LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
LG's first shot at a 6-incher, the G Pro 2, introduces top-shelf specs in new design wrappings, placing it in direct competition with Samsung's Galaxy Note 3. Both phablets are very similar in hardware, yet the G Pro 2 one-ups Note 3 with a camera that features optical image stabilization, and a tad larger, 5.9” display, versus the 5.7” panel on Samsung's biggie. Will these be enough to offset the extra functionality brought on by the S Pen stylus, integrated in the Note 3? Let's find out...
This comparison is based on the Korean version of the G Pro 2, the international unit might have specs, interface or design differences, like a sealed battery for example.
LG G Pro 2 comes a tad less compact than the Note 3, while both strut removable back covers, swappable batteries, and expandable storage.
The G Pro 2 is built in the design tradition that commenced with the 5.2” LG G2, where the bezel area is kept to a minimum. Something similar is happening with the G Pro 2, which is more compact than other 6-inchers, such as the HTC One max, or the Nokia Lumia 1520. In fact, the G Pro 2 offers one of the best screen-to-phone-size ratios, at the whopping 77.2 percent. G Pro 2 is still a tad taller and wider than the Note 3, but bear in mind that it carries a 0.2” larger display, while weighing almost the same. The fight which phone is more compact than the other, is rather relative when we cross the 5.5” line, though - both phablets are cumbersome to carry in your pocket, or use with one hand.
The G Pro 2 and Note 3 have removable back covers, swappable batteries, and expandable storage. Samsung's phablet features the infamous stitched leather design on the back, while LG introduced a new canvas-like cover on the back of the G Pro 2, and sparkly front, for a shot at something different. We prefer LG's finish, as it provides more traction for your fingers, but those are a matter of personal taste anyway.
LG put the power/lock key, and the volume rocker, on the back of the G Pro 2. That's a feature which debuted with the G2, and we have to say that this placement is perfect for phablets. You don't need to fiddle with your big-screen handset to feel the keys anymore, risking to drop it. Simply stretch your index finger a bit, and there they are. The side and back keys of both handsets offer deep travel, and good tactile feedback.
Note 3 has something that the G Pro 2 doesn't offer – an S Pen stylus, tucked in the lower right corner. It offers an extra input option for drawing, handwriting, clipping, annotating, or simply doodling on your phone's screen, with more precision than your fingers.
We get large and crisp displays with both phablets, which offer equally cold colors, and average outdoor visibility, but Note 3 lets you operate it with gloves on.
The screen is where it's at with those phablets, and the G Pro 2 stops just shy of the 6-incher status, offering a 5.9” diagonal. The Note 3 sports a slightly smaller, 5.7” panel. Both are with 1080x1920 pixels of resolution, which for the G Pro 2 returns 373ppi pixel density, and for the Note 3 – 386ppi.
The screen technologies are rather different, though – Samsung uses Super AMOLED, while LG bets on IPS-LCD tech. With the OLED mobile screen technology we are used to observing cold (blueish) color temperatures, oversaturation, and brightness below the average, for instance. Note 3 is not an exception here, but the LCD panel on the G Pro 2 also has its quirks. Our display quality tests showed that its color temperature is almost as cold as the one on Note 3 – 7949 vs 8109 Kelvins – so both are far from the reference 6500 point. When it comes to saturation, however, the G Pro 2 almost on the mark, in comparison with the standard sRGB gamut, while the Note 3 is way off, and shows extreme levels of oversaturation, especially with the green set. Thus, is you are going to shop for shoes from Zappos from your phablet, better use the G Pro 2, as you might receive quite a different color than what was on the screen, if you use the Note 3 for the same purpose.
When it comes to peak brightness levels, we measured 420 nits on the G Pro 2, while the AMOLED panel scored lower, at 360 nits. LG's results are still far from the scores of the best LCD displays out there, though, like the 580 bits one on the iPhone 5s. Still, don't let the higher brightness fool you, as outdoors, in a real-life test, the Note 3 showed a bit better visibility, likely due to lower reflectance ratio.
The screen on the Galaxy Note 3 can be operated with gloves on in a high-sensitivity mode, too, which comes in handy for those with cold climates. Samsung's phone also offers several display modes, ranging from Dynamic – with flashy, oversaturated colors – to Professional Photo, which is arguably more accurate.