LG just took the wraps off its newest flagship smart phone, the G2, an impressive model that combines user-friendly features with cutting-edge technology. The LG G2 packs a 5.2-inch display and a massive battery into a slim, curved case. It will be available in in the fourth quarter of 2013 on all four major carriers; the price hasn’t yet been announced.
One of LG’s boldest ergonomic moves was moving the power/volume button cluster on the G2 to the back of the phone, instead of along the top or sides, for easier access. Other enhancements include smarter shortcuts to common tasks, such as auto answering when you hold the phone up to your ear, clever new ways to juggle open apps, and a high-performance 13-megapixel camera that can focus on your subjects in interesting new ways.
I recently had plenty of time to try out the G2 during a meeting with LG (Consumer Reports will receive a press sample to review soon). Until then, here are my impressions of this intriguing phone:
Ergonomic, space-saving design
LG said it moved the controls to the back, just under the 13-megapixel camera, because that’s where most people park their index finger when they're holding larger-screen smart phones. During my tryout of the G2, my index finger repeatedly landed on those rear-mounted controls without any special effort. What's more, they're slightly raised (vertically mounted up/down volume keys, with the power button in the center), so I could correctly manipulate them without having to see them.
No wasted space
This feature-packed phone slips a relatively large 5.2-inch, 1080p IPS display (423 ppi resolution) into a case just 138.5mm x 70.9mm x 8.9mm. The phone is made even more palm-friendly by its curved back. Bringing the screen close to the case edge helped keep the phone slim.
The only thing between the G2's 5.2-inch display and the edge of the phone is a bezel that's only 2.65mm thick. Another space-saver was the G2's massive 3,000mAh battery, specially shaped to fit under the curved case.
The LG G2's UX interface cleverly anticipates your next action based on what you just did. Besides auto-answering a phone call when you raise a ringing phone to your ear, the G2 automatically shows you the music player and other multimedia apps when you plug in your headphones or a USB cable.
When the phone is on its back, you can unlock the screen by gently tapping it twice. The G2 is also smarter about sharing, allowing you to grab map locations, contacts, and other data from text messages and plop them into a memo or calendar.