It’s been a while since I slung a tech review on here, but the introduction of a new phone to the home seemed to merit at least a few lines.
So, my Sony Xperia S has run its course. First up I have to acknowledge how decent a phone that was, but, it has started to go on a little wobble in the last couple of months, slowing down and crashing reasonably regularly, and not able to handle Real Racing 3 for more than a couple of rounds without a full reboot. The G2, basically minces the Sony in every department, so I was expecting no issues no matter what I threw at it, and so far, it has impressed. But, it does have its quirks.
For example, I have running on the phone, as far as I’m aware, all the same apps as I had on the Sony, which had 1gb of ram. The G2 has 2 gigs, and yet, when using the Clean Master app, it lists the RAM usage as being 1.46gb, roughtly 79% of the RAM available, and yet, my 1gb Sony ran all these reasonably easily. So, something is eating at the RAM in such a way that, there really isn’t that much to play with. Also, it appears for some reason that Skype simply won’t work on the G2, and even a test call fails to connect. Fortunately I use Skype so rarely this isn’t an issue for me, but for others this could well be a deal breaker.
However, asides from the above, as a device, it works seriously well. There is a DLNA function and it can push music/video/pictures to other enabled devices nicely, while swiftly being able to access my various scattered hard drive files if I fancy a film in the bed. Speaking of video capabilities, this thing’s impressive. The screen, full HD is brilliant, murdering the Sony Bravia display on the Xperia, and of course being much bigger. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one screen that comes close to the G2’s screen and that’s the Samsung Wave screen on the original Wave. It’s simply glorious. I browse the news, and show off some of my photos way too often and now… with this, it’s only going to get worse. There’s a reason to be welded to my phone.
As an actual talking to people device, well, I can’t really comment. It’s a phone but these days, who actually calls anyone? Social media integration with SMSs from either Facebook or Google+ renders calling people superfluous. I think I used the Sony to call people maybe 20 times in 2 years and thusly I picked a tariff in sunny Leiden which had no minutes, but a Gig of data incorporated because, as mentioned, this is a device which people could gulp down lashings and lashings of media on, just so they can see it displayed so favourably.
A shout out to the camera should also be mentioned. It’s decent, front and back, and does what it should, but the lack of a purpose shutter button is a serious pain in the neck when sat in a crowded bar trying to take pictures of a group using the front facing camera so the operator can see what they’re capturing. It’s a premium device and this I think is probably the biggest oversight in the design.
There was much consternation about the OS kitkat (4.4) not being In Box on the G2, but when I bought mine last month, it was preinstalled, so I can’t complain. Another quirk I found though was with changing the tones. I’ll reiterate this for search engines so, excuse the repetition. Changing and Customising the tones on the LG G2, can be something of a pain. Regularly it will not acknowledge new media as being available to use, and it almost seems purposefully obstinate about this, as if perhaps it’s designed so you use the pre-installed tones, possibly as a way to be advertising the brand of phone which is ringing, much like the old Nokia tones where you heard it and thought “Nokia” instantly. However, there is a trick to making the device acknowledge and then list a new tune/sound in your choices. Open the location your desired tone is, and then select it, and press your menu button, and you’ll be offered the opportunity to use selected file as your default tone for ringtone/message. Once you do so, you force the interface to acknowledge its existence, as the default tones are listed in the Select Sound menu which you’d usually use. Annoyingly you’ll have to do this with all the tones you wish to use, if you want different sounds for Gmail/Facebook/Yahoo/SMS/Email client notifications, so that you know what you’ve received just from the notification sound if perhaps the phone is not in your pocket or is out of the room you’re in. I have “Someone’s sitting there mate”, as a hotmail notification, which i know will not be important, and “Scorchio” as a text message, which tells me that, someone requires an interaction immediately. People with inordinate amounts of Email addresses and Social networks will know how useful it is to know your twitter notification from your Words with Friends one.
So do I like it? Yes. Yes I do. The Sony was great at what it did, but it was uninspiring in terms of … of… well everything really, whereas the screen on the LG makes everything feel just… better, and the power, although being sapped by mysterious sources, still handles everything running together. It could… have a dedicated camera button to make it better, but I suppose there is an argument for it encouraging interaction with others, so you get a: a better picture from the main camera, and b: have dialogue with people around you. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but the Skype issue might be. As that’s not a relevant thing for me, I don’t have an issue with it. Would I recommend it. Yep! Absolutely.