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  • Crono - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I'm surprised this qualifies as a "mini" review (even for AnandTech), but I'm impressed by the graphics performance of the G2 more than anything else. I'm just wondering if there are any applications or games yet that can take advantage on Android. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    The graphics benchmarks put the Moto-X in a strong position een though it uses the older cores and newer Adreno 320 gpu. Granted it has only 1280X720 resolution, the overall performance is very close to the S800 with FullHD screens. This actually means that the Moto-X SoC is well optimized for it purposes. It also seems to beat the SGS4 in most graphics tests. Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    The test was done at 720p - for everyone - which means Moto X is beating most everyone else in GPU performance - at the same resolution. If you take the real world case, and put the others at their native 1080p resolution, then in the real world Moto X will be 2x better in gaming performance since it will push half the pixels.

    Also Adreno 320 is not new. Is a year old, just like the S4 Pro CPU cores. Just because S4 and HTC One used the same GPU this year, doesn't mean it's "new".
    Reply
  • coolhardware - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Pretty nice point!

    A question though, do any Android games render at a lower resolution and then upscale to fit native resolution?

    Also, the LG G2 comes in about 6th place in top pixel density of phones
    http://pixensity.com/list/phone/
    and it has the largest screen of those top 6 phones... #7 Lenovo / #8 Sony are bigger though :-)

    Looking forward to the final review and seeing LTE performance!
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    All the pixel density fad is apple's clever ploy to conceal their small screen. Resolution / size = density, so smaller screen will get higher dpi. However, it is quite obvious that if resolution is the same, larger screen is much easier on eye. Reply
  • FwFred - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Agreed, we are well into the point of diminishing returns with PPI on high end smartphones. I'd imagine we are getting to the point where we are wasting power/performance for spec chasing. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    RR3 doesn't render in 1080p on the GS 4, I can clearly see pixelation in the 3D parts. I guess it might be because they're perhaps lazy in utilizing multi-core hardware? Because the game lags considerably when there are a lot of AI cars in front of you. Reply
  • warisz00r - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    If the next Nexus phone is indeed based on this, then color me very stoked. Reply
  • Panickd - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Maybe loosely "based on". According to the FCC paperwork the Nexus 5 has a display of roughly 4.96 inches to the G2's 5.2 inches. Looking at the pictures the camera is also in a different place on both as well. Not huge differences, mind you, but seems like a lot of work going into making them different if they are indeed based on the same general design.

    I would plunk down for a G2 in a heartbeat if LG didn't have such a shoddy support and update record for their phones. I currently own an old G2x and am currently scanning around for it's successor. I'll have to wait to see what the Nexus 5 really turns out to be, I suppose.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    I'd take the smaller display and battery if it comes with a slightly better looking/feeling build (more Moto X and less Galaxy S). Reply
  • Paulman - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    "<b>WOW...</b> wow.... wow, wow..." - That's literally what came out of my mouth when I first saw those battery life graphs. Amazing, LG. GG WP Reply
  • Paulman - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    "Gone are the days of 1.4V to hit near-2GHz frequencies it seems, instead 8974 will hit 2.3 GHz at around 1V." - That elicited another 'Wow' from me. Reply
  • andykins - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    That is an insane difference. But is there some downside too? Seems a bit good to be true. Reply
  • Froyorkshire - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Heat, most likely. The LG G2 seems to have it taken care of but if the Nexus 4 was any indication, the Nexus 5 needs to have a better-engineered body to handle the S800's potential heat. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Why would you have more heat when pushing less V and A? Yes, it is clocked higher and has a more powerful gpu so its tdp (or whatever) will be higher than s600 soc, but at the same clocks as the pre-800s it should use less power.
    This shouldn't be a surprise since this is, apparently, the first time snapdragons have used 28nm hpm, and with new processes come inherent advantages (also problems, but heat shouldn't be one of them unless you are running it at full-tilt).
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    They reduce the voltage to reduce the wattage, which is what heat is generated from. Reply
  • gwydionjhr - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    The side by side comparison video is very interesting. I've only have a light understanding of what I'm seeing, and if you get a chance, I'd really love to get your impressions on how each of these OIS/EIS systems perform. The one question that came to me as my eyes darted back and forth tying to compare the two videos, was that the 1020 OIS seemed to work pretty well, right up to the moment of impact on your footfall. I'm I seeing that right? Is this a result of the weight of the larger sensor in the 1020 maxing out the capabilities of the OIS when those large acceleration forces hit it? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Accommodation angle is the big game, and they're all also tuned differently too it seems. I'm not walking very aggressively or stomping around either, but trying to walk normally. I wanted to include the Lumia 920 as well but didn't bring it, the 925 seems to be pretty similar to what I remember the 920 being like though.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    It's funny that in my opinion the 1020 (and so also the 808) does one of the worst jobs in OIS, the 925 the best followed by the HTC One and Moto X. Between them is the rest. LG2 on par with the 1020, in some scenes worse, in some better.
    In the 1020 vs. 925 comparison, at the beginning, Brian walks along a footway, the 1020 video has a very obvious and penetrant periodic shaking/reflex which does not exist in the 925 or HTC One video.
    At the very beginning of the Moto X comparison we see a handrail with a building behinde it, the Moto X video is sharp and steady, the 1020 video wobbles in the z-direction
    The colors in the 1020 are the most vivid ones, but in my opinion also the most over saturated and artifical ones. It does a good job in capturing the blue of the sky, but therefore darker details aren't visible on the 1020 videos. (handrail at the end of the test videos)

    It's obvious that using a larger sensor a OIS is harder to implement, but I find it odd that Nokia hasn't made any use of the 41MP in video recording mode by additionally implementing an EIS.

