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LG G2 Mini review: mid-range with strengths and weaknesses

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© nextpit

After the official launch of the LG G2. At LG’s press conference in Barcelona, we had the chance to check out the G2 Mini and its new features for a first test.

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© NextPit

Design: compact and light

LG's decision to provide a 4.7-inch smartphone with the name "Mini" seems odd. In fact, the G2 Mini is not exactly small, but surprisingly compact. The HTC One has a display that measures 4.7 inches. What’s more, it is also astoundingly light, weighing 121 grams.

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The LG G2 Mini is not small, but it is compact. / © NextPit

The screen size and dimensions ratio is good, just like with the G2. The rear buttons are identical, however LG has made ​​crucial changes in three other points in their attempts to appease the criticism received from customers and journalists about the G2: the back made of a slick plastic, which got greasy quickly when held, is now textured. It now feels a lot better and ensures for a better grip. The battery with a generous 2,440 mAh can be replaced and they’ve included a microSD slot.

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MicroSD and exchangeablebattery: LG listens and reacts to past criticism./ © NextPit

The lightweight and thin battery cover made of plastic does have its disadvantages: the total G2 Mini doesn’t give off the impression of exceptional quality, a feeling that is reinforced by the strangely dull display surface. While the G2 was praised especially for its display and allows one to slide their fingers smoothly over the surface, the effect given off by the G2 Mini places it more in the mid-range category and not among other premium ‘Mini’ models.

Software: Knock code and Easy Mode

The software on the G2 Mini remains largely unchanged compared to the G2. What’s new is the " Knock Code" that the LG unveiled on the G Pro 2. This is an enhancement from the unlocking "KnockOn " method which now allows one to tap a specific knock code to unlock the phone.

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Knock Code is a new unlocking methode, a step up from KnockOn. Captions in German, but you get the point. / © NextPit

When you save the code, the screen is divided into four quadrants where the user will enter  an arbitrary pattern. When unlocking, it doesn’t matter where  you tap the pattern on the screen, as long as the pattern matches the predetermined code in total. In my test, Knock code worked really good, the phone recognized my previously set password every time. Knock Code is useful mainly because it switches on the display unlocks the phone simultaneously.

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When you save the code, the screen is divided into four quadrants. / © NextPit

Easy Mode is also a new mode to consider used to facilitate using the device for newcomers. If this mode is activated, the home screen changes its appearance completely: widgets aren’t available and a large number field is reMiniscent of good ol’ feature phones.

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Easy Mode is also a new mode to consider used to facilitate using the device for newcomers. / © NextPit

What LG unfortunately didn’t change is the appearance of the user interface, just as playful as before and too colorful for my personal taste.

  LG G2 Mini
System Android 4.4.2
Display 4.7-inch, qHD (960 x 540 Pixel)
Processor Snapdragon 400, Quad-Core, 1.2 GHz
Internal storage 8 GB + microSD
Battery 2,440 mAh
Camera 8 MP (back), 1.3 MP (front)
Connectivity LTE, HSPA+, WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Dimensions 129.6 x 66.0 x 9.8 mm
Weight 121 g 

Bottom line

Overall, the G2 Mini leaves a mixed first impression: having been bestowed with name of his great predecessor LG G2 just doesn’t seem fair. In this manner, LG is following in the footsteps of Samsung with the whole Mini-device concept.  It may say flagship, but is middle class at best. I’m somewhat disappointing by the feel of the display. On the other hand, the G2 Mini is able to gain points for its software features and the good display size and dimension ratio. The biggest selling point, however, is that LG has consistently responded to the criticism of the G2, which is clear with the addition of the microSD, replaceable battery and material for a better grip and less fingerprints.

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Johannes Wallat

Johannes Wallat
Editor Germany

Johannes got his first Android-phone four years ago, and he liked it so much that he stayed true to the little green man ever since. He loves new hardware and is usually the first to try out new smartphones and gadgets. He is searching for the perfect smartphone, but originating from Westphalia, he is not easy to satisfy. However, relevant suggestions are always welcome!

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  • 10
    sam pack Mar 4, 2014 Link to comment

    I wonder is kit kat ever gonna come to the g2 (t mobile)..said 1st quarter of the year, but noo0 dice. Smh