There's no doubt about it, this is the best LG smartphone we've ever used. It is impressively powerful, carefully designed and features all of the bells and whistles we expect in a top-tier handset. It does enter the market at a difficult time, though.

We liked

The glass chassis makes the Optimus G nice to hold, even if it's sleek, black good looks lacks the wow-factor other phones have.

More importantly, we love what this phone can do and how quickly it can do it. This phone has a decent amount of power under the hood and it never feels like it is lagging behind. It always responds quickly to input, and multitasking is a breeze.

Miracast is another favourite among the TechRadar team, though this isn't a feature to be shopping for just yet. Unless you plan to fork out extra for the compatible dongle for your TV, it will seem pretty useless.

We disliked

Compared to the amazing advancements in smartphone cameras this year, the camera in the Optimus G is a stinker. Scanning through all of the shots we've taken, the majority are those you'd delete rather than keep.

We understand why it is important for LG to offer a unique and customised user experience on the phone, but it should really hire some new designers. The cartoon-ish design looks like it is for children and it undermines the idea of the Optimus G as a premium model.

Also, there are a few quirks in the UI that become really annoying after using the phone for a while. Not having a Back button in the Messages app stands out in our memory, but it is not alone.

Verdict

On its own merits, the LG Optimus G is an accomplishment. It hails a return to form for LG after numerous smartphone failures, and if this were last year, it would be a home-run, for sure.

But, it's not last year, and as LG finds its feet with the Optimus G, the competition is sprinting past with newer, faster, prettier phones, with better cameras and the latest features. The Optimus G stacks up well next to a Galaxy S3 or an HTC One X, but not so well next to their successors.