Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G Pro 2: first look


Samsung just took the wraps off the Galaxy S5 yesterday, and one thing is already clear - the handset is coming in a much more competitive environment this year. At MWC alone, we are seeing devices like the Sony Xperia Z2 and LG G Pro 2 appear with nearly identical hardware. We’re particularly curious about the other Korean rival to the Galaxy S5, LG’s 5.9-inch G Pro 2 phablet.

Phone sizes have grown so much that the border between phablets and regular smartphones is quickly blurring, yet the 0.8 inches of difference in size between the 5.1” Galaxy S5 and the 5.9” G Pro 2 is still noticeable. Are there any other major reasons to pick one over the other? Let’s find out.

Design


The Samsung Galaxy S5 brings a brand new design language with a perforated dimpled back and a soft touch feel to it. It’s plastic and while it does not carry a cutting-edge modern look or any fancy materials, it feels nice to hold and is just practical. The LG G Pro 2, in comparison, is also a plastic device and it rocks a matte dotted finish on the back, but it looks a bit more plain.

You should also know that there is a big difference in size between the two and the G Pro 2 is clearly the larger one. The Galaxy S5 is much better in terms of handling - a smaller device is easier to use with a single hand after all. The G Pro 2 has its physical buttons on the back, and we don’t mind this novelty, but they are also a bit hollow to press.

Display


We have a 5.1” 1080 x 1920-pixel display on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and a 5.9” 1080p one on the G Pro 2. Samsung has not brought the oft-rumored Quad HD screen resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels), but we’d argue that this is not really something that would make a tangible difference on a smartphone-sized display. No change in resolution, however, does not mean no change in quality, and at first look the Galaxy S5 appears to have an improved Super AMOLED display that can get brighter (great for use outdoors) as well as dimmer (great for night reading).

At the same time, we’re practically equally impressed with the vibrant colors of the G Pro 2. The LG handset uses an IPS LCD screen rather than AMOLED, so that means it sticks to a more conservative color representation.

The Galaxy S5 has two pretty unique features that the G Pro 2 does not have. First is the swipe fingerprint scanner built right in the home key (you can use it to unlock your device as well as for mobile payments), and the heart rate monitor below the rear camera.

Interface


Good news is that the time seems to finally have come when manufacturers launch devices with the latest version of Android on board. The S5 and G Pro 2 both come with the newest Android 4.4 KitKat and that’s a great thing. Both, however, also feature custom user interfaces that are heavy and somewhat similar in their preference for cartoony looks and vivid colors.

The Galaxy S5 comes with a new TouchWiz user interface. TouchWiz has been revamped with a simpler, flatter icons, and has just become more visual - long text lists are replaced with large round icons, and it feels friendlier to first-time users. Samsung is also focusing on health and fitness with a hugely improved S Health application that now not only tracks your steps and movement throughout the day, but also stores data about your heart rate. Samsung still includes its suite of Android applications that we like - apps like the S Calendar, S Notes, File manager and so on. Overall, though, Samsung seems to have focused on less gimmicky software features and more meaningful innovation.

LG’s Optimus user interface brings an equally large set of custom LG applications and software features, but it also adds an important one that it’s been missing so far. We’re speaking about the split-screen multitasking allowing you run two apps at the same time, and we’re glad to have it.

Processor and memory


Both devices are new, but the Galaxy S5 seems to have gotten the royal treatment with the latest Snapdragon 801 system chip, while the G Pro 2 has the slightly less powerful Snapdragon 800. LG’s handset compensates with more RAM, though - it has 3 gigs, while the S5 only has 2GB.

In real life, you’d be hard pressed to find any lag on either of the two and regular applications open quickly and run smoothly. The real technical difference between the two is in the clock speed of the processor - the S5 one runs at up to 2.5GHz, while the G Pro 2 - at up to 2.3GHz, and the Adreno 330 graphics on the S5 can also run at slightly higher clocks than the (otherwise same) one on the G Pro 2.

Internal storage comes in at 16GB for the basic Galaxy S5 model, while LG is more generous offering 32GB out of the box. Both devices feature microSD card extension slots, but the Galaxy S5 is the first that we see supporting up 128GB cards (the first 128GB card has just recently been unveiled).

Camera


Camera is a particular focus in the Galaxy S5, as it ships with a 16-megapixel shooter with a nearly 20% larger than the average, 1/2.5” image sensor. The G Pro 2, in contrast, sports a 13-megapixel camera, but it also gets optical image stabilization, a feature that the S5 is strangely missing.

Samsung has also updated and improved its camera user interface with new shooting modes that are now easier to access and you can even download new ones, plus HDR is now not just for still pictures, but videos as well. Comparing the two, LG’s one is very similar to Samsung’s previous camera UI and also has many shooting modes and manual settings, but they seem a bit better arranged on the S5.

For video, both handset can record 4K UHD at 30 frames per second, and that’s absolutely mind-blowing - few people have 4K TVs in their homes yet! Samsung also supports a new Selective Focus feature that allows you to pick the area of focus after you capture an image. It’s a bit finnicky, but when it works it can create a neat bokeh effect to pictures.

