My Cyclist

Robert Dempster
Welcome to my PMB blog, the fifty second!

The LG G2 Smart Phone
First Impressions

I don't like SA, I love SA!

The phone looks good and so far I have not had any problems either handling it, or storing it in my trouser pocket. I guess it is more difficult to remove from my trouser pocket whilst seated and belted up in a car, but then I seldom need to do that, and should probably not be trying to do so whilst I am driving.

The SIM card fits vey neatly into the side of the phone. Presumably the fit is so good that no dust/dirt will get in. The only switches (buttons) on the phone are on the rear and are positioned so that they fall naturally under your index finger when holding the phone. The three switches combined kinda resemble a rocker switch. Depress it in the middle for on/off and either side to increase/decrease the volume. I seldom use the volume functionality. Positioning my finger on the raised middle section proved to be tricky at first, but now works quite well.

The screen is great and is surrounded by a very narrow border. It also adjusts to the ambient level of lighting very well. I did not like the default desktops that were provide and soon managed to sort that out. What I have not managed to get right so far, is to set up the photographs of my grand children that I use as wall paper for the two desktops that I use.

I had no trouble changing the various various ring tones. I had more trouble doing so for notification tones, particularly for Whatsapp. What I have not been able to do, was set the volume levels for the varios ring tones, so they remain set a a level that inevitably results in me missing the arrival of Whatsapp messages. Predictive text also presented problems and like the Nokia Pureview 808, is was not consistent across all applications. It is also not as good as the system found on the Nokia Pureview 808, which was superb. Switching in and out of silent mode is also more cumbersome.

Setting up a link to my email account was a breeze. That was not the case for Chrome browser bookmarks which I have still not managed to set up. I also had trouble setting up Skype. However it seemed to come right over time and an update arrived this morning. Sports Tracker works well, especially once I had realised that the photographs taken during its use had to be shot using the button embedded in the Sports Tracker interface.

The camera seems to be quite good, but as expected, not as good as the camera on the Nokia Pureview 808. That opinion may well change as I have not really tested the camera's capabilities exhaustively yet. I have turned location recording on, but found that the actually coordinates of a position can only be viewed using an indirect route. Referencing the position of a photograph inevitable takes you to the corresponding location on a map. Even then the coordinates are not readably accessible. The 'gallery' app is an improvement on that found in the Nokia Pureview 808.

I also did not expect the navigation app to be as good as that found on the Nokia Pureview 808. However it has pleasantly surprised me thus far and further use is required before I am able to express an opinion. Facebook works well and so does the ES File explore. I now also use the latter as a FTP server to mainly move photographs between the phone and my iMac. That too works well, probably better than the setup I had on the Nokia Pureview 808.

What about Android versus Symbian. Well it is equally as good I would say, and unlike Symbian, is constantly been updated. The range of available apps is of course much wider, and I now know what the morning and evening star's names are. In fact they are not stars at all, but planets.

Wireless connectivity is good, again probably better than that of the Nokia Pureview 808. What does not work as well, is switching between the wireless repeaters we have upstairs and downstairs in our home. It would be great if this could happen automatically with the choice been made between those on a preferred list. So far I have also not been able to locate a suitable simle widget that keeps me informed as to what my bandwidth usage for the month is.

I would have liked a slot for a micro-SD card, as that would have allowed me to insert the card apon which I have most of my photographs and almost all of my music. I guess I am expected to keep those in/on the 'cloud', and to access them there. Well as you will read shortly, I tend to want to manage this material on my iMac in the first instance, and that is also where I mostly reference it. That may change, but it is not likely to do so any time soon, as bandwidth remains a problem on the southern tip of Africa.

So what has surprised me? Well the extent to which the system wants to keep you connected, and even more so, the extent to which it wants to leverage the information it can accumulate about you on an ongoing basis. I understand the rationale behind this, but simply do not buy into it. I do not need to know what the specials at the local mall are, nor do I need to be kept informed as to where the nearest pizza joint is. So I gradually turned all that off.

The extent to which the system wants to back up the content of your phone also surprised me. I take a lot of photographs, sometimes three or four of the same scene, simply in order to improve my chances of getting one good shot. I then upload these to my iMac to view them and the select the ones I consider worth keeping. I generally place the photographs that I want to keep in directories within my Picassa directory. This in a sense sorts and classifies them. I then run Picassa to upload and share them appropriately as corresponding albums on Google+. I don't want my phone to be interfering with this process.

What I do want uploaded, and/or backed up, is my Whatsapp correspondence, some of my messages, my Calendar, and my phones setup. What I want downloaded and synch'd are the books I am reading using the Kindle app. The last mentioned works well, I am not so sure about the others.

Finally I have included a link here to a page containing some photographs that will hopefully serve to illustrate the abilities of the phone's camera. These are not photographs that are taken for this expressed purpose, rather ones I have selected from those I have taken as a matter of course. I will add photographs continuously within this context.

Conclusion: Would I buy the phone given the hindsight now available to me. Probably. I thought it was good value for money a month ago, and I still do now. I would have considered the Samsung Galaxy S5 which is now available, but the price ruled that out. The same is true of the yet to be released LG G3 and the Apple iPhone whatever. I have always been a Nokia disciple, and would have loved to have continued that tradition. However I stopped using Windoze as my first choice OS (operating system) way back in 1994, and I am not yet ready to go there again. So that rules a Nokia out.

Fern Hill left fern frond E-mail address
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