    But I found it surprising how good or even better the competition is (or how bad the 1020 in videos is), using a cheaper and less intrusive sensor. (in photos the 1020 will probably (and hopefully) remain unbeaten)
    Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    It seemed to me the LG one beat the 1020 OIS slightly. The 920 one was the best though, as Brian said. But 920 had far from accurate colors. Reply
  • KurianOfBorg - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    What about the suttering and lag? I used the Optimus G Pro and it stuttered and lagged everywhere. No where close to the smoothness of the Nexus 4. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I find it to be really smooth, of course if you want absolute smoothness, you can just wait for 8974 in the Nexus 5 :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • htotfalitm - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    good. I'm glad they ditched capacitive controls
    I hated onscreen controls too but I've been completely sold on the idea since I tried Paranoid Android and discovered Pie Control
    Reply
  • baronmog - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I feel like a broken record: only 32GB onboard storage and no microSD? No thanks. I really, really, really, wish someone other than Samsung would get their heads out of the cloud. It's ok when you're someplace with decent, or any, wireless connectivity. Otherwise, useless. Reply
  • HideOut - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I want to trade off my S4 for this...but no microSD? FAIL. Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Exactly my thoughts!

    When I see reviews at Anandtech, often my first thought is 'wow, what a nice phone!'-

    Then I see that the SD-card is missing and the phone has died for me.

    Samsung seems to be very smart in this area. They always have removable batteries, SD-card support and unlocked bootloaders.

    And while Samsung breaks one sales record after another quarter by quarter, LG and HTC are wondering why most customers prefer their competitor's devices.

    I don't think that this is coincidence. E.g. I personally like the look and feel of the HTC One, but the lacking flexibility turned me off immediately.

    Android games like the Asphalt-series consume about 1.5GB meanwhile. A 16GB phone without SD-card support is a joke meanwhile.

    32GB are OK, but still inferiour to an external 64GB SD-card. Once you root your device, you can set mount points to the external SD-card or - in case you are lazy like me - use an app like FolderMount to at least move the apps which are memory-hogs to the external SD.

    How much can it cost to support such a feature? LG, HTC etc. are clueless and deserve their low market share with their crippled devices, really.

    They should wake up and support SD-cards so we get more competition. But no, instead the champaign flows at Samsung while the managers laugh about the competition.
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You're talking as if LG and HTC's low market share is attributable to lack of SD support. It has practically nothing to do with this.
    You do understand that people requesting SD support are a minority that barely register in sales number?
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    This is what I always hear. But I do not believe this.

    Why are people buying 70 Million Samsung smartphones per quarter, then? Just because 'Samsung' is printed on them?

    In basically every store, HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony phones are sold. People walk in and mostly buy Samsung.

    And this has nothing to do with the additional features Samsung offers for the same price? Come on!
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Just take a look at how much money Samsung spends on advertising, then you'll understand why the Samsung smartphones are the most sold ones.
    http://www.imore.com/samsung-spending-ludicrously-...
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873240...

    Most people really don't care about SD-Cards, for some it's even an annoyance because you can't combine the phone storage with the SD-Card storage, so you can't use it for apps and other stuff. And it's much slower than eMMC and another part which can and will fail after extensive usage.
    Thus a phone with 8GB internal + 64GB SD-Card is almost as worthless as a phone with 8GB only for the !majority of people!
    The big advantage comes with storing music libraries, movie libraries, ... on the SD-Card, but there again, the majority of users does not have a 64GB music library, and barely DVD/Blu-Ray rips, they rather rely on streaming.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    First of all, I already have posted that using the SD-card for apps is child's play after the phone has been rooted. Just root, install FoulderMount and off you go.

    Then you can use the SD-card for Music, movies etc., while music probably being the major use-case for most people, as a solt of people use their phone as 'walkman' or use it as music data storage in their cars.

    So simply stating that an SD-card does not give you benefits ist BS.

    And yes, marketing is an explanation for higher market share. But this alone does not explain why Samsung has ten times the marketshare of its competitors.

    Tomi Ahonen called the smartphone market 'Samsung, Apple and the nine dwarfes', which is correct IMO.

    A lot of people walk into a store and don't have much clue. Then the sales guy shows them the phones and explains the advantages/ disadvantages.

    So, if you are not much interested in the HTC One's speakers, you can also take the SGS4. It has a removable battery and an SD-card slot and costs the same.

    Why take the phone with less options? It simply does not make sense - after all, if you never use the SD-card slot it does not matter because you payed no premium for it.

    But simply stating that customers are too stupid to properly use SD-cards falls short when Samsung has so much success with phones equipped with such features.
    Reply
  • et20 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    No, they are not too stupid.
    You are too stupid to understand that not everyone cares about the same things as you do.

