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LG unveils flagship smartphone G2; device comes with 5.2-inch FHD display & 13MP camera

LGLG Electronics has finally taken the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone called LG G2. The device is the first smartphone introduced under the company's new series of premium devices, and runs on the Android operating system. According to Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics, the device is the most exciting and ambitious mobile phone from the company to date.

Interestingly, in a bid to bring about a paradigm shift in smartphone design, the company has relocated all the physical buttons to the rear of the device, making G2 the first smartphone to be completely devoid of side buttons.

"The unique 'rear key' concept came from the realisation that the larger the smartphone, the more difficult it was to properly access the side keys. Moving the main buttons to the back of the phone gives users more control, since it is where individuals' index fingers are naturally located. Researchers also found that moving the buttons also resulted in fewer dropped phones when adjusting the volume while talking," reads an official release from LG.

The keys that have been placed at the rear of the smartphone (just under the camera) include the volume keys and the power button. Long-pressing on the rear-mounted volume keys allows users to launch 'QuickMemo' and the camera, for note taking and photo capturing, respectively. Also, if the smartphone is lying on a surface face up, there is no need to lift the phone to access the power button on the back. With a new feature called 'KnockON', the LG G2 can be powered on simply by tapping twice on the display.

While we agree with the company on the fact that it is 'unique', how convenient/annoying it will actually turn out to be is something users will have to find out themselves. We feel it will probably depend on a user-to-user basis. Here is a look at the specifications of the device.

The smartphone has a 5.2-inch full HD IPS capacitive touchscreen display (1080×1920 pixels resolution) with 423 ppi pixel density, and runs on the latest Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It is powered by a 2.26 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and has 2GB of RAM. In terms of internal memory the users will have a choice between 16 and 32GB versions.

G2 has an 13 mega pixel autofocus rear camera with LED Flash that can record full high definition videos (1080p) at 60 frames per second and a 2.1 MP front-facing camera for video calls that can also record full HD videos at 30 fps. The camera also comes equipped with Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) technology to prevent blurring, allowing for clearer, brighter and sharper images even when in motion or shooting in dim environments. On the connectivity front, the device has Infrared, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi Direct), Near Field Communication, 3G and 4G (depending on the region). It also comes with a micro USB port but has no microSD card slot. The device has a 3,000 mAh battery and comes with GPS (with A-GPS support) and Infrared.

The company also claims that for more efficient energy usage, the LG G2 employs Graphic RAM (GRAM) technology, which reduces the display's energy use by up to 26 per cent on a still frame and increases overall usage time on the device by approximately 10 per cent. The smartphone measures 138.5mm x 70.9mm x 8.9mm and weighs 143 gm. It will be available in white and black colours. It also has FM Radio with RDS.

Additional features include answer me—automatically answers the call (after lowering the ringtone) when the phone is raised to one's ear; plug & pop—recommends options or related features to choose from when the earphone or USB cable is detected; text link—allows information embedded in text messages to be selected and easily saved in a memo or calendar; QuickRemote— enables the smartphone to remotely control popular home entertainment devices; slide aside—enables easier multitasking by simply 'sliding' open apps off to the side using a three-finger swipe; and guest mode—protects owner's privacy by displaying only pre-selected apps when guests access the phone with a secondary unlock pattern.

We find the guest mode the handiest feature. The smartphone will be rolled out in South Korea (in eight weeks), followed by North America, Europe and other key markets.

India-specific pricing and launch date are not available as of now, though looking at its specifications, it is safe to say it will be priced over Rs 30,000. It compete against Samsung Galaxy S4 (starting from Rs 34,500), BlackBerry Z10 (Rs 35,999), Apple iPhone 5 (starting from Rs 45,500), HTC Butterfly (Rs 39,000), and the upcoming iPhone, among others.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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