We knew this was coming, and just like that, the LG G Pro 2 has now become official, without much fanfare. You may remember our review of the initial G Pro smartphone, a direct competitor of the Galaxy Note 2. With it, LG made a notable jump in market share in Korea with that phone and since the LG G2 doesn’t really cover the “large display phone” segment that the G Pro compete in, it was time for an update and LG is happy to oblige with a G Pro 2, which will compete against the Galaxy Note 3 and other big phones.
The G Pro seems to add some improvements to already excellent G2 photo capabilities. This is something that is somewhat missing from the G Flex for example. Now that LG has been developing on the Snapdragon 800 platform for a while, its team has been able to tap into things that were left aside in the G2. For example, the G Pro 2 can record video at 120 frames per second, enabling users to play it back as a 4X slow-motion at 30FPS. This is a good addition to easy and high-impact camera effects.
When recording at normal speed, the G Pro 2 can capture videos with a 4K resolution. This probably works best for bright nature scenes that have a lot of details. LG has also introduced Magic Focus, an post-photo option that gives the user some degree of control about what will appear sharp or blurry. Natural Flash also seems to be a good addition: it works by modulating the flash color and intensity to make the photos look more natural and less “washed out”. It sounds very similar to Apple’s flash technique in the iPhone 5S.
The G Pro 2 is very similar to the 5.2-inch G2 in terms of hardware platform. It uses a Snapdragon 800 (2.26 GHz) which has an Adreno 330 graphics processor integrated in it. The display size is the main difference with a 5.9” 1080p IPS display vs. a 5.2” display for the G2. Since LG can’t seem to do anything wrong with the displays as of late, I’ll assume that the G Pro 2 display is just as awesome as the G Pro and G2 handsets.
The whole system is powered by a 3200 mAh battery, which is nice, but not quite impressive as the G-Flex 3500 mAh battery or the Huawei Mate 2 4000mAh monster battery. In the back, there’s a 13 Megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization, which seems identical to the LG G2 camera which is an excellent baseline.
With a size of 157,9 x 81.9 x 8.3mm (172g), it’s no small phone obviously, but the thickness and over form-factor should be very much manageable. Design-wise, it uses the same design language as its G2 cousin. It’s not something that people will trample themselves over, but it’s clean and it works. If the G2 is of any indication, I would recommend the white version, although I’m looking forward to seeing what the silver one looks like in the real world.
Interestingly enough, the LG Tab 8 looks much better in black, since LG has used a slightly metallic finish. I guess that you never know before seeing one or having someone you trust take a look on your behalf. Keep an eye on Ubergizmo. By the way, LG says that thus phone will come in Titan (gray) White and Red – there’s obviously a black version as well.
As usual, this is an LTE phone, and it falls back to HSPA+ when roaming in non-Korean countries. In the USA, you should get HSPA+ with AT&T. I’m not sure about T-Mobile, but I will try if I can. At this point, this is a Korean phone only, but if history has taught us something, it is that a phone like this will eventually make its way out to the rest of the world. LG has no further announcement for now, but MWC 2014 may shed some new light on this.
New Software Features
Now that LG’s mobile software team has more than doubled in size, the company can steadily test and add new features on top of Android. This time, they have added Content Lock, a privacy feature that lets people lock any files (photos, videos, files) with a password. There are also a couple of “big phone” specific features: First, the Mini View shrinks the display into the equivalent of a 3.4″ to 4.7″ phone — this could be very handy you you absolutely need to use the phone with one hand. Secondly, it is now possible to have two browsers open in split mode. I found that to be useful in Windows 8 (tablet mode), and wonder how that will feel like on a handset. There’s only one way to know…