LG G Pro 2 Review
You needn't be particularly involved with the smartphone world to notice the considerable – and more importantly, constant – growth in devices' dimensions. This observation has been cemented time and time again, and it appears that LG is next in turn. Still hot off the conveyor belt, the high-end G Pro 2 is one big phone at 5.9 inches. That's a considerable jump from its 5.5-inch predecessor – the original G pro.
But while the phablet form factor may have been something pushed down our throats by manufacturers initially, there's no denying that the wider public response has been overwhelmingly positive. Demand for phablets is now large enough that every handset maker is scraping to get a phablet of their own out on the market. Packing a potent, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and 3GB of RAM, the G Pro 2 handles everything and anything you throw at it with finesse, and the same type of results are achieved by the optically-stabilized, 13-megapixel unit on the rear of the phone.
Before we get into this, however, do keep in mind that our review unit is the Korean version, which may differ in some aspects from the international model that we expect to reach the shores of Europe and the States in the coming months. We're still expecting LG to shed some more light on specifics, such as carrier availability and release date.
In the box:
- Wall charger
- microUSB to USB cable
- Secondary, 3300mAh battery (International availability unclear)
- Dock with a battery charging slot (International availability unclear)
A lot can and should be said about the G Pro 2's exterior. For starters, this is one sweet-looking device, even though it's unlikely to win consumers' hearts on looks alone. LG hasn't used truly premium materials with the build of the device, but there's simply no way that one would confuse this for anything less than a top-of-the-line phablet.
Starting with the front, we have very narrow bezels all around, so this is a relatively conservative device in terms of its dimensions (6.22 x 3.22 x 0.33 inches). In comparison, the 5.9-inch HTC One Max commands dimensions of 6.48 x 3.25 x 0.41 inches, so it's considerably larger and thicker. We also simply have to point out how light and well-balanced the G Pro 2 is. At 6.07 oz (172 grams), this is possibly the lightest phablet in its class, and it isn't top- nor bottom-heavy like some devices we've come across. In other words, while this will never be seen as a one-handed device, it's still more comfortable to use than quite a few other phablets in this size class.
Anyways, those aforementioned bezels all tout a fancy texture which shimmers under light, much alike the rear of the Nexus 4. In comparison, the rear is less intriguing. The plasticky shell has something of a mesh texture, which doesn't exactly scream premium, but it does feel practical. Moreover, the G Pro 2 borrows the rear-placed volume and power buttons from the G2, and these are worth a moment to discuss, because they have seen some noteworthy improvements. For starters, they're now far less flush with the surface, and you can make them out by touch alone, which definitely helps. What's more, they have a roughly doubled travel time upon impact and you don't have to push too hard to get feedback from them. We never quite warmed up to the rear combo, as outlined in our long-term LG G2 review, but the G Pro 2 definitely begs a rematch.
157.9 x 81.9 x 8.3 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)
151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
5.93 oz (168 g)
164.5 x 82.5 x 10.29 mm
7.65 oz (217 g)
162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm
7.37 oz (209 g)
The Quad HD displays madness surely appears unavoidable at this point, but the G Pro 2 won't be the device that pushes that frontier for LG. This means that you're getting a 1080x1920 pixel resolution with that 5.9-inch glass, or some 373 pixels per inch. This isn't just a 'good' display – it's downright beautiful.
But an attractive display often comes at the expense of a proper color calibration, and the IPS panel on the G Pro 2 is no exception. Brightness, at 420 nits, and gamma, at 2.17, are both satisfactory, but color reproduction is, strictly speaking, incorrect. With a color temperature of almost 8000K, this is not the most accurate of panels, though color deviations from the target are not that extreme. But whites are perceptibly blueish and this does extend to grays, as well, which is a tad unfortunate.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|HTC One max||469
|LG G Pro 2||420
|Samsung Galaxy Note 3||360
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 3||56.1%
|HTC One max||77.8%
|LG G Pro 2||84%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. jellmoo (Posts: 650; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Um... How on earth does this device warrant the same score as the Note 3? It benchmarks worse despite being 4 or 5 months newer, and lacks the productivity benefits of the S Pen. What am I missing here that puts this device in the same league as the Note 3?
