Due to a combination of horrible timing and a lack of my second and third choices1 at the T-Mobile store2, I have been using an LG G2 for about a week and a half. In that time I mostly just used it to search ‘Nexus 5 T-Mobile release date’ over and over again (finally announced last Friday), but I thought I should jot down some thoughts about this interim phone.
- Knock-On is awesome. All phones should have it. It’s a great way to make sure the power button survives your phone contract. I have already tried to do it on other devices unconsciously.
- There is a huge amount of LG bloatware, but I weirdly don’t find it as oppressive as Touchwiz. It was a big deal in the Droid X days, but now you can just disable things you won’t use.
- The processor can handle it all, too. Top of the top of the line (and yes, I typed that twice). But then, so can the Nexus 5, because they share the same processor and amount of RAM.
- I understand the Nexus is bloat-free, but that doesn’t mean you don’t also take time to set it up as your own. It probably took 1.5-2 days to set this phone up the way I like it, and would probably take about half that on the Nexus.
- Battery life has been fantastic, but damn does it get hot playing Plants vs. Zombies 2.
- The back casing is horrible. Feels like a toy phone the first time, then it just feels gross because it sucks all the oils from your hand onto the phone. Gets pretty greasy.
- That is easily remedied by the Poetic Palette case, which adds a soft touch to the back but leaves the smooth bezels. I like them for some reason.
- The case also frames the rear buttons, making them slightly easier to find. The button design works in theory, but practice is a different story. Your index finger does not naturally rest where these buttons are, as your thumb does on every other phone you’ve ever used (top power buttons are for iPhones). You also can’t adjust the volume of the phone if it is sitting on a table; it has to be in your hand, which seems dumb.
- This is odd, because LG is one of the only manufacturers forgoing the front hardware buttons (home, back, menu). I put that firmly in the plus column. Android itself removed the necessity of hardware buttons 2 years and 4 major software revisions ago with the Galaxy Nexus, a phone with a special place in my heart.
Saturday is the end of my 14-day return period for this phone, and the Nexus drops there Thursday next Wednesday (in store).3 I was really hoping for some overlap there, but I still can’t bring myself to keep the G2. The power user in me (the one that was mashing the F5 button on the Play Store on Halloween) recoils at the cartoony animations throughout the G2 UX. Maybe someday the hardware manufacturers will understand that their custom software is their weakness. I want to see what this hardware can do when the software gets out of the way.4 I don’t want an LG phone – I want a Google phone. So much so that I am willing to buy a burner and wait 3-4 days to get one.
- Moto X (not available in-store) and Nexus 4 (long since liquidated), respectively. ↩
- Suck it Verizon! You won’t stop being the worst carrier for Android people, so you give me no choice but to vote with my wallet. ↩
- I didn’t want to buy it through T-Mo, but again, the first part of the combo at the very top was horrible timing. Next year, when we are not paying VZW ETFs, it will be Play Store all the way for me. ↩
- And I don’t want to have to go the DIY route to get there again. ↩