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The phone has a pair of excellent-sounding stereo speakers, a feature still regrettably missing on the iPhone. The audio on voice calls was good, too.
Plug in headphones, and a panel slides up from the bottom of the screen with icons for suggested apps that you might use with headphones (YouTube, music, etc.).
The G2 anticipates your behavior in other ways. If you get a call and raise the handset toward your ear, the phone is supposed to automatically answer, without you having to push any buttons, a benefit if you're wearing gloves. It worked in my tests, but not every time.
You won't have to reach for the rear key to turn the screen on or off. Instead, you can tap the display twice, using a feature LG calls "KnockOn."
As with many other smartphones nowadays, the G2 can also double as a remote control for a TV.
Aesthetically, the phone is thin, attractive and has a smooth finish that didn't bother me, though I suspect some will prefer the metallic finish of an Android alternative such as the HTC One. Inside the G2 is a powerful quad-core Qualcomm processor , which led to a snappy experience overall, whether I was opening apps or having a go at the graphics-rich Temple Run game.
Another plus: The phone has a long-lasting battery .
One notable feature is called QSlide. It lets you keep two windows for compatible apps open on top of whatever main screen you have visible. You choose which QSlide apps from a settings menu you drag down from the top of the display. For example, you might keep a video running in one small QSlide window and your e-mail or calendar in another, all while browsing the Web on the main screen.
You can resize QSlide windows and adjust their level of transparency, and they remain on top of whatever else you are doing. The downside to all of this is a rather busy display.
I had quibbles with another multitasking feature called Slide Aside that is supposed to let you use a three-finger swipe gesture to switch among three running apps. I found it rather cumbersome to use. (continued...)
© 2013 USA TODAY under contract with YellowBrix. All rights reserved.
Posted: 2013-10-16 @ 7:07am PT
Edward as long as I have been using smartphones, I have dsiliked the side volume control. But it has been unavoidable. This deal breaker for you might be welcomed by others. I will be looking this phone over very soon. At the same time, I can't help thinking that if a different company had come up with the idea that it might have been embraced.
Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 5:19pm PT
I can't believe the buttons on back would be a deal breaker for anyone. My family has just about every top phone out there and this one is hands down the best (minus the note 3).
Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 3:51pm PT
Features, functions and specs are not the best guidance for selecting a smartphone. The aggregated Customer Experience of people who spent the money is much more reliable. The LG G2 earned Net Promoter Score NPS=36 that places it 17th on the list of smartphones currently sold in US.
Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 3:15pm PT
I hate the side buttons on my HTC, when I pick up the phone the ringer is constantly getting turned down and up and totally off many times. But I guess the author thinks that is a desirable quality to have in a phone. I swear most of the people writing phone reviews are clueless.
Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 11:07am PT
The buttons being on the back are a feature, not a drawback. It allows the display to be larger without the phone taking a larger footprint. Its a key part of the design and why the G2 is better than the HTC One or S4 or Motorola phones.
Posted: 2013-10-15 @ 4:49am PT
I think buttons on back are awesome! How many times have you turned the ringer off by mistake and missed a call. Your hands wrap around the G2 and this does not effect volume or putting phone on vibrate. Great feature. Phone is the best I have used since Android came out in 2008.
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 10:16pm PT
Wow! As soon as I got done reading this review (if you even wanna call it that) I couldn't wait to post my comment on how completely wrong this author (if u even wanna call him that) really is. But now I see that the comments back up my opinion on this. There is nothing flawed about putting the buttons on the back. If this had an Apple logo everybody would be saying that Apple is back in the game, very intuitive. Even if it would of been Samsung. But since it's LG, people are bashing it. LG is making a 360° move on everybody and everything. Samsung better watch out. LG may take the crown. I know it's early for this, but, can u imagine what the G Pro 2 will look like and have? The G Pro made the Note 2 look laughable, if the G Pro2 makes the Note 3 look that bad also........... like I said, Samsung better watch out.
One lone user:
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 4:41pm PT
I upgraded from Galaxy S3. I have had this phone for the last 3 days and I was starting to like it (until last night). That's because the phone had started to reboot randomly as soon as I enter the pin on the lock screen.
Called T-Mobile and asked for the replacement. I am getting the replacement one tomorrow. Need to wait and see how the new one will work for me. Anyhow, that's my story.
A few things that I really miss on this phone when compared to my S3:
1. Accurate LED notifications
2. Smart Alerts (vibration alerts after missed calls, messages, etc.)
3. Message notifications on the lock screen
4. Clean and efficient notifications pull down
5. Lightweight even with a case
Things that I consider to be bugs on LG G2:
1. At times the keyboard is laggy on multiple messaging apps (Stock messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, etc.)
2. Blank or no display while the phone is ringing (for the first 3-5 seconds)
Note: None of these may be bugs on other G2s. This could be only my phone.
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 2:34pm PT
Absurd, incorrect and misleading title. Rear buttons are not flawed, not even just different, they are innovative.
And "Too bad then that the vaunted rear key design feature, to my mind, is ultimately the thing that is backfiring." Is that even English? Throw the cow over the fence some hay, why dontcha?
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 1:15pm PT
I agree with most users here. The buttons on the back are easy to get used to.
I also want to mention the battery, which only got a one liner in the review. This battery is amazing, it outlasts my coworker's Moto HD Max. I get about two days out of a charge with about 5hrs of screen on time.
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 1:01pm PT
I agree with a everyone's quotes, I have this phone and love it and the buttons in the back don't bother me at all. I barely use them anyway, but to say it's a flaw is just wrong.
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 11:08am PT
Your design flaw title is very misleading and makes it sound like the product is not working. A design flaw is something that makes it unusable. Google. "....the design itself yields a product that can not perform its desired function."
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 1:57am PT
I've owned the phone since release and I can't say anything but good things about the phone. I'm totally used to the buttons. (verizon version)
Posted: 2013-10-14 @ 1:34am PT
I'm also a proud user of LG G2. The buttons at the rear are just naturally placed, suit my needs. Remember what Steve Jobs said about iPhone 4, "you are holding it wrong!"
Posted: 2013-10-13 @ 11:32pm PT
C'mon having a different button design means it is flawed. You're just not familiar with it yet. Try it for some time and I'm sure you won't be looking for buttons on sides ever again.
Posted: 2013-10-13 @ 7:56pm PT
I agree with Twincamfxd
Posted: 2013-10-13 @ 6:46pm PT
I've had the g2 now for several days. The phone is extremely comfortable, easy to use, and my hands found comfort very shortly using the new button design. Too many critics and not enough true reviews out there.
Posted: 2013-10-13 @ 4:37pm PT
The argument against the back controls are purely subjective. You don't like it, but that does not make it a "flaw". The title to this article is misleading. I have the G2 and found that after a week's use, the back buttons are better than the traditional design for me.