Unfortunately, the G2 mini’s spacious 4.7-inch display doesn’t make great use of its real estate, even when presented next to other midrange smartphones. Officially, the screen features a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, which makes for a pixel density of 234 ppi. That’s just not going to cut it. Given that we’re used to devices for less demanding users ramping up the pixel density to at least 300 ppi, the lower quality here is the most disappointing aspect of the phone as a whole. Indeed, the lack of sharpness can be spotted in practice with the naked eye in various objects and animations.
Similar objections go for the screen’s contrast ratio: it’s generally solid, but its imperfections are too noticeable in everyday use. White tones are slightly dirty, and blacks are slightly pale. This is only more problematic when you use the phone outdoors, as the screen is frustratingly difficult to use in direct sunlight. Unless you have some clouds overhead, you’ll need to up the G2 mini’s brightness to the maximum in order to see clearly on an average day.
On the plus side, the screen’s IPS tech keeps viewing angles exceptionally wide, and colors are generally vivacious and correctly saturated. All of this combines to make the G2 mini’s display feel rather ordinary, but since LG has spoiled us with truly fantastic displays on its flagship models, our expectations were greater. It’s doubly underwhelming considering that other recent LG phones like the G Flex had almost identical panel problems as the ones presented here.
The G2 Mini doesn’t use the latest generation of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon family of chipsets, but when put into practice, it shouldn’t disappoint anybody. On the contrary, the phone’s Snapdragon 400 SoC — which includes a 1.2 GHz, quad-core Cortex A7 processor and an Adreno 305 GPU — and 1 GB of RAM prove to be an above-average foundation for a midrange device like this. In everyday use, performance is fluid, even through more demanding tasks like quickly zooming in or out, scrolling heavy web pages, and running graphically-demanding games.
On the other hand, our benchmark tests showed more moderate results, and placed the G2 mini in the average zone next to other devices in the same price and power range; phones like the HTC One Mini (M7) and Moto X, for instance, usually scored a bit higher. Still, benchmarks are one thing and reality is another.
The G2 mini’s low-res display isn’t the prettiest to look at, but it has a few acceptable perks, not least of which is its boost to the device’s battery life. We’re given a 2440 mAh pack here, which, like the phone itself, is rather large for “mini” device. In this case, though, it isn’t a bad thing; the G2 mini’s undemanding chipset and updated software (Android 4.4.2) help it easily last through a day with ordinary use. Being a little more conservative even allowed us to get through two days without needing to recharge.