LG G2 review

Luke Johnson



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Our Score:



  • Stunning 5.2-inch edge-to-edge display
  • Speedy Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • Strong battery life


  • Cheap plastic build
  • Awkward button placement

Key Features

  • 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display
  • 13-megapixel OIS camera
  • Rear button placement
  • Manufacturer: LG
  • Review Price: £400.00

What is the LG G2?

The LG G2 is LG’s Android rival to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. A phone tasked with reinstating LG as a leading player on the smartphone scene, the phone features an array of high-end innards. It has a 13-megapixel camera, a 2.26GHz quad-core CPU and an impressively large 3,000mAh battery.

Continuing the trend of ever-growing screen sizes, the LG G2 pairs a 5.2-inch Full HD display with a dramatically reduced bezel. This combination maximises the amount of on-screen real estate while keeping the phone’s overall footprint small. The phone is available in both black and white, and the LG G2 will set you back around £400 SIM-free.

Has the LG G2 done enough to truly bring the fight to the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S4? Read on to find out.


LG G2 - Design

Aesthetically the LG G2 is a pretty hit and miss affair. It features an easy on the eye design, although the overall appeal of the phone is let down by plastic build and the baffling decision to place all physical controls on its rear. While it might look like a standard candy bar at first glance, the rear controls really separate it from the Android masses, for better or for worse.

The LG G2’s design has been built around keeping the phone as small as possible, while incorporating an expansive display. The reduced bezel, down to just 2.65mm - half that of its leading rivals - helps accentuate the phone’s already oversized 5.2-inch screen. To gain these edge-to-edge benefits, however, LG has had to move the G2's on-body buttons.

The LG G2 relocates all physical controls to the phone’s rear, with the volume rocker and power/lock buttons now sat directly beneath the camera lens. It's awkward and confusing at first, and the LG G2 button placement failed to click with us after more than a week’s use. Although it does not feel obtrusive or at risk of accidental presses when holding the phone, it remains fiddly and unnatural.

Ultimately, reaching to the rear of the phone to lock the screen feels far more awkward than simply tapping a top or side-mounted control. The unusual button placement is not all doom and gloom, however. When changing in-call volume, the rear mounted volume rocker is a joy. Realistically though, this will be an infrequent silver lining. And button contouring does little to improve ease of use.

Like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the LG G2 is let down by a plastic body that feels flimsy in parts. As well not fitting well with the premium price tag, the plastic body features a very noticeable weak spot. Located on the right-hand side of the LG G2’s rear, there is a small area than bends and creeks when subjected to light pressure. What’s more, the gloss finish on the plastic body is a magnet for fingerprints and grime, further causing the G2 to look considerably cheaper than its lofty price would suggest.

The rear-mounted buttons don’t really add any unwanted bulk to the phone but, at 8.9mm thick, the G2 is far from the most svelte flagship offering. It's a full millimetre thicker than either the iPhone 5S or Galaxy S4, and the LG G2 is also more than 30g weightier than Apple’s latest phone. Despite this, the G2 never feels bulky or uncomfortable in the hand, with a slight curvature to the phone’s rear giving it an ergonomic fit.


LG G2 - Screen Quality

Having lost points on design, the LG G2’s screen is something of a show stealer, wowing us from the off. The 5.2-inch Full HD IPS display features stunningly sharp 423 pixels per inch density.

The streamlined bezel of the G2 further enhances the impressive IPS panel, giving the display added pop and helping to set the handset out from the crowd. Although the phone’s footprint is no bigger than that of the S4, the G2 has a screen 0.2 inches bigger, and this makes a noticeable difference.

The reduced bezel and HD screen turn the LG G2 into a one of a kind device, but we expect to see a number of rival manufacturers follow suit in the near future.

The benefits of the LG G2’s screen are not all about the slimline bezel though. The IPS panel might not be as bright as some AMOLED display hosting rivals, but the colours are truer and less over-exaggerated. The LG G2 screen produces colours that are accurate and do not suffer from the familiar oversaturation issues of some rivals. The screen’s touch panel is responsive, with no undue lag or hesitation meeting any of the gesture commands we threw at it.

A complete package, the 423ppi image density means even the finest of details are pin-sharp and text never appears smudged or soft at the edges. The screen is capable of tackling pages of text and vibrant, detailed HD images with equal aplomb and continues to impress long after it has first grabbed your attention.

Unfortunately, the LG G2 screen quality is not without the odd blemish. The display is a little on the reflective side, with outdoor conditions producing an unwanted amount of glare. Only a slight issue, this problem is far from the same performance depleting leagues of the Huawei Ascend G510.

The LG G2's screen quality is so good that we can almost forgive the necessary button placement move fitting in such a large, edge-to-edge display has necessitiated. Almost.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


August 8, 2013, 9:00 pm

Beautiful beast!
impressive specs... i love it!


August 9, 2013, 6:12 am

Why can't Ubuntu Edge have this type of display? I love this phone just for that single feature.


September 9, 2013, 9:14 am

Low outright price, first rate screen, software that betters
all Android competitors (by a small margin), probably the
best 13mp shooter, bettered only by Sony's 20mp on the
new Z1 and of course Nokia's 41mp camera on the 1020
Will the Nexus 5 be an exact replica of the G2 if LG is once
again asked to make it? Who knows. One this is certain
the Nexus 5's price will be subsidised by Google and will
probably sell for under $400. Many are saying it will be the
first smartphone to use 3GB of ram. Personally it won't make
much difference to performance. Also really will the latest
Android 'key lime pie' be actually better than HTC, Samsung
or LG's overlay. I doubt it. Android purists will always want
the real deal, which is something I respect.
I was set to buy Sony's incoming Z1 untill one site quoted the
price of over $1100. Am I disappointed that it has a slippery
glass surface on the back (again) instead of the rumoured
carbon fibre....you bet. Also no 4k ultra high def video recording.
Acer and Samsung will have it on their respective phablets.
So LG gets my money.

