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LG G2 review

 Review: October 2013  

Last updated July 2014

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The LG G2 is a supercharged superphone, but the limited onboard memory and lack of a memory card slot could be a deal-breaker.

Today's best buy: LG G2 Mini 4G UK SIM-Free Sm ... from Amazon (£0)


Design & style

LG has wowed us in the past with stylish and original phones like the LG Chocolate, Crystal and Prada, so we're very pleased to find LG once again pushing at the boundaries of imagination and bringing something genuinely new to the market.

At first glance, the LG G2 looks like just another Android superphone, albeit with a screen that's even bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and with an unusually narrow surround (what LG calls a "near zero bezel".) But look closer and you'll see that there are no physical buttons on this phone. None whatsoever. Except for a strange-looking button on the back. This turns out to be the volume and power keys. Whether that appeals, or whether you think it's plain weird, there's no denying that the near zero bezel makes for a very appealing look. And once you get used to them, the keys are arguably easier to use in this position. Or not, depending on how you feel.

The space saved by moving the keys to the back has enabled LG to cram a whopping 5.2 inch screen into a phone that's not noticeably bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and is the same weight as the HTC One. This screen is a full 1080p HD IPS display that gives phenomenally sharp definition, perfect for watching videos, playing games or just day-to-day smartphone stuff. The IPS screen isn't as eye-poppingly bright as the Super AMOLED screen in the Samsung Galaxy S4, but it gives truer colours and nice, wide viewing angles.

Android on steroids

The G2 runs the latest release of Jelly Bean 4.2.2, and it runs it fast. That's due to the crazily fast quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that's been clocked up to 2.26GHz. 2GB of RAM is on hand to make your apps fly and an Adreno 330 GPU accelerates graphics to the next level.

Is this the fastest Android phone available? We think so. At least for a month or two. It'll give an iPhone 5s a close run too.

But when we check out the memory capacity of the G2 we run into a problem. The version on sale in the UK has an embedded memory of just 16GB. That's not a problem of course, as we can surely add a memory card to beef things up. Except we can't. There's no expandable memory in the G2. So we're stuck with just 16GB of storage. We'll return to this in our conclusion, but let's flag this up now as a serious issue.

13 megapixel camera

Camera performance of smartphones is accelerating and LG is making sure it isn't left behind. The G2 features a 13 megapixel camera with a moderately large 1/3.06" sensor. The camera is equipped with backside illumination (BSI) for low-light sensitivity and capturing good shadow detail, and it also has optical image stabilisation to eliminate hand shake.

It's becoming hard to rank the cameras on high-end smartphones as they are all achieving new heights, but the G2's camera is definitely rated as excellent, and comes close to the quality achieved by the Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z1iPhone 5s and Nokia Lumia 1020.

The camera can record video at 1080p HD resolution, and the Dual Recording mode lets you activate the front and rear cameras simultaneously, so you can record yourself and your subject at the same time. You can also use the front camera for video chat or selfies.

Battery life

We have no complaints about the battery performance of this phone. Equipped with a huge 3,000mAh non-removable Li-Polymer battery, it's capable of delivering the power that the huge screen and monster processor demand. You'll easily get a day's use out of it - maybe a few.

Conclusion - brilliant except for one thing

Oh, we so wanted to give the LG G2 a 5-star rating. We fell in love with it the moment we saw its gorgeous 5.2 inch screen. We caressed it, happy that there no ugly buttons in view to spoil its supermodel looks. When we switched it on, we swooned at its 2.26GHz quad-core speed and we loved the photos we captured using its 13 megapixel camera with BSI sensor and optical stabilisation. We weren't 100% convinced by the keys on the back, but live and let live we say.

We were impressed when we found out how reasonably priced this beast is - just over £30 per month on a two-year contract.

But that highlights the big problem. Two years is a long time, both in technology and in life. How are we possibly going to manage with just 16GB of storage? It's just not going to be enough, and we fear the frustration would kill us. And so, beautiful LG G2, although you turned our heads and we will cherish the time we spent together, as a long-term relationship it's just never going to work.

