A few month after launching the impressive G2 smartphone, LG has followed the trend of launching a smaller and cheaper version at MWC. The price hasn't been announced yet but thesmartphone will no doubt be more affordable than its bigger brother – even if the G2 does has a very reasonable price tag. LG tells us the G2 mini will arrive early in April.
LG G2 mini: Design
As the name suggests, the G2 mini is smaller than the G2. It has a 4.7in screen compared to 5.2in meaning the device itself is more manageable in the hand. It's a little thicker at 9.8mm but we wouldn't describe the phone as chunky. It does feel more plastic and less premium than the G2 but that's to be expected. See also: Sony Xperia Z2 hands-on review.
The G2 mini looks similar in design to the G2 and retains the 'Rear Key' which is essentially the power and volume keys being positioned below the camera. We like the feature but it may not be to everyone's taste. A difference in design is that the rear cover has a textured finish and is removable, providing access to the battery which is removable and a microSD card slot. The latter being the main downfall of the G2.
As well as black and white, the G2 mini will be available in a nice red colour and also gold if you like that bling type style.
As with most mini versions of flagship smartphones, the G2 mini has downgraded specs. That 4.7in display has a qHD resolution of 540 x 960 instead of Full HD. It's still an IPS panel though, so viewing angles are pretty good and the display has good colour saturation. Our only complaint here is that the screen feels far away from the glass front which you interact with.
In the UK the G2 mini will be powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, but some markets will get a speedier 1.7GHz Tegra 4 chip. All models come with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage so that microSD card slot will come in very handy. However, LG tells us that the 1.2GHz model might not handle 64GB cards so well, especially if used for video content.
We're pleased to report that the G2 mini retains the handy infrared beamer which the G2 features. We can also confirm that the UK model of the G2 mini will wield faster Cat 4 LTE support for 4G mobile data.
Markets with the Tegra processor inside the G2 mini will also get a superior 13Mp camera. However, the UK bound G2 mini will have a lower 8Mp camera which we'll test out properly when we get a review sample.
LG G2 mini: Software
Android 4.4 KitKat will be pre-loaded on the G2 mini and although the software looks essentially identical to the G2's, there are a couple of new features. Knock Code is the new version of KnockON which previously allows users to switch the screen on and off with a double tap, no physical buttons needed. Kock Code means you can tap the screen is a series of specific places, even when the screen is off, making it more personalised and more secure.
Guest mode means you can hand the G2 mini to a friend of child without giving them full access to your content. You can choose what your guest will be able to access, avoiding possible embarrassment or costly phone calls to China.
Stay tuned for a full review of the LG G2 mini soon, by which time we should have the all-important price.
LG G2 mini: Video demo
Buying Advice The G2 mini is almost exactly what you'd expect it to be. A smaller and lower spec version of the flagship G2. The phone looks and feels nice but we're waiting for the price. A key competitor is the Xperia Z1 Compact which is a mini version without the downgrades.