LG G2 Mini Smartphone Review

Daniel Schuster (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 05/22/2014

In a mini-frenzy. The smaller version of the giant high-end smartphone finally fits in anyone's pocket and houses many of the same hardware components as the larger flagship model. But the LG G2 Mini can't fill its big brother's shoes.

For the original German review, see here.

Last year, the South Korean company LG released their current flagship, the LG G2. With its numerous innovative features, like "knock-on" and hardware keys on the backside of the device, the smartphone made a name for itself in the high-end market. Its successor, the LG G3, is already in its preparatory stages.

Pushing against the trend of ever-increasing display size, many manufacturers have designed a "mini-series." We already had the chance to review the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini. Unfortunately, both of these devices' performances were substantially inferior to those of their larger counterparts, and the two mini-smartphones' displays were not of the same caliber either. Sony, however, managed to squeeze the hardware installed in their Xperia Z1 into the Xperia Z1 Compact's smaller case, without losing performance power. What was LG's solution to this challenge? We had asked ourselves this question many times since the device was first introduced -- now we finally have an answer.

Case

The G2 Mini and its big brother in comparison
The G2 Mini and its big brother in comparison

As soon as we cut into the LG G2 Mini's packaging, our last thread of hope was snipped. Up until that last moment, we continued to hope that we would open the box to find what would at least appear to be a high-quality device. But alas, the case strongly reminded us of the LG L90, as the material composition and the feel of the two smartphones are strikingly similar. Were it not for the hardware keys on the backside of the device, you would be surprised to learn that the G2 and its mini-version were from the same product line. The removable back cover is textured and matte. The case does have its advantages, as its grip is good, and it does not collect fingerprints. At 129.6 x 66 x 9.9 mm (~5.1 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches), the smartphone is, of course, narrower and shorter than its big brother, but it is also 0.8 mm (~0.03 inches) thicker. Here we again see a substantial similarity between our review device and the LG L90. The Galaxy S4 Mini, the HTC One Mini and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact all have a 0.4-inch smaller display and are therefore a little easier to hold in your hand. However, at 125 grams (~0.28 lbs), the G2 Mini is considerably lighter than the Xperia Z1 Compact (137 grams; ~0.3 lbs).

Connectivity

Anyone who has experience with the placement of the G2's hardware buttons likely does not want to go back. LG struck out on a bold venture and moved the buttons from the sides of the device to beneath the main camera. The G2 Mini's buttons are also located in this new position. The G2 Mini's removable battery and expandable memory (via micro SD by up to 64 GB) are a sensible supplement to what the device's big brother has to offer. The smartphone has 8 GB of internal memory. Unfortunately, the "knock-on" function is not available on the mini-version. Just like on the LG L90, LG only implemented the "knock-code" unlock function -- more on that later.

Bottom side: Micro USB port
Bottom side: Micro USB port
No connections on the side
No connections on the side
Infrared port and 3.5 mm jack on the top side
Infrared port and 3.5 mm jack on the top side
No connections on the other side either
No connections on the other side either


Software

With Android KitKat (4.4.2), the G2 Mini runs the current version of the popular OS. Android just announced an update to this operating system, but it will be some time before the official roll-out. When and whether the G2 Mini will be affected by this update is currently unknown.

LG made some changes to the original appearance of the Android OS, but the modified OS is identical to the one that runs on the G2 Mini's big brother, the G2.

GPS reception
GPS reception

Communication & GPS 

Upon our first observation of the WLAN module, we immediately noticed that no communication is possible over the 5 GHz band, unfortunately. That means the smartphone only supports the wireless standard 802.11 b/g/n. However, if there is no Ethernet in the vicinity, you can connect to the Internet wirelessly over LTE (LTE/4G 800/1800/2600 MHz). A prerequisite for this is, of course, a cell-phone contract that includes LTE. In both scenarios, the connection is stable and the WLAN module's reception range is comparable with other smartphones. Bluetooth 4.0 is on board for wireless data transfer or the transmission of audio signals. For close-range communication, NFC is available on the device. The mini-version of the G2 also has an infrared port and can therefore be used as a universal remote control.

The aGPS module determines the smartphone's position relatively exactly, even indoors. The module functions even more precisely outdoors. In our field test against a Garmin Edge 500, the G2 Mini is inaccurate for around 250 meters of our route (about 2.5% of the total distance). The substantial deviations from the actual route occur along tight curves and heavily forested areas.

LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500


Telephone Function and Speech Quality

Compared to the G2, the G2 Mini's speech quality has changed neither for the better nor the worse. As long as the device's reception was good enough, we did not hear any bothersome background noise or any other kind of interference. The speaker does its job well too, though it can be a little too quiet if there is a lot of noise in the surrounding environment.

Cameras & Multimedia

The G2 Mini is equipped with two camera modules. The sensor on the backside has a maximum resolution of 8 MP; the maximum resolution of the camera on the front side comes to 1.3 MP. Compared to the G2, the difference here is substantial (main camera: 13 MP).

The main camera does its job well and scores points for its realistic photos. Even if the shots are taken outdoors, though, in less optimal lighting situations the tiny sensor has a little trouble taking detail-rich, noise-free photos. The camera's detail accuracy is satisfactory, though due to the smartphone's construction, it is, of course, not to be compared with the shots taken with our reference camera or smartphone models with higher resolutions.

LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
LG G2 Mini
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57
Reference: Sony Alpha A57


Accessories & Warranty

Alongside the smartphone, a modular power supply, a battery and an in-ear headset are wrapped up in the packaging. The manufacturer's warranty lasts 24 months for the main device and 6 months for the battery.

Input Devices & Operation

5-finger multitouch
5-finger multitouch

The multi-touch display supports up to five fingers worth of simultaneous input. The device registers and responds to input with precision, even along the edges of the screen. Unlike the LG L90's input system, the G2 Mini uses a navigation bar integrated into the display, similar to that of the G2. As we mentioned in our "Connectivity" section, the smartphone has a "knock-code" function. This is a new method for unlocking the lock screen that involves a preset type pattern configured by the user in the phone's security settings. When a user successfully taps the right combination, the device brings up the homescreen. This feature is not to be confused with the G2's "knock on" function, as unfortunately LG seems to have decided against implementing this method of waking up the smartphone. If the G2 Mini is lying on the table, you have to pick up the device to turn it on, as the necessary button is on the backside of the device.

In either format...
In either format...
...there is not much space on the screen.
...there is not much space on the screen.


Display

4.7-inches and no HD resolution
4.7-inches and no HD resolution

The "mini-version" of the G2 still measures a full 4.7-inches. The mini-models designed by other manufacturers, for instance the Galaxy S4 Mini, the One Mini or the Xperia Z1 Compact, measure 4.3-inches -- a considerable bit smaller. At a resolution of 960x540 pixels, the review device has the same number of pixels as the S4 Mini and the LG L90. The Xperia Z1 Compact and the One Mini prove that HD resolution is entirely possible in this "mini" segment of the market.

The LG G2 Mini's average brightness comes to 331.2 cd/m², and its brightness distribution calculates to a very even 92% similarity across the screen. The L90's display is around 40 cd/m² brighter and just as evenly lit. At 0.31 cd/m², the substantially cheaper L90 even has a better black value than our test device (0.38 cd/m²). Given all this, it is unsurprising that the G2 Mini has a significantly worse contrast ratio than its competitor produced by the same company (G2 Mini: 879:1L90: 1261:1).

342
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
332
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2 // Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 342 cd/m²
Average: 331.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 334 cd/m²
Black: 0.38 cd/m²
Contrast: 879:1

Observing the panel with the colorimeter, we immediately notice that red tones are displayed too darkly and blues are rendered too brightly. Upon closer look at the measurements, we once again see clearly that the L90's panel quality is a little higher than that of the G2 Mini -- which is inexplicable, as there is a substantial price difference between the two devices. The L90's grayscale rendering lines up more closely with the ideal values, and the G2 Mini's color temperature is also higher (G2 Mini: 8685 K; LG L90: 7355).

Color rendering
Color rendering
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale display
Grayscale display
Color saturation
Color saturation

Due to its inferior display qualities, the G2 Mini is less readable in outdoor use than the L90. Here too, we notice the missing brightness sensor and are forced to constantly adjust the brightness by hand. It would be a good idea to purchase a matte display protector from a third-party supplier, as this is the only way to improve the display's readability in the sunlight.

The LG G2 Mini's viewing angles are almost entirely satisfactory: From all the usual viewing angles, the display content is easily visible and properly rendered. Things look a little worse if you hold the screen above you while turning it to the side. This results in both a loss of brightness and color distortion.

