LG's ultra thin, super fast G2
LG's new G2 has a jumbo 5.2-inch screen that borders on phablet territory, a blazing Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and -- crazily -- navigation buttons on its backplate.
Keep in mind that we've had a limited amount of time with the G2, and that we won't be able to draw any concrete conclusions until we compare our in-house review units face to face.
|Phone||LG G2||Samsung Galaxy S4||HTC One||Moto X|
|OS||Android 4.2.2||Android 4.2.2||Android 4.1.2*||Android 4.2.2|
|X8 with Snapdragon
|Screen||5.2-inch LCD; 1,920x1080 pixels, 424ppi||5-inch AMOLED; 1,920x1080 pixels, 441ppi||4.7-inch LCD; 1,920x1,080 pixels, 468ppi||4.7-inch AMOLED; 1,280x720 pixels, 313ppi|
|Internal storage (GB)||16, 32||16, 32, 64||32||16, 32|
|Expansion slot||No||Yes, up to 64GB||No||No|
T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular
|Dimensions (inches)||5.5 x 2.8 x 0.35||5.4 x 2.8 x 0.31||5.4 x 2.7 x 0.37||5 x 2.6 x 0.41|
**Available in 32GB, 64GB in some markets.
LG versus the competition
In a lot of ways, LG's new G2 is another superphone that's very similar to its top Android competitors. It boasts Android 4.2.2, a 13-megapixel camera with a ton of effects, a humongous 1080p HD screen, and a really, really fast quad-core processor. Like its arch rival the Samsung Galaxy S4, it has a supersensitive display you can operate with gloves, and an IR blaster to control the TV. The G2 will also sell on all major U.S. carriers.
Yes, the G2's screen may be a bit bigger and sport an edge-to-edge design, and yes, it's one of the first phones to debut Qualcomm's even faster Snapdragon 800 processor. Yet, these are smaller claims in the grand scheme of things, hardly the killer feature that will sway a person to buy the G2 over any of the others.
The most compelling...or repelling...or let's just say polarizing feature in my opinion is LG's decision to put the G2's control on the back panel beneath the camera lens. This is really the most unusual design element, and the item that I suspect potential buyers will think about most beyond price when weighing high-end Android options.
In addition, LG is also promoting a crystal-clear LCD display and high-definition sound (HTC claims these, too) plus a slew of interface enhancements that let you do some neat tricks, like double tapping the screen to lock and unlock it, instead of pushing a button.
From the spec list and what we've seen in hands-on tests so far, the G2 belongs in the upper echelons, though differentiations -- apart from the physical button placement -- are minor. In all cases, pricing (which we don't know yet) will be a big factor when it comes down to assessing the phone's overall value.
Versus the Galaxy S4
LG and Samsung are bitter rivals whose main features tend to overlap. LG was the first of these two to have a 13-megapixel camera (in Sprint's Optimus G, but Samsung's image quality has in the past been more consistent. In this case, LG has more to prove.
The G2 has the potentially faster processor, but not by much, and the slightly larger screen with more real estate since it's edge to edge. Like the S4, the G2 will also be a challenge to slip into smaller, tighter pockets and more-petite hands.
On the other hand, LG has the potential to attract users with its clean interface and handy UI shortcuts. The Galaxy S4 is chock-full of features, to the point of drowning in them. LG may have better luck in not overwhelming future G2 phone owners.
Versus the HTC One
HTC's One is still the most premium, physically stunning handset you can buy. Made from aluminum, it is sharp in all senses of the word. The One's smaller screen won't make it much more pocketable, since it's a heavier device with similar dimensions.
Like the G2, HTC's One has a 1080p HD LCD screen. Since the One's display is smaller than the G2's, expect fine text and images to look a bit clearer and sharper. Both phones also tout HD speakers. The One definitely delivers on this promise.
The One's slightly older Android version seems like a downer, but note that it's also upgradable to Android 4.2.2, which brings it in line with the G2 and the others.
One true test, as always, is how well the G2's 13-megapixel shooter compares with the One's 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" camera. Since the phones use very different technologies, that's a tough one to speculate right now.
Versus the Moto X
Smaller, with a lower screen resolution and potentially slower processor than the G2, the newly announced Moto X is also one of the most comfortable phones to hold -- and likely the one to compete most directly with the G2 when it comes to claims of easy navigation, both in terms of hardware and software.
The G2 uses onscreen gestures to navigate in new ways, like slide apps away to keep them on deck and ready to use again. On its side, the Moto X has a Peek feature for interacting with notifications from the lock screen and also lets you kick-start voice controls without ever having to touch the device.
Image quality will again rear up as a competitive advantage for one phone over the other, and so far we're fans of the Moto X's 10-megapixel camera, which we'll continue to test.