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LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display

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Camera


Apple iPad mini 2 sports a 5 MP camera without an LED flash on the back, and the same setup is present on the LG G Pad 8.3. Both tablets allow you to access their camera apps directly from the lock screen, but the interface similarities stop here.

LG offers the full monty of scene modes and color effects you can apply to your pictures and videos, such as HDR, Panorama, a 360 degrees Panorama, Sports, Night and Time Machine modes. In addition you can adjust the ISO or white balance settings if you want, thus its camera app appears more cluttered than Apple's. The iPad mini 2 offers the most widely used options only, like HDR and Panorama, plus a Square shooting mode. The iPad's camera module, however, is extremely fast, with barely a shot-to-shot time difference between the normal and HDR shooting modes, unlike the G Pad 8.3, which takes quite a bit of time to process HDR photography.

Both tablets shoot photos with rather natural colors, representing correctly the real hues in front of the lens, and with the level of detail expected from 5 MP camera modules. The thing is that LG G Pad 8.3 slightly underexposes the scene in most situations, making the photos appear darker and more intense than in reality, while the iPad measures the exposure time correctly, translating into a much lighter, albeit slightly noisier shot. This premise goes for HDR photos taken with both tablets, too.


Indoors Apple's iPad fares even better than the G Pad 8.3, producing more defined, well lit photos that represent the colors well, while keeping noise in check even at low light. LG's camera, on the other hand, casts yellowish veil on the softish shots, and underexposes the scene, making it look darker than it is. On top of that the G Pad 8.3 introduces more noise in the frame even at stronger light levels.




Video is recorded by both tablets with fluid 30fps in 1080p resolution. The LG tablet underexposes the footage slightly, making it darker than it appears in reality. The iPad mini 2 gives a more realistic performance, plus its exposure compensation adjustment while panning around with the tablet is almost instantaneous. What we didn't like with the iPad mini 2, though, is that its screen, when used as a viewfinder in video mode, underframes the scene significantly. When you go to the gallery to watch the captured footage you realize there is much wider field of view recorded than what was visible on the display while filming. Not cool.


Multimedia


The iPad mini 2 and G Pad's photo galleries offer rich categorization options by albums, locations or timestamp, as well as editing modes built right into the interface. The iPad's interface is better thought out, showing thumbnails for photos shot in portrait mode as they were captured, and with wider separators, whereas the grid on the LG tablet simply cuts across equally sized rectangles.

The iPad mini's music player offers more categorization options than the one on the G Pad 8.3, including artists, albums, playlists, genres, compilations and even composers, or you can use the iTunes Radio streaming service directly from the Music app. The stereo speaker set on the LG tablet is more powerful than the iPad mini 2 speakers, but since they are on the back of the tablet, output is about the same when the G Pad is lying down, compared to the mini 2's bottom-placed speakers. Both pairs are of about average sound quality, meaning a relatively flat sound, and some distortion towards the highest volume.

Music player of the LG G Pad 8.3 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display
Music player of the LG G Pad 8.3 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display
Music player of the LG G Pad 8.3 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display

Music player of the Apple iPad mini 2 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display
Music player of the Apple iPad mini 2 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display
Music player of the Apple iPad mini 2 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display
Music player of the Apple iPad mini 2 - LG G Pad 8.3 vs Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display

Apple limits the stock video player to QuickTime or MPEG-4 videos, whereas the LG G Pad 8.3 can run all popular video formats out of the box, including MKV/DivX/Xvid files up to 1080p resolution. Of course, you can always use a free 3rd party player like Rock 2 on iOS, and load any video format to the player's folder in iTunes.


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