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LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1

Posted: , by Victor H.




The LG G Pro 2 comes packed with novel camera features, and it captures great images with a lot of detail, lively colors and excellent dynamics. The new OIS+ stabilization technology also makes for smoother video. Sony’s Xperia Z1 has few of these bells and whistles, and it’s images are just slightly less impressive, but in video it impresses with very fast continuous auto-focus.

The Sony Xperia Z1 comes with a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with a single LED flash and a 'G' lens, while the LG G Pro 2 sports a 13-megapixel shooter with one LED flash and OIS+ technology. It's worth mentioning that the Xperia Z1 has the largest image sensor of any Android smartphone and that gives it an edge in most situations, plus it even puts it on par with some point-and-shoot cameras. Sony’s 1/2.3” camera sensor is actually nearly 60% larger than the 1/3.06” sensor in the G Pro 2 (most top Android smartphones like the Galaxy Note 3 also come with a 1/3.06” sensor), which is an important technological advantage. The Xperia Z1 camera also has a faster aperture (f/2.0) than the G Pro 2 (f/2.4), and the focal lengths of the two cameras stand at 27mm and 29mm, respectively.

LG G Pro 2 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
LG G Pro 2 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
LG G Pro 2 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
LG G Pro 2 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1

LG G Pro 2 camera UI

Sony Xperia Z1 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z1 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z1 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z1 camera UI - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1 camera UI

The camera apps on both devices open up quickly, and you can also start the camera straight from the lock screen by long-pressing the dedicated camera shutter key (volume button on the G Pro 2). The actual interfaces are very different - LG puts all the controls in your hands, while Sony only allows users shooting in “Manual” mode to tweak camera settings like ISO. Sony’s app makes it a bit easier and quicker to start shooting right away as it comes with two separate buttons for video and stills, while the LG app has a single button and a slider, so it requires a bit more fiddling. Overall, however, LG support various modes that you can manually pick from and things like manual focus that are just not available in the Sony camera app. LG’s interface also has a slightly better optimized looks - there are no long lists that you have to scroll, everything is within a tap or two distance.

We used the fully automatic shooting modes on both devices: the Sony Xperia Z1 'Superior Auto' mode shoots 8-megapixel image stills, while the G Pro 2's 'Normal' mode captures 13-megapixel images. We ought to mention that the Z1 is also capable of capturing 20-megapixel image stills that theoretically offer more finite detail, but in reality the 8MP 'Superior Auto' photographs use pixel binning to remove many of the artifacts and offer comparable amount of detail.

Both devices capture very good images that look sharp, with an outstanding amount of detail, and with vibrant colors. The images shot on the Xperia Z1 are a little sharper, though, and that makes them look more detailed, an effect achieved in exchange for more artifacts in the image. The Z1, however,also tends to capture slightly washed out, even a tiny bit blueish colors that look a bit less impressive in comparison to the livelier ones in the G Pro 2. The LG handset shoots with more accurate (although slightly oversaturated) colors, good exposure and excellent dynamics. Both are pretty good, but the more vivid photosof the G Pro 2 are what we like more.

Thanks to its OIS+ stabilization, the G Pro 2 is capable of shooting without a flash most of the time indoors, even in darker environments, without blurring. In contrast, the Xperia Z1 fires up the flash much more often indoors. Colors retain much more of their liveliness on the photographs taken on the G Pro 2, but while the Xperia Z1 is a step below, it's not bad by any means. Amount of resolved detail is on par.

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Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
LG G Pro 2 4
No data
Sony Xperia Z1 3.2
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View all

The LG G Pro 2 is one of the few phones to offer 4K video capture, and it also supports 1080p recording at 60 frames per second (in addition to the standard 30fps), and that’s a big advantage. Not just that, the G Pro 2 has some really fun features like tracking zoom where you can say tap on someone’s face and a small pop-in window will zoom on it and track it as the person moves around. LG has included a new OIS+ system that combines optical image stabilization with software one, and you can definitely notice an improvement in the steadiness of recorded footage.

While the Xperia Z1 does not have those elaborate functions, it still has the basics covered with support for 1080p video recording at 30fps. What’s more - those recordings turn out very smooth and the software image stabilization takes a lot of the shakiness in videos away (but not as much as G Pro 2's hardware OIS+). Quite importantly, the Z1 camera has probably the fastest continuous auto-focus in video - it’s nearly instantaneous, while the one in the G Pro 2 can take a very long while and sometimes the focus jumps back and forth for no good reason.

Both handsets also come with 2-megapixel front facing cameras that work fine for capturing an occasional selfie and for video conferencing. One notable feature is front-facing “flash” on the G Pro 2 - this is not a real LED flash, but instead the handset shows bright background while you shoot with the front camera. It’s not something terribly useful, but in nearly complete darkness it does light up the image.


