By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 08, 2013 08:33 AM EDT
LG officially unveiled its new G2 superphone, a top-of-the-line handset aiming to take on Apple, Samsung and other Android smartphone makers.
The new LG G2 sports a 5.2-inch full HD (1080p) display and boasts the latest quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, launching as the first global smartphone to pack Qualcomm's most impressive chipset yet.
While it undoubtedly packs impressive specs, what really sets the LG G2 apart from its rivals is its design. More specifically, the new handset sports a unique layout for the volume and power buttons. Instead of the typical location on the side of the device, the new LG G2 has the three buttons placed on its rear. According to the company, the Rear Key concept was a result of extensive studies showing that the larger the handset, the more difficult it is to properly access side buttons.
"Our definition of innovation is technology that truly resonates with consumers," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company president and CEO, in the press release. "We have always listened to and learned from consumers in pursuit of innovation. We took these insights to new heights in developing LG G2, the most exciting and ambitious mobile phone in our company's history."
"The LG G2 brings everything together in a device with comfortable, functional, convenient and beautiful design. The LG G2 shifts the paradigm in smartphone design by placing all the buttons on the rear of the device, making this the first smartphone completely devoid of side buttons," adds the press release.
LG refers to the new button layout as the Rear Key concept, saying that it allows for greater control because users' index fingers are naturally located on the back of the device. The company further notes, based on its research, that moving the buttons to the rear of the handset also resulted in fewer dropped phones when adjusting the volume while talking.
The company also included some interesting functionality. The volume buttons, for instance, are not just for volume, as long-pressing these keys allows users to launch QuickMemo and the camera. A feature called KnockON, meanwhile, allows users to power on their handset simply by tapping twice on the display when the phone is lying on a surface face up, without needing to lift the phone and press the power button on the back.
LG also made significant efforts to offer features designed to facilitate users' daily tasks. The "Answer Me" function automatically answers a call when users raise the phone to their ear. "Text Link" allows users to easily select and save information embedded in text messages and search it on a map or the web, while "Guest mode" displays only certain apps when another person unlocks the device in order to protect the owner's privacy.
Aside from the impressive Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, the LG G2 also packs dedicated RAM for graphics, i.e. GRAM, which reduces the display's energy use by up to 26 percent on a still frame. GRAM also allows for up to 10 percent more overall usage time.
The smartphone also packs a 13-megapixel rear camera with 8x zoom, optical image stabilization (OIS) and anti-shake capabilities, with multiple shooting modes such as a dual-camera feature and tracking zoom. The LG G2 comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box and includes Hi-Fi audio and a 3,000 mAh battery designed specifically for the device. According to the company, the battery should keep the device running for up to 1.2 days on a single charge.
The LG G2 will launch globally at more than 140 carriers within the next 8 weeks, starting with South Korea. North America, Europe and other key markets will follow shortly.
In the U.S., all four major carriers - AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint - will carry the smartphone. A version of the G2 with a removable back will be available in Korea, as users in that region prefer the ability to replace the smartphone's battery. The LG G2 is also LTE-Advanced-capable, which means it's able to rock faster wireless speeds in places like Korea. The U.S. doesn't have the faster LTE-A yet. LG made no mention of pricing yet, but should reveal more details soon.
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