LG out to shake things up with G2

President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company Jong-seok presents the LG G2.

LG Electronics vice chairman Koo Bon-joon is not a man of many words, but he apparently took a liking to the company's latest flagship phone, the G2.

"He encouraged us to 'sell as many as you can' after seeing the phone," said Ma Chang-min, LG Electronics' head of domestic marketing, following a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday.

Hours later in New York City's Lincoln Center, hundreds of reporters and guests were present to witness the unveiling of the long-awaited smartphone that LG is pinning its hopes on to get a leading edge in the quickly-saturated smartphone market.

Consumers' expectations appeared to be even more hyped up for the latest device, as LG had hinted it would be one of the most user-friendly phones out there based on the theme of technology learning from humanity.

Even at first glance, the phone was vastly thinner than its predecessors, and most of its rivals. Then the other eye-catching features, such the volume control and power buttons decidedly placed on the back where the index finger is most comfortable, quickly come into view.

The relocation of the keys, according to LG, is expected to reduce the risk of dropping the high-end device when using the phone one hand, such as when taking a "selca" picture.

Pressing the volume-down button on the back launches the camera, and holding the volume-up key opens note application QuickMemo.

There is no need to press a home button to turn on the screen since the G2 powers on with two simple taps on the display.

"Our definition of innovation today is technology that truly resonates with consumers," said Park Jong-seok, president and CEO of LG Electronics' mobile communications division. "We have always listened to and learned from consumers in pursuit of innovation. We took these insights to new heights in developing LG G2, the most exciting and ambitious mobile phone in our company's history.

Some other functions include "Text Link," which allows users to find locations mentioned in text messages or save the messages in a memo or calendar, and "Guest Mode," which enables users to set up a different section of the phone with tailored services (for the sake of the owner's privacy) by simply using a different unlock pattern.

"Such ideas were created after a great deal of search for the essence of humanity, basically meaning we were looking for what makes for the most comfortable smartphone experience," the company explained.

LG G2 is also the first smartphone on the market today to feature 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback that reproduces studio-like quality sound, far superior to a CD, according to the Seoul-based mobile maker.

On the hardware front, backed by a 2.3-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 which is compatible with LTE-A technology, the G2 runs the Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and features a 5.2-inch full HD IPS, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 3,000-mAh battery.

The G2, priced at 954,800 won (S$1079), will hit shelves Thursday around the world, including in North America and Europe, through 130 mobile carriers over the next six weeks.