Not your standard smartphone: hands-on with the LG G2

But a bigger screen, faster processor, better camera, large screen, and more 4G support is only one part of the design: you also have the button placement.

This is an important factor, and one that LG hopes to make the G2 really stand out.

Pick up the handset and you’ll find there are no power buttons on the top or side, and no volume rocker on that left or right edge. These have all been relocated on the back.

Is it a gimmick? Hardly.

In fact, when you pick it up, you realise just how comfortable it can be, with the fingers resting against the power button in the centre, and the volume up and down buttons around it.

With such a big screen, it makes a lot of sense, as your fingers don’t have to stretch around the frame to press a button.

There’s no long finger for the power, and your hands don’t have to grip the entire frame to change volume.

Even the camera can be used in a better way, with the button on the back easier to hit when taking those selfies.

It’s an interesting design choice, and one that really breaks the formula of button-based smartphones. Helping this is the screen, which will switch back on from standby when you double-tap it.

Outside of the design and specs, a few other things have been made better, such as the sound and the software.

On the audio side, there’s tremendous competition happening across the board to make smartphones the go-to device to replace the iPod.

You can see this with HTC taking advantage of Beats and Huawei using Dolby, so it’s understandable that LG needs something special to make the audio of the G2 amazing.

For that, the G2 will be one of the first phones in the world to be able to ply back 24-bit 192kHz audio files, putting FLAC files to good use.

Ears-on with both a pair of Sennheiser headphones and our own AudioFly earphones let us hear very balanced and detailed sound, and anyone with a library of lossless audio might finally find their perfect player here.

Google's Photo Sphere will be supported through VR panoramas.

On the software side of things, there are some interesting enhancements, such as a transparent notification bar, transparent soft buttons that can also be changed to match whatever order you want, and more support for devices that rely on infrared remote controls.

The small IR transmitter is at the very top of the handset, but the software LG is using goes beyond the traditional TV and HiFi both HTC and Samsung have used, with devices such as robotic vacuum cleaners and air conditioners included here too.

Remotes can also be added to the lockscreen and setup to appear when different WiFi zones are triggered, making it possible for a TV remote to appear on the G2’s lockscreen when you walk through the door of your home.

All up, the LG G2 looks like an interesting smartphone, and with a launch coming real soon.

Two areas are a touch concerning, and that’s the 16GB storage — which hardly seems like much at all, especially when you factor in that lossless files will eat up that storage very quickly — and the body, which is made from plastic.

Optus will have the exclusive on this when it hits stores later this year, with the phone coming in at $699. We’ll have more on it, and hopefully a review, soon.