The 5.9-inch display on the G Pro 2 is a huge advantage for movie buffs and YouTube addicts, plus LG also has the better loudspeaker.

Phablets are changing the way we consume media with their big screens acting like an invitation for consumers to watch more videos and photos on the go, and the G Pro 2 with its spacious and vivid 5.9-inch display is not an exception. Screen size alone gives it a definite edge over the Xperia Z1 for this, but it’s not the only factor.

LG includes all the needed codecs to play back video files of all sorts, formats and encryptions, so you won’t even need to download a third-party video player. The Xperia Z1 is equally capable in terms of codec support, but its sub-par viewing angles make it slightly less enjoyable for watching video and looking through images.

Listening to music is also a more rewarding experience on the G Pro 2 than it is on the Xperia Z1. Both phones come with Google’s Play music app, but Sony also includes its Walkman music app, while the LG features its own custom music application. All of these apps get the job done, and are capable of organizing your music collection by songs, albums, artists and genres, and all offer options like a sound equalizer, which is nice. LG’s handset comes with a powerful, 1-watt speaker on the back of the phone, and while it lacks a bit in depth, it’s a step above the quieter and generally less impressive speaker on the Xperia Z1.

Gallery - LG G Pro 2 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Video playback - LG G Pro 2 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Music player - LG G Pro 2 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
LG G Pro 2 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1


Video playback

Music player


LG G Pro 2

Sony Xperia Z1 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z1 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z1 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1
Sony Xperia Z1 - LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1

  • Options

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 09:41 2

1. Insignificant (Posts: 192; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

And the G Pro 2 isn't being compared to the Xperia Z2 because...
We used to call them i PhoneArena (which is now not allowed in the comments), but this has to change. If only Samsung invested the money they use to pay sites on designers instead...
Still waiting for a 'do you like the s5' poll...

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 10:42 3

2. Bioload25 (Posts: 213; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

Calm down bro, they simply didnt recieve the retail version of it yet, or they have it but are busy reviewing it...
How can you say that the reviews are paid? Any proofs? (Not defending anyone, just trying to be racional)

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 11:14 1

3. hafini_27 (Posts: 898; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)

Cause they haven't gotten it yet.

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 11:34

4. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 813; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

No one pays these sites.. OEMs dont care about sites... If there are 1000 people in this world, only 10 visit these sites...

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 18:59 1

11. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3814; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

There was a "Do You Like the S5" poll. Perhaps you should pay more attention. Clearly, the G Pro 2 isn't being compared to Z2 at this point because the Z2 isn't ready to review yet. I'm sure when it's out, there will be one.


How much do you think Samsung paid for those results?

posted on 08 Mar 2014, 13:19 1

14. Insignificant (Posts: 192; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

I genuinely missed that. I'm annoyed because the Z2 corrects the few flaws of the Z1 - to compare it to the Z1 is like going to make people think 'same old Sony'.

posted on 09 Mar 2014, 11:24 1

15. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 813; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

How much Sony paid PA??

posted on 09 Mar 2014, 18:41

17. Tizen007 (Posts: 575; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)

Wait till the Z2 be compared to the G3.

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 12:36 2

5. Nabil2511 (Posts: 152; Member since: 27 Jan 2014)

larger screen, bigger dimensions, but yet almost the same weight.. amazing job LG

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 15:38 1

10. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

Not when considering that one is made of metal and glass, and the other is made of plastic.

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 13:03

6. iLoveAmexica (Posts: 47; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)

now i felt like z1 is so yesterday.. sony need to control this whole flagship thing js

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 13:44 1

7. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

G pro 2 wins by a mile....

Sony mobile is always has problem in display ang battery

kudos LG!

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 13:45

8. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


posted on 07 Mar 2014, 14:08 3

9. Amir1 (unregistered)

Z1 camera clearly produces MUCH more natural colors for all images and videos. natural = as if you look at the site yourself = better. it's quite stunning how natural colors the Z1 camera has. aplouds to sony. all they need is to improve the camera processing and they will have the best flagship camera.

posted on 08 Mar 2014, 02:00

12. techperson211 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

Gpro 2 wins? What category battery? Viewing angles? I really don't get those viewing angles sh*t . Who the heck will watch a video or look at a picture sideways? Battery well maybe. But that's all about it.

posted on 08 Mar 2014, 07:50

13. Xenaz (Posts: 144; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)

Another weird comparison by PA, why compare the G pro 2 with Z1? they are in different category, should have compare it with Note 3, One Max or any other recent phablet....

posted on 09 Mar 2014, 16:28

16. docxx (Posts: 63; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

strange comparison, hope you will do the same with Z2 ultra.

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