Although nearly every detail leaked ahead of its launch event, LG today officially announced the G2: its latest flagship smartphone sporting a 5.2-inch 1080p display, rear-mounted power and volume buttons, and Qualcomm’s new high-end Snapdragon 800 processor.
The G2 screen offers a 423 pixels per inch (ppi) LCD display, set at a 1080×1920 resolution. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, although like the HTC One, LG has forgone the microSD slot for holding additional apps and multimedia content.
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The most striking and arguably innovative part of the G2 is the power button and volume rocker fixed to the rear side of the handset. The idea is to make vital hardware buttons that would normally be on the side of the device much more accessible; an issue that has become more prevalent with the growing demand for Android handsets with larger displays. Long pressing these keys triggers the G2’s camera app, hopefully making those spur of the moment snaps a little easier to capture.
The 13-megapixel rear-facing camera is equipped with optical image stabilization and joined by a 2.1-megapixel snapper on the front for shooting selfies, Vines, Instagram videos and the like. There’s also a fairly beefy 3,000mAh battery, which will be more than necessary to counteract the smartphone’s high-performance processor.
The device runs on Android version 4.2.2, albeit with LG’s custom skin slapped on top – no stock Android here – which is competent but a little disappointing given Google’s recent unveiling of Android 4.3.
The G2 will be available in either black or white and sold on “over 130 wireless carriers” in the next two months, including Three in the UK and all four major US carriers.
The G2 is somewhat of a fresh start for LG, given its the company’s first flagship device without the Optimus branding. It will be competing with the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Moto X and the iPhone 5, in addition to anything else that launches later this year.
The rear-mounted power and volume keys are certainly unique, but it’s not clear whether it’s a hardware feature that consumers have actually been clamoring for. People will just need to get used to placing their smartphone face-down on whatever grubby surface they’re sitting at, presumably.