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LG G2 Unboxing and First Impressions


The LG G2 is in the building! Our friends at LG were kind enough to drop off an international review unit of their latest flagship while we were in New York dealing with all things Galaxy Note 3. And since some of us have yet to fondle this beast of a device, we thought a quick unboxing and first impressions session was in store. I say “some of us” because Tim got touchy-feely with it a couple of weeks ago at the G2 press unveiling. So what do I think? 

Holy gorgeous display. Forget the oddly placed rear power and volume buttons or the gross glossy plastic case for a second – this display is so edge-to-edge and crisp that my eyes may be in shock at its beauty. It’s also stunningly fast, thanks to the Snapdragon 800 processor inside and 2GB of RAM. I’m loving the on-screen navigation keys, the camera is ridiculously quick, and there is a headphone jack on the bottom (Hallelujah!). The body is also a size that can be handled easily with one hand for the most part – it’s just slightly bigger than the Galaxy S4.

I will say that the build feels slightly questionable thanks to the fingerprint magnet/gross glossiness that is happening all over the backside. I’m also not sure what to think about the rear placement of the power and volume buttons, but I’m assuming I can get used to them and will withhold judgement for now.

The UI is pretty much LG’s take on Samsung’s TouchWiz, though I’ll have to give it a solid run-through before deciding if it’s better, worse, or just completely overdone. LG has packed in more software features than I think I even know what to do with. Definitely looking forward to trying them all out. The notification of “Life is Good!” is completely obnoxious and will be changed before I can finish typing this line (you’ll hear in the unboxing and know what I mean).

So those are some quick thoughts, most of which can be seen in the video below.

Again, this is the international variant, so we’re mostly just going to be playing with it as we await the arrival of the U.S. versions that have actual wireless service. If you have questions or would like to see certain things tested, be sure to drop them in the comments.






  • Red Stool

    Non-removable battery and no microSD.. OUCH!

    • BobbyG

      3000mAh battery. Plenty big

  • MiMo1986s

    completely chocked he like the phone screen lol i think the phoe full of options ^ ^

  • MiMo1986s

    completely chocked he like the phone screen lol i think the phoe full of options ^ ^

  • shamatuu

    Good phone but i really hate LG UI. Bugs the hell out of me.

  • Incognegro

    This looks like my new phone now that the Nexus 5 won’t be on Big Red. Guess I’ll have to hold on to that GNex to extend the vanilla experience.

  • flosserelli

    I have a Note 2 and figured nothing would replace it but a Note 3, but the LG G2 has definitely caught my attention. I’m just not convinced it will be popular with the developer community. But if it gets root and the LG skin isn’t a lagfest (like Touchwiz), then custom roms won’t matter so much.

    In every video I have seen, the double-tap screen wakeup is wonky. That needs to be fixed.

  • sk3litor

    Damn. Add a stylus and id be in.

    • Downtoearth2

      Just buy the galaxy Note.

      • sk3litor

        Yeah I know, I am:) just been a die hard note fan so anything to even make me consider another phone says something. I wish wacom teamed up with lg on this.so for now I will stay with samsung and pray they learn some sense of asthetic value at some point. “Damn I hate having an ugly girlfriend but she treats me so well

  • sk3litor

    See I think shiny says premium. When you buy a car its shiny, when tou buy a new piece of electronics its always shiny plastic. Im not saying I dont like the black matt look at all I just dont think that shiny plastic says “less than premium”. But yeah finger prints do suck db, but thats why you get white:)

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  • MacNificent

    when the screen size was first announced I instantly said NO!. But now that I know the phone is basically the same size as my s3, I may have to do some thorough comparing to the moto x. Since we’ll probably never get the nexus on Verizon.
    moto x (basically stock)
    LG G2 (touchwizardry)
    decisions decisions

  • Joe Gugelman

    @kellex:disqus can you confirm for us that holding the home key will bring up the recent apps list like on some other LG phones, since they amazingly decided to replace it with a menu button, and didn’t even include the recents button in the list of customization options…

    A menu button tho..what year is this? 2011?

  • Michael OBrien

    I am in for how it actually works and functions. LG does not have the best track record when it comes to android devices.

  • airrmedia

    Looks good but I rather have a Samsung Galaxy.

  • Justyn

    Can you take off the weather widget/bar at the top?

    • LionStone

      Yep, use any clock widget you like… I like HD widgets myself.

