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Update: we have posted a more complete review of the LG G2. While this is still a very interesting article, you may want to check that one too.

For the past couple of months, we’ve been hearing a lot of noise from LG regarding its upcoming G2 Android smartphone. Within the last 24 hours, the rumor mill has been going strong as we’ve seen press shots of the LG G2 leak as well as its manual among other things. But today, we finally unveiled the G2.

"LG G2: THE FIRST SNAPDRAGON 800 SMARTPHONE HAS LANDED"  

First off – let’s get the specs out of the way. The LG G2 is equipped with a 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB LPDDR3 800MHz RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 5.2-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, 13MP main camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera and 3,000mAh battery. Along with its 5.2-inch IPS display, LG has made the bezel surrounding the screen as thin as possible as the top measures 9.66mm, sides at 2.65mm and bottom at 12.9mm which resutls in an viewing area of 75.9%. Overall, the phone measures in at 138.5mm x 70.9mm x 9.14mm.

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"THE REAR BUTTON SEEMS AWKWARD AT FIRST, BUT COMPLETELY MADE SENSE AFTER USING IT"   The LG G2 we were given for our hands-on time wasn’t a final product version, but we were able to poke and prod it as much as we like. The G2 feels very light for it having such a large display and is easy to manipulate. LG decided to move the device’s power button and volume rocker to its rear, which may seem like an awkward location at first, but it definitely makes sense considering how we typically hold our devices. While holding a smartphone, your index finger can easily make its way from the side of the device to the rear easily. The G2 uses the same principle here and allows you to simply bring your index finger over in order to press these buttons. As a result of the move, the G2 is able to keep an extremely thin profile.

The rear buttons can also be used to automatically launch applications. Holding down the volume down button for three seconds will allow the G2′s camera application to open, and the button can then be used as the camera’s shutter. This, of course, would only make sense while the device is being held in portrait mode. Holding the volume up button will launch the G2′s QuickMemo application, allowing you to jot down any notes you may need to take while you’re on the go.

With its 2.26GHz quad-core processor powering it, the LG G2 seemed to perform very well through our short time with the device. It was able to keep up with many of the tasks I asked from it, all while still being able to perform a number of its unique features which are being introduced in this device.

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Because of the move of the G2′s power and volume buttons, LG had to rethink how users would use their device. One such feature is its “Knock On,” which allows you to simply turn on the G2 by knocking on the screen twice. To turn it off, you’ll just knock on an open portion of screen or the top of the display twice. Answering the phone is also made easier as all you’ll need to do is lift the G2 to see who is calling, and place the device to your ear to accept the call.

"LG HAD TO RETHINK HOW PEOPLE WOULD USE THEIR DEVICE"  

Lending your smartphone to a friend has always been a moment that most people can immediately become anxious if they have concerns for their privacy. The G2 features a Guest Mode that allows you to set up a separate lock-screen pattern that can be used specifically for a guest of the device. Users can choose what applications can be present by selecting them beforehand.

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LG has thought of a new way to multitask as it’s introducing its “Slide Aside” feature, which allows users to swipe with three points of contact to the side of the screen to the left in order to save it for later. A total of three applications can be saved at a time, and a swipe to the right will bring up the saved applications. LG says they will support 3rd-party applications with its Slide Aside feature.

Sending a screenshot to someone usually only sends the portion of the screen that you’re currently looking at, which means long e-mail conversations or web pages will have to be sent across multiple screenshots. With the G2, LG is featuring its Capture Plus mode, which allows the user to send an entire screenshot of a web page or e-mail to someone, which they can then scroll through on their respective device.

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LG was one of the first handset manufacturers to include an IR blast port, which allows smartphones to be used as a universal remote control. In the G2, LG has made updated its IR port to be able to learn from other remote controls, which can be done simply by having the remote control you would like the G2 to learn from directly in front of the IR port.

The camera has been fine tuned in the LG G2 to attempt to give the user the absolute best in terms of quality. It features a 13MP with an OIS Module with anti-shake, has “ultimate” low-light performance, anti-fingerprint coating and is made of Sapphire Glass, which is much stronger than tempered glass. Its able to focus on 9 points within an image, has an improved digital zoom, audio zoom and is able to capture video in Full HD at 60fps.

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As far as accessories go, LG will be releasing a quick-window case which goes beyond just allowing you to view the time and date without actually opening the case. LG’s quick-window cases will allow users to access either an analog or digital clock, which can change colors to match your case, which at launch, will come in 8 different colors. From the small window in the quick-window case, users will be able to control the device’s music, calls, messages or alerts without ever opening the flap.

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LG is betting big on its G2 as they’re hoping users will adopt its new button layout as well as all of the unique bells and whistles they have thrown into the mix. From our short time with the G2, we certainly became believers in the rear-button layout and found it to be extremely comfortable, especially when handling a phablet device. Whether or not having physical buttons on the rear of smartphones catches on with competing manufacturers is yet to be seen, but considering LG was the first company to include an IR blaster on their phones as well as being the first to offer an improved screen cover accessory, they might be onto something with its G2.

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews . Tags: Android, LG and LG G2.
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