

A factor maybe, but not nearly as big of one as the storage obsessed would have you believe. To them a phone is made or broken by how many geebees it has, and they will not shut up about it. They should start a campaign where they send a ton of sd cards to google or something, instead of spamming the comments section of every damn article about anything even remotely related to a phone.

They are no more obsessive as the "Its not a Nexus? It sucks because of skins...lol"

It isn't jsut about the GBs though, and I said this in the other thread. They went backwards.

Gnex was 16 and 32, N4 is 8 and 16. Backwards.

I am not afraid of the cloud by any means, but I also want to carry a ton with me for whatever reason. Options are nice. Right now I am firmly in the SD Slot club, but when 32 is the norm, I can come off of it. I don't harp on it anymore.

For the poster below that said the Nexus will never have 32 GB. I can say one of two things on that.

If this is the case, then people with a Nexus need to wake up and realize they are being forced to the cloud and it only serves 2 companies, and not the consumer. It serves the Carrier because they get to charge you more and it serves Google because you have to see more ads which generates revenue. You might as well consider yourself back on contract because you are paying in installments for your phone.

The other statement that I have is this, "No one will ever need more than 640K of RAM". In other words, don't be shortsighted. It will eventually come in 32 and 64 and 128...

Actually, it was THE deciding factor for me. 16 gb is just not enough. I refuse to be dependent on the cloud also. 8gb is just lol bad.

At $249, still can't buy it with 16gb and no micro SD slot. I don't want to use micro SD card, it just adds to the cost. They should all be 32 at a minimum.

Not everyone has a grandfathered Verizon or AT&T plan. Cloud services cost money by the kb.

You realize Google makes Nexus phones, right? So if you "gave up on them", that means you bought an iPhone and started using Bing.

So judging from the video when the screen turned on, a front blue notification light shined. Does this mean that the phone has 2 notification led's?

This is an amazing looking piece of hardware! That ui is hideous and is a total copy of touchwiz, but this phone with stock android would be awesome.

Sent from my HTC ONE Google Play Edition

I am really considering this phone. Can't wait for a full review. I wish T-Mobile would hurry up and set a release date.

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I must be one of the only people that accidentally presses side buttons when picking up or sometimes using my current device. For me, getting those buttons off the side should greatly improve the daily experience. Unless I've missed it, no one is really talking about that as a feature they are really looking forward to. That feature alone may tip me toward this device.

I'm right there with you, I am always inadvertently pressing power and volume buttons and I find it pretty irritating. I am 100% looking forward to this button layout!

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This is one of my favorite things about this phone. When I had the S4 and the Optimus G Pro, I was ALWAYS hitting the side buttons when I didn't want to.
This phone Fixes that problem. I DO hold my phone with my finger in the middle of the back, so this will be an awesome design.
Another feature no one has even mentioned. the speakers are on the BOTTOM, like an iphone, not on the back like the S4. This phone should sound MUCH better than the S4. I know for certain the iPhone sounds WAY better because of the speaker being on the bottom instead of facing completely AWAY from you.
I have Always thought that putting the speaker on the BACK of the phone was the dumbest idea anyone ever came up with.
I am selling my iPhone for the LG G2.

I wonder if the lgog will get a slide away feature. Looks neat.

Sent from the future and the past using a back feed relay loop.

I do have to say from the video, the user interface looks a little "clunky" (as do most non-stock adaptations from nearly all manufacturers). I do find it ironic that most manufactures believe they need their own UI to differentiate their device from other Android devices. However in my experience the best Android experience is still stock Android. I realize manufactures need some changes to UI to add their unique features but I believe the manufacturer that can resist the temptation to tinker with the UI will save a ton of development costs and actually gain an edge over their competition which is ironically what the modified UIs was supposed to do in the first place.

This phone looks like an absolute beauty. Has made me seriously reconsider my plans for upgrading my phone. I'd been almost firmly convinced to get Note II or III.

The hardware looks fantastic and the knock feature is genius, unfortunately the UI looks like it was designed by a 12 year old boy. God awful. I'm curious why these manufacturers can't include all these awesome features while keeping with the holo aesthetic. Differentiate your phone with useful features, not garish and shitty skins (like the Moto X and new Droids).

Its android4.2.2. Its fine. There may be some ui issues, but nothing a good rooting and launcher won't mostly fix. I love aosp ROMs on my phone right now but would give my right leg for an amazing screen and a killer camera. My wife has a GS4 and I can't stand the lag and terrible low light camera performance. The gallery is coded by a 12 year old. Touchwiz is a much worse mess than the LG ui. Have you seen the dozens of useless feature toggles that have to be turned off to make the phone usable? I have an upgrade on at&t and the G2 is at the top of the list since the camera in the Moto x is so terrible. I have no faith that the Nexus 5 will have a camera worth a crap if clear pixel is what Google came up with for Motorola...

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So I just noticed that Phil must have recorded the video and then dubbed over it afterward. When hes talking about the phone we can see him and his camera in the reflection, and we can HEAR Phil talking but in the reflection, his lips aren't moving.

I thought Sony Xperia Z Ultra was the 1st phone that use S800 that released on market (limited market) not LG G2.

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Phil, in your video you show turning off the quickslide and returning to normal android multi-tasking. If you do that, can you then add a dedicated multi-tasking apps button to the on-screen buttons (like the Nexus 4 has), rather than having to hold down the home button like you did in the video? Thanks

Someone mentioned this earlier, but I did notice Phil doesn't appear to be speaking when he was recording the video. He must've did his own audio dub in editing. :-) Anyways, I would've liked to see a size comparison of the G2 vs. the S4, One, and Moto X. I'l take a look at this when it does come out, and still be on the fence until we hear more on the Nexus 5.

I need to hold it in my hand.
It's either LG G2 or the HTC One.
I need root. So whichever one gets root.
If they both get root. Then it's a feel thing.

Are there any clues on (in?) the device as to how the wireless charging case will work? I guess that's assuming the model you have is the same as the "European" ones LG was referring to

i am looking most forward to the 3000 milliamp battery life. from all the reviews i have seen you can go about 14 hours of heavy usage. And to do that on a beast of a phone like this is by far the best feature.