Peter Blanco

September 10, 2013, 8:16 pm

Note 3 has 3 GB of ram being the first, nice try though.


September 19, 2013, 9:18 pm

I think he meant smartphone (as opposed to phablet).


September 19, 2013, 9:21 pm

From the first paragraph:
"The phone is available in both black and white, and the LG G2 will set you back around £400 SIM-free."

Where is it available at that price? Might be tempted.

Kurt Smith

September 20, 2013, 9:14 am

Missed a couple of key points. You dont need to use the physical on button a double tap on the screen wakes up and sleeps the device. Also worth mentioning things like the video player has a gesture based system like mxplayer so you can change the volume without having to reach round.

Agyei Kwadwo

September 20, 2013, 11:35 am

The records are straight you can't ignore the LG G2 for any other smartphone to date.


September 20, 2013, 11:56 am

Does it have microSD expansion slot? What memory size do you get for £400 SIM free?


September 21, 2013, 3:19 pm

It seems the G2 does not have "accurate" colours as Luke Johnson has stated in his review. According to tests done by Erica Griffin: https://www.youtube.com/wat...


September 24, 2013, 10:34 am

'dramatically reduced bezel...while keeping the phone's overall footprint small.' I'd like to suggest that a phone with dimensions of 138.5mm x 70.9mm x 9.1mm does not have a small footprint regardless of the over-exaggerated description of the reduction in bezel size. Nothing is dramatic about a smartphone featuring a 5.2" FHD display except perhaps its physical size...

Roy Rogers

September 24, 2013, 12:36 pm

All I know is this: while browsing phone-to-phone at my local At&T Store...this is the one that really attracted my attention. Had I not just purchased a 4S (another location)...I'm certain I would be a G2 owner.


September 24, 2013, 4:29 pm

I have read in other reviews that the camera is very good.

Jhai Alarcon

September 25, 2013, 4:46 am

Your right, if you are using mxplayer its easy to change the volume just slide your finger up or down.


October 1, 2013, 11:13 am

Looking around on google no :( both androidpolice and techradar sites mention this.


October 1, 2013, 11:33 am

Please add No MicroSD card to the Cons.


October 1, 2013, 12:49 pm

£400 for 12GB of available storage? No. The lack of MicroSD card support is completely baffling, especially with a screen that large. Perfect for dragging and dropping photos / films and music on the card. I have more than 12GB's of Audible books! Also with video-out capabilities and a full HD screen, you'll want HD video files and much higher resolution images on the phone than one with a smaller screen. All of which take up much more room. 1 compressed BluRay title can still be over 4GB. Weird choice.

michael sanchez

October 2, 2013, 2:51 pm

I owned a galaxy s4 and traded it in for the lg g2. This is a much better phone in every aspect. And for the buttons on back it take a day to get use to it and feels really natural, landscape mode it doesnt work as well.


October 7, 2013, 4:19 am

That back looks really cheap and ugly. Why is it that so many of these manufacturers have so little aesthetic sense and appreciation for beauty? This is an opportunity for them to create a work of art, at which a customer should take one look and declare, "I want that!" That's pretty much what happens with the iPhone; the features that it offers are a bonus on top of its looks. But with these ugly phones with poorly thought-through designs, you have to go through the specs sheet in detail, then think for a while and say, "okay, fine, I'll buy this, I guess. It's not really all that ugly, you know..."


October 8, 2013, 2:09 am

All I keep hearing is how "ugly" these phones are getting and how the casing feels cheap as opposed to others like the HTC One. It's not a work of art, its not a beautiful car, its not supposed to be. It's a hand held computer. I had a droid that had a kevlar back and dropped it and the screen shattered. I don't care what your phone is made out of it's only as strong as the case you put it in. I look for 3 things in a phone, screen, speed, and most importantly battery. All of which are superior on this phone compared to the competition. Battery lasts all day with heavy use, the screen is large and beautiful, and its the fastest phone I have ever seen with absolutely no lag. There is no expandable memory or removable battery. These are the only cons of this phone. However, with 32gb of internal memory, and an operating system that never locks up it's definitely a good buy.


October 23, 2013, 8:28 am

I hear what you say, but when your paying out so much money every bloody month, why not have something which is well made and beautiful as well as practical? This is not a cheap phone, so it ought to be worth the money. It should be well engineered, robust, reliable, fast, and beautiful.


October 23, 2013, 8:30 am



October 25, 2013, 3:28 pm

Not sure why you can't get the 32gb version in the UK. Only way to get it is by taking a risk on some dodgy importer on eBay. The first phone that has tempted me to leave iphone and it's just not available in a higher capacity. Come on LG sort it out!


October 26, 2013, 6:04 am

Just pop over to Sweden for vacation, I've only seen the 32GB model here (which I got by the way) :-)


October 28, 2013, 7:07 pm

Did a google on the G2, too many call quality and gps locking issues posts from VZ subscribers, a phone that just came out on VZ . Id wait till they come out with an update to address those issues. It is a beauty of a phone

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