LG G2 Mini review

The LG G2's little sibling

LG G2 Mini review
At what size do phones stop being mini?

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Battery life

Inside the G2 Mini there is a surprisingly large 2440mAh power cell that does a simply stunning job.

LG G2 Mini

Most of the new Android flagships such as the Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 are capable of lasting a day and a half of use. The G2 Mini can go two days with similar usage.

The one major caveat here is that without automatic screen brightness, it is necessary to adjust the screen to a sensible level in order to achieve good battery life. Leaving it stuck at very high brightness will have a significant impact on the ultimate battery life.

In my testing, I found that for my general usage including listening to music, a fair bit of web browsing, social media use and some light gaming, leaving the screen brightness at 100% would reduce ultimate battery life by a quarter compared to if I managed the screen brightness properly.

I used a 4G network most of the time I was testing the G2 Mini and this seemed to have no impact on battery life, if anything the faster internet speeds helped improve the overall endurance slightly. It appears LG has done a great job with the overall efficiency of this phone.

LG G2 Mini

I ran the standard TechRadar battery test, which involves looping a video for 90 minutes at standard screen brightness (in this case 300 lux).

Out of interest, that level of brightness was achieved with the screen brightness slider set to 76%. After 90 minutes, the battery had only drained to 85%.

I conducted the test whilst connected to a very strong Wi-Fi signal and with my usual array of email accounts and other notifications fully active. The result is super for the G2 Mini and just highlights how good a job LG has done here.

Normally a larger battery will take longer to charge and that is the case with the G2 Mini as well.

The strangely low output charger LG supplies in the box exacerbates this and charge times were tediously slow. Using a higher output charger I had resulted in much improved charge times.

The essentials

Using the G2 Mini as a phone – making phone calls and sending texts – is a gratifying experience. It operates flawlessly with great call quality on both ends.

LG G2 Mini

The LG customised phone dialler is very good and responsive and the contacts app works well. The messaging app LG provides is not the easiest to get along with being a little slow at times and generally not that intuitive but it is easy to use an alternative should you so wish.

LG has managed to optimise the aerials in the phone such that it always seems to have better than expected cellular reception especially on 4G.

Wi-Fi performance is not as impressive, as the G2 Mini seems to drop the signal earlier than any other phone I have tried recently. Though once connected speeds are fine.

Over 3G and 4G networks, the G2 Mini performs exactly as you would expect, loading web pages quickly.

LG G2 Mini

The Google Play store is of course installed and gives you access to the millions of apps, songs and films as well as books and TV shows that Google offers. Everything works perfectly well.

The LG Music app is fairly basic but does allow you to browse your music by songs, album and artists as well playlists and just a raw folder view. Music playback is of good quality through headphones and there is a simple but effective graphic equaliser available too.

Watching videos on the device is a little frustrating as the screen is too low resolution to natively play back HD content. The external speaker, while loud enough, is not particularly good either.

The G2 Mini can handle most casual games you would throw at it, but anything demanding high-end performance with high quality 3D graphics is beyond it.

With a relatively compact body housing a good size screen, the G2 Mini is very easy to use and very nice to hold. It is light enough to hold for long periods, for instance when watching a film or TV episode.