After years of Samsung dominating Android, recently its grip on the platform has loosened.
That’s thanks to well received phones from the likes of Sony in the form of the Xperia Z1 and the multiple-award-winning One from HTC.
LG’s G2 comes with impressive early notices and no small amount of pre-release hype.
But it it really the phone that will enable LG to play a part in retaking Android from Sammy? Read on for the skinny.
First impressions and design
LG’s latest flagship phone might seem a bit familiar.
That’s because it’s very similar to the Nexus 5, which LG announced shortly after the G2.
The only difference between the hardware is that the G2 has a slightly larger screen and better front and rear-facing cameras.
Considering the Nexus 5 is about £150 cheaper, the pressure is on LG to justify the extra outlay.
The G2 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but LG has put its own UI over the top of it. The icons look a little cheap, especially on the brilliantly bright screen, which is a shame.
They look very similar to those on Samsung’s Touchwiz UI on the Galaxy Note 3. But we’d opt for stock Android instead every time.
Another couple of features have been ‘inspired’ by Samsung’s Touchwiz UI. Qslide lets you run two apps side by side – which the G2 is more than capable of handling, with all its power. The G2 also knows when you’re looking at it, and keeps the screen lit until you look away.
First off, this phone is fast. Ridiculously fast. With its 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, it whips through tasks with ease, and can handle anything you can throw at it.
It also means it’s quick to boot up – it only takes about 10 seconds, which is about half as long as the Nexus 4.
It’s one of the fastest handsets we’ve ever tested, leaving the likes of the iPhone 5S eating its dust. Whether you’ll actually need all this power is another question.
With all this grunt at your disposal, you might think the battery will suffer, but we’re happy to report that’s not the case. We easily got a full day out of it, with pretty intensive use.
The camera is fantastic, with bags of detail even in low light. There’s no memory card slot though, so if you have a few songs and films on there, you might struggle to fit all your photos as well.
The G2 is very slim, and features buttons on the back instead of the top and side. LG claims this is a more natural place to put them.
It took a bit of getting used to, but within a day or two we were right at home reaching for the back for the volume and power buttons.
If you don’t fancy reaching for the back, you can just double tap the screen to wake the handset up or put it to sleep.
Windows Phone 8 has the same feature, and it’s a neat touch.
The G2 is free on tariffs starting at £17 a month, or £439.95 SIM-free. It’s a fantastic phone, but if you can live with a slightly smaller screen and less imaging power, the Nexus 5 is the better buy.