    The simple fact that you are reading and commenting on this site is clear indication you are part of a tiny minority.
    You are completely disconnected from the needs and interests of mass market consumers.

    The sales guy you mentioned is paid by Samsung to sell more Samsung phones. Almost nobody uses SD cards.
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Almost no one uses SD cards? Do you have any fact to base that statement on?

    SD cards are not the primary reason people prefer Samsung phones, but they are definitely one of the contributing arguments when people buy phones. Clearly, vanity is not as highly rated in real life as HTC thought. People apparently prefers to spend their money of useful things, not just looks.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Now you come with rooting. I'm a science student and technically interested (as it's obvious because I'm here on this site). I've rooted my smartphone and will do the same to all my future smartphones. It's a no brainer for me. A lot of my friends own an Android smartphone, too. They are in no way stupid. But none of them has a rooted device. I don't know a single one in my surrounding who rooted it. To some I explained them the beneifts, how to do it, etc. But none did it. Why? Because they had no urgent need for it and didn't want to 'waste' time doing it.
    Some of the smartphones they use have a SD-Card, none of them really cared. None of them heavily uses it.

    I'm sorry to burst your ignorant selfish bubble, but not everyone is like you and wants the same you do!

    Samsung has the highest marketing expense of possible any company on earth. People who go in a store and want to buy a smartphone, know mostly nothing about the different flavors of smartphones, but they do know, that Samsung has some, lots of them, with nice looking features, according to the ads they see in TV/web/posters just everywhere! The sales person also probably knows the advantages of Samsung devices best, so it's no surprise that most people just buy a Samsung smartphone. The fine differences between the different smartphones are negligible for most people and few even understand them or value them.
    Few know what OS they are running on, let alone the precise Android version.

    The majority chose a smartphone by:
    1. Price
    2. Look, feel, size
    3. Devices they saw from ads
    4. Recommendation from friends

    You aren't the smartest either, if you think that the only outstanding feature of the HTC One is the dual speakers. There's the aluminum body, OIS, magnitudes brighter display, software features and others left, which you don't care about and thus don't care about.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You are calling me stupid while you are to dense to recognize two major points I made besides rooting:

    1.) People use SD-cards to store music at. I know lots of people who use their SD-cards exclusively this way without having rooted their phones.

    Only an imbecile can say that it is no advantage that you can put an SD-card into your notebook, copy all movies and music you want to it, put it into your phone and use it.

    You do not need much technical knowledge to do so, and in fact lots of people do exactly this. Ask them if this feature is worthless!

    2.) You do not seem to understand the gap regarding sales between Samsung and any other Android phone manufacturer.

    Samsung sold about 70 Million smartphones in Q2 2013, while LG, Sony, HTC, Huawei and ZTE can be glad to sell one tenth of this number!

    And you say the fact that SD-card support and a removable battery play no role at all? And then you call me stupid?

    Let me give you a clue: If only 5% of Samsung customers care about SD-cards, this is 3.5 Million customers per quarter. If 10% care about this, it is 7 Millions.

    And you are telling me that this is a non-issue for companies which sell 5-7 Million smartphones per quarter? That they do not want or need these customers?

    I really do not understand what is so hard to understand here!
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Are you really saying that you single-handedly just uncovered the reason for HTC, LG, Sony and all the rest's low market share?
    And here they were scratching their hair completely baffled at just why Samsung handsets were selling so much. Everyone in there market research team should be fired for failing to see that simply adding an SD card slot would immediately result in at least 3.5 million extra sales per quarter.
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    No. I am saying that this is one reason - in the sense that this lacking features makes it harder for them to compete.

    And yes, I think their management is stupid.
    Reply
  • blacks329 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You honestly think 1 in 20 people care about SD cards in their phones? I suggest you do a poll of the layman and find out how many of them actually care.

    Apple sells 40 million iPhones a quarter, I wonder how they can sell so many?

    /psssssst it's not SD cards
    Reply
  • BabelHuber - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    When a company wants to compete against Apple, it makes sense to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor.

    Apple does not have removable batteries and SD-card slots.

    So it is a cheap win to offer these features for those customers who do care. OTOH competing with Apple without having such obvious advantages is tougher.
    Reply
  • deskjob - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Hey bud, I agree with you - the SD card expansion is a valuable feature to have. If I was given the choice to have it or not, with absolutely no trade-off, then duh of course I'll want to have the feature.

    But I want to share my personal experience so far - my smartphone history up to this point is the HTC Thunderbolt, Rezound and now the One. I loved having the SD card expansion. I rooted and S-off'ed both the Thunderbolt and Rezound (shorting out two contacts on my brand new Rezound in order to get S-off was a damn crazy leap of faith). And I always thought that I wouldn't get a phone without SD card expansion, ever. Period.

    But then when I actually looked at my usage pattern - after the initial transfer from the Thunderbolt to Rezound, I never once took out the microSD card again for data transfer. Hell, I actually bought a 64GB card for the Rezound (I jacked the 32GB from the Thunderbolt originally), because the phone actually supported it unofficially (the card capacity didn't exist when the phone was first out!). But you know what... the 64GB card never made it into the phone. It's now in my Nikon SLR.