The new LG G3 fixes this problem by adding a memory card slot, plus other features that make it a much better choice.

LG G2 features include:

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I am thinking of expanding the memory with usb stick capable for smartphones. How far can i stretch in terms of memory for lg g2?

Asked by Nishanth from Australia on 3rd May 2016

LG G2 user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 22 reviews:

Reviewed by Dami A from London on 20th May 2015
Something new happened to LG, they have changed the way which we use phones and they have really improved life. I love the G2 i have to say it is one of the best devices i have ever used and i have used so many devices such as Samsung and Sony. LG really did the customers first here by allowing the buttons to be at the back as this allows for a much more smooth experience and also it makes it easier when trying to find them as our fingers naturally are on them when needed.Now to clarify i got the UK 32GB version in the UK and i have 22GB remaining o thats alot and for those who use their phones alot then this would be the best one for you. Now the phone is amazing in every way, i am impress that the bezels are really small 2.65mm either side. Obv at the top and bottom they have to be a little larger so they can include the front camera, sensors and the logo. But the phone is top and is a beast. The phone has a massive phablet sized 5.2 inch screen which the best 1080 by 1920 pxiel screen meaning a PPI of 423, thats the highest on a phone ive had so that really shocked, yet it can still last a whole day without an issue as today people need phones which can last that long. Also there are 2 amazing cameras 13MP rear and 2.1MP front both able to record 1080p so thats a nice welcome too and i love that about this phone as many other devices dont go near this with the specs they contain. This phone also has now and recently in the UK got Lollipop 5.0.2 which i managed to get yesterday and this works like a charm, its like a jaguar on fire, its blazing quickly, i have things done in seconds not even minutres and things load so fast i dont even need to think as the answer is there. Wifi and this phone just fit so well together i dont know any other phone which could give me this amazing experience. The Knock feature to turn off and on the screen is very useful and means i dont have to use the buttons at the back. That just makes life easier as well because you can do much more. I have to finish and say that LG have changed the way we think and react and with the G2 on Lollipop its such a treasure and a partnership worth using. Awesome Job LG!

Reviewed by Mr Shah from Pakistan on 10th May 2015
It's a phone...
It's a phablet...
No it's LG G2 the superphone.
Simply the best phone I have owned in recent years, capable of giving not only contemporary smartphones but also the top end phablets a run for their money.
Even after a year of heavy use as a business device it's still incredibly fast & robust capable of getting through a day & a half.
To top that off the camera is one of the very best to accompany a smartphone.
All in all G2 for LG is what S2 was for Samsung way back in 2011.
Eagerly waiting for G4 to arrive.

Reviewed by Steve from UK on 8th Dec 2014
I upgraded to the G2 a week ago, and got a great PAYG deal on Black Friday. The phone is as the reviews say fantasic, the screen is amazingly clear, and the battery life, better than that for similar phones. It's the first phone I've ever awarded five stars to, so I heartily recommend it.

Reviewed by carmen from United states on 9th Jun 2014
Expandable memory is a real issue

Reviewed by waxy from uk on 1st Jun 2014
Amazing phone with excellent battery life like, super fast, decent camera! Only downside is non expandable memory :( so u should gonly for the 32gb version .

Reviewed by Anil from UK on 3rd Apr 2014
Phone is excellent in terms of hardware and UI. I have used Samsung galaxy before but I like LG UI (simple and best). It has provided dozens of configuration for changes, if you are interested. Same night I updated with android 4.4.2 KitKat, over air. It took less than 10 minutes (30 Mbps line).
Review has warned about rear button but I love because itís easy operate for volume up-down and same can be used for photo shoot. I donít use power as tap-tap works well. Well done LG.
GPS is excellent, I was able to lock in seconds inside public bus (middle row).
Call clarity is excellent and signal reception is fantastic. Wifi speed is great as well.
I am not great photo shooter but I feel itís fast and good quality. I uses Ubuntu in my laptop and sink these photos with in multiple devices using ďUbuntu OneĒ sync. This avoids USB usage.
Battery is great. It came with full charge, which went 24 hours with multiple application installation, upgrade, configuration and constant usage. Next charge went beyond 30 hours with moderate usage.
Only problem I have with IR booster, may be my Blaupunkt TV doesnít support. Need to find more.
Over all I love LG G2.

