The LG G2, The best Google phone

After successfully teaming up with Google for the Nexus 4, LG is back with the G2. The front of the device looks similar to the Samsung Galaxy S4, although it has no physical or touch-sensitive buttons below the screen. However, fl ip it over and the handset has a unique design.

We like the fi breglass-style fi nish, but more notable is the fact buttons are located on the rear below the camera. It’s a strange concept, but something to which we soon became accustomed. KnockOn means a double-tap on the screen will switch it on and off .

LG has impressed us by squeezing a large screen into a small chassis. The G2 is smaller than the Xperia Z1, and only marginally larger than the S4, but it has a bigger screen than both at 5.2in. Matching other top Android handsets, it’s got a full-HD 1920x1080 resolution and, although the size means the pixel density is a little lower than some, at 424ppi, the di erence isn’t noticeable.

The handset is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest smartphone chip, the powerful 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800. Accompanied by an Adreno 330 GPU and a healthy 2GB of RAM, the LG boasts exceptional performance. The phone comes with either 16- or 32GB of internal storage, but there’s no memory card slot for expansion.

The impressive specs continue with the G2’s cameras. The 13Mp rear-facing snapper takes high-quality photos and videos, with optical image stabilisation a great addition. The 2Mp front-facing camera also o ers great imagery, with up to 1080p video at 30fps.

LG has customised the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean interface and installed its own Practical UX interface. This has popping colours, but some areas seem very cluttered – particularly the notifi cation bar, into which LG has crammed everything imaginable.

Things aren’t enough of a mess to put us o the phone, however. And we like the Guest Mode that lets you restrict access to certain apps and content for other users, and the Slide Aside multi-tasking feature for keeping your favourite apps close to hand. It’s packed with handy features, including NFC, an infrared transmitter and the ability to play 24-bit/192kHz audio.

Verdict LG has trumped the competition with the G2. It o ers a great design, excellent hardware and handy software features at a very low price. All that’s missing is a microSD slot.