    And dude trust me, I put that extra storage space to good use. Talking about multiple NAND backups, my music library, a movie or two, photos, Titanium app backups, the works. But that's just it - what I need, and I suspect most people need, isn't the microSD expansion per se. We need SPACE! As long as there's enough space to fit your need, who cares if it's microSD, internal, or even cloud? Okay, cloud might be iffy with security and extra power draw from data connection, not to mention data cap (not for me though, unlimited data hehe). Look at it from another perspective - if your phone came with 128GB of internal space, would you be able to do without microSD expansion?

    And as you might know, the way Android handles external SD space isn't very elegant. You have to keep track of the system partition, the internal SD, and the external SD. It sounds trivial, but it's not elegant and gets more annoying as you go forward. At least for me. I honestly can't see the majority of the public dealing with this and feeling happy about it.

    Marketing is everything, unfortunately. I think we've reached a point in the smartphone market where most phones are ADEQUATE. They'll do the job of calls, internet, chat, camera, etc. Marketing is the key to making people want to buy your product. Samsung is great at it. Apple is great at it. HTC and the rest, not so much.

    Did you know that Samsung went as far as to hire poor college and grad students to post negative comments about competitor phones on major tech review forums and sites? Look it up - they admitted to it, and blamed it on some "rogue individuals" within the company. No... they were sorry they got caught.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Yes expandable storage is so old school - apple will soon make macbooks with soldered on SSDs, cameras with only internal memory, and so on. In fact they are already doing that (rMBP's RAM is soldered and SSD is proprietary format) Reply
  • tuxRoller - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You are making a point which, given our data, is impossible to prove/disprove.
    They are saying, I think, that they don't believe MOST people care about having a removable sdcard. Given that iphones sell so well, I'd think that there are very large groups for which this is true (roughly a third of smartphone owners worldwide). Samsung offers removable storage, but so have the other manufacturers (like sony) yet it hasn't/isn't helping them.
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    The people who are generally knowledgeable about phones are the ones recommending Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 to their friends. Partially because of the extra features like removable/customizable battery and storage. These features always get a mention in reviews also. You're a fool if you think they're not a factor in Samsung's success.

    Right now in my S4 I have the capability to add a 64gb microsd card purely for movies and TV shows and crap like that. That would cost me $50, whereas an additional device like an iPod touch would cost me a lot more. I'd rather just turn my phone into my iPod, but I just CANNOT do that if I have to constantly worry about my onboard space.

    All flagship phones going forward should be 32gb+.
    Reply
  • rocketbuddha - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    Dude!
    a) How many HTC phones have you owned?
    b) Do you know how many software updates HTC does for its "premium" phones in its life cycle?
    c) Have you seen the quality of the software releases for 1-2 yr old phones? Battery life/random restarts etc....
    Reply
  • Arbie - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    I agree with BabelHuber. No micro/SD = no sale. Talk all you want about how "most of us are streaming from the cloud" or "internal memory is lots faster" - but that means nothing to me. I *DO* want to watch and listen to media and I *DO* want to move it on and off the device quickly. Like when I grab the thing for a trip. Micro/SD lets me do this and works GREAT. You stream; I'll snap.

    Micro/SD is worth $$ to me. Conversely, I'm not going to spend $$$$ on a device like this without it. As Babel says: why take the phone with less options? It simply does not make sense.
    Reply
  • hughlle - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    Yet people happily take the iphone with less options time and time again. apple market their harware properly, and the lack of options becomes irrelevant.

    The lack of an SD card will certainly cause a loss of sales from a certain market, but it is a minimal loss of sales in the grand scheme of things. Rather like imagining the loss of sales from people who won't buy this phone because it's not available in pink. It's a non-event.

    As has been said, the majority of people care about total space, not removable storage. you can not put an accurate number on the ratio, but to try and argue it is otherwise is silly. The majority want to be able to take photos, record videos, dowload music and shows, not root around in their handbag or pocket or draw for the correct SD card that has their scrubs episodes on it. Average joe wants simplicity. they want to be able to press the screen and access their content. Not start swapping cards in and out.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Yes, the power of branding is incredible. The words Samsung and Galaxy are pounded into the social consciousness to the point that they're now synonymous with Android (like Moto/VZW's Droid campaign early on). It's a very very strong effect. Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I don't think sporting removable media and batteries is even amongst the top three reasons why Samsung outsells everyone... I think to imply so seems a bit near sighted. Samsung started dominating long before most manufacturers moved to sealed batteries etc, you can trace their upward track pretty closely to how much more they invested in branding with each successive generation (much to the carrier's chagrin, if it were up to them we'd still have five different Galaxy variations every year).

    Personally I could care less for removable media and batteries, but I do appreciate and applaud the fact that Samsung still offers that choice... I think it's one of the advantages of the Android ecosystem. I don't think the majority of the market cares about this tho.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    As someone who'd be moving from a Note 2 with 16GB internal and 64GB Micro SD, I think I'd actually appreciate the smaller unified space. It'd be a bit more of a pinch, but the fact is that after several re-formats and changes of software I'm getting sick to the back teeth of different builds treating my SD card differently (no exFAT support in CM10 is a real killer) and having to re-create links from my in-built storage to the external for apps like Google Play Music.