Reply by Cosmin from Romania on 17th Jul 2014
I find the settings menu very ugly; besides this, it is a great phone!

Reviewed by Andy from uk on 21st Mar 2014
i swapped from my samsung s3 to the lg g2 because the reviews and specs simply outclassed the s4 and more on par at the time to the s5 and i fancied a change after using the phone i found it absolutely fantastic compared to any of the previously owned samsung phones but then started looking through and messing then noticed storage officially 16gb but actually usable to you and me that means photos apps music videos and calendar and memo notes and temps for browsing all share 10gb oh what happened to the other 6gb well thats system fixed not for me and you and the pre installed apps also use my space nice phone but what a con false advertising if knew this before purchase i would of payed what its truly worth £150 just like rip off apple thanks lg

Reviewed by sandra from US on 10th Mar 2014
I love the performance of my G2, unfortunately I am a big memory user so this is a deal breaker for me. I will look to trade up SOON (luckily with Verizon the new Edge program will allow to tradeup after 6 months). If there is a new G2 with upgradable memory or even bigger memory I will go for it. Overall, as a big smartphone user, I am pleased with all other features of the phone. 4-stars only because of the locked in memory (reminds me an apple phone)

Reviewed by simon from UK on 10th Mar 2014
I dont understand, trustedreviews clearly state the phone comes with 16GB and 32GB versions of the LG G Pro 2.

Also the below text: "as the phone has a microSD slot, I reckon we're more likely to see the 16GB edition in the UK"

Reply by S21 from UK on 11th Mar 2014
Simon, the LG G Pro 2 is a different device. It hasn't yet been released.

Reply by Simon from UK on 14th Mar 2014
Ahh, Yes my apologies. I realised once I did a bit more reading.

Reviewed by Paul B from England on 28th Feb 2014

I bought my LG G2 sim free from Amazon as my old Xperia was playing up and I'd recently changed to pay as you go so have no upgrade options. I read countless reviews and went into numerous shops before taking the plunge for the LG. I almost opted for the Xperia Z1 but chose the LG as I wanted something a bit different.

The screen is amazing. Bright and clear, even in bright sunlight.
Speed is phenomenal. No lag on anything I've thrown at it.
Size is very deceptive seeing as it has a 5.2" screen. Around the same size as the Samsung S4.
The buttons on the back are very intuitive and I have got used to them in a very short space of time. I must admit that I don't really use them an awful lot as I prefer to use the Knockon feature to turn off and on.
Sound is clear and loud from the dual speakers at the bottom of the device.
Memory (I have the UK 16GB version) is a little disappointing considering the competition. It seems to be a trait with LG as the Nexus phones made by LG lack the expansion option. To be fair I was aware of this before I bought the phone and it was a big consideration but I can live with it. I'll just cut down the number of albums etc that I have on the phone at any one time.
GPS has a very fast lock on which is a major thing for me as I use my smartphone as my satnav as I down use a dedicated one.

All in all I am very pleased with the G2. I am certainly glad that I took the gamble and truly believe that I have one of the, if not THE, best smartphones available.

Reply by Sam from UK on 23rd Sep 2014
Hi Paul like you my Xperia is giving me problems. I have had it for 3 years now and have decided its time to go for a new LG2 mobile. My birthday is just round the corner and the LG2 is at the top of my list.

Reviewed by sandra from USA on 19th Feb 2014
After reading the reviews and watching tutorials, im convinced this will be a match. I hope they will put in a Sim card usuage soon.

