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Diving deep into the beastly LG G2 (pictures)

We take a closer look at the globally unlocked LG G2 smartphone, which features a blazing-fast quad-core CPU and a 13-megapixel camera.

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Lynn La

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1 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

LG's premium flagship G2

Dropping the "Optimus" moniker to shake off a humdrum mass-market image, LG hopes to elevate the G2 to a more premium plane somewhere beyond its predecessor. The company may have stumbled a bit while hyping it up, but when it comes to the G2 itself, it's a definite heavyweight contender.

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All about the location

LG moved the handset's main hardware buttons to its backside, claiming it as a more ergonomic setup. The keys sit below the main camera and LED flash. Long-pressing the volume-down button on the back will launch the camera, and holding the volume-up key opens LG's note-taking app, QuickMemo. To take a screenshot, hold both the power and volume-down key.

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Nothing left on its sides

This leaves hardly anything on the phone's edges aside from its mini-SIM card port.

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A view of one's own

LG also sells Quick View accessory cases that come in several colors. Its small window enables users to still catch the date and time.

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5 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

Powering it up

Juicing the handset with power is a 3,000mAh battery that has a reported usage time of up to 1.2 days. On paper, that's a sizable power source. Especially since the long-lasting Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD uses a 3,300mAh battery and the Droid Maxx's is 3,500mAh. Unfortunately, this phone's battery is not removable.

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Edge-to-edge display

The massive 5.2-inch IPS LCD display has a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and 423ppi density. Responsive and glove friendly, it runs edge-to-edge against the bezel, thanks to a dual-routing touch-screen sensor technology that reduces the size of the bezel to just 0.1 inch thick.

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1080p kind of clarity

Images are incredibly crisp and on maximum brightness level, colors are vibrant. It has a wide viewing angle and it accurately displayed a white swatch. Looking at the display in sunlight was easy, however, I could only see it clearly after I had thoroughly wiped the screen. When it comes to viewing it outdoors, I was surprised how easily the screen could be obscured by fingerprints.

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8 of 12 Sarah Tew/CNET

An attractively thin frame

Glossy, smooth, and thin, the device measures 5.45 inches tall, 2.79 inches wide, and 0.35 inch thick.

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13-MP shooter for photogs

The G2 sports a 13-megapixel camera that can record 1080p HD video. One new feature is the camera's optical image stabilization. Used in conjunction with the phone's fast processor, I was easily able to capture sharp images while hurriedly walking down the street. Even though my hand was unstable, photos showed little to no motion blur at all.

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Also shoots in Full HD

The front houses a 2-megapixel camera that's also capable of shooting 1080p HD video.

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Dual speakers for audio

Another major improvement with the device is its audio speaker quality. In the past, LG handsets tended to have small, narrow speakers that made audio come off pinched and harsh. This phone has two speakers located at the bottom edge, and voices sounded much better: I didn't hear much tinniness, audio had a bit more depth, and music finely tuned and robust.

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Snapdragon 800 processor

The phone is powered by a superfast 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that's backed up by a dedicated allotment of memory specifically meant for handling graphics chores (called GRAM). I can attest that it certainly handles like a speed demon. Menus flew by with almost blinding swiftness, while apps and home screens opened and closed in the blink of an eye.

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