Expectations


Still wondering which is the better device, the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the LG G Pro 2? To us, it’s mostly about choosing the right smartphone size for you. The large, 5.9-inch G Pro 2 is great for media consumption, but this comes with compromises in daily use and ergonomics. The Galaxy S5 seems a bit more versatile to us and it’s not all that large. Plus, it has got the advantage of a slightly faster processor, a very promising camera and new software tweaks. All of that makes us think, the Galaxy S5 should be the more lucrative option for consumers.

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
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

FEATURED VIDEO

26 Comments

1. jackson_kaeluen

Posts: 87; Member since: Mar 12, 2013

LG G PRO 2 looks sexier and more useful, SAMSUNG Galaxy S5 BIG FAIL!

6. SleepingOz unregistered

Sexier, yeah I like the GPRO 2 front better but more useful, yet to be proven.

8. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

LOL at BIG FAIL. The only way the S5 will be a big fail is if it fails to hit the numbers that Samsung predicted for it to hit. Otherwise I see us not being able to keep them in our store for awhile.

13. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Wuff... the back of both phones are ugly... both seems inspired from the back of a crocodile and both seems sharing design ideas with each other...

14. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Sexier? Wow this is what you feel sexy? front is nice but the back is same ugly as S5

16. jcdz89

Posts: 78; Member since: Mar 01, 2013

It's ugly vs ugliest

19. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

g pro 2 looks elegant and beautiful! sony Z2 IS UGLY !

21. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Looks elegant from front only... back is almost same ugly as S5... Z2 looks like a box of something, too much square... well xplay 3S is cool, WTH wrong with vivo? when they will release it?

24. Nabil2511

Posts: 152; Member since: Jan 27, 2014

Z2 looks nice out of the trio..

2. E.S.1

Posts: 308; Member since: Sep 14, 2013

The bottom line is that even the G2 is a better phone than S5 and G Pro is way better!

9. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Take them both home & use them for a week & then revisit your statement. I did that with the G Pro, G2 & S4 & kept gravitating back to the S4. I prefered my G Pro over the G2 & kept it longer. Sold the G2 for quick cash & traded my G Pro to get the Droid MAXX, which I exchanged for the Note 3 after a week.

15. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

My friend did the same, he choosed note 3 over G2 after two months and he keep singing that there is no phone like note 3... he is pushing me too to get rid of my chinese novoice "BEE"... but I am waiting to see xplay 3s first

20. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

And my wife did the same after 5 weeks. She had the Note 2 for a year and she felt it's time to change, I tried convincing her to get the Note 3 since I own one and love it, but she was already sold on getting the G2. 5 weeks later, the phone went on Craigslist for 300, almost 10 days later I had only one call for 250, sold it, and got her the white Note 3, and she loves it. And just for the record, the ad on Craigslist is still up there since I am too lazy to take it off, and I swear I only had that call in almost 4 weeks since I made the ad. With all the hype the G2 had, it is selling for as much and sometimes even for less than the 5 months older S4 is selling for.

25. Nabil2511

Posts: 152; Member since: Jan 27, 2014

you cannot compare G2 with the Note 3.. they are both in a totally different categories..

17. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Please explain. Why is the G2 a better phone than the S5. Why is the G Pro way better? I get it. A lot of people are disappointed with the S5. But this really strong hyperbole is kind of silly.

3. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

To be honest, these two are just not as great as their previous generations. Both lack zing or something spectacular.

4. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

Also. The whole phone industry is getting stale.

10. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

The G Pro 2 is greater than the G Pro. 1, the G Pro is STILL on 4.1 or 4.2. I couldn't even use certain apps because of the old software. At least the G Pro 2 comes with 4.4 out of the box. 2, the newer features (knock on, OIS) weren't on the G Pro. I'm not a fan of the on screen buttons though.

5. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Is there any other phone at MWC than Samsung Galaxy S5?

7. grams17

Posts: 22; Member since: May 10, 2011

The new yotaphone. Its the best phone announced imo.

26. g2a5b0e unregistered

It's pretty sick/slick. I'm definitely interested in finding out more about it. +1

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31626; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

G2 Pro might get it.

12. KingDingaLing

Posts: 324; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

The S5 will be half price 3 months after it's released. Then expect to see the various versions coming out.

22. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Although you are delusional as phuck, let's say that's the case with the Galaxy S line. If Samsung is slashing the price of their flagship even when it is the best selling Android on the market, for the past 5 years, doesn't that mean that Samsung isn't trying to rip us off? It's either one of the 2 you troll, either they are over pricing their plastic and fooling their 50 million+ Galaxy S buyers, or according to you they have the Cheapest flagships out of all manufacturers which is a great thing as a customer.

23. KingDingaLing

Posts: 324; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

Relax, tough guy. I actually like Samsung products for the most part. I own a Note 3. I just happen to think they didn't live up to the hype this time. Let's hope they are concentrating more towards the Note line. But hey, thanks for the reply!

18. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

LG G3 is soon to come.....

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.