4. royalsovereign (Posts: 37; Member since: 01 Mar 2014)
Yes,it's surely weaker than note 3 and z ultra,those two are real phablets.
5. tech2 (Posts: 1889; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
Good point. Will be interesting to see if the author actually replies to your comment.
6. KingDingaLing (Posts: 145; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)
I think you have to put it in the same category at least. Similar camera, battery, screen size, RAM. Not that it would out perform the Note, but still a decent phone.
8. jellmoo (Posts: 650; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Yup, very similar, only it benchmarks worse despite the fact that it came out months later. And then there's the S Pen...
I'm not saying it's bad or that it deserves a low score. I'm just saying that I can't see a viable reason for it to have the same score as a superior device that's been on the market for a good long while.
11. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
The margin of error in the scoring in all these benchmarks can be quite considerable, especially if you look at something like AnTuTu. The G Pro 2 actually scored higher than the Note 3 in one instance (32.5K), and somewhat lower in another (28.5K). That's before you even take into account the fact that the G Pro 2 does not cheat, while the Note 3 does. Benchmarks are a slippery slope to begin with, and even if both were cheating, I'd still say the strictly theoretical differences are so miniscule at that level of performance that nobody would be able to reliably and objectively point out any differences in real life, day-to-day usage.
As for your other point, I agree. S Pen is great. I like the idea of it, and it's definitely a well executed one. But is it enough of a selling point over the G Pro 2? Perhaps for you, but you'd be surprised to see how many people never actually take it out, especially if they're not the smartphone nerds that you and I are. But that's beside the point, because what you trade for an S Pen is not to be underestimated. Battery results haven't been posted yet (hang on a little longer), but you're likely to look at the G Pro 2 a tad differently when you do. What's more, I'd say that the perfectly-implemented OIS+ in the G Pro 2 isn't at all a bad trade for a stylus.
Lastly, and I know this is awfully subjective, but I can't deny that I personally think the G Pro 2 is the more attractive device of the two. That didn't necessarily make it into the final scoring, but that is my opinion.
Hopefully that answers your concerns! Let me know. ;)
12. wargreymon (Posts: 141; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)
Why not use antutu x where no phone can cheat?
17. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Easier said than done, since all our scores until this point are based on the original AnTuTu app. Switching to AnTuTu X would suddenly make it look like newer (non-cheating) devices are less potent than their predecessors, unless we somehow get our hands on all the devices we've benchmarked in the near past and update the entire database.
19. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Just ran AnTuTu X, scored 32774:http://imgur.com/YNUH9pU
13. tech2 (Posts: 1889; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
LG does cheat as reported by PA:http://www.phonearena.com/news
14. Chris.P (Posts: 257; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Not the G Pro 2. Re-read the performance section. ;)
16. tech2 (Posts: 1889; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
Duh ! That's because G Pro 2 wasn't released when this was reported. I find hard to believe that its little sibling is cheating and the Pro wouldn't.
22. royalsovereign (Posts: 37; Member since: 01 Mar 2014)
How can you be sure g pro2 isn't in the same category,since it's s New phone
20. jellmoo (Posts: 650; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
Don't get me wrong, I agree that benchmarks are mostly meaningless and don't reflect real world usage regardless of minor discrepancies in score.
That being said, I am still struggling to see how these two devices can have the same score. It's looking like it will be about 6 months (if not more) between the release of the two devices, and I am struggling to find any real improvements on the G Pro over the Note 3.
I'm also not sure how an improved camera measures up against a feature that is completely missing, and actually adds a great deal of value to a device of this size category. Maybe once the battery results are in (though I have to wonder why the review would be posted without them) it will make more sense, but considering how strong the Note 3 battery is itself, I struggle to see it being a tipping point.