    The fact is that external removable storage is a pig to set up and maintain. It could work so much better than it does, but Google don't want to maintain it and I think the point where it's worth letting go has now arrived.
    Reply
  • [-Stash-] - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    No exFAT in CM10 is a pain, I'll agree, but since you root your phone anyway, just bung this on, it means you can even read/write to NTFS formatted storage (SD Cards, USB HDDs):
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.c...
    Reply
  • bill5 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    This seemingly would be the phone to get if I needed one right now. Nice battery life.

    However my upgrade isnt for almost a year, like a lot of people I suspect, I upgraded right when SGS3 came out.

    That means I wont be due for another upgrade til SGS5 hits, and I'm guessing it will trump this phone, naturally. Such is the life of everybody trying to fight samsung...
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I've got an EVO LTE but I'm on a similar boat, furthermore, this is the first tine in three years where I'm just not in a hurry to upgrade. Going to dual cores and 1GB of RAM was huge (EVO to EVO 3D), going from qHD to 720p and a much thinner device last year was also huge (not to mention ICS/JB)... Right now there's no hugely compelling hardware/software reason urging me to upgrade tho. I still might if this comes out as a Nexus 5 for $350 tho... Reply
  • RollingCamel - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    What about the audio codecs LG claimed support for? Did you try FLAC on it? Reply
  • maglito - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    FLAC has native support on every 4.X android device. Reply
  • shackanaw - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    He's referring to the 24-bit/192khz support and other improvements mentioned in the G2 hands on: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7205/hands-on-with-t...

    "LG has made audio in the line-out sense a priority for the G2. We’ve seen a lot of emphasis from other OEMs on speaker quality and stereo sound, with the G2 LG has put time into rewriting part of the ALSA stack and Android framework to support higher sampling and bit depth. The inability of the Android platform to support different sampling rates for different applications remains a big limitation for OEMs, one LG wrote around, and with the G2 up to 24 bit 192 kHz FLAC/WAV playback is supported in the stock player, and LG says it will make an API available for other apps to take advantage of this higher definition audio support to foster a better 24-bit ecosystem on Android.

    "I asked about what codec the G2 uses, and it turns out this is the latest Qualcomm WCD part, which I believe is WCD9320 for the MSM8974 platform. LG says that although the previous WCD9310 device had limitations, the WCD9320 platform offers considerably better audio performance and quality that enables them to expose these higher quality modes and get good output. The entire audio chain (software, hardware codec, and headphone amplifier) have been optimized for good quality and support for these higher bit depths, I’m told. I didn’t get a chance to listen to line out audio, but hopefully in testing this emphasis will play itself out."
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    24bit playback is a gimmick since even the studio equipment, apparently, doesn't handle the full 24bit. Aside from that, you just don't need that much sample accuracy unless you're superman.
    http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Why are the iPhone raw triangle/fill rate tests so much better than any other phone, yet does it perform middle of the pack in gfxbench and such? I was under the impression that they basically had the best graphics solution around, paired with awesomely optimized software. Reply
  • et20 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Apparently they didn't optimize for gfxbench. Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    The meaningless synthetic benchmarks always favored iOS. The reason many people think that iPhones are magnitudes more powerful than Android devices.
    The only meaningful benchmarks are normal 3D scenes.
    I don't understand why Anandtech still posts those meaningless benchmarks. Or can you read something out of them? NO! They are in no way a measurement for performance. They are basically useless. That's the reason we don't see them on desktop GPU comparisons.
    Reply
  • tuxRoller - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    They give you a good idea of the device's capabilities in specific areas. Useful for doing a deep dive to determine what the make-up of the device is.
    For realworld use, you are absolutely right, and, imho, such synthetics only belong in articles where there are new components (like this one), but for the next snapdragon-800, I don't think those particular benchmarks need be run..
    Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Sunspider also seems pretty pointless at this point. Kraken and Octane seem to give more accurate results in terms of chip performance. Reply
  • ijozic - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Would love to see some audio quality tests and a comment on the volume levels (maybe in the full review?) as LG usually goes below average in this area.. Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Seconded Reply
  • BoneAT - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    It's interesting that the G2 either slightly over-exposes most situations, or the dynamic range is tighter than on the S4 Octa's Exmor RS and or the Lumia 1020, this applies to photos and videos alike. Otherwise I'm highly impressed with the camera performance, very natural, even slightly under-saturated results like the S4 Octa (which in the 808 comparison shows that it's everybody else over-saturating), I'd only set half a step lower exposition correction and let everything else done by the device.

    Brian, what is the maximum exposure time you could get automatically or manually off a single shot? What is the highest ISO value?
    Reply
  • Jon Tseng - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Hmmm. So looks like trade off vs Nexus 5 (2300mah) will be great battery life vs OS updates. Tough one!

    On rear buttons I'm cool w that -used to have atrix w rear power button/fingerprint and no probs at all w day to day use.
    Reply
  • andykins - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Don't forget the biggest difference (imo): price. The Nexus 5 should be around half the price. Reply
  • Alketi - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    This actually bodes *very* well for the Nexus 5, as it also packs a Snapdragon 800 chipset.