  • Hatyrei

    i don’t care if the back is “cheap plastic” and glossy…most of the people put “cheap plastic” cases eventually. irony. lol

  • Jared Nichols

    The good news is, it looks like all of the good things about this device will be in the nexus 5(hopefully) and all the bad things will have vanished (also hopefully). God love the nexus program

  • De Nguyen

    The tap to turn the screen on/off is not a gimmick.
    It’s a thoughtful (and must have) design feature because to power button is on the bottom (that you can’t get to) when the phone is on the table.

  • Liderc

    That front <3. Can't believe Verizon is tainting that front with a logo. I think I'd rather have the smaller screen with the reported Nexus 5 version. I think it'll make it a big easier to access the entire screen with one hand.

    I hope the camera is good, make sure to do some serious tests because I'm about tired of seeing all these high end phones ending up with crap cameras.

    But that screen, man, looks like nothing we've ever seen before. Sucks about the back's design/buttons/feel ect… They knocked the front out of the park though.

  • Billyt

    Cant wait to see all the fingerprint photos taken with this phone…meaning fingerprints on the lens from fumbling for the stupid buttons

    • Jay Ochs

      that’s why it has that sapphire glass that’s fingerprint resistant.

  • chris125

    So this has LTE advanced like the note 3?

    • LionStone

      Yea buddy! Comes equipped on the S800, carrier just gotta flip the switch! That thing is sweet!

  • instrument

    i really don’t understand the obsession with smudges on the back of a phone.

    • Liderc

      Some of us like things to look clean.

      Most of us that do also have OCD heh.

  • JetsFan316

    Somebody needs to unlock this phone’s bootloader. The potential when you couple these specs with vanilla android will be mind-blowing.

    • instrument

      after running aosp 4.3 on my note 2 I honestly believe that the push in spec’s is just to make touchwiz and other ui’s less laggy.

      • JetsFan316

        That’s funny but probably correct. With CM this phone can easily take you two years and beyond. I am just obsessed with that display. Bezel to Bezel and on screen buttons. Exactly what we all dream of. I can’t get enough.

  • fritzo2162

    Does the power switch pose a problem when you pocket the phone?

  • EnX$$

    Alcatel One Touch Hero
    was copied from LG G2 but
    Alcatel copied better than the original. only if Alcatel One Touch Hero had 32gb or 64gb

  • Terrence Adams

    I need something new. Samsung phones are getting repetitive in their offerings. I can’t wait to get this

    • phonehater

      Get a Xiaomi Mi3

    • Jkdem85

      its just a knockoff of a samsung phone

  • duke69111

    how’s the sound from the speakers?

  • HarleyGuy72

    But, does Ron like it???

    • Tim242

      Nah. He’s getting an iPhone 5C in each color.

      • El_Big_CHRIS

        I laughed harder than I should. Thanks sir

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        Well at least a purple one to go with his purple razr lol

        • Tim242

          And purple matches him so well. Just sayin.

      • Chris Hannan


  • edwoordd

    if the nexus 5 doesn’t come to vzw i’ll either get this or the blue htc one! my gnex is still good for now

  • SamBoy

    The Screen on this is pulling me away from the Note 3 but the Note 3’s 3gbs of ram is holding me still.

    • Liderc

      lol, it’s impossible to access 3GB of RAM on a phone. Literally impossible.

      • Jay Ochs

        not to mention the fact that even with 3GB of ram, the note 3 still lags as bad as the S4 did.

        • SamBoy

          Please explaice to me how you know it lags? You have one right?….. Na you don’t fuktard!

          • Jay Ochs

            you’re not too bright of a human, are you? go watch some videos and you’ll see the typical samsung lag and framerate drop. grow up, moron.

          • SamBoy

            Yea because you can totally tell it lags in real world situations by watching a video…Jackass!

          • David

            You’re making assumptions on an unreleased phone.

      • SamBoy

        No its not the way android is setup to load as many apps into the ram as it can.

        • Chris Hannan

          My Nexus 4 has never dropped below 1GB of available RAM and I’ve only seen it go below 1.1GB of available RAM once. The higher res screens and skins will use more RAM, but 2GB is still probably more than you’ll ever need.

          • SamBoy

            Because it’s a nexus it doesn’t do much of anything besides what u want it to do it doesn’t count but the nite 2 uses all most the while 2gbs so I’ll take the note 3 with three.

          • Chris Hannan

            I’d stay far away from a device with a skin that uses a whole GB of RAM.

