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Posted by in Cell Phones | 4 comments

The LG G2 is a very attractive customer from the front. Resembling a slightly squarer Nexus 4, its gorgeously slick glossy black finish is accented by two complementary sprinkles of silver: the speaker at the top and the LG logo at the bottom. Simple, clean, and very pleasant on the eyeballs.

Turn the screen on and you’ll praise whichever LG designer was responsible for slicing the bezels down to size. While it hasn’t quite got an edge-to-edge display, there’s very little space either side of the 5.2in screen. Haters of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One’s capacitive buttons will be pleased to hear that the LG has opted for on-screen buttons, too.

While it’s a little wider, taller (and ever so slightly thicker) than the Samsung Galaxy S4, we prefer the looks of the G2’s squarer corners and it just feels a tad more comfortable in the hands, although it’s sadly just as slippery.

Like the S4, the G2 is rocking a plastic suit, so it too gets outclassed by the outstanding all-metal HTC One. That’s not to say that the G2 isn’t solidly built. We couldn’t get a creak or flex out of it despite twisting it as hard as we dared (don’t worry, LG, it’s absolutely fine), while the same can’t be said for our Galaxy S4.

Granted, our S4 has been knocked and banged around the Stuff office since launch, but the G2’s non-removable back cover does provide a little more rigidity, at the cost of battery promiscuity.

You’ll notice that we’ve yet to talk about the G2’s rear end. That’s because we wanted to ease you into it. It’s a bit… different, you see.

Remember the compliments we lavished on the G2’s wonderfully slim bezels? They were made possible because the G2 doesn’t sport volume and power buttons on its side. They’ve been shifted around to the back, sitting beneath the camera lens, glaring at us and daring us to say anything about them being out of place.

Glaring or not, we’re going to be honest: for the first day we hated the position of the power button. LG’s logic was to place it on the rear, where your index finger naturally rests for quick and easy access, but we were still hitting the ‘volume up’ button eight times out of ten.

Our love affair with LG’s designer was over, and we were cursing his nameless face when we accidentally deafened ourselves to the angry rants of Eminem, when all we wanted to do was turn on the display.

Then we remembered that the LG G2 has a very, very useful trick up its sleeve. Like the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5, the G2’s screen can detect touch input even when it’s off.

Simply tap twice on the screen and you’ll be greeted with the lock screen. Once you’ve glanced at the time and seen your notifications, you can swipe to unlock as normal, or give it another double tap to turn the screen off.

LG calls this KnockOn. We call it the Tap of Life, which we think you’ll agree has a much better ring to it.

It’s a great idea and makes you feel like you’re knocking on a door that opens into your smartphone. It also works from the Home screen, but make sure you don’t completely fill that up with app icons because it needs an empty space to work.

After a while we also got used to the raised bump of the power button and were mishitting it less and less. It’s still not as convenient as a side-mounted power button, especially when you have to lift it off the table to turn the screen off, but it’s not as bad as you might at first assume.

Aside from that, the plastic rear panel of the G2 feels very sturdy and has a rather unassuming and faint diagonal pinstripe design that catches the light a little. It’s nowhere near as glittery or as exciting as the disco ball booty of the Nexus 4, but it’s nice nonetheless.

Given that you’re probably doing something very, very wrong if you spend most of your time looking at the rear of your smartphone, you should be more than happy with the sleek and sexy front of the G2.

The power button lights up for notifications and there’s also a notification LED on the front. Both are customisable with different colours for different apps, which is a useful touch.

The LG G2 packs a 5.2in full HD IPD display, and it’s absolutely glorious. It’s cramming together 423 pixels per inch, which while just a touch short of the figures of the Sony Xperia Z (443ppi), Samsung Galaxy S4 (441ppi) and HTC One (469ppi), in reality looks razor sharp.

It’s also bright enough to negate the need to up the brightness to 100 per cent, out-shining the HTC One, which we feel could do with cranking things up a touch more in the luminosity department.

1080p video looks breath-taking, with crystal clear detail and bright, vivid and natural colours making our eyeballs clap with appreciation.

Lined up next to the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, the LG G2’s screen does very well indeed. We prefer both the HTC One and G2’s display to the over-saturated colours of the Galaxy S4, and while the G2’s colours are just a smidge warmer than the HTC One, it produces ever-so-slightly whiter whites, with noticeably truer blacks.

If you strap an electron microscope onto your face, you might say that the HTC One is ever so slightly sharper (which you’d probably expect as the smaller screen size equates to greater pixel density) but in real life you’re unlikely to notice a difference in sharpness between the two.

Viewing angles are also excellent, especially compared to the Xperia Z, which suffers from very noticeable de-saturation when viewed off-centre.

Overall it’s extremely close between the HTC One and the G2 screens, but we’re giving this round to the G2 thanks to its bigger size and deeper blacks.


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