LG G2 Mini Review: LG’s Latest Mini Can Go The Distance

LG G2 Mini Review: LG’s Latest Mini Can Go The Distance


Full review of the G2 Mini!

It’s a trend that many of us are all too familiar with: when brands see that their full sized flagships sell well, they make smaller, less capable versions of them, slap them with a moniker distinguishing it from their flagship (usually by denoting it as a mini, or lite) then let them loose on the market. This strategy isn’t a guarantee of success – Alcatel’s One Touch Idol Mini and even LG’s own G Pro Lite are solid examples of why this strategy is not foolproof. Of course, those failures are not going to stop companies like LG in creating more minis, which is why we’re reviewing their G2 Mini today. Will the downsized G2 Mini live up to the legacy of its bigger, older brother?

LG G2 Mini specs

  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor, Snapdragon 400
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4.7-inch IPS capacitive display, 540 x 960 resolution
  • 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
  • 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 1.3-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS
  • Dual-SIM, dual standby
  • 3G, HSDPA
  • 2420mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Php 13,990


Design that closely resembles its bigger brother

The G2 Mini doesn’t stay too far from the tree that bore it when it comes to design. It has the same design language of the G2 and the G Pro 2. Like its older brother, there are no physical keys whatsoever on the front of the device. Those buttons (volume rocker, power/lock button) have all been relegated to the back of the device, much like the G2. This leaves the front of the G2 Mini relatively clean looking front and sides when compared other smartphones.

LG G2 Mini beside the LG G Pro 2
LG G2 Mini beside the LG G Pro 2

While the G2 Mini is supposed to be, well, a mini version of the G2, it’s not much smaller. The G2 has a 5.2-inch display, while the G2 Mini has a slightly smaller 4.7-inch display. While it’s physically smaller than the G2, it’s a bit thicker as well, coming in at 9.8mm as opposed to the G2’s 8.9mm. The materials used also make it feel less premium than the G2. Of course, this is completely understandable – LG needed to make some compromises on the components used on the G2 Mini, which includes the material used for the construction of the phone.


Nevertheless, the G2 Mini feels solid in the hand, even with its chunkier frame. The build quality of the device is simply top notch, as there’s no gaps or seams evident anywhere on the device. The removable back panel of the G2 Mini has a textured finish which makes the device easier to grip in the hands. The G2 Mini also addresses one of the main issues that most people had with the original G2, in that it now has a microSD card to boost its 8GB of internal memory. The G2 Mini also has the capability of taking 2 micro-SIMs.


qHD display performs well, but is disappointing

Like we said earlier, LG had to downgrade a few of the components of the G2 Mini to drop the price where it is, and that includes the display. The G2 Mini uses a qHD display rather than a full HD display. While the IPS qHD display performs well enough, having generous viewing angles, it felt a bit muted. The actual display also feels a bit distant, compared to OGS phones that we’ve reviewed in the past. We feel that LG should have just stuck to an HD display rather than the one used that they decided to go with.


Great performer, even with relatively slower hardware

In its core, the G2 Mini uses a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor paired with 1GB of RAM. While we knew intrinsically that the G2 Mini would perform well with the hardware combination, we were still reeling from our experience with the G Pro Lite. We needn’t had worried – the processor and memory combo, along with LG’s Optimus UI ensured a fast, seamless experience with the device. We weren’t surprised – we experienced the same buttery smooth performance with the G Pro Lite that had much lower specifications the the G2 Mini, which showed just how well LG managed to optimize the device and the Optimus UI that comes with the G2 Mini.

LG’s Knock On feature makes a return to the G2 Mini, and is enhanced by the Knock Code. Essentially, this allows you to unlock your phone with a series of taps on the different areas of the display. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, as sometimes we needed to redo the code twice and even thrice to get our phone to unlock. If we had to give an estimate, we’d say that the Knock Code feature works around 80% of the time.

As far as benchmarks are concerned, the G2 Mini posted a respectable score of 16624 points with AnTuTu. Games like Dead Trigger 2 and NBA 2K14 ran smoothly even with the graphics cranked up to max.


Acceptable performance from the camera

Because the G2 Mini is basically a downgraded device compared the the G2, we weren’t expecting a whole lot when it came to the performance of the two cameras on the device.






Turns out it wasn’t as bad as we initially feared – the G2 Mini performs well enough when there’s enough light, and has relatively good performance when there’s only artificial light available. There’s a moderate amount of noise, which is understandable considering the camera, but it’s still good enough to use on social media. Most of the photos posted to our Twitter account during our coverage of the Oppo Find 7 event were taken with the G2 Mini.


Fantastic battery life

One nice side effect of having downgraded specifications is that the device doesn’t sip as much juice. The relatively low-power display, along with the less power hungry Snapdragon 400 processor meant that the G2 Mini managed to post impressive up time. Using our standard battery drain test (wherein we loop a video with the screen brightness and volume at 50%), the G2 Mini managed to last around 10 hours before it dipped below 10%. In actual use, we found that the G2 Mini had enough juice to last us an entire day with plenty left over when woke up the next morning.


Verdict: the phone to get if you’re looking for a good mix of performance and battery life

While we’re not exactly a fan of the downgraded qHD display, the G2 Mini manages to stay true with the formula that endeared the G2 to our hearts when we initially reviewed it. LG managed to get the right mix of hardware just right with the G2 Mini. The G2 Mini also has great battery endurance, which is always a good thing to have  in our book.





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