    It's not too much of a stretch to expect better battery life than the Nexus 4, which was already decent. Plus, there's a good chance of an upside surprise, if it also packs the panel self-refresh and gets gains from Android 4.4.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    One thing worth bearing in mind is that even with ~75% of the battery capacity the G2 would still have class-leading battery life. So, the Nexus 5 is hardly going to stink in that regard! Reply
  • Krysto - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Great to see those battery efficiency improvements from Qualcomm. You'd following the right path here, Qualcomm. Please don't change.

    Nvidia is stupid for following the "pure performance" path. That strategy has lost them most customers, especially since they followed that strategy to the point where they were making only "tablet chips", which is code-word for "our chips aren't efficient enough for smartphones".

    I've said it before, chip makers should think about making "smartphone chips" first and foremost, and THEN, use the same chips, maybe with a little extra clock speed in tablets, too. If think think about making "tablet chips", they will blow it, because they will make the chip too inefficient and won't be able to "downscale" as easily to put it in smartphones.

    So yeah, Qualcomm please continue doing your own thing. If Nvidia, Samsung and others keep following the "performance/benchmark" path, then the joke is on them, and will ultimately fail (as they have so far, and it's most devices are using Qualcomm's chips). I do hope they wake up to it sooner rather than later though, because I don't want Qualcomm to become another monopolistic Intel.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Qualcomm is the only Android SoC producer which does design their own cores and does not rely on ARM finished CPU designs.

    If you take a close look, you'll see that the Tegra 4 and the Exyons 5 are the only A15 processors at the moment, and it probably took much longer for ARM to release them and for NVIDIA and Samsung to finalize them than expected. They also had no other option than A15 to get some improvement over A9 and to remain competive with future Qualcomm SoCs.

    Qualcomm on the other hand was able to release minor updates the whole time, so processors between A9 and A15.
    Samsung will do the same next year, so expect some larger competition to Qualcomm.
    Qualcomm also has the big radio advantage, which NVIDIA adressed with the i500 and which might make them competive to Qualcomm next year again.

    Neither Samsung nor NVIDIA followed a performance strategy only. They had no other choice than using A15, and Tegra, as always used their 4+1, Samsung had to use big.LITTLE to make A15 usable in a smartphone. But big.LITTLE wasn't fully ready yet, so they had no other choice than using an octa-core setup.

    And also remember that MIPS (a competive contender to ARM, but so far mostly used in low end applications) got bought up by Imagination Technologies, which I strongly believe will try everything they can to push MIPS in the high end sector.

    So I think it's safe to assume that there won't be a monopoly, Qualcomm just had a big advantage for one year because of the A9 to A15 gap and by offering integrated radios. Both Samsung and NVIDIA learned from this, and a new competitior to ARM is coming up, too.
    So it will get really interesting.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    That one year advantage in design turned into two solid years of device wins for Qualcomm tho... It's gonna get interesting next year for sure. Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Cortex A9 was great efficiency wise, and better perf/Watt than what Qualcomm had available at the time (S3 Scorpion), but Nvidia still blew it with Tegra 3. So no, that's not the only reason. Nvidia can do certain things like moving to smaller node or keeping the clock speed low of the GPU's, but adding more GPU cores, and so on, to increase efficiency and performance/Watt. But they aren't doing any of that. Reply
  • UpSpin - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    You mean they could and should have released more iterations of Tegra 3 and adding more and more GPUs to improve at least the graphics performance than waiting for A15 and Tegra 4.

    I never designed a SoC myself :-D so I don't know how hard it is but I did lots of PCB which is practically the same except on a much larger scale :-D If you add some parts you have to increase the die size, thus move other parts on the die around, reroute the stuff etc. So it's still a lot of work. The main bottleneck of Tegra 3 is memory bandwidth. So adding more GPU cores without adressing the memory bandwidth would not have made any sense most probably.

    They probably expected to ship Tegra 4 SoCs sooner, thus they saw no need in releasing a totally improved Tegra 3 and focused on Tegra 4.

    And if you compare Tegra 4 to Tegra 3, then they did exactly what you wanted, moving to a smaller node, increasing the number of GPU cores, moving to A15 while maintaining the power efficient companion core, increasing bandwidth, ...
    Reply
  • ESC2000 - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    I wonder whether it is more expensive to pay to license ARM's A9, A15, etc (thought they were doing an A12 as well?) or to develop it yourself like Qualcomm does. Obviously QCOM isn't starting from scratch every time, but R&D adds up fast.

