After months of rumors, the LG
Optimus G2 is official, which means all the heresy can be laid to rest and we can finally put the device under the microscope and see how it compares with all the latest creations from other manufacturers.
Aside from the strange nature of the press event and the mostly tame reactions from the audience at said event, the G2 actually has a fair amount of tricks in its repertoire. In fact, it’s not all that different from what the Galaxy S 4 has to offer, and it has an answer to all those allegedly gimmicky features that come packed in the S4’s version of TouchWiz.
So what about the G2 is so impressive? What about LG’s hero device sets it apart from its toughest foes? Below is a list of its five most notable features.
Snapdragon … what?
Until recently, all the high-end flagships sported Qualcomm’s second-best chipset, the Snapdragon 600, which is composed of a quad-core Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU. By no means is this chipset a slouch. It powers the HTC One and Galaxy S 4 and offers some of the smoothest performance to date.
The Snapdragon 600’s max clock speed – officially – is 1.9GHz. It only supports up to 1080p video playback and capture, and it supports only USB 2.0. LG’s G2 is equipped with the Snapdragon 800, a 2.26GHz quad-core Krait CPU paired with the Adreno 330 GPU. It supports USB 3.0, up to 4K video playback and capture, and supports Quick Charge 2.0 for up to 75% faster charging times.
We’re not certain what all LG has enabled in this Snapdragon 800 chip, but there’s no questioning the raw horsepower under the G2’s hood. It is, by all means, a power user’s device.
With the Snapdragon 800, there are many things users cannot yet take advantage. The best way to put it is: the chipset in the G2 is there for future-proofing. Another future-proof feature available on the G2 is LTE Advanced support.
Here in the states, carriers are still building out their initial LTE networks. But LTE Advanced is a series of features that can be deployed on those blossoming networks, which will increase speeds up to seven times. Verizon promises to lead the way with LTE Advanced, and once it does, the G2 will be able to take advantage of the massive boosts in network speed and performance.
High fidelity audio, audio zooming
For you audiophiles out there, LG has greatly improved the quality of the audio output on the G2. CDs and standard MP3s generally offer 16-bit audio. The G2 will offer 24-bit 192kHz audio through speakers found on the bottom edge of the device.
LG says the ringtones will support the hi-fi audio, but you’ll have to scrounge for your own high-quality audio to take full advantage of the G2’s speakers. Also left to question is the actual output volume of said speakers.
Rest assured, the G2’s hi-fi speakers will be cross-examined with the deafening sound of the HTC One’s dual front-facing BoomSound speakers.
The other unique audio feature on the G2 is what LG is calling “Audio Zooming”, and the way it works is while recording video, you can isolate the sounds you want while “deemphasizing” all other unwanted noise. This could be a very useful feature, if it works as advertised.
The button configuration on the G2 is admittedly weird. It’s … unusual. The power button and volume rockers are nowhere to be found along the device’s edges. Instead, below the camera sensor on the back of the phone rests volume toggles with a power button between them.
Honestly, we’re not convinced this is as much a feature as it is an inconvenience or LG’s failed attempt at true innovation. The location of the buttons is … ergonomic, but not necessarily practical. For instance, LG had to come up with a way for users to turn the device on while it’s laying on a flat surface, face-up. And that, my friends, is where one of the neater features of the G2 lies. Knock on the screen twice and the device leaves standby.
No, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this feature, or even something like it. You can do the very same thing with the Lumia 1020, but that’s not the point. The point is: more manufacturers are following this trend, and that’s an awesome thing, even if it leads to buttons somehow finding their way to the backside of the device.
But long has been ask the question why this mode doesn’t exist on smartphones. The consensus is that tablets are often shared. Smartphones, on the other hand, are much more personal devices which we rarely share. However, on occasion, there comes a time when someone may need to borrow your phone.
Fortunately, the G2 offers an easily accessible Guest Mode that can be triggered from the lock screen. This certainly isn’t a first either; but it is the first time guest mode has come as a built-in, stock feature on a high-end smartphone.