How does the LG G2 hold up to the competition?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| August 7, 2013

As most of you already know, today LG officially announced their G2 device, which is the successor to the LG Optimus G. The specs on this device are impressive to say the least, and with a 5.2-inch display it fits right in with other popular releases seen so far this year that fit into that larger category of phones. But how exactly does the G2 stand up in comparison to flagships already on the market, like the Galaxy S4, the HTC One, or the Sony Xperia Z? Let's check it out.

The LG G2, as previously mentioned, has a 5.2-inch display with some of the tiniest bezels I've ever seen on a phone. This is largely possible due to the fact that LG decided to place the power and volume buttons on the back of the device. Although this is a new and seemigly bizarre move, LG has a point in saying that the reason for doing this was mostly due to the fact that as phones get bigger, the way we hold our phones is changing. For a lot of people who have smaller hands but want the benefit of a bigger screen, one-handed smartphone operation is probably a no-go as it takes a lot of effort to stretch the hand all the way across a device to push a power button or volume rocker. Although there's no guarantee that this is a change that's necessarily going to be highly praised, it's definitely worth a try and I find it to be an interesting approach to solving such a problem.

The 5.2-inch display is not only large, but also very sharp. The G2 has a full HD display with 423 ppi, which places it below the Galaxy S4 and HTC One technically, but I think most people can agree that that many pixels per inch is more than enough to produce crisp and clear graphics. This device also runs on a new 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, which is presently Qualcomm's most powerful processor, and has 2GB of RAM. The back side of the device features a 13-megapixel camera, like the Optimus G had, and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. The device will ship with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and run on LG's UI. You can choose between a 16GB and a 32GB model (no microSD), and the entire device is powered by a large 3,000mAh battery.

That's a whole lotta stuff, and I have to admit, the only thing that really seems to be holding this device back is the fact that it only offers 16 or 32GB of internal storage with no microSD card slot. But on the other hand, despite the awesome specs, there's nothing entirely special about the LG G2 either.

It seems that each Android flagship until this point has had something extra special that it offered to users. The Galaxy S4 has a whole slew of features; the HTC One has BoomSound, UltraPixel and Zoe; the Sony Xperia Z is water resistant and dust resistant; even the Moto X, which is still up for debate on whether it's really a flagship or not, has the ability to become one of the most customizable devices we've ever seen. But the most talked about feature for the LG G2 seems to be the fact that the power button and the volume rocker are placed on the back of the device, which isn't really that exciting.

Although at first it made me think of how astounded everyone was that the HTC One featured the two front-facing speakers, and why nobody had ever thought about before, it was just one of those features that didn't have much of a downside. It made perfect sense - the phone faces you most of the time, so why don't the speakers face you? And they didn't just place any ol' speakers up front; they made sure the speakers actually sounded good. But a move like placing the power button and the volume rocker on the back seems very iffy on whether it will go over well with the public or not, but I imagine even if people aren't too keen on it at first that they'll grow into it as they use the phone more often - kind of like how the HTC One placed the power button on the top left of the device instead of the right, which was weird to adjust to for me.

The specs on this device are definitely impressive, but even by just having the latest and greatest specs isn't enough to make a device memorable to most in the long run, in my opinion. It doesn't seem to have any true defining features, which every other flagship seems to have. Even if you try and use the 3,000mAh battery as a defining feature, a lot of people are turned off from the idea since the device also features a non-removable battery.

On the plus side, the device will launch on all four major U.S. carriers, so anybody using these carriers will be able to include this phone in their list of potentials if shopping for a new smartphone sometime soon. Although the device might not feature anything too extravagant, that might actually be the perfect thing for a lot of people. Our own Aaron Baker mentioned in his hands-on video earlier today that he is a pretty big fan of LG UI, which I have to agree with. LG tends to include a lot of useful tools in its UI, which is always a good thing. Coupling that with the fact that this device also has a large, beautiful screen, the successor to the LG Optimus G is definitely a device I would recommend that people check out when going smartphone shopping. As for holding up against the competition? I'm worried that it won't be as memorable due to the lack of a true defining feature, but that doesn't make it any less of a contender when it comes to specifications at the present time.

Readers, what are some of your initial feelings on the LG G2? Is it a device you would consider getting, or is something holding you back? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image via Gizmag