Viewing angles: LG G2 Mini
Viewing angles: LG G2 Mini
Display in outdoor use
Display in outdoor use

Performance

The Snapdragon 400 MSM8926 is very similar to the MSM8226 installed in the Moto G and the L90. The only difference is that the MSM8226 lacks an LTE module. The quad-core SoC's clock rate is 1.2 GHz. The chip is outfitted with an Adreno 305 and has 1024 MB of working memory. At this point, only Sony has managed to squeeze the same SoC into both their mini-version (the Z1 Compact) and their full-size model. LG proves to have been unable to perform this feat as well, as the flagship G2 has a Snapdragon 800 at its command. The following benchmarks make perfectly clear that the two SoCs' performances are by no means comparable.

Compared to other mid-class smartphones, the G2 does well in our tests. It frequently comes in ahead of the competing models but occasionally falls behind as well. However, as soon as you start to compare our review device with the LG G2 or the Z1 Compact, the G2 Mini has no chance whatsoever. In almost every test, the high-end models leave our test device in the dust.

3DMark (2013)
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score
LG G2 Mini
2859 Points ∼2%
LG L90
2894 Points ∼2% +1%
LG G2
9848 Points ∼8% +244%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
3018 Points ∼2% +6%
HTC One Mini
2617 Points ∼2% -8%
Motorola Moto G
2771 Points ∼2% -3%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
LG G2 Mini
2428 Points ∼1%
LG L90
2457 Points ∼1% +1%
LG G2
10651 Points ∼4% +339%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
2597 Points ∼1% +7%
HTC One Mini
2281 Points ∼1% -6%
Motorola Moto G
2392 Points ∼1% -1%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics
LG G2 Mini
7542 Points ∼16%
LG L90
7655 Points ∼16% +1%
LG G2
7791 Points ∼16% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
6988 Points ∼15% -7%
HTC One Mini
5397 Points ∼11% -28%
Motorola Moto G
6229 Points ∼13% -17%
AndEBench
Native
LG G2 Mini
6500 Iter./s ∼31%
LG L90
6462 Iter./s ∼30% -1%
LG G2
13332 Iter./s ∼63% +105%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
5254 Iter./s ∼25% -19%
HTC One Mini
4389 Iter./s ∼21% -32%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
16985 Iter./s ∼80% +161%
Motorola Moto G
6412 Iter./s ∼30% -1%
Java
LG G2 Mini
336 Iter./s ∼34%
LG L90
330 Iter./s ∼33% -2%
LG G2
503 Iter./s ∼51% +50%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
346 Iter./s ∼35% +3%
HTC One Mini
186 Iter./s ∼19% -45%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
607 Iter./s ∼61% +81%
Motorola Moto G
338 Iter./s ∼34% +1%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - System
LG G2 Mini
2184 Points ∼40%
LG L90
2212 Points ∼41% +1%
LG G2
4010 Points ∼74% +84%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
2521 Points ∼46% +15%
HTC One Mini
2257 Points ∼42% +3%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
3464 Points ∼64% +59%
Motorola Moto G
2414 Points ∼44% +11%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
LG G2 Mini
5.7 fps ∼1%
LG L90
5.8 fps ∼1% +2%
LG G2
20 fps ∼3% +251%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
6.2 fps ∼1% +9%
HTC One Mini
5.5 fps ∼1% -4%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
23 fps ∼4% +304%
Motorola Moto G
5.7 fps ∼1% 0%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
LG G2 Mini
15.1 fps ∼25%
LG L90
14.5 fps ∼24% -4%
LG G2
21 fps ∼35% +39%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
14 fps ∼23% -7%
HTC One Mini
9.1 fps ∼15% -40%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
35 fps ∼58% +132%
Motorola Moto G
11 fps ∼18% -27%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score
LG G2 Mini
343 Points ∼10%
LG L90
342 Points ∼10% 0%
LG G2
819 Points ∼23% +139%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
924 Points ∼26% +169%
Motorola Moto G
341 Points ∼10% -1%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
LG G2 Mini
1141 Points ∼9%
LG L90
1129 Points ∼9% -1%
LG G2
2210 Points ∼17% +94%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
2869 Points ∼22% +151%
Motorola Moto G
1169 Points ∼9% +2%
Legend
      LG G2 Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
      LG L90 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
      LG G2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB SSD
      Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8930AB, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
      HTC One Mini Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8930AB, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 16 GB iNAND Flash
      Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
      Motorola Moto G Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD

The G2 Mini's performance in the browser-based benchmarks is somewhat of a mixed bag. In Browsermark 2.0, the smartphone does very poorly. Things look a little better in the Octane V1 benchmark, but our test device only comes in ahead of the competition from HTC and Motorola.

