Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Hands On with the LG G2

This seems very much in the vein of Samsung’s Galaxy S4, insomuch as it has a bunch of features that nobody will use. Take, for example, the audio reproduction stack:

LG has made audio in the line-out sense a priority for the G2. We’ve seen a lot of emphasis from other OEMs on speaker quality and stereo sound, with the G2 LG has put time into rewriting part of the ALSA stack and Android framework to support higher sampling and bit depth. The inability of the Android platform to support different sampling rates for different applications remains a big limitation for OEMs, one LG wrote around, and with the G2 up to 24 bit 192 kHz FLAC/WAV playback is supported in the stock player, and LG says it will make an API available for other apps to take advantage of this higher definition audio support to foster a better 24-bit ecosystem on Android.

Sounds great, right? And, as I am a fan of high-quality audio, you would expect I’d be fawning over this.

But music of this resolution simply isn’t widely available. If you listen to a lot of classical and jazz, you have a fair amount of choice. But if you’re a normal person with broader tastes than that, you’ll likely be unable to find your favourite music at that quality. The only choices you’ll have are SA-CDs (which aren’t widely-produced any more) or ripping your own vinyl with an appropriate external audio card. Since the G2 only supports up to 32 GB of internal storage and has no SD card slot, you’ll only be able to fit a few albums on it at a time — Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is about 150 MB in iTunes’ AAC format, about 250 MB in a 16 bit lossless format, but around 900 MB in 24 bit lossless.

What’s the point of including that feature, aside from checking a box on the spec sheet for something nobody else has? Did LG stop to consider why nobody else has that feature?