Reviewed by Gordon from UK on 18th Feb 2014
I never write reviews re mobile phones, but felt I had to this time. Like others I always consult this site before buying a phone, but I am afraid you have got it wrong this time!! What a fuss going on about the switch being on the back..what happened to individuality and being a bit different? This is a lovely phone. Works well, feels great and works great. Battery life is better but will never be great until battery technology catches up. I have seen you giving 5 stars to phones far inferior to this one. I used to have an S3 but much prefer the LG G2!

Reply by S21 from UK on 18th Feb 2014
Hi Gordon,
Thanks for your review. We don't have a problem with the switch on the back. We like the G2 too!

Reviewed by tommy from uk on 20th Jan 2014
cant understand why you guys give this phone 4 stars and the nexus 5 a 5 star as there both without sd card slot and both have 16/32 memory??? the g2 is a top notch phone lovely screen top processor with some great features, edge to edge screen make it very nice indeed, above all look what you get for the price and not every one wants sd card slots infact most wont ever use them there old tech, i bought the 32 g one and have loads of space even the 16 would be more than enough, at the end of the day the nexus 5 has the same hardware so the review here is pretty petty

Reply by S21 from UK on 20th Jan 2014
Tommy, the Nexus 5 32GB costs less than the G2 16GB. In fact the 32GB version of the G2 is hard to find, so most people will buy the 16GB version. That's the reason. We don't give 5 stars to just any phone :)

Reply by tommy from uk on 22nd Jan 2014
ebay is full of 32 gig g2s plus google have subsidized the nexus 5 hence the low price. if the lg had samsung on the front the storage wouldnt matter cause its samsung. as for price if you shop around you can pick up the 16 gig g2 for 299 it all depends where you buy any phone so price argument doesnt really count. ive owned almost every android phone and the g2 is one of the best in most cases a better phone.

Reviewed by BSN from UK on 17th Jan 2014
Its really a case of where to start when describing the phone. Basically all the top end handsets these days have a large degree of parity. As a result your choice will possibly be made on the basis of if a particular one has a feature that you desperately want to have. The LG G2 ticks all the boxes when it comes to specifications and as with other top end phones are just too numerous to list. Real world usage sees the phone being more than a match for any rival.
In terms of looks, its a fine piece of kit thats understated but anyone who sees you with it will certainly admire it and will wonder why they are paying over the odds for more well known brands. The white version looks too similar to the samsung phones for my liking. Since i already had the S3 in white i opted for the Black G2 and i didnt regret it.I wanted something that could stand up to scrutiny when compared to the big players yet offered something different in its own right. This phone delivers in abundance.
Some see the 16Gb uk version as been limited as no sd card can be added. But quite frankly to mark it down for that is just plain silly especially since the most common version of the iphone is actually the 16GB version. The system takes a hefty chunk of the devices storage leaving you with around 11GB.This is really not a problem because if its simply storage youre after then there are plenty of cloud options available and free too. Consider that at an average of 5Mb a song you could have 1000 tracks using 5Gb of storage leaving you approximately another 6 to do whatever with. If you averaged 4 minutes a song it would take nearly 3 full days to listen to a playlist of 1000 songs. Therefore anyone that complains about the lack of on device storage for the purposes of music is really not thinking logically (especially with the cloud options as mentioned earlier).
Innovation comes with the interesting button placement that is at the back of the phone. Again people complain about this but it really isnt that bad, but can take a little getting used to. However, LG have intoduced a double tap feature that works surprisingly well. You simply double tap a blank area of the screen to wake the handset up or put it to sleep. Bearing in mind that phones have had buttons on the side and on the top, there's always been a reason for some to complain.
The area where this phone excels beyond all others in the same bracket is the battery. The reason i say this is that in terms of specs etc they are all pretty much there. However, as we all know the battery life has improved in line with the spec sheet on these top end phones. Enter the LG G2, a fantastic spec sheet with the battery to match. As an example, i take it off charge at 8am and moderate usage at work throughout the day sees me get to 5pm with 80-85% left. Even some serious usage over the same time frame sees me around 60-70%. The heaviest power user would find it outperforming any other similarly specced top end handset.
I find it surprising that S21 would take a star off for the lack of onboard storage as that really isnt a problem at all. If you are looking for a phone that does battle with the big boys and can actually beat them, yet offers something different and is significantly cheaper without any loss of quality on the spec sheet. THIS IS IT!