Browsermark
LG G2 Mini
869 points ∼12%
LG L90
2570 points ∼36% +196%
LG G2
2646 points ∼37% +204%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
2188 points ∼30% +152%
HTC One Mini
2878 points ∼40% +231%
Motorola Moto G
2432 points ∼34% +180%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
2493 points ∼35% +187%
Peacekeeper
LG G2 Mini
686 Points ∼11%
LG L90
689 Points ∼11% 0%
LG G2
829 Points ∼13% +21%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
530 Points ∼9% -23%
HTC One Mini
670 Points ∼11% -2%
Motorola Moto G
488 Points ∼8% -29%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
809 Points ∼13% +18%
Octane V1 - Total Score
LG G2 Mini
1811 Points ∼9%
LG L90
1859 Points ∼9% +3%
LG G2
3014 Points ∼14% +66%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
1958 Points ∼9% +8%
HTC One Mini
1701 Points ∼8% -6%
Motorola Moto G
1721 Points ∼8% -5%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
4249 Points ∼20% +135%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score
LG G2 Mini
31078 ms * ∼18%
LG L90
30723.9 ms * ∼18% +1%
LG G2
14333.8 ms * ∼8% +54%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
14193.3 ms * ∼8% +54%
HTC One Mini
22196.1 ms * ∼13% +29%
Motorola Moto G
31625.5 ms * ∼18% -2%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
13016.8 ms * ∼8% +58%

* ... smaller is better

The flash storage speed in the sequential read test is extremely good. The G2 only beats our mini smartphone by a hair. Our review device does a good job in the random read test as well. When it comes to write operations, its results are a little weaker.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB
LG G2 Mini
110.05 MB/s ∼66%
LG L90
90.3 MB/s ∼54% -18%
LG G2
111.49 MB/s ∼67% +1%
Motorola Moto G
103.28 MB/s ∼62% -6%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
50.88 MB/s ∼30% -54%
HTC One Mini
53.1 MB/s ∼32% -52%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
66.47 MB/s ∼40% -40%
Sequential Write 256KB
LG G2 Mini
11.81 MB/s ∼20%
LG L90
7.72 MB/s ∼13% -35%
LG G2
17.42 MB/s ∼30% +48%
Motorola Moto G
12.54 MB/s ∼22% +6%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
6.33 MB/s ∼11% -46%
HTC One Mini
15.71 MB/s ∼27% +33%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
20.02 MB/s ∼35% +70%
Random Read 4KB
LG G2 Mini
14.18 MB/s ∼68%
LG L90
14.6 MB/s ∼70% +3%
LG G2
16.65 MB/s ∼79% +17%
Motorola Moto G
13.61 MB/s ∼65% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
9.37 MB/s ∼45% -34%
HTC One Mini
10.53 MB/s ∼50% -26%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
13.85 MB/s ∼66% -2%
Random Write 4KB
LG G2 Mini
1.18 MB/s ∼40%
LG L90
0.48 MB/s ∼16% -59%
LG G2
1.34 MB/s ∼46% +14%
Motorola Moto G
2.52 MB/s ∼86% +114%
Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195
0.32 MB/s ∼11% -73%
HTC One Mini
1.18 MB/s ∼40% 0%
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
1.68 MB/s ∼58% +42%

Games

Even though the G2 Mini's hardware is not the same as the components at work in the full-size G2, its multimedia performance knows no limitations. An advantage of the less than Full HD resolution is the fact that the SoC's burden is lighter when videos or games are on the screen. Qualcomm has not enabled the SoC to play QFHD content, so there is no reason to hope that it will work. All other kinds of 3D games or Full HD trailers pose no problem for the G2 Mini.

