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The LG G2 Mini runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box, which is commendable although to be expected. It is skinned with LG's Optimus UI, which adds an LG flavour to most elements. The skin is not unpleasant and is less overbearing than Samsung's TouchWiz but it is still fairly intrusive.
The home screen is fairly typical for an Android device with multiple pages that you can add and remove up to a maximum of seven. These can be filled with the usual widgets and app icons.
Folders are created by dragging one application shortcut onto another and as a measure of how deep the Optimus UI goes, folders look slightly different and can have one of up to ten different colours.
LG has managed to avoid the temptation to bring every feature across from its flagship G2 and the G2 Mini is all the better for it. What is there works well.
The number of duplicate apps – that is to say an app that both Google and LG provide and is pre-installed on the device – is kept in check.
There are two web browsers installed, the LG skinned Android browser and Chrome as well as two music apps, but it is a largely clean set of applications which should be welcomed.
There are lots of customisation opportunities with the G2 Mini and you can even change the effect that is shown when the screen is switched off. I never found these to be intrusive and the defaults LG provides seem sensible.
In the Geekbench 3 test, it scored an average of 1160 after three consecutive runs. This is exactly the sort of number I would expect the G2 Mini to come out of this test with and merely shows that there is nothing exceptional about what LG is doing with the hardware available.
In day-to-day use, there are almost no slowdowns with apps running reasonably well. Animations seemed fluid and in general there is little to give away the modest internals.
Look a little closer and a few issues do crop up. Showing the keyboard for the first time is slow and multi-tasking can be sluggish to respond. Rendering complex web pages can be an exercise in patience.
None of the performance problems are different to the G2 Mini's competition, but the simpler software Motorola provide on the Moto G help to give it more of a cutting edge.
Overall, it ran everything I wanted it to run and did not especially frustrate or disappoint. Obviously the G2 Mini cannot compare to the latest flagship devices but it is perfectly acceptable to use and miles ahead of similarly priced phones from previous years.
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