LG has pioneered many innovations and achievements in the past, and the G Pro 2 is a testament to its outstanding credibility. The device has borrowed the iconic look of the highly successful LG G2, armed with a superb camera specs and worth-praising 5.9-inch screen. With firm conviction, I can say that the G Pro 2 is one of the best, if not the best, phablets I’ve used to date. How and why I said this is, of course, the reason why I’ve prepared this review. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax and enjoy reading my exclusive look and experience with LG’s latest offering, the G Pro 2.
Unboxing Photos of LG G Pro 2
Build and Screen Quality
G Pro 2’s look is a towering legacy of the wildly successful G2, especially its button – sleep/wake and volume rockers – placement. While it took time for me to get used to turn on and turn off the phone, I concluded that it is indeed the best and the most natural placement for hard keys albeit quite unconventional.
Apart from the hard keys located at its back panel, G Pro 2’s 3.5mm headphone jack, secondary microphone (for noise cancellation) and remote IR are found at the phone’s top panel; while its micro-USB port and primary microphone are at the phone’s bottom panel.
The phone’s LED light, proximity and light sensors, and 2.1 mp front camera are located at the phone’s front panel, just above its screen. Its front/secondary camera can shoot up to 1080p videos at 30fps. It performs very well especially on well-lit environment, but obviously lags a bit in dark areas. Good thing, the phone has a nifty special feature called “Flash-for-Selfie”, which is technically just a software innovation. When the feature is turned on, it miniaturizes the viewfinder to give space for a big white border, which acts as an ample light source to aid the front facing camera.
The phone’s (titanium variant) front and back panels exudes a carbon fiber finish with impressive design continuity. This gives the phone a very premium look but retains LG’s high regard on minimalist but functional design. Generally, it isn’t flashy when the phone is asleep, but it can wow when it wakes up! The very thin (3.5mm) bezel is impressive and puts more emphasis on the phone’s 5.9-inch with 1080 x 1920 pixels (~373 ppi pixel density). It’s truly big, but LG implemented a solution for those who wish to use this device with just one hand – Mini View. This feature allows you to swipe the Front touch buttons left or right to reduce the screen size. Once you’ve done the latter, you can resize it further using the nib found at the upper corner of the resized screen. Very neat feature, indeed.
Speaking of its screen, the G Pro 2 has a True IPS+ LCD screen. Its has superb quality, able to show vibrant colors and clarity on its big full HD screen. Undoubtedly, this is one of the greatest assets of this phone. Take a look sample photos of the screen below in different angles.
Its 13 megapixel camera can take great looking photos, even at low-light conditions. I also noticed that photos I took at low-light condition are less grainy compared to other photos I took using other phones with almost similar caliber.
The new camera sensor also features OIS+. This improved iteration of G2’s OIS helps users to take videos and photos with less camera-shakes. There are times though that the camera sensor takes a bit longer to focus on subjects while taking videos.
Here are other sample photos for your reference:
The new G Pro can also take 4K Ultra video recording at 30fps and HD videos up to 120 fps. This is truly revolutionary as some phones that can record HD video usually has a threshold of 30 to 60 fps. Apart from this, its camera also has slow-motion playback with adjustable speed, Magic Focus, and Natural Flash.
Software and LG Optimus UI
G Pro 2 is pre-installed with the latest version of Android Kitkat. Its software is predominantly cloaked by LG’s proprietary screen, the LG Optimus UI. The latter doesn’t just simply make the phone look great, but also provide gimmicky to highly useful software features.
My personal favorite is LG’s update on last year’s Knock-on feature, the Knock-Code. The latter is a revolutionary security software module that asks users to enter a customized tapping or knocking pattern on the display, which becomes their own personal code. It works while the screen is off, and even when the windowed-case is put on. The knock feature isn’t perfect though as there are times that the phone doesn’t wake up quickly.
Here’s a simple guide on how to use this feature:
Hardware and Benchmark
The phone’s chipset is Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800. It’s a bit of a step back compared to the recently announced Galaxy S5, but I simply do not care because real usage performance shows otherwise. While the phone’s Antutu benchmark (29,034) puts it below last year G2 in the performance ranking, the phone’s UI feels very snappy and lag free.
Playing hard core games like NBA 2K14 is a breeze on G Pro 2. Graphics-intense games like Modern Combat 4 register an FPS of 49 to 55 tops. I will post a video soon, which shows myself playing NBA 2K14 using the G Pro to support my claim.
10 days after using the device daily, I noticed that the device can stay up for more than 13 hours at moderate usage and 4G on. Here’s a screenshot my usage, and as you can see, the phone may still be used for 3 more hours at moderate usage and HSDPA speed. Although I find this acceptable, it is still slightly less energy-efficient compared to my Galaxy Note 2.
Overall, apart from its stare-worthy design, the LG G Pro 2, is a huge step-up from the previous G Pro and last year’s G2. It’s great as a phone – both for voice and sms – but such isn’t its cup of tea. The device is marketed towards people who use phablets, thus the gargantuan screen. Software implementations to provide user convenience are reasons why you should consider switching to the phablet category and leisurely pace your usage adaptation.
G Pro 2’s camera is stunning and can beautifully display your phone’s content. Its ability to take 4k videos are auxiliary (at least for now), but makes it quite a future proof device.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 (2.26 GHz Quad-Core)
- GPU: Qualcomm Technologies’ Adreno™ 330
- Display: 5.9-inch Full HD IPS (1920 x 1080), Slim Bezel
- Memory: 3GB DDR3 RAM / 16GB/32GB eMMC ROM / microSD slot
- Camera: Rear 13.0MP OIS+ / Front 2.1MP
- Battery: 3,200mAh (removable)
- Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat
- Size: 157.9 x 81.9 x 8.3mm
- Weight: 172g
- Network: LTE / HSPA+
- Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart Ready (BT 4.0) / USB / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC / SlimPort
- Colors: Titan Black, White, Silver
- Other: Knock Code™, 1W Hi-Fi Sound, Content Lock
- Price: PhP32,990
Watch out for our video review soon on your YouTube page. Meanwhile, let us know your thoughts about my review. I would appreciate if you can comment and let me know if I missed anything.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.