No problems with performance...
No problems with performance...
...running 3D or 2D games
...running 3D or 2D games

Emissions

Temperature

Another indication of the similarity between the L90 and the G2 Mini's hardware are its temperatures across the various levels of load: Under load, we measured between 32.2 °C (89.96 °F) on the front and 31.4 °C (88.52 °F) on the back. The Galaxy S4 Mini warms up to between 38.1 °C (100.58 °F) and 37 °C (98.6 °F) in this discipline. Obviously, you can certainly feel the difference. If the smartphone is running idly, the device temperature drops to substantially under 30 °C (86 °F). None of these temperatures are by any means cause for concern. Subjectively, there is no difference between our test device and the L90 in this discipline. The power supply warms up to between 30 °C (86 °F) and 40 °C (104 °F) and deserves no criticism.

Max. Load
 33.6 °C31.5 °C31.0 °C 
 34.4 °C32.0 °C32.8 °C 
 32.2 °C31.4 °C30.6 °C 
Maximum: 34.4 °C
Average: 32.2 °C
28.2 °C31.4 °C34.0 °C
28.9 °C32.3 °C34.0 °C
29.2 °C32.0 °C32.6 °C
Maximum: 34.0 °C
Average: 31.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39.7 °C | Room Temperature 21.5 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The speaker outputs are located on the bottom side of the device. These speakers put out a good sound and have a relatively high maximum volume. The sound is good enough to make listening to music enjoyable and only merits criticism at higher volumes. Audiophiles certainly will not be satisfied here, but for smartphone speakers, the sound quality is reasonably good.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Let us start by mentioning the fact that the G2 Mini's energy use in standby mode is just 0.1 Watts. All manufacturers ought to strive to match this number, but some devices do not come anywhere near it. If the display is on and the SoC is under a light load, the energy-consumption rate rises to between 0.4 and 1 Watt. At 0.6 to 1.3 Watts, the One Mini uses a little more energy here. With consumption rates between 1.1 and 1.9 Watts under load, the difference between our review device and the Xperia Z1 Compact is more substantial. It is only fair to mention, however, that Sony's "mini model" has a much brighter display. As soon as the SoC is working to capacity, our Voltcraft VC 940's indicator climbs to between 1.6 and 2.4 Watts. Compared to the competition from HTC (One Mini: 2.9-3.8 Watts), Samsung (Galaxy S4 Mini: 3.4-3.9 Watts) and Sony (Xperia Z1 Compact: 3.5-4.1 Watts), this is frugal behavior.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.4 / 0.8 / 1 Watt
Load 1.6 / 2.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The relatively low energy-consumption rate and the battery capacity of 2440 mAh left us hoping for a good result here. All the more incredible, then, that the G2 Mini's battery life greatly exceeds our expectations. With a runtime of almost 5 hours under full load, our review device does an excellent job here. Its big brother ran out of steam an hour earlier in this discipline. The G2 Mini proves to have real stamina in our idle test: Here the smartphone keeps on going for over 30 hours. At 23 hours, the full-size G2 already managed an exceptionally good runtime. On top of that, if necessary the mini device's battery can be switched out for a second one. When it comes to endurance, the G2 Mini is a top performer.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
30h 48min
WiFi Surfing
16h 43min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 44min

Verdict

The G2 Mini could be the LG L90's twin.
The G2 Mini could be the LG L90's twin.

LG follows the "mini model" trend with the release of their G2 Mini, a shrunken down version of their G2 flagship. As is also true of other manufacturers like HTC or Samsung, LG puts very different hardware in their mini smartphone. To date, only Sony has managed to clothe the hardware at work in their full-size Xperia Z1 with a smaller garment (Z1 Compact). In our review device's case, the term "mini" is not quite as applicable, as the G2 Mini still has a 4.7-inch display (G2: 5.2-inches). Despite its relatively large display, LG neglected to outfit their device with HD resolution. The smartphone's quad-core SoC is produced by Qualcomm and answers to the name Snapdragon 400 MSM8926.

All that said: The difference between the 5.2-inch G2 and the smaller model is big -- very big. Were it not for the hardware buttons on the backside of the device, the G2 Mini could easily be confused with the LG L90. On the plus side, the smartphone has expandable memory and a removable battery -- features that the G2 clearly lacks. The G2 Mini is currently available online for 289 Euros (~$395). The LG L90 is around 80 Euros (~$110) cheaper at the moment. Because the difference between the two models is barely noticeable, we recommend taking a closer look at the L90 or the Moto G, unless the G2 Mini's LTE module is a deciding factor.

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In Revew: LG G2 Mini. Test device courtesy of Cyberport.
In Revew: LG G2 Mini. Test device courtesy of Cyberport.