Reply by BSN from UK on 21st Jan 2014
Just an update on my own review. I meant to say that battery life has NOT IMPROVED along with the spec sheet on top end phones, but that changed with the G2.

Reviewed by Martin B from Netherhollandland on 6th Jan 2014
I'm getting the 32gb one in two weeks. It's about 75 euro's (62 Pounds or 100 US) more, but with that extra internal storage will kick every smartphone you can find. I've been researching my purchase for so long (and have done some testing in a nearby store) that the G2 convinced me. Should be a huge, landing on the moon huge, leap from my old, battered and bruised Samsung Galaxy S.

Reviewed by nick from uk on 31st Dec 2013
been useing mine now since xmas and the screen is awsome so it has 16 gig of ram. remember its a phone if you want to listen to music buy a mp3 player or a 3ds to play games. for me 16 gig is tonnes of space remember the mighty s4 only has 16gig yes it has sd card but only for storage it should be judged as a phone not a storage device. i had the s4 and it was very laggy the g2 flys with no lag anywhere. i bought mine for 345 delivered thats a bargain for any one

Reviewed by Jcloth from UK on 21st Dec 2013
This isn't a bad phone, good display, fast, etc, etc. However, it has 2 major drawbacks. One is the lack of storage and the inability to expand it - a few albums for the MP3 player and bang goes 5Gb, and that's after the operating system and bloatware gobble up 6Gb.

The other is the ludicrous buttons on the back. What idiot dreamt up that one? It's not that they're on the back, but that the power button sits in the middle of the volume buttons, and is almost impossible to select if your fingers are bigger than digital probes. 9 times out of 10 you catch one of the volume buttons, which means that you either engage the volume slider, or, more likely, take a screenshot. Who the hell wants screenshots?

Reviewed by Paul P from UK on 15th Dec 2013
From my first Technophone 405 to my StarTac 85, to my Pannys and Sonys, my Nokia's to my BlackBerry torch via my iphone 3G and 4S.. This is by far the best phone i have owned.
A shame its an Android and its the first phone i have had to get an Antivirus licence for.
Apart from that the LG G2 is a great phone.

Reviewed by Tony M from United Kingdom on 17th Nov 2013
I don't often comment on products but I had to in this case. Picked up my new LG G2 and it confirmed what I had hoped. it's fantastic. Vibrant screen, very very fast and I even like what LG have done with their own skin. A great phone and LG should be proud.

Reviewed by phil from United Kingdom on 13th Nov 2013

Reviewed by Jeff C from UK on 29th Oct 2013
Having upgraded to the Galaxy S4 from the S3, I was really disappointed. Sold my S4 within a month & purchased the LG G2. I must say what a fantastic phone! Great screen, great camera, excellent battery life and it is really really fast. Buttons on the back took a couple of days to get use to but once mastered you see the logic in LG`s thinking. The LG`s user interface is like Samsung`s Touchwiz and bit of a let down but I have replaced it with Nova Launcher. All in all, a fantastic phone & don`t hesitate to buy/upgrade.

Reviewed by Bootruss from England on 22nd Oct 2013
Simply the best phone ever! Amazing screen, superb camera, blisteringly fast and two day plus battery life.. What more do you need? Sorry S21, love this website, but I think you've got it wrong this time. If your considering this as an upgrade, you won't regret it one bit. Having had nexus phones for the last 3 years I wondered whether I'd find the LG skin cumbersome but it augments the usage very nicely, and not once have been tempted to root, despite running cyanogenmod as my daily driver for the past year. The buttons in the back aren't an issue as they're rarely used, the knock knock feature being so useful. Just go for one and you'll not look back!

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