          • SamBoy

            Well enjoy your nexus Ik enjoy my note 2 until the 3 is ready.

    • Ryan

      3gb of ram should not be your deciding factor between these phones…

  • chris125

    hm debating getting this on verizon since no nexus and not really a fan of the moto x. Any thoughts or suggestions @kellex:disqus?

  • I’ve never bought a LG phone before. How hackable are they normally? I’m running CM on my Note 2 which I love. Considering this phone either way but would be interested to know.

  • Wondering how much space is left after LG’s bloat. Biggest question I have though is camera. If it is good or better than the S4 I’m sold. Love the soft buttons and size. Can’t wait for some sample pics!

  • Mark Aaron Collado

    hopefully they install all of these hardware to the nexus 5 ^_^

  • BobButtons

    Posting of stock ringtones & wallpapers?

  • zwieblekopf

    how is the speaker volume, and how strong is the vibrate function? I had a GS4 for a week and with a case on I could barely feel the vibrate in my pocket

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  • itsacardigan

    Is it possible when you do the review on the G2 that you show us that you can indeed turn all that crap off in the notification tray?

  • Broomdude

    However unscientific it might be, I’d love to here if you notice any reception differences in weak areas compared to the Moto X.

  • ITGuy11

    Dat glossy back…

  • Raj Bhatt

    I thought I was getting this for sure but all this new Nexus stuff has my excitement level and my blood pressure through the roof.

    • GentlemanScholar

      I was leaning towards this or the Moto X, but I’m holding off until the new Nexus is announced.

      • Raj Bhatt

        I feel like I’ve become obsessive/compulsive with this phone. I am constantly searching for info about it. I accidentally woke up in the middle of the night last night and stayed up until i had to go to work because i lost track of time while searching for info O_o

      • aQuickBit

        I don’t want to put my body through this sort of hypebeast 😛

    • Droidzilla

      I wouldn’t doubt that the new Nexus will be based off of this phone, so I’d wait. Google will take all of the good and remove all of the bad.

      • Raj Bhatt

        That’s what I’m thinking. But barring a miracle, going for the Nexus means leaving unlimited data on VZW.

        • BCoils

          i’m with ya but that also means my monthly bill will go down.

      • recoveringlefty

        Like replacing the display with a smaller one, or maybe ditching the 3000 mAh battery with a 2400 mAh?

        • Droidzilla

          If you honestly think that the Nexus 1 was inferior to the Droid Incredible, the Nexus S to the Galaxy S, the Galaxy Nexus to the Galaxy SII, or the Nexus 4 to the Optimus G, then I don’t know what to say to you. Phones are partly about specs, but all about experience and optimised software. Nexus wins on those last two over all of the phones they were based off of.

          • recoveringlefty

            I’m not a “bleeding edge” techie. Is this “pure Android experience” the differentiating factor in favor of the Nexus? Honestly, I don’t know enough about the pros and cons of it all, and I’d bet that the vast majority of consumers don’t either. My understanding is that the manufacturer’s UI contains features that stock Android does not. All of those features will not be used by every owner, but isn’t good to have them there if useful?

          • Droidzilla

            Additional features are less than desirable, for many, if they are clunky, not very additive to the experience, create lag, and make the UI look worse. I just described 90% of the added features over vanilla Android from most OEMs. It’s also common that when a general OS is coded with a certain reference hardware end-user devices using the same basic architecture as the reference hardware will perform better than even higher specced competition because the code is optimised for that hardware. This is exactly what happens with the Nexus line, as Google codes Android specifically to work well on the Nexus device and then OEMs adapt it to their individual devices.

            Empirically, I have personally experienced and have had non-techie friends and family experience superior performance and user experience on a Nexus device than on slightly higher specced (on paper), contemporary competition. Just my two cents from experience.

          • recoveringlefty

            Thanks for your response.

            I hear things like the phone’s camera will lose features/functionality, etc. if it’s rooted. Can you suggest any sites that explain the benefits of vanilla android in more detail?

          • ramifications

            Stock android’s camera app is really lacking compared to the other manufacturers. It’s probably the biggest drawback to having a stock device. But there’s hope that google will improve it somewhat when Kit Kat is released.

            And while I have a Galaxy Nexus myself, I will be buying the LG G2 on Verizon as I know we’ll never get the Nexus 5 and the G2 has everything I need, plus I can always root and use stock android if I want to.