Specifications

LG G2 Mini

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
4.7 inch 16:9, 960x540 pixel, LCD-TFT, IPS, 16.7 million colors, qHD, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB , 3.87 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: Micro SD slot (up to 64 GB), Sensors: aGPS, NFC, Acceleration sensor, Proximity sensor, Digital compass,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 LE Bluetooth, LTE/4G (800/1800/2600 MHz), HSPA+ 42 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS (900/2100 MHz), GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 129.6 x 66
:: Weight
0.125 kg Power Supply: 0.059 kg
:: Battery
9.27 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2440
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 720 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 660 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 700 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 600 h
:: Price
349 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: Main camera: 8 MP, Front camera: 1.3 MP, Keyboard: Virtual, 12 Months Warranty

 

The G2 Mini is the "small" version of LG's flagship.
The G2 Mini is the "small" version of LG's flagship.
But at 4.7-inches, you can't really call it "mini."
But at 4.7-inches, you can't really call it "mini."
Unfortunately, LG made some cuts when it comes to the hardware...
Unfortunately, LG made some cuts when it comes to the hardware...
...so the performance is also...
...so the performance is also...
...substantially weaker than that of the smartphone's larger counterpart.
...substantially weaker than that of the smartphone's larger counterpart.
Visually, the device has also changed greatly.
Visually, the device has also changed greatly.
Only the buttons on the backside...
Only the buttons on the backside...
...are reminiscent of the LG G2.
...are reminiscent of the LG G2.
The backside is made of textured plastic and...
The backside is made of textured plastic and...
...appears somewhat on the cheaper side. The feel and look are more reminiscent...
...appears somewhat on the cheaper side. The feel and look are more reminiscent...
...of the LG L90.
...of the LG L90.
The back cover is removable.
The back cover is removable.
Once removed, you can switch out the battery, and...
Once removed, you can switch out the battery, and...
...it's also possible to expand the internal memory.
...it's also possible to expand the internal memory.
A micro SIM card is used here as well.
A micro SIM card is used here as well.
You can't deny that the G2 Mini bears a certain resemblance to the L90...
You can't deny that the G2 Mini bears a certain resemblance to the L90...
...so we wonder...
...so we wonder...
...why one would pay so much more for the G2 Mini?
...why one would pay so much more for the G2 Mini?
The L90's performance and hardware...
The L90's performance and hardware...
...are at a similar level. The main difference is...
...are at a similar level. The main difference is...
...the G2 Mini's built-in LTE module.
...the G2 Mini's built-in LTE module.
The launcher interface is familiar from the G2.
The launcher interface is familiar from the G2.
This includes, for example, Quick Remote...
This includes, for example, Quick Remote...
...and Android's printing application.
...and Android's printing application.
Of course, Android version 4.4 can't go missing.
Of course, Android version 4.4 can't go missing.
The G2 Mini doesn't make a bad impression, but we expected a lot more from this little device.
The G2 Mini doesn't make a bad impression, but we expected a lot more from this little device.

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Links

Price Comparison

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Pro

+Expandable memory
+Battery life
+Removable battery
+Multimedia performance
 

Cons

-No HD resolution
-4.7-inch display as a "mini" version
-Lacks similarity to the LG G2
-No "knock-on" feature
-No dual-band mode

Shortcut

What we like

The smartphone is high-performance and navigates fluidly through the Android world. Games and videos are not a problem for the little device either.

What we'd like to see & what surprises us

Clearly - more similarity to the LG G2. Besides the buttons on the backside of the device, none of the LG flagship's excellent features are anywhere to be found.

The competition

Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini is also a smaller version of their former flagship. HTC's One Mini also deserves a closer look. If you want a small device with the same hardware as a larger one, look no further than the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. It offers extreme performance and almost all the same components as its full-size counterpart (besides the display).

Rating

LG G2 Mini
05/12/2014 v4
Daniel Schuster

Chassis
79%
Keyboard
63 / 75 → 84%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
45 / 60 → 75%
Weight
94%
Battery
97%
Display
83%
Games Performance
53 / 75 → 71%
Application Performance
26 / 65 → 40%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
59%
Camera
58%
Average
72%
82%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG G2 Mini Smartphone Review
Author: Daniel Schuster, 2014-05-22 (Update: 2014-05-25)