While we patiently wait for the LG G3 to launch next month, we have a little something in between to fill that void. The LG G Pro 2 is the successor to the Optimus G Pro and is built along the lines of the G2. The G Pro 2 boasts of a larger display, faster internals and LTE support for India. Launched in early May, the G Pro 2 is targeted at the premium “phablet” user while the G3 will be LG’s flagship for 2014.
So how does it compare with the other giants like the Oppo N1 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3?
Design and Build
LG has stuck with a minimalistic look and has shaved down all the bezels around the display, as much as they possibly could. You’re left with a phone with more than ninety percent of the front being dominated by screen, which looks absolutely stunning. The 5.9-inch, Full HD display is of the True IPS+ variety, which boasts of vivid colours and superb viewing angles. Touch sensitivity is also very good and you can easily work the display even with gloves on.
We have a 2.1MP camera in the front along with all the necessary sensors and a notification LED. There aren't any capacitive buttons as everything is on-screen. The headphone jack, microUSB port and IR blaster are placed on the top and bottom respectively. There aren’t any buttons on the side as everything has been shifted to the back. The buttons are a little hard to reach due to the width of the phone.
The power button also houses a notification LED so you don’t miss an alert even with the phone facing the other way around. We get a 13MP snapper with something called OIS Plus, a software alternative to the real Optical Image Stabilisation.
The back cover has a rather rough texture which aids in gripping the device. Even though the device is mostly plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap or tacky. Chrome accents aren’t overdone and the phone actually looks good in white.
In terms of features, we’re looking at pretty much the same set that we first saw in the G2. There are plenty of customisation options for the notification bar and the home screen. The G Pro 2 also get Knock Code, which we first saw on the LG L90 Dual. You also get Content Lock, which hides your private data and Mini View, which lets you better use apps that aren’t optimised for large displays.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset running at 2.2GHz. You also get 3GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. Games and apps are pretty much flawless on the G Pro 2 and we really liked the fact that the interface functions extremely smoothly as well without any noticeable crashes and freezes. Android 4.4.2 KitKat runs without a hitch.
You get a whole bunch of apps bundled like Life Square, Voice Mate, Voice Recorder, Polaris Viewer 5 and Box pre-installed.
The G Pro 2 packs in a 1W speaker onboard which delivers loud and clear audio for alerts. Even at fifty percent volume level, ringtones are really loud, making you dial it down a notch of two. Along with the equaliser presets, the G Pro 2 also adds DJ-like effects which lets you play with the pitch and speed of the audio track. Out of the 16GB of internal storage, you get about 9.84GB free to use.
The LG G Pro 2 is a single SIM handset with TDD-LTE capabilities. The D838 model sold in India supports the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands, but not the 2300-2400 MHz required for LTE in India. You also get dual-band 3G and quad-band 2G. Other features include Wi-Fi ‘ac’, Bluetooth v4.0, USB OTG, GLONASS and NFC.
The 13MP sensor doesn’t have the hardware-based OIS of the G2 but rather a software alternative called OIS Plus. The feature set is pretty the same as the G2 with one small exception – the G Pro 2 now supports 4K video recording. Along with this, you also get Full HD at 60fps support. The camera is very quick to focus and you can easily get some very detailed macros, even indoors.
Battery life is rather excellent and is one of the highlights of the phone. Even after our 8-hour loop test, we managed to get 53 percent battery to spare. This goes to show that the phone will easily last you two full days without having to charge.
Verdict and Price in India
The LG G Pro 2 is available online for Rs 45,500, which we feel is a bit expensive considering you can find more powerful and feature rich phone for less. LTE support would have been a defining feature but that's missing and everything else we’ve already seen before on the G2, only this time, it’s on a larger scale. As far as phablets go, the G Pro 2 is easily amongst the best in the biz even though the size will be a deterrent for many. With the G3 coming up, we expect it to get a healthy price reduction as well.
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