LG launches 5.2-inch G2 with 13MP camera for Rs 41,500; will the 'rear key' phablet find any buyers

LGAfter taking the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone called LG G2 early last month, LG Electronics has now launched the device in the Indian smartphone market. The device is the first smartphone introduced under the company's new series of premium devices, and runs on the Android operating system. While the company has officially priced it at Rs 41,500 and Rs 44,500 for the 16GB and 32GB versions respectively, it is already available for purchase online for as low as Rs 40,490 (16GB) and Rs 43,490 (32GB).

Here is a quick look at the specifications of the device.

The smartphone has a 5.2-inch full HD IPS capacitive touchscreen display (1080×1920 pixels resolution) with 423 ppi pixel density, and runs on the latest Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It is powered by a 2.26 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and has 2GB of RAM. In terms of internal memory the users will have a choice between 16 and 32GB versions.

G2 has an 13 mega pixel autofocus rear camera with LED Flash that can record full high definition videos (1080p) at 60 frames per second and a 2.1 MP front-facing camera for video calls that can also record full HD videos at 30 fps. On the connectivity front, the device has Infrared, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi Direct), Near Field Communication, 3G and 4G (depending on the region). It also comes with a micro USB port but has no microSD card slot. The device has a 3,000 mAh battery and comes with GPS (with A-GPS support) and Infrared.

The smartphone measures 138.5mm x 70.9mm x 8.9mm and weighs 143 gm. It will be available in white and black colours. It also has FM Radio with RDS. Additional features include answer me—automatically answers the call (after lowering the ringtone) when the phone is raised to one's ear; plug & pop—recommends options or related features to choose from when the earphone or USB cable is detected; text link—allows information embedded in text messages to be selected and easily saved in a memo or calendar; among others. Read here for detailed specifications of the device.

It will compete against the likes of Samsung Galaxy S4 (Rs 38,199), Galaxy Note 3 (Rs 49,900), BlackBerry Z30, HTC One and the upcoming Apple iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, among others.

The curious case of the misplaced button

Interestingly, in a bid to bring about a paradigm shift in smartphone design, the company has relocated all the physical buttons to the rear of the device, making G2 the first smartphone to be completely devoid of side buttons. The keys that have been placed at the rear of the smartphone (just under the camera) include the volume keys and the power button.

Long-pressing on the rear-mounted volume keys allows users to launch 'QuickMemo' and the camera, for note taking and photo capturing, respectively. Also, if the smartphone is lying on a surface face up, there is no need to lift the phone to access the power button on the back. With a new feature called 'KnockON', the LG G2 can be powered on simply by tapping twice on the display.

The unique 'rear key' concept came from the realisation that the larger the smartphone, the more difficult it was to properly access the side keys. Moving the main buttons to the back of the phone gives users more control, since it is where individuals' index fingers are naturally located. While we agree with the company on the fact that it is 'unique' (more like weird!), how convenient or annoying it will actually turn out to be is something users will have to find out themselves. We feel it could become problematic to find the keys at the back every time.

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