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Disappointed with the Moto X? Try LG's new G2 smartphone

August 07, 2013|By Paresh Dave
  • The LG G2 has no buttons on the side. Buttons used to control the power and volume, normally found on the side of phones, have been moved to the rear. LG says the change should lead to fewer dropped phones.
The LG G2 has no buttons on the side. Buttons used to control the power and… (LG )

For some people on the hunt for a new smartphone, the newest Samsung and HTC devices sound too old. And Motorola’s new Moto X seems underwhelming: Cool colors on the outside, but not that impressive on the inside.

But LG's new G2 smartphone could manage to impress on both fronts.

The G2, built on the Android operating system, is being billed as the first smartphone to not have any buttons on the side. The power and volume buttons have been moved to the back, under the camera. The volume keys double as shortcuts to voice memos and the camera.

PHOTOS: Top smartphones of 2013

Inside, the phone has a faster processor than the Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. There’s a powerful battery, strong sound features and a special graphics card that should limit battery drain.

The phone’s 5.2-inch LCD screen is bigger than all of its competitors. But LG thinned the spacing between the screen and the side of the phone to keep the overall size in the same ballpark as the other top smartphones. Tapping the screen twice brings the phone to life and puts it to sleep.

The G2’s software is full of tricks, similar to the Galaxy S4. Based on early looks, LG has made multitasking as simple as swiping three fingers from the left of the screen. Dragging down the notification bar from the top brings up quick access to features such as a note-taker, a universal remote control for other household devices and a calculator. These apps can hover on top of other apps.

When answering calls, bringing the phone up toward an ear should be enough for it to automatically answer the call without having to do any swiping. When headphones are plugged in, the phone pulls up recommendations of apps most likely to be used with headphones. When unlocking the phone with a special swipe code, the phone enters guest mode -- that has only pre-selected apps available to use.

Among the small, but helpful features is one that automatically turns items such as an address in a text message into a link that launches the address in a mapping application.

The G2 is to be available sometime in the next eight weeks. All four major U.S. carriers plan to carry the 4G LTE-capable device, but LG hasn't revealed the pricing yet.


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