LG hopes its G2 smartphone, which features a huge HD screen and powerful camera, will win over would-be Galaxy S4 buyers.
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LG Wednesday announced the G2, its successor to last year's Optimus G. The new smartphone has some of the best hardware around in addition to innovative new software. This is exactly the type of device LG needs to make if it wants to win back market share from foe Samsung.
The G2 boasts a 5.2-inch, full-HD screen. As with most LG screens, it uses in-place switching technology and is an LCD panel. LG was able to reduce the framing needed around the screen to the thinnest seen on any phone, resulting in a screen that stretches fully from side to side. Thanks to the thin framing, the G2's screen size beats the Galaxy S4's by 0.2 inches.
The G2 is the first device to ship with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chipset. It has four cores, with each rated at 2.26 GHz. This monster processor is paired with 2 GB of RAM and supports worldwide LTE networks, in addition to GPS and GLONASS navigation systems. Other network connections include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC and HDMI.
The G2 has a 13-megapixel camera that is aided by optical image stabilization and back-side illumination for better low-light performance. It can shoot full 1080p HD video, as can the 2-megapixel camera on front. The device is powered by a 3,000-mAh battery.
The most interesting aspect of the G2's layout is the positioning of its power button and volume toggles. These buttons almost always appear on the left or right edges of a smartphone. LG put them both on the back, where it believes they'll be easier to use. This is something that most people might need some time to adjust to, though.
LG has loaded up the G2 with lots of interesting software. For example, Answer Me will automatically answer the phone when it is picked up and placed next to the owner's ear. The Guest Mode mirrors Kid Zone in Windows Phone 8, and can be used to rope off a safe section in which others can use the phone. There's also Text Link, which will scan text messages for event invites and automatically add them to the calendar app. The camera carries over many of the advanced features seen on LG's other flagship devices, including QSlide Apps, QuickMemo and others.
The G2 will be sold by all four major carriers in the U.S. and comes in black or white. Pricing and availability has not yet been announced.
The G2 shares many of its high-end features with Samsung's Galaxy S4, and surpasses it in a few places. It also proves that the most important innovations to come with smartphones are in the software, not the hardware.
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