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By Hanleigh Daniels 30 October 2013

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LG is one of the top 5 mobile phone makers globally, but the company’s local presence is small. Will this change with its new flagship - the G2?

Despite being around the same size as a Galaxy S4 (review), the G2 boasts a bigger 5.2" full HD (423 ppi) IPS touchscreen, which we feel is the currently display benchmark for smartphones. This is thanks to its excellent picture quality and barely-there (2.65 mm) edge-to-edge bezel that allows for a more immersive movie viewing experience by bringing the video more to the foreground.

Another design arrow in the G2’s quiver might be a hot button styling issue for some users. The volume rocker and power button can be found on the back of the smartphone and although this does take a bit of getting use to, you’ll quickly get the hang of it, especially since that is naturally where your index finger rests when holding the device.

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The G2 currently boast our favourite smartphone display thanks to excellent viewing angles, picture quality and barely there bezels that pushes your content to the foreground.   

Snapdragon power and camera prowess

Powering the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating smartphone is Qualcomm’s mightily impressive Snapdragon 800 quad-core clocked at 2.26 GHz per core. This CPU is backed up by 2 GB of RAM and some impressive battery life (1½ days with heavy usage) from the sizeable 3000 mAh battery. The Snapdragon 800 recently helped the Sony Xperia Z1 (review) to the top of our smartphone benchmarking test scores and now has done the same for the G2, beating out all rivals including, the Z1 and the eight-core CPU of the Galaxy Note 3.   

Equally impressive is the optics onboard the G2, with the highlight being the 13 MP main camera that features OIS (optical image stabilisation) that allows for clearer, blur-free stills and video recording. Beyond less shaky video, users will also appreciate the enhanced audio recording and playback (24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality sound) on offer with the G2. This enables louder sound playback and audio recordings with noticeably less distortion. A myriad of other handy software enhancement are available including our favourite KnockOn, which enables users to to turn the display on and off simply by tapping on the screen twice.

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Two things to like about the G2's derrier: Firstly the excellent 13 MP camera with OIS and secondly, the placement of the power button and volume rocker which is strategically located where your index finger rests whilst holding the device.

To the point

At the end of the day, the G2 is easily able to compete head on with any of its rivals thanks to packing impressive specs within an eye-catching package. In some aspects (battery life, CPU power) it even surpasses the firm favourite with local buyers - Samsung’s Galaxy S4. It goes for an RRP of R8 000, making the device around R500 cheaper than a Galaxy S4 and R1 900 less than an Xperia Z1.

samsung note 3 vs sony z1 vs lg g2

In the centre is the LG G2 compared to the bigger sizes of the Sony Z1 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. 

PROS
Bests rivals on pricing; blistering CPU performance; LTE connectivity; excellent display; good audio recording and playback; very good camera performance; and KnockOn functionality.
CONS
Rear button placement might put some users off.
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