While advances in technology take time to progress, advances in innovation are not constricted in such a way. With the 6 months between devices, I can't see how LG couldn't take the opportunity to go out and do something better than what the Note 3 offers. The Note 3 offers added productivity over it's smaller sibling. The G Pro offers little more than a larger screen...
24. cripton805 (Posts: 913; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
I think you have a good point, but you are basically saying that the Spen gives zero affect to the scoring system. Which I consider a bit unfair. A lot of features come with the Spen and some users probably use it a lot more than others. Some jobs might actually really benefit from the Spen / Note 3. It also makes it a bit easier to multitask and use those settings. I have big hands and the Spen would make my experience a whole lot better. The fact is, that it's there for the people that need it obviously.
34. Furbal (Posts: 263; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
I agree on the camera, the note 3 camera was horrible. I don't think I ever took a non-blurry one with mine if lighting wasnt perfect.
Much easier to get a good shot with the nexus 5 or g2
48. cdwjustin (Posts: 23; Member since: 18 Sep 2013)
agreed ive used my stylis i think 3 times on my note 3 and i got it day one on us release. id gladly trade someone my note 3 or this phone wheni have to buy it ill wait 2 more years
26. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 980; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)
I agree with that. The G Pro 2 doesnt have the benchmarks that the Note 3. I think that the Note 3 is the standard right now
33. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1676; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
Exactly ,,, the LG G pro and pro 2 , blow the whole note series, out of tha water... Biased review :(
35. Taters (Posts: 2664; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Different reviewer maybe. And them being realistic. Frankly, if every phone was rated fairly, Samsung would clear the table. If I was a fan of AMOLED displays I would no questions ask buy a Samsung over any other device. Since you can't really give Samsung phones 10's and every other companies phones 8's which would create a storm and alienate all the Samsung haters, they have to use two different scales.
There is a Samsung 9 which is a true 9. And then there is a everyone else's "9"
Double standards exist everywhere. Just live with them. The Note 3 definitely lost marks it probably shouldn't lose. Like a no longer in the honeymoon period human nature deduction for the Note 3. Simply the Note being the 3rd iteration and the GPRO 2 being the second iteration does cloud your perception a bit. The GPRO 2 is newer and we all like new.
40. barondebxl (Posts: 102; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
Youre one of those clowns that judge a phone by a number.... Phuck outta here.
51. sthaga (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Jul 2014)
How on earth note 3 scores are equal to this....lg g pro 2 is far far better than note 3...i have used both and kept lg g pro 2 and returned note 3 for obvious reasons...
the display and brightness is stunning...even though htc one max is 469 nits ..lg g pro 2 display brighter and crisper than it even at 420 nits.
note 3 screen is dull and one finds no reason to upgrade from note 2....except that note 3 is a tad bit faster and larger.
note 3 is largely over-hyped and being the proud owner of note 2 since 2 years...i can say note 3 couldn't beat it on upgrade scale.
2. ryan5609 (Posts: 97; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)
I like the design, just wish it was on the smaller side of 5 inches. I am personally not ready for phablets, I don't think I ever will be. The 5 inch form factor of the GS4 and Nexus 5 is just about perfect for me. I would not be happy having to operate a device with 2 hands most of the time. But that is just me.
7. KingDingaLing (Posts: 145; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)
I used to think the same thing until I bought the Note 2 and 3. Doubt I'll ever go back.
3. Carlitos (Posts: 309; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
How is this device in the same league as the Note 3? The note 3 at least offers the best productivity to be found on any smartphone in the planet.
10. loccoc402 (Posts: 21; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)
Benchmark says nothing, just because 4.4 make benchmark lower.in my opinion, It has a better camera, better screen and more good features than note 3. So it't the best phablet now. :)
25. iTechies (Posts: 81; Member since: 28 Dec 2013)
no its not. note 3 contains too many features than any smartphones because of its S pen that makes the user experience the note 3 more than just a phone. and like no other.
18. isprobi (Posts: 193; Member since: 30 May 2011)
In the end it is just another plastic box full of circuits and a battery. At least Sony and HTC are building classy phones. And how usable you find a phone is much more important than a benchmark.
27. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2117; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
So the "classiness" of a phone determines how usable it is? Slap yourself for not making any sense.
21. imkyle (Posts: 979; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
It still has the top processor, with a great display. Who cares about bench marks. My Tegra Note 7 scores 35,000 on Antutu, but yet people still think the Nexus 7 is more powerful.
23. digicrip (Posts: 3; Member since: 28 Feb 2014)
Can someone explain how the speakers came out so lame? did not the PR promise a 1 watt speakers that will compete with HTC boomsound? :-X
28. Anshulonweb (Posts: 300; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)
why don't every review er respond to the comments just like Chris, I see reviews where people ask to justify rating and gets no response, LOVE YOU CHRIS
32. jellmoo (Posts: 650; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)
+1 to that. It's great to see the reviewer interact with the audience and offer extra perspective.
29. snowgator (Posts: 3197; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Would love to know the release plans for this beast. My wife wants a top end Monster Phone, and this just smacks around the Flex. The Note 3 is still a 2nd mortgage expensive. There has been no rumors at all if it was coming State Side, AT&T style. We will see. This is a beast of a device, at least on paper and in a review over a short period.
And people wonder why I am excited to see what LG might bring to WP8. Excellent hardware!!
30. _Bone_ (Posts: 2107; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Boring. Gimme the Z2 or S5. Oh yeah!
Sent from my LG Nexus 4.
31. Bioload25 (Posts: 193; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
Chis,can you please explain to me how did you expect the LG G Pro 2 to have a stereo speaker when only HTC have used it so far? I mean,even Samsung's Note 3,its main concorrent,has a weak non-stereo speaker and that doesnt seem to influenciate its score by much,,
36. Taters (Posts: 2664; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Sigh different reviewers have different opinions on which features carry more weight. Chris P might think stereo speakers are very important while the dude that reviewed the Note 3 might think its useless like I do, since I don't blast my phone in public, I use earphones. And if I wanted to play something at a group event, it would be too loud anyways. And if I wanted to watch a video where it is quiet enough to enjoy stereo sound, I would use my tablet or tv. I give stereo speakers a 0/10 in importance while Chris P might give it a 10/10. Stop cross comparing reviews, it is hopeless and useless.
39. Bioload25 (Posts: 193; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
I think i'm gonna stop reading PA's reviews,too much inconsistency..
38. Phone_Beef (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Mar 2014)
I think the Pro 2 is going to be better than the note 3 and here's why...
-OIS (this makes a huge difference especially when your recording!)
-Design (this may not be a very important but it does make a difference)
-Knock code (straight innovation, its a pretty cool idea, and definitely gonna be great on the g3)
-Button placement and bezels (another innovation and awesome idea)
One thing the note 3 has over the pro 2 is the S-spen which is a nifty tool and possibly the battery life.
41. mas39 (Posts: 45; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)
I can't believe all the comments on here about note 3 setting the standards, which standard is this and what are they best at, I would like to know ?. The G Pro 2 has a much better camera, OIS+, almost bezel-less display, looks much better design wise than the Note 3, and it's on a par with the NOte 3 in all other departments. Oh I forgot, the S-pen, that little toy made by Samsung to increase their sales and get children excited, Oh I do miss the S-pen, all you little lucky children, how Samsung have got you all round their little finger, it just makes me laugh!
42. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2117; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
All that hate is gonna destroy you, man. I believe there are pills you can take to help.
43. iTechies (Posts: 81; Member since: 28 Dec 2013)
you dont know whats the features and capabilities of the S pen so shut the f*ck up! the reason why note 3 is still on top today because of its S pen! which makes the note 3 like no other and makes the note 3 more than just a phone! and the only advantage of that G2 pro is that is has a larger screen. but i bet that you can do anything more on the note 3 compare to that G2 pro dude. and anyways, Lg phones sucks as i already used some of their phones and gave some worst experiences!
49. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)
You can obviously speak out whatever you want, on internet no one knows if someone is just a bot.
The s-pen stylus is much more than just an ordinary capacitive stylus. If you can't afford it, there is no reason to bash it.
And talking about design, LG shamlessly ripped off the one handed mode off note 3 along with the multiwindow. Lg's UI is nothing more than touchwiz whitened and animations changed.
44. iTechies (Posts: 81; Member since: 28 Dec 2013)
when we talk about multitasking, there's no LG phones that match against note 3. even that G2 pro! LG is a straight copy of samsung after all.
46. COZMAN (Posts: 99; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)
I just watched a show on consumerism and this phone fits into it well. The LG G2 is a phone that is still one of the best on the market. No need to replace it because it is a great phone. So LG comes out with a followup to a phone which needs no upgrading. Why? Sales? Greed? Yes. Tossing aside perfectly good items is the norm today because you cant have the latest. It is replaced in the blink of an eye. By the way i had a note 3. LG blew it away. The Note 3 is a miniature surfboard that isn't even capable of fitting in a back pocket unless you want to snap it in two when you sit down. Here's to the companies who don't over release products. Hats off to APPLE who have slowed down watchin other companies blow thier brains out releasing products for which there is no need or market.
47. tashfain7 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)
this phone is outstanding ! one of the biggest and best phones manufactured by LG, meanwhile im not comparing it with the Galaxy note 3 but its worth a try ! beautiful design + a beautiful body and dimensions !
50. Trex95 (Posts: 543; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)
Still prefer HTC one max cause of fingerprint scanner.
52. gigaraga (Posts: 689; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
So. Is it better to get Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or LG G Pro 2? They're both one of the most serious phablets or even phones!
53. mike2959 (Posts: 214; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)
I have the g pro 2. Import off swappa. I've used a s4, g pro, g2...and let me say it's a awesome phone. The display is gorgeous, the feel is premium. Call quality crystal clear. Battery is even slightly better than the G2, which after it's kit kat update made that phone one the best. Oh if you get the f350 model, AT&T lte!
54. sunny1969 (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Jun 2014)
I have the LG GPro2 here in Korea, and absolutely love it! I was shocked yesterday, when I found the LTE-A download speed came up to 140mbs from my house using Speedtest! Wow! Korea sure does have a wonderful 4g infrastructure!
As for the phone and why some people balk at it being compared to the Note 3, I have a few things to say. First off, it's nearly $100 cheaper than the Note 3 here in Korea. That's a big savings! Second, I don't miss having a stylus. I had one with my Note 1, and rarely used it because my fingers are too big. I do use my finger on my GPro2, though, and it functions wonderfully when taking notes. It's no stylus, but I could never use a stylus comfortably anyway, given how small they are.
Overall, I am quite happy with my phone, but I do have some gripes. For one, it seems to have issues with Netflix. I cannot keep from getting lipflap (timing issues) with audio in Netflix and on some other moving streaming services. Some sites are OK, others are not. As I mentioned, I am in Korea, but I do access Netflix abroad via VPN, for example. My Note 1 had no problems with this. This could also be app-related, as I am getting the Netflix app from a well-known non Google-Play source, and that app could be tweeked for another device (I have no way of knowing). I also encounter some issues with lipflap over the HDMI dongle connection... again, depending on the app. Youtube's app provided by LG also has frame loss and lip flap issues. 3rd party apps don't have the same issues, but also don't ramp to 1080p. For some odd reason, videos through VEVO at 1080p are fine. I really don't know what's going on with that. My Samsung never had issues like this.
Otherwise, I love the value and speed of my GPro2. I am hoping they will iron-out the software issues in future updates. BTW, I am no special LG fanboy, in particular. My last 2 phones were Samsung, and I decided to try something different because Touchwiz bogged my previous 2 phones down so much 6 months after I bought them -- you could say I'm a little wary of Samsung software slowing things. My friend had an LG phone, and did not experience this. That, and the LG GPro2 having the specs I wanted at the price I wanted to pay, made me try LG this time.