    This isn't a perfect analogy at all but it makes me think of the difference between being a pharmaceutical company that develops your own products and one that makes generic versions of products someone else has already developed once the patent expires. Of course now in the US many companies that technically make their own products from scratch really just take a compound already invented and tweak it a little bit (isolate the one useful isomer, make the chiral version, etc), knowing that it is likely their modified version will be safe and effective just as the existing drug hopefully is. They still get their patent, which they can extend through various manipulations like testing in new populations right before the patent expires, but the R&D costs are much lower. Consumers therefore get many similar versions of drugs that rely on one mechanism of action (see all the SSRIs) and few other choices if that mechanism does not work for them. Not sure how I got off into that but it is something I care about and now maybe some Anandtech readers will know haha.
    Reply
  • krumme - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Great story mate :), i like it. Reply
  • balraj - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    My first comment on Anandtech
    The review was cool...I'm impressed by g2 battery life n camera...
    Wish Anandtech can have a UI section
    Also can you ppl confirm if lg will support g2 with Atleast 2 yrs of software update
    That's gonna be deciding factor in choosing between g2 or nexus 5 for most of us !!!!!!!
    Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Absolutely nobody can guarantee that, even if an LG exec came out and said so there's no guarantee they wouldn't change their mind or a carrier wouldn't delay/block an update... If updates are that important to you, then get a Nexus, end of story. Reply
  • adityasingh - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    @Brian could you verify whether the LG G2 uses Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 or MSM8974AB?

    The "AB" version clocks the CPU at 2.3Ghz, while the standard version tops out at 2.2Ghz.. However you noted in your review that the GPU is clocked at 450Mhz.. If I recall correctly, the "AB" version runs the GPU at 550Mhz.. while the standard is 450Mhz

    So in this case the CPU points to one bin.. but the GPU points to another.. Can you please confirm?
    Nice "Mini Review" otherwise.. Am looking forward to the full review soon.. Please include the throttling analysis like the one from the MotoX. It would be nice to see how the long the clocks stay at 2.3Ghz :)
    Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    He did mention it's the first. no the latter. Reply
  • neoraiden - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Brian could you comment on how the lumia 1020 compares to a cheap ($150-200) camera as I was impressed by the difference in colour for the video comparison even if ois wasn't the best.

    I currently have a note 2 but the camera quality in low light conditions is just too bad, also the inability to move apps to my memory card has been annoying. I have an upgrade coming up in January I think, but I might try to change phone before. I was wondering whether you could comment on whether the lumia 1020 is worth the jump from android due to picture quality or will an htc one or nexus 5 (if similar to the g2) suffice? I was considering the note 3 as I like everything else but it still doesn't have ois or would the note 3 with a cheap compact be better even given the inconvenience of having to bring a camera?

    The main day to day use of my phone is news apps, Internet, email some threaded (which I hear is a problem for windows phone).
    Reply
  • abrahavt - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    I would wait to see what camera nexus 5 would have. Alternative is to get the Sony QX 100 and you would get great pictures irrespective of the phone Reply
  • neoraiden - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    I was considering the qx100 but the price is out of my range as I don't take enough photographs to spend that much, am considering the qx10 though at that price point I wonder if a canon 240hs would suffice. Reply
  • Arnulf - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    "Gone are the days of 1.4V to hit near-2GHz frequencies it seems, instead 8974 will hit 2.3 GHz at around 1V"

    About fuggin time - my 2006 vintage 65 nm Core2 runs at 2.13 GHz at less than 1.1V. I was under the impression that smaller lithography process allows for lower voltages so they should have been well under 0.9V for 2 GHz by now.
    Reply
  • Drumsticks - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You are comparing two different companies' completely different CPUs, ARM vs x86 too. My 4670k will do 4ghz stable on a volt. The nature of smartphone SoCs vs full CPUs is very different Reply
  • madmilk - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Your Core 2 also consumes 10 watts idling, despite the use of high-k dielectrics that TSMC only recently started using. HP trades off leakage for high clock speeds and low voltages. Reply
  • FwFred - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    You are comparing a platform with 3 discrete chips instead of one, and way more high voltage IO interfaces. Try a modern x86 SoC: Haswell ULT, Bay Trail, or Clover trail for a more fair comparison for idle power.

    His point was top clock speed vs. voltage. A completely different topic.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    From what I've read, it's becoming very hard to use the same litography process at smaller nodes, and they need to move to a new litography technology (ultraviolet litography, I think), but that's years away from being ready, too, and might not be until 14nm or even 10nm. Reply
  • unipidity - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I would just like to comment that articles like this are one of the reasons Anandtech will continue to get my traffic long into the future. Brian's "mini-review" is head and shoulders above any "full" review I come across on most tech review sites. Anandtech is never ever first to print, at least on phones, but when it comes to properly informing my purchasing decisions, nothing comes else comes close. Keep up the good work. Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    +1000 Reply
  • UltraWide - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Why are the comparison devices different throughout the tests?
    This inconsistency makes it hard to compare the G2 to another device.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Funny fact is the domestic version of G2 supports both microSD and switchable battery (albeit slight smaller). Obviously US customers are too tamed to apple devices and they won't need such features. Reply
  • Doh! - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Yup, my brother just bought this phone in Korea. It has both the microSD slot (upto 64 GB) and a replaceable battery (2610 mAh). Reply
  • UpSpin - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    or in the US are some expensive license fees for SD-Cards (HALA, https://www.sdcard.org/developers/licensing/) and stupid patents on removable batteries, which are less in other regions or non-existent at all. Reply
  • skiboysteve - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    wow the EIS is surprisingly good! Better than OIS for some. However I won't buy a new device without OIS... The non blurry photos without having to be perfectly still is amazing Reply
  • greywolf0 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    TherThere's something wrong with your OIS test for the Lumia 1020. It is way too jittery. Reply
  • Novulux - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I am about ready for a new phone, and frankly, I'm having a hard time deciding between the LG G2, Xperia Z1, and the Xiaomi MI3. :O Reply
  • abrahavt - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    I am in the same boat. Waiting for the Nexus 5 before deciding. Reply
  • PC Perv - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    I am usually critical of AT's smartphone coverage but for this one I have nothing much to fault for. Thank you for thorough review. oh and I don't think 3D Mark is a legitimate benchmark. I think AT can do away with it. Reply
  • wanderer000 - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    Holy crap, the image stabilization on the Moto X is amazing......Just wish it had the image quality of the Lumia 1020 :/ Reply
  • madwolfa - Saturday, September 07, 2013 - link

