Summary and Conclusion
We said it from the start, and we'll repeat it for good measure: the LG G2 is as powerful an Android phone as you'll find right now. Its quad-core Snapdragon 800 paired with 2GB of RAM leads to record-breaking performance numbers, and we've honestly never seen Android 4.2 run so smoothly. Whether it's gaming or just general snappiness you're after, the G2 delivers. Opening apps, using the QSlide multi-tasking tool, and whisking between home panes is effortless. There's just oodles of power here, and if you're interested in future-proof hardware, we suspect this device will have plenty left over to run Android Kit Kat with poise and grace.
The G2 is LG's attempt to dethrone the Galaxy S4, or at least produce a handset that rivals it in every meaningful way. The company has definitely accomplished that goal. The G2 is tremendously powerful, has a battery that can easily last a full day even with extensive use, offers a brilliant new position for the power and volume rocker switches, and touts one of the nicest mobile displays we've ever seen. On the software front, the subtle enhancements to Android are largely quite positive, and the double-tap to lock/unlock is perhaps our favorite addition to the OS since the advent of Google Now.
Unfortunately, the G2 fails to truly stand out in the design department. At a glance, it looks like every other mid-to-high-end Android phone on the market, with little to distinguish it aside from the redirected hardware buttons on the rear casing. The plastic shell doesn't exude a premium touch and feel, and the sealed battery means that power users won't be able to swap in back-up batteries nor will they be able to expand the 32GB of internal storage to anything greater. That said, the G2's 13MP camera is top-notch; as far as Android cameraphones go, this is one of the best out there. Images are fairly vibrant, shutter lag is nil, and it honestly rivals the iPhone 5s when it comes to unabashed detail.
At $0 down with 24 monthly device payments of $25 via T-Mobile's Simple Choice Plan, the phone is on the pricey side. (It's $600 to buy it outright in either black or white.) That said, T-Mobile JUMP allows users to swap phones every six months, so there's less worry about buying this now and then being upset by the wave of Kit Kat-equipped Android superphones that roll out a quarter from now.
The G2 is also available on virtually all other major carriers for $149 on contract, which makes it much more approachable. If you're looking for a powerful Android phone that straddles the line between phone and phablet, the G2 is an excellent choice. Our only real hesitation in offering a wholehearted recommendation? The Nexus 5 is just around the corner. Users will have to consider if a pure, base Android experience is worth waiting for, or if LG's polish and additional features make the G2 worth moving on right now.