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The Telegraph Online   |     |   Published 11.11.13, 12:00 AM

The LG G2 phone

LG, the company that has been chasing Samsung for years in the mobile market, has come out with the most powerful Android smartphone it has ever made. The G2 is big, fast and has a display that can rival the best in smartphones.

The latest slew of smartphones vies with one another to capture markets with the help of gimmicks like eye movements or gesturing with your hands. And this is where LG seems to have made a mistake by customising Android with its own additions. These add-ons to the operating system do not necessarily translate into a better user experience. This customisation, along with LG’s own apps, clutters the notifications panel and the user interface.

When I first got hold of the G2 it took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to put it on. There were no controls on the sides nor at the bottom or at the top. The unique feature of LG G2 is the “back key” that has the power button and volume control. The manufacturers say that when you are holding a phone of this size the index finger automatically goes to the back. But if you find this awkward, like I did, don’t worry. There is a double tap called ‘knock knock’ that wakes up the phone and puts it off.

The Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM makes the LG G2 very fast and, with its superb resolution, you will be hard put to find any difference between this phone and the Samsung Galaxy S4. At exactly 5-inches, the full HD Samsung phone comes with 441 ppi (pixels per inch). The G2 has a bigger screen at 5.2 inches, but a lower screen density of 424 ppi.

You can launch the camera by pressing long on the back key’s volume down button even if the screen is locked. A long press on the volume up button will launch the quick memo app. This can also be customised to launch another app. The greatest feature is the camera that includes 13-megapixel back and 2.1-megapixel front camera that can support HD video calling. There is an LED flash and auto focus to make images sharper. It has optical image stabilisation. By default the camera can record full 1080 p HD videos. The camera app has 12 shooting modes. Normal, Shot & Clear (erases something from a picture), HDR, Panorama, VR Panorama (spherical panorama), Burst shot, (several pictures), Beauty shot, Dual camera shot, Night scene, Sports, Time catch shot and intelligent auto mode which automatically selects the right scene. Shooting in low light is also great.

What is intriguing is that LG decided to launch the model D802 in India that will not support faster 4G services in the form of LTE TD on 2300 MHz when they are launched in India. They do have a model that supports this spectrum, D802TA, that they have launched in Australia.

The LG G2 is powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is a disappointment because Android 4.4, known as KitKat, is already out on Google’s Nexus 5. The battery life is pretty good. In spite of being constantly in use the battery lasted for a day and a half. There is no way to access the battery because it is a totally sealed unit.

The plastic design is solid enough and ensures that the phone is not too heavy. There is no microSD card slot. The only entry point into the device is the micro-SIM card tray, which will pop up with the help of a pin. The back key ensures that there is a minimal bezel surrounding it. The G2 has been priced at Rs 41,500 for the 16 GB version and Rs 44,500 for the 32 GB device. The lack of expandable storage is possibly the only disadvantage, but I feel 32 GB is more than enough now that a lot of cloud storage options are available. This phone compares very well with the Galaxy S4, Xperia Z1, and the HTC One. All these mobiles come within the same price range.

I feel you should wait till the end of this month for the Nexus 5 that is also manufactured by LG. The Nexus 5 and the G2 have comparable specs but Google’s phone will be cheaper at Rs 33,000 for the 32 GB model. The only compromise that you will have to make is on the fewer megapixels packed into the camera. An increase in megapixels is only important if you want to view the pictures at full size.

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