LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy S4: first look


The LG G Pro 2 is here at Mobile World Congress 2014, and we took the 5.9-inch LG phablet for a spin and compared it against the popular Samsung Galaxy S4. Korea’s giants LG and Samsung are fighting it off, trying to one-up one another, and the newer G Pro 2 should have the upper hand, but is it really so and which of these two top-shelf devices is better?

On the surface, it’s a comparison of opposites - a phablet against a regular sized smartphone, LG’s Optimus UI skin against Samsung’s TouchWiz, but at their core these devices are similar. Both run on Android after all, and both come with 13-megapixel cameras. Let’s dive in the details to find the truth about them.

Design


First, though, let us clarify that the LG G Pro 2 version that we have here is the Korean model, not an international one. It should not be much different, but there might be slight variances, so keep this in mind.

The LG G Pro 2 and Samsung Galaxy S4 share something that none of them should be very proud of - a plastic body. The G Pro 2 features a fine grain matte finish that does not catch fingerprints, while the Galaxy S4 has that familiar glossy body.

The G Pro 2 also comes with nicely rounded edges that make it convenient to hold. The biggest difference is, of course, that its buttons are on its back and easy to reach, which is an advantage for such a large-sized device.

Display


The 5.9-inch IPS LCD display on the G Pro 2 is much larger than the 5-inch AMOLED one on the Galaxy S4. We are very impressed with LG’s work on the display - it’s very bright and features nice, vivid colors. As for the AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S4, we already know that it is not bad with great viewing angles and decent brightness, but its colors are way overblown.

Interface


The G Pro 2 ships with the latest version of Android - 4.4 KitKat, while the Galaxy S4 is yet to be updated. The two also come with different skins - the Optimus UI on the G Pro 2 and TouchWiz on the Galaxy S4.

Along with the signature LG apps like QuickMemo, LG has bundled in a few new features like KnockCode that allows you to blind draw a pattern using the four corners of the screen to unlock your phone. You can also lock access to particular images in the gallery, which seems like a feature many people would want to use. Interestingly, there’s also a multitasking feature allowing you to run two apps at the same time, much like the Multi-Windows feature on the Galaxy S4.

Processor and memory


In terms of processing power both phones are top notch devices that don’t skip a beat and run without a slowdown. The G Pro 2 comes with the newest Snapdragon 800, while the Galaxy S4 features the Snapdragon 600 chip. The 800 is slightly more powerful with a higher clock speed (2.3GHz vs 1.9GHz), and a newer graphics chip (Adreno 330 vs Adreno 320).

In reality, the biggest difference in performance will become apparent in gaming and other applications that stress the phone to the maximum.

Internal storage is set at 32GB on the G Pro 2 and 16GB on the Galaxy S4 (for the basic versions), but you can expand that via microSD cards on both.

Camera


Both the LG G Pro 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 come with 13-megapixel cameras, but the LG one features optical image stabilization. It also features a neat new mode that allows you to focus after the shot. Basically, what the phone does is capture multiple images with a different focus, and then when you tap on the object you want to focus, it picks the frame that matches the focus the closest.

Otherwise, both cameras come with a similar approach to the user interface with many preset modes and manual settings to pick from.

Expectations


Over time, Samsung has slashed a third of the price of the Galaxy S4, so that now it’s much more affordable than the G Pro 2. And if you don’t obsess over performance and games, it will be a very decent alternative.

Yet, the G Pro 2 has a lot going on for it. It’s got the larger, 5.9-inch display, a 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and the more powerful internals. All of this make it the more future proof device, and if price is none of your concern, it’s the more logical choice.



Related phones

G Pro 2
  • Display 5.9" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)

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10 Comments

1. nikevolleyball

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 29, 2011

I want that G Pro 2 to come to Verizon!!! :-)

2. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

:-/ Why not compare it to the Note 3? I imagine only a S4 was on hand at the time right? Not exactly apples to apples.

4. g2a5b0e unregistered

My thoughts exactly. No reason to compare the G Pro 2 to any other Samsung than the Note 3. There's your oranges to oranges comparison, Phone Arena.

3. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Victor, As an older poster of this site and a 53 year old male thats been using cellphones for over 27 years, I need to know why the sudden push for metal phones? No one ever had problems with metal phones before Steve Jobs took to the stage with a push for it. The history of Apple is to corner the consumer into the Apple ecosystem for everything controlled by Apple. This resulting in huge dividends for the company at consumer sacrifice. What gives here dude? Are you not a consumer outside of the wireless industry? Look at the money generated by manufacturers, carriers and insurance companies that have forced consumers to have the device brought to a service hub for repairs due to sealing everything into a metal casing. I don't like it, my friends don't like it and thousands upon thousands of others are starting to compain about it. Most feel they don't have a choice anymore due this move. How does your quest to throw consumers under the bus for the d-bag move by the industry make you feel? It is my hope you do not become slave to another industry that does the same thing such as eliminating the ease of repairing your own vehicle. Do you like throwing moneyvaway to someone else instead of being able to save money and repair it yourself? John B.

6. Victor.H

Posts: 1056; Member since: May 27, 2011

Hey John, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I see why my remarks about these two being plastic might sound a bit strange. Truth is you're right - plastic in itself is not a problem for consumers, and personally I'm perfectly happy with my plastic Moto G. However, I do also think that for a device that costs north of $600 (like the G Pro 2 and S4 earlier), we as consumers deserve a bit more than this. Maybe still plastic, but a better one than say the fingerprint-magnet that the Galaxy S4 tends to be or the a bit hollow feeling G2 (can't say that the G2 Pro is exactly like that). Something like what Nokia or HTC do with their plastic phones. But yeah, I definitely hear you on this and will take it into account in my writing.

9. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Thanks for the candid response on my appeal for fairness. I would like to express that my feelings for embracing metal would acsend if under the circumstance of retaining consumer ease of augmentation. Your point of purchasing a device at $600+, should be more argument in the continued access for upgrading memory at will and be able to change a faulty battery or swap it out. Not rendered useless until brought in for repair or upgrade. If any device should be rendered as limited, it should be the cheaper phones; not the devices costing us an exhuberant amount of cash. John B.

10. DAMONORIBELLO

Posts: 109; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I have repaired iphone 4, 4S, 5 and samsung galaxy phones. They are all fairly simple to work on if you have patience and a steady hand. Thanks to youtube, I have saved people hundreds of dollars and I have made thousands of dollars. No schooling, no degree and a very tiny investment for the parts that I repair.

5. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Looking excitedly to announcements of the Pro 2 availability here in the US. Money says AT&T will be all over this.

7. jellmoo

Posts: 2562; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

My question: What does the G Pro 2 actually do that the G2 does not? From all appearances this is just the case of a device being big for the sake of being big, as opposed to having any additional functionality tied to that size. Hopefully I am wrong, and ultimately pleasantly surprised, but each and every time a new phablet is unveiled, I never see anything that adds to overall productivity like the Note does.

8. g2a5b0e unregistered

Bingo. I feel the same way. The Note series sets the bar every year. Everyone else just seems to fall under it. In my mind, the S-Pen is a game-changer. Other OEMs need to figure what their game-changing phablet idea is that actually separates it from their regular flagship series of phones.

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