Do smartphone users really want their buttons on the back of the phone? LG is taking that risk with the LG G2, a new flagship Android device with a Rear Key design that puts the power and volume controls on the handset's behind. Long pressing the volume buttons can launch the camera or Quick Memo function when the screen is off. There are no buttons up front, which makes more room for the 5.2-inch 1080p display.
It gets nuttier. A KnockOn feature lets you turn on the device by tapping the screen twice, handy when the LG G2 is face down on the table. A new Answer Me feature lets you answer the phone just by picking it up. When you do, the LG G2 automatically turns down the ringer volume and connects the call.
MORE: Top 10 Smartphones
Other key specs include a 2.6-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 32GB of memory, and a 13-megapixel camera. The G2 will come in black and white and is coming to all major U.S. carriers in Q3/Q4. Here's what else to expect.
We love that the design of the G2 is all screen. New dual routing technology adds a second touch sensor, allowing for a very thin bezel in the 2.7-inch wide design. The IPS panel didn't offer the widest viewing angles when viewed up close, but it looked bright and colorful.
The G2 packs a high-capacity 3,000 mAh battery, which in combination with Graphic RAM technology (which reduces display energy use by 26 percent) should allow this phone to last all day on a charge.
LG boasts that its Optical Image Stabilizer tech enables blur-free pictures from a moving car at 13 megpaixels. Plus, the G2 is designed to offer excellent low-light performance.
Our favorite feature of the LG G2 is Slide Aside, which lets you swipe with three fingers on the screen to slide an app off the screen. You're basically parking an app off to the side while you perhaps look up info in another app. This works with any app, and you can slide up to three apps to the side. To see these apps and re-open them, just slide with three fingers back to the right. Brilliant.
The LG G2 is the first smartphone on the market to feature 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback that reproduces studio-like quality sound, which LG claims is superior to a CD. To make the most of this audio prowess, Plug and Pop recommends related apps when you plug in headphones.
The manufacturer has made some improvements on the messaging side as well by adding a feature known as Text Link. This means that you can simply tap information sent in a text message to save it in a memo, add it to your calendar or pull up an address on a map.
LG says that the G2 will be available on all major carriers when it launches in the U.S. Following today's event, the phone will begin rolling out in various countries starting with South Korea, Europe, and North America over the next eight weeks. Pricing has yet to be announced at this time.