          • bonix

            Droid Incredible was my first android phone and I loved it. I didn’t know much about the OS back then but did manage to root it. It seemed very ahead of its time though.

          • Droidzilla

            The DInc was a great phone stock, and really came to life when rooted and with all of the HTC nonsense removed. This is because it was basically a Nexus 1, and Android was coded for the Nexus 1 specifically.

  • jefbystereo

    Can you turn on the screen by pressing the phone down to activate the button? That would be pretty cool. Otherwise its a hassle to have to pick up the phone to turn the screen on

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      Knock on buddy

      • jefbystereo

        Nice, I cant see the vid at work but just googled knockon. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Andy Taylor

      I use car mounts quite often. The back power and volume kills it for me.

  • Chris

    Is it possible to get rid of the LG junk in the notification pull down so it doesn’t take up half the screen?

    • I found out how to turn off the Q Slide section. Working on the rest heh.

      • Chris

        Kellen, are you going to have a more in depth review of the G2 before its released?

  • the knocking actually makes sense now after video since the power button is on the back. it would be a pain to have to pick up the phone just to turn the screen on and off.

  • Mike Aurin

    Thank god for Nova. The skin is crazy ugly. Nothing really matches out of the box.

  • RoadsterHD1

    LG has come a long way. Although their still and have always been a great company, just needed to step it up in their cell phone market and they have.

    • phonehater

      They just forgot to put SD card slot on this thing. Otherwise great specs. And the speakers should be where the HTC ones’ are. I guess all these companies combined could put together a great phone. Samsung is close.
      Xiaomi Mi3 will smoke them all.

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    I hope the front of the new Nexus looks like that

    • Steve B

      Should be nearly identical, minus the LG logo.

      • Tim242

        Smaller display, prob more bezel.

        • Butters619

          Look at the size that was leaked in the FCC doc. 5″ display, but it’s shorter and skinnier than the SGS4, SGS3, and One X. Aka very little bezel.

          • Tim242

            It is shorter. The thickness isn’t yet known though. I hope thatis the case. Phones with on sscreen buttons should not have a huge bezel.

          • Butters619

            Not thickness. Width.

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      When I’m listening to music and the cord is on the top I feel like I have too unnaturally place my phone in my pocket vs just sliding it in.

    • Butters619

      If the dimensions in the FCC doc are right, it should have smaller bezels than the SGS4.

  • Octotron

    Ya… I like it. The initial impression I got is so much better than the Note 3.. I don’t know what it is.. that screen looks awesome.

  • joseph barrientos

    im on the same boat as most, those buttons on the back, i guess ill have to hold it first to see, the screen is large but with minimal bezel, maybe itll surprise me, regardless, good job LG, good job

  • Jeff

    I don’t understand the benefit of the headphone jack being on the bottom. I’ve had it on the bottom or top on different phones and never noticed a difference in usability.

    • I place my phone in my pocket top down, so if I have headphones plugged in, it works how I want it to. Also, in my car, if I’m both charging and using the AUX jack for music, it’s nicer to have both ports next to each other on the bottom. Last, if you are holding your phone, it’s nicer to have the headphone cord drop straight from the bottom, rather than worrying about it draping over the top and down the backside.

      • Tyler

        I was typing a similar response, you beat me to it.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        Do you have that response already typed out so you can copy/paste? That was hella fast o.o

        • Tyler

          I was thinking the same thing, when i clicked view new comment i was expecting quick one liner, needless to say i was surprised.

      • Ej McCarty

        what about a phone with one on top and bottom so it could serve a dual purpose of letting the user decide which they like better and also allowing for two different headphones to be plugged in at the same time.
        mind = nuked

    • tyler

      I have to disagree here. To each his own so this is just my opinion but I love it beog on the bottom. It comes in hand when you slide the phone in and out of your pocket top end first as most people do just due to the fact of how we hold our phones. When I’m listening to music and the cord is on the top I feel like I have too unnaturally place my phone in my pocket vs just sliding it in.

      • Octotron

        Big fan of the bottom headphone jack.. especially for using in the car. Having the charging cable and that cable on the same side are huge.

        • StuckOnVerizonForever

          I guess that’s the only good thing about the iPhone.

          • BCoils

            battery life is pretty good considering the size imo, lol

    • Liderc

      It’s favored by some (a lot on this site) because if you have both the power and the headphones plugged in, you don’t have cords coming out of the top and the bottom. It’s also nice to be able to look at the phone and not have the headphone cord shooting out the top while you browse music/videos ect…

      I also find that when I put my phone in my pocket that I put it in top side down, so that when I pull it out it’s right side up. So those are just a few benefits of it being on the bottom.

