The LG G2 Reconsidered

LG G2, via HowardForums

Yesterday saw a big leak of specs for the forthcoming Nexus 5. Each new tidbit seems to reaffirm that the next Nexus will follow in the footsteps of the 4 and 7 rather than the original Nexus One — it won’t be a premium device, per se, but will instead deliver impressive technology at an equally impressive price.

If this is indeed the case then specs-wise then the LG G2 will easily trump the new Nexus that it’s supposedly based on — a bigger screen, better camera, bigger battery… You get the idea. Today I’ll add some additional thoughts into the mix, which might make you reconsider the LG over the Nexus as your next device. Or not.

Carrier Issues

One of the great services that Google has done for users everywhere is to sell Nexus phones unlocked, even through carriers. Here in Canada it’s not an advertised feature (for obvious reasons), but Google has somehow managed to push it through.

The last two Nexus phones were also pentaband 3G devices, meaning that the same phone could get service from both AT&T and T-Mobile in the USA, or Rogers and WIND in Canada. The new Nexus will almost certainly have to support some flavour of LTE, but its compatibility with different networks around the world has yet to be seen.

The LG G2 is a Cat 4 LTE device, capable of data speeds up to 150 Mbps. In its current form it doesn’t appear to support AWS service from either T-Mobile or WIND, though a AWS variant is apparently on the way. The G2 is sold locked through carriers, which can be a good or bad thing — bad because you may need to get it unlocked to sell or use with a local SIM in another country, but good because you’ll be able to get this device with a┬áconsiderable subsidy from your provider.

One more thing about carriers, you should know that the AT&T version of the G2 has Carrier IQ on board, while the Rogers version that I’ve been testing does not:

No Carrier IQ on the Rogers G2

If you don’t know what Carrier IQ is you need to educate yourself — it’s the worst kind of carrier spyware that has no business being on any device.

Modding

Regular users enjoy OS updates directly from Google to their Nexus phones; modders enjoy a veritable universe of custom ROMs. This is due to the Nexus line’s other purpose as a benchmark device for developers, and it’s why I’ve remained faithful to the Nexus brand.

Back in the day LG’s Optimus 2X — the first dual-core Android device on the market — was also somewhat of a modder’s delight thanks to its unlockable bootloader. Unfortunately the G2 requires an exploit to obtain root, as shown in this video:

There is at least an active development forum over at XDA, as well as an available custom recovery via TWRP. The only custom ROM I’ve been able to find was made specifically for the Korean version — which has a removable battery, removable storage and a TV antenna, apparently

So there you go, some more reasons to consider the LG G2, or not. Is any of this enough to push you in one direction or the other?

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