LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Interface and functionality
What Samsung does with TouchWiz Nature UX, LG meets with the Optimus UI, including all windowed modes.
The Note 3 offers Samsung's TouchWiz NatureUX, layered on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but the KitKat update is already on the way. LG G Pro 2 ships with Android 4.4 out of the box, and offers its own interface overlay, that is arguably as chock full of extra features you might or might not use, as is Samsung's.
Big screens are very conducive to multitasking, and both Samsung and LG take advantage of that. Samsung has its Multi Window mode, which splits the display in two, and shows two applications at once. LG strikes back with a Dual Window mode, called by holding the back key, which is basically the same thing, just that the apps to choose from appear across the display, instead of as a side bar.
The G Pro 2 offers LG's set of QSlide apps, which can float two windowed apps on top of everything else you are doing underneath. This same functionality, but on steroids, exists in the Note 3. You can open up to 5 applications in Pop-up View - windowed mode that floats above every home or menu screen underneath, aiding multitasking significantly, and reminding of desktop Windows.
Both handsets offer one-handed mode for the on-screen keyboard, dialer and calculator, which can shrink those left or right on the display, so that you can reach every number or symbol with your thumb only. Samsung and LG, however, go one step further, and offer the ultimate one-handed operation mode. It scales down the whole interface left or right, so you can make every screen shrink to the size of a 4.5” phone, or whatever suits your hands' size, while the rest of the display remains blank. This way you can easily use the phone with one hand for operating any app with one hand, while carrying groceries with the other, for instance. LG calls it Mini Mode, while Samsung just dubs it “One-handed operation for all screens.”
LG has a few extra options that Samsung doesn't offer, like swiping the current app away with three fingers, then bringing it back in the same state, when needed again. G Pro 2 also offers Knock Code - an expansion of the KnockON mode of the G2 that lets you unlock the screen with two taps on the display. With Knock Code, you can power on and unlock the G Pro 2 by tapping on the display using combination of two to eight taps in a sequence. With the Note 3, you have to click the power/lock key first and then (input your security pin/gesture to) unlock it.
Note 3 has one advantage, however – the S Pen stylus, Against the precision input of the stylus, LG can only offer the QMemo mode, which lets you doodle and annotate on any screen directly, but with your finger only.
Processors and memory
Identical chipsets and memory setup brings about strong (and similar) performance
LG G Pro 2 is powered by a quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, with four Krait 400 cores, and Adreno 330 GPU, clocked at 450 MHz. Galaxy Note 3 has a version with the same Snapdragon processor, for LTE markets, and one with Samsung's own octa-core 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 Octa with Mali-T628 GPU at 600 MHz, for the GSM crowd.
Both handsets offer the generous 3 GB of RAM, so you can rest assured that all those dual, multi, and floating windows will rarely feel underpowered. Still, we noticed that the fourth and fifth app in Pop-up View mode on the Note 3, took their sweet time to open, but it is unlikely that you will want more than two or three of those cluttering a 5.7” display anyway, so that's not an issue.
The G Pro 2 has 16/32 GB versions, while the Note 3 starts you off with 32 GB of internal memory, and a 64 GB version, too. Both phablets also offer microSD card slots for storage expansion.
Internet and connectivity
The phablets feature most wireless radios under the sun, as well as IR blasters, but Note 3 offers faster USB 3.0 connectivity
In addition to the default Chrome browser in Android, the phones have their own browsing apps, which let you sideload Adobe Flash, if you need that functionality. LG offers a Dual Browser view, which opens the link you tap in another browser window, that splits the screen in two. There are no issues with zooming, scrolling, or panning around on the phablets. The huge screens, coupled with the high pixel density, turn both the Note 3, and the G Pro 2, into mean browsing machines. Samsung's S Pen stylus, however, again brings something extra to the table, letting you easily preview links.
The Internet is brought to you by fast multiband LTE radios, courtesy of the Snapdragon chipset on the phablets, or comes with up to 42 Mbps HSPA+ download speeds on GSM networks. Needless to say, there is a full suite of other radios, too, such as Wi-Fi/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, and even an infrared sensor at the top of the phones. The IR blaster is managed by the QRemote app on the G Pro 2, which can control your TV, home stereo, or air conditioner directly from the lock screen, if needed. Its basic controls can be conveniently located in the status bar, too, while Samsung's WatchON app that controls the IR blaster, can only be launched as a stand-alone. As for wired connectivity, the Note 3 has the upper hand, as it sports a port capable of USB 3.0 speeds.