final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality The G2 automatically and seamlessly changes from LTE to wifi to 3G as sources come into range. great!
  • Display The 5.2 inch diagonal screen is beautiful and clear. great!
  • Battery life I have never had a phone before that lasts all day with heavy use and this one has 30% left after a full day of work. great!
  • Camera A DSLR it isn't, but I am getting more photos in focus than I expect from a cell phone. great!
  • Ease of use Even my spouse, who is technologically challenged, has taken to the G2 like a duck to water. great!
  • Design and form factor It fits perfectly in my hand, and is very light for its size. The knock-on/off feature (which works best if you knock with a fingernail) great!
  • Portability (size / weight) The G2 is just right for my hand and fits in my purse - and it is lighter than I expected. great!
  • Media support Video quality is great great!
  • Durability I have only had the phone since 11/8 - but it seems very sturdy great!
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) The phone is just out - many of the apps that come with the phone are actually useful, and some of the "gimmicks" are really useful. great!
Detailed review
After an exhaustive evaluation of phones compatible (or expected to be) with Sprint's tri-band LTE (now called Spark), I settled on the LG G2 despite my concerns about non-removable battery and lack of SD card support internally. The battery life is amazing, and I can attach an external SD card or USB drive if I need to (plus, perhaps cloud storage is another way to go). My second choice was the Nexus 5 (and I am glad I went with the G2)

"Settled" is a bad term - after breathlessly waiting for the release date, my pre-ordered G2s (for my spouse and myself) arrived at Best Buy for Friday delivery - and within an hour we had the phones in our hands, with our contacts transferred. We kept our old phones (Moto Photons) to use as Wi-Fi only devices (and the WebTop app, which despite having been crippled has some utility).

The stock system allows for a great deal of customization. The speed at which things happen on the screen are - instantaneous!

I have also scoured the web for "tips and tricks" and have learned a few things not immediately apparent.

One thing that does not work on my G2: while a 3-second press on the down-volume button will take a sleeping G2 directly to the camera app, advice I have read that pressing the down-volume button once the camera mode is on will activate the shutter - it does not. That is perhaps my only down-check on this device. Perhaps this is a "feature" of the Sprint version. I'd like to see the on-off button doubling as the shutter activator (but only if the camera is turned on by using the down-volume button) - this would allow for zooming in and out using the rocker buttons, and finalizing the photo with the middle button. Still, even with having to press the virtual button on the screen, this phone takes decent pictures for something that isn't a DSLR.

Colors are more realistic than my office manager's Samsung S4 (those are brighter-than-life)

I have not tried the Miracast feature (my television set is almost 10 years old), and there are other features I have not had a chance to touch.

After over two years of Android 2.3 gingerbread (the promised ice cream sandwich upgrade never materialized) on the Photon, this beautiful 4.2.2 Jellybean device runs rings around the old phone. And I am told that Android 4.4 kitkat will be coming in the first quarter of 2014.

We've found LTE coverage in NYC, and in Nanuet on a shopping trip. The phone seamlessly switches between LTE, 3G and wifi (wifi at home and via Optimum hotspots), and I don't have any complaints about speed. The very first Ookla speedtest I ran with the home wifi blazed with download at 51.50 Mbps and upload at 25.49 Mbps - and running it a couple minutes ago gave me an insane 56.54 download and 26.88 upload.

The LTE at a diner in Nanuet tested with a 6.60 Mbps download and 4.22 upload, which is pretty respectable for an indoor location (I'm sure it was probably on the 1900 band).

Since the phone is only out a few days on Sprint (and has only been out about a month on other carriers), accessories are limited. My spouse has a black Quickwindow case, which works nicely, though it tends to flip open slightly unless the phone is placed face down. I am holding out for a white or pink version - I know they are out there. My other wish list item is a dedicated car mount - I had one for the Photon, and I liked the "Car Home" feature on that phone. (I have placed the G2 vertically on that mount, which works after a fashion, but only as an experiment.)

If Sprint manages to complete its rollout of Spark more expeditiously than its previous LTE rollout, their network with this phone, will be a winner.