One year down the line: should you upgrade from the G Pro?
The G Pro launched as LG’s first phablet last year, and at that time we praised it for its thin bezels, relative compactness given its large screen, and its huge battery. These days, though, a handset like the G Pro 2 no longer looks that novel or innovative in a market where large phones are way more common. Is there a valid reason to upgrade from one gigantic phone to another, you might wonder.
The LG G Pro 2
In terms of software, both devices run the Optimus UI skin on top of Android, but while the Optimus G Pro features a dated Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as base, the G Pro 2 runs on the latest 4.4 KitKat. Having the newest Android is all good, of course, but in reality most users would hardly even notice the difference (it's a point update, not a major one), so we consider the newer version of Android only a mild incentive to upgrade.
One of the bigger reasons to switch to the G Pro 2 is what’s under the hood. Both devices run on quad-core chips, but the second-generation LG phablet has the newer Snapdragon 800 system chip that runs at faster speeds, and is generally more capable in all aspects in comparison to the Snapdragon 600 on the Optimus G Pro. RAM has also gone up to 3 gigs on the G Pro 2, up from 2GB on the G Pro, which is a welcome addition for heavy multitaskers.
The second big reason for a possible upgrade to the G Pro 2 is the addition of an optical image stabilization to its 13-megapixel camera. The number of pixels has not changed, but having your footage stabilized could be important for many smartphone video enthusiasts.
And that's about it. Connectivity was well covered in the original G Pro that already supported 4G LTE and HSPA+, so the G Pro 2 cannot brag about any radical new connectivity options. Finally, the battery capacity has not increased much in the G Pro 2, growing from 3140mAh one on the G Pro to a 3200mAh one, so you cannot expect any huge battery life improvements. In reality, we can expect the new device to last the usual day, day and a half.
All in all, we see very little reason for existing LG Optimus G Pro users to upgrade to the G Pro 2. The G Pro hit all the bases for a high-end large-screen smartphone, and while the G Pro 2 is indeed an evolution, it is a very mild one.
Big is the new normal: should you upgrade from the LG G2?
Some of you might have gotten the LG G2 when it launched just a couple of months ago, and now, after seeing the LG G Pro 2, you might be wondering whether you have not made a mistake by not waiting a few months more for the latest and greatest device. Some who have bought the G2 recently might even consider returning it and getting the G Pro 2. Hold your horses, folks, we don’t think that’s justified.
The G Pro 2 is essentially just a larger-screen version of the G2. They are identical in almost every other aspect - the design and thin bezels are very similar, the system chip is the same, the camera should be very, very similar (and both have optical image stabilization), plus the battery on the G2 has proven to last exceptionally long times.
There is one sole reason you might consider switching - screen size. If you really want a larger screen, the difference from 5.9 inches (the display size of the G Pro 2) to 5.2 inches (on the G2) is noticeable, but it’s not huge. For all else, you probably would do best to just stick to your LG G2, it's a great phone after all.