• Our LG G2 review: Out-Galaxying the Galaxy


    So far this year, the Galaxy S4 has been Androidís poster child. Since the GS4 launched, companies have tried to offer something slightly different rather than go head-to-head with the GS4. Motorola has focused on their touchless voice activation while Sony has been experimenting with making their phones water resistant. After all, out-Galaxying the Galaxy S4 is a tall task.

    Still, it now looks like Samsung now has some competition in the LG G2, the first phone that really takes the GS4ís strengths and tries to improve on them.

    I already mentioned that the G2 is aimed squarely at the GS4 but people who are looking at the G2 are probably also going to take a look at the HTC One, the Apple iPhone 5s and the Sony Xperia Z.
    vs Samsung Galaxy S4:

    While the GS4 is a very fast phone, the G2 is even faster. When you pay top dollar for a phone, one thing youíre hoping is that youíre getting the most performance for your dollar. So, while itís debatable whether youíd notice the extra performance right now, thatís not the point.

    Performance from both cameras is very similar but the G2ís rear camera has a stabilized lens which makes it a much better choice for video plus it extends itís still photo performance.

    If youíre into media, the G2 supports 24bit audio though I was disappointed with its built-in speaker so I donít give the G2 much of an advantage here.

    Where the GS4 really differentiates is itís earpiece volume. The GS4ís earpiece is a lot louder.

    While the GS4ís battery life isnít as good as the G2ís, the GS4ís is removable. The GS4 also has a MicroSD slot while the G2 has 32GB of built-in storage (which should be enough for most users)

    In terms of software both are loaded to their proverbial gills. Itís hard to say which software is better: both come with a lot of extra fluff. Samsung has a bunch of useless air gestures which should be turned off right away while LG has their messy notification pull down.

    I will say that one of my favorite features on the GS4 is multi-view which lets view 2 compatible programs on the same screen. As for the G2 you can view video in a window which floats on top of your other programs. The GS4 has this features too but on the G2 you can make your video transparant.
    One feature missing from the G2 is something equivalent to Samsungís multi-window which lets you view 2 programs at the same time on one screen. Unless Android implements this sort of feature natively, I donít think anyone else has the scale and marketshare to offer their own version of this feature.

    There are 2 clear differentiators for the G2: The display and ergonomics.

    If the GS4ís display is great, then the G2ís is awesome. Itís just a lot better. The only area where the GS4ís display is better is when it comes to displaying black. Otherwise the G2ís is better outdoors, has better viewing angles and better colour.

    As for the ergonomics, the G2 runs circles around the GS4 because itís much easier to handle. The GS4 has 2 menu buttons at the bottom corners which drive me crazy because I always hit them accidentally. Ditto for the buttons on the side - when a device is this big with such a small bezel you need to clean things up a little. The G2 with its on-screen buttons and rear mounted volume and power buttons simply doesnít have these problems.

    It looks like LG has managed to out-do the GS4.

    vs Apple iPhone 5s:



    Admittedly I havenít actually tried the 5S so this is really more of a G2 vs 5 comparison. As good as the G2 is, Iíd say if youíre already invested into the iOS ecosystem Iíd stay with it.

    If youíre deciding between the two, there are 3 main points where the G2 really stands out: Text size, the stabilized lens, and battery life.

    If you have a hard time seeing the iPhoneís small text youíll love the G2ís large, almost cartoonish font. If thatís not enough, thereís a global setting for text size in settings plus some of the built-in apps can be pinched zoomed to make text larger.

    While the 5s is supposed to have an awesome camera (I donít doubt this, my 5 has a very good camera too) it doesnít have a stabilized lens. If you take a lot of video thereís just not replacement for a stabilized lens unless you have a steadicam or something similar.

    I use my iPhone 5 regularly and it has terrible battery life. Iím sure given identical usage patterns the G2 will last 2 or 3x longer than the 5s for 9/10 users.

    Thereís a lot more to both phones but those are the 3 areas that jump out at me when I compare the two of them.

    I still think iOS has higher quality apps but Androidís ecosystem is much more open so there are a lot of apps (like video players, file managers, etc) which will run better on it.

    vs HTC One:



    This is a tough one. As much as I praise the HTC Oneís camera, I donít actually like it that much. Itís wonderful indoors plus itís stabilized but thatís where my praise ends. I find many of my pictures look dull plus the Oneís camera is clearly optimized for indoors and not out. When Iím outside I actually find that itís a little noisy plus there are times that I find the lens is too wide (I donít like to use digital zoom). Still, itís hard to ignore the Oneís indoor performance; the One runs circles around the G2 but outdoors Iíd take the G2 every time.

    Surprisingly, while LG is touting the G2ís high quality 24bit audio, itís built-in speaker is pretty weak. Here, the HTC One is the clear winner.

    Both have outstanding displays - both are probably the best on the market but the G2ís is just slightly better.

    There is the issue of metal vs plastic body but honestly, both are solid phones.

    Both companies have taken a very different approach to their software. HTCís customizations are more oriented to managing data you read while the LG is more centered around content consumption. Iím not a big fan of the latest version of Sense on the One but the G2ís is a little too messy. While neither overlay is outstanding, I prefer LGís content-centered approach.

    vs Sony Xperia Z:

    If you want a water resistant phone then take the Z. The Z is also blessed with a microSD slot. Otherwise, aside from cost I donít see a reason why Iíd pick the Xperia Z over the G2 unless youíre prefer Sony.

    Screen, software, performance, battery size, LTE band support, etc. Itís a bit of a blow out.
    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