      It’s obviously based on each user, but there are some factual reasons for it being better on the bottom (not having the cord shoot out the top while looking at the phone) – as that’s not an opinion. Someone may not “mind” that it shoots out the top, but they can’t say that it doesn’t work better to not have the cord coming out the top and sometimes laying on top of the screen. On the bottom it’s out of the way.

  • Tyler

    I think if it had buttons on the side of the phone instead of back I would consider it. The power button is the one physical button that you used the most on a phone with on screen buttons. Placing it in a bad spot kills it for me.

    Edit: Knocking on my phone would be wierd.

    • charles rogers

      Supposedly though, after its on you can just knock on the front to do what your power button does.

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      You basically tap it. Not.knock it like a door..durr

      • Droidzilla

        That’s what she said!

        I know; I’m twelve.

        • Tim242

          That’s def not what I say. I say, knock that door down!.

    • Liderc

      As mentioned, it’s not knocking. If you watched the video it’s simply a double tap that turns the phone on and off. But I agree the back power/volume buttons are an unnecessary stupid design.

  • radiohead14

    listen all you phone and laptop manufactuirers… nobody ever wants that cheap looking gloss on plastic.. no one! fackwors!

    • Preach!

      • wade_county

        Kellen, can you trigger the power button easily if you lay it on desk and press on the phone?

        • itsacardigan

          By the looks of the last picture….the ring around the power button/volume keys is taller than the button. So unfortunately I would say no.

          • Andy Stetson

            I was wondering the same thing about it being accidentally done when on a desk, then learned what was posted above. and if you want to turn it on without lifting it, just KNOCK-ON!

          • michael arazan

            Also test if the power button gets pushed while you keep the phone in your pockets. I wish it had back scroll on it too, what ever happened to that idea?

            If the phone has these specs for the next nexus, I’m sold with this and 32 gb

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      • Christopher Moore

        In the video you said 16gig/32gig. I’m reading that LG did not make a 16gig model; only 32/64gig. Most important I’ve read that the Verizon LG G2 is 32gig at $200 on contract. Damn shame that Verizon’s launch page does not state this. Pretty important information.

      • umbrellacorp


    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      Most people use cases as myself so it doesn’t really matter.

      • Jim890

        You like to put a case on your phone? 😛

        • StuckOnVerizonForever

          Even if if was made out of the toughest material you could find. One scratch and you’re screwed. At least plastic doesn’t dent or scratch as easy

      • radiohead14

        yea, but when during those times you go buck nekkid.. for whatever reason (clean it up, remove battery/sd card, or just feelin saucy).. you still get to stare at that fingerprint magnet.

        • StuckOnVerizonForever

          Not as bad as the black HTC One. That’s for sure.

      • Captain_Doug

        I never use cases. Ever.

        • Tim242

          Nor do I. But, the plastic doesn’t bother me.

          • Captain_Doug

            On the G2 or in general? I love me some rubberized plastic.

          • michael arazan

            I wipe and clean my phone once a day, a lil ocd, but not that big of a deal. I especially wipe down the screen when I’m going to watch a video

        • sun overlord

          Me neither. Thats why I have four kids. Nothing like that natural feeling of it in your hand.

          • Captain_Doug


          • Christopher Moore

            My wife agrees as well; I have 2. But for phones I always use a jimmy hat.

          • LiterofCola

            I lol’d

      • Butters619

        And that is a hyperbole. What do you consider “most”?

    • Droidzilla

      I came for the rant, but stayed for the fackwors.

    • Bill Hill

      I do…?

    • 4g63mark

      I like glossy plastic

    • Christopher Moore

      I agree if you don’t use a case. I disagree if you do use a case. That simple.

      • radiohead14

        case or no case.. if you were given the two choices of having a cheap looking fingerprint magnet gloss or a nice matte like the moto x.. why would you choose the gloss?

        • Christopher Moore

          Because for every phone I’ve owned (Droid X, Verizon Nexus and the Note 2) I’ve always used a case. And the only time I see the rear on the Note 2 is when I swap my battery every morning. And because the G2 has no swappable battery I will most likely never see the back if I buy this phone with a case. There are some pretty decent cases. Just look at this one below.


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  • Guest

    dat screen.

  • Guest

    dat screen

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      so nice you had to say it twice 🙂