    GLBenchmark has always favored Apple devices heavily. I don't understand why is it still included in the tests? Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    If that bias also reflects developer bias then it's relevant. Reply
  • Impulses - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    In addition to some of the headphone jack and audio performance someone asked about, a note on speakerphone volume would be nice. I don't think the review even mentioned where it's located (though I'm guessing it's on the bottom edge from the pics I remember glancing at, I wish there wasn't so much click thru required to browse those on mobile btw). Reply
  • Gondalf - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Yes this is a mini review but the battery life benches are pointless. Obviously with a 3Ah battery the Web Browsing result and talk time are very good, considering that the soc is mostly idle or at low clock speeds. No mention about battery life under gaming or other serious usages...this is a pity because the worst defect of these superphones is the very low battery life under stress.
    I think that Anandtech must to discover the bad side of a device, not only show the points in favor. I have the suspect LG has made an agreement with this web site.
    Anyway a so power hungry Soc in a phone is a nonsense that can give many reliability issues to the customers.
    Bad review this time, so sorry
    Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    That's a good point. I guess the only one that comes close to "real world usage" is the browsing one. Even the video one is not that accurate since it will mainly use the GPU or video accelerator, and you're not going to do video on your phone all the time anyway. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - link

    Yeah, AT clearly has taken the monies from LG to promote their products.
    From know on it's going to be 24/7 LG!
    Reply
  • coachingjoy - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    With a desktop I would think a 2560x1440 display would be warranted.
    It makes a desktop worthwhile.
    I mean, why not use a phone/notebook/laptop instead?
    Reply
  • coachingjoy - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    ha, my bad. wrong thread. Reply
  • Krysto - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    Shocking how good Moto X's EIS was. I wonder if they're using the same stabilization algorithms as the ones Youtube implemented a while ago. It does seem to be about as amazing as that one.

    Lumia 1020 was definitely the worst. It was jittery through and through.

    The order from best to worst was like this

    #1 Moto X (virtually perfect)

    #2 Lumia 925 (quite smooth, but with some "movements")

    #3 HTC One (a little more of those "movements")

    #4 LG G2 (not bad, but jittery from time to time)

    #5 Galaxy S4 (meh, pretty bad, its EIS doesn't help much)

    #6 Lumia 1020 (terrible, almost as if it had no stabilization)
    Reply
  • AbbyYen - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    is it because MOTO X use dual core 320 so it fare so well compare to 330? Reply
  • ArmedandDangerous - Sunday, September 08, 2013 - link

    The HTC One with the newer HBOOT 1.54 has QuickCharge enabled, so it's very much faster than it was at launch now :) Reply
  • Davidjan - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    Still does not it support OTG? Don't know why it disables power supply for OTG in some module of smartphone like Nexus 4, LG G. If it enable power supply, then can easily extend storage with this mini reader: http://goo.gl/U6IyY Reply
  • maglito - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    Brian, any plans to test mkv file format playback compatibility in a future full review? Reply
  • Darryl Lim - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    I have been an avid reader of Anandtech for a few years. There's one thing I don't like about your Android smartphone coverage this year... and it's that the Sony Xperia line is missing.

    Please give some attention to Sony Xperia 2013 smartphones. Their lineup this year has been strong. They have TWO Snapdragon 800 devices out now. The Xperia Z1 alone is worthy of an article. Thanks.
    Reply
  • SanX - Monday, September 09, 2013 - link

    Brian, how easy was to extract the battery ? Reply
  • xnay - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    What surprises me is why LG can't shoot full-res photos during video recording? It definitely has the horsepower. Reply
  • LordSegan - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    I just bought an LG G2 this afternoon. So far I absolutely love it. I played with the Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy S4, and the HTC One. All were great devices, but I ultimately canceled my preorder of the Note 3 (it's just too big, and the stylus really isn't that crucial), and went with the G2.

    Coming from an iPhone 4S, the speed improvement is decent, and the overall increase in capability is stunning. The ability to have multiple windows open and to resize them like on a desktop is amazing and insanely useful.
    Reply
  • murat - Sunday, September 15, 2013 - link

    The only difference I have experienced on my G2 is that is takes 4 hours to charge. I wonder if I should exchange it? Reply
  • jacobdrj - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    The most important part of this phone is that the rear buttons makes this phone ambidextrous... or more importantly, lefty friendly... That is a big deal for us southpaws... Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - link

    What is your malfunction that you can't use a normal Android phone with your left hand? Reply

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