LG wanted to make a big impact with the LG G2 and it certainly managed that. Big on size, big on specification, but with a tiny name as LG has dropped the Optimus moniker used on previous models to take, if nothing else, the shortest phone-name award. We've already compared it to the Apple iPhone 5, so how does it do against the current Android-favourite the HTC One?
Looking more like a Samsung Galaxy S4 than an Apple iPhone, there's no doubt the LG G2 is a little lacking in design and build, with its all-plastic body. LG has attempted to be clever adding an integrated volume control to the back of the chassis tucked under the rear camera, but we find it rather an ugly solution. There's no doubt that in the hand it feels second to the quality metal-build of the HTC One.
LG actually manufacturers displays, so we have high hopes on the display side. It's certainly a striking proposition with its large 5.2-inch size, even against the HTC One's 4.7-inches. Both phones have a Full HD 1080p resolution, technically the HTC One has a higher 469ppi, but really that's more academic than practical. The LG G2 uses IPS display technology and HTC went with Super LCD3, both are able to create a very bright display with good viewing angles and a fast response. The LG really only edges past the HTC One with its ultra-thin bezel.
We'll just come out and say it, the LG G2 is unbelievably fast. It's running the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor at 2.26GHz. The important part here is this is the latest generation Krait 400 architecture with the somewhat faster Adreno 330 graphics and enhanced feature-set on chip. The HTC One runs the still very fast quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 at 1.7GHz with the slightly slower Adreno 320 graphics. Both do pack 2GB of memory, but there's no doubt the LG G2 is ahead on speed.
Image quality is becoming ever more important, less-so that just packing in a huge megapixel figure. The LG G2 manages to do both offering a high 13MP camera, but one that impressively comes with optical stabilisation. LG say this is a first for such a device. This should greatly improve low-light shots and shots taken on the move or in rowdy crowds. The HTC One might be getting worried as its 4MP main camera does offer enhance low-light Ultra Pixel abilities, but if the LG can match that it's all for naught and simply looks lower resolution.
Both also offer 1080p video, but the LG G2 manages it at 60fps over the HTC One's 30fps. Both phones also manage to cram in a front 1080p 2.1MP camera too.
Battery life and connectivity
LG has gone out of its way to offer an enhanced 3000mAh battery pack, something its managed to do in previous handsets. This makes the HTC One's 2300mAh battery look somewhat dinky in comparison. Of course the LG has to power that extra-large screen, which will add extra power drain, but the newer processor should help compensate for that as well.
Both phones come with 32GB of storage and neither has SD slots. As you'd expect both support Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, USB and NFC. The LG G2 takes another edge as it supports the latest 802.11ac wireless standard, though that's not widely used, as yet.
LG has taken a Samsung-like approach to its interface, offering a few interesting Android tweaks, which can help make life easier. Stuff like “Answer Me” enables you to just answer the phone by lifting it to your ear and the “Plug & Pop” mode changes the interface when headphones are connected. There's also a suite of “Quick” apps, all designed to make using the phone faster. In contrast HTC has largely left the HTC One Sense 5 interface alone, which many people might prefer.
The HTC One is still a current flagship model for HTC if a mere five-months old, the freshly-released LG G2 does cleanly pip it on a number of technical fronts. The LG is clearly faster with a much larger battery, but does that really matter at this point? The HTC One is clearly streets ahead on its design and with both having a similar top-quality display with similar storage we can see many choosing the better looking option.
Despite its less-classy looks, the LG G2's larger 5.2-inch size should play in its favour and will be desired by tech-heads and power users alike.
By Simon Thomas on 29th August, 2013