Emboldened by its fruitful collaboration with Google for arguably the best Nexus phone yet, the N5, always underdog LG has last year turned the page to a new, exciting chapter in the company’s evolution, strengthening its position as potential future Samsung rival thanks to the outstanding G2.
And now they’re at it again, taking the wraps off the most robust bidder for Galaxy Note 3’s phablet crown. Meet the G Pro 2, a beast that looks to up Optimus G Pro’s ante by leaps and bounds in each and every specific department.
There’s an obvious, striking design makeover, employed basically to cut all ties between the G Pro 2 and first-gen G Pro, instead emphasizing family connections with the G2. Then you have a massive hardware upgrade, though it was easy to foretell since, well, it’s been 12 months.
Lastly, LG continues to put a lot of work into software, both by ensuring the early adoption of fresh Android versions and the spicing up of the bland, “vanilla” OS with a silky smooth custom UI. Enough to confiscate Note 3’s world heavyweight title? Only one way to find out – pit the two against each other in an epic specs battle:
LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – design comparison
Remember the Optimus G Pro? It tried so hard to ape the GNote 2, it was almost impossible to pick it out of a lineup. Which wasn’t a bad thing, mind you. It was horrible. Who wants a sleazy copycat when they can have the original? Who wants a $600 – $700 gizmo with no identity?
Luckily (for them), LG learned their lesson, and the G Pro 2 is nothing alike the Note 3. Well, you could say the bezel thickness is around the same mark, but that’s clearly one similarity we’re willing to overlook.
Both obscenely large, yet somehow grippable, sturdy yet elegant, the rivals ultimately send off fairly different vibes, courtesy of a curvy exterior on the G Pro 2, and a more industrial feel to the Note 3. Oh, and the rears. What spectacular rears!
Textured faux-leather to replace conventional glossy plastic on the Note 3, and physical buttons on the G Pro 2 for distinction and uniqueness (unless you’re comparing it to the G2). How can one pick a winner? Maybe the product dimensions will help settle this?
Nope, sorry. The G Pro 2 rocks superior screen real estate (5.9 vs 5.7 inches), the exact same waist as the Note 3 (8.3 mm), and measures a tad more in height and width (157.9 x 81.9 mm vs 151.2 x 79.2 mm). Bottom line? No way to choose a victor.
5.9-inch IPS LCD panel with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution and 373 ppi vs 5.7-incher Super AMOLED with 1,920 x 1,080 pix res and 386 ppi. Shall I even say it? Im-pos-si-ble to single out a champ. I mean, yes, G Pro 2’s screen is larger and that goes a long way with some, but Note 3’s is technically the crisper, thanks to superior pixel density.
Also, AMOLED trumps LCD on paper in response time, brightness and viewing angles, though you’ll need X-ray vision to tell the differences in real life.
Processing speed, RAM and camera duel
Initially expected out later this month, at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, LG’s G Pro 2 debuted early for two reasons. One, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 will be on display in Catalonia, and you don’t want to mess with the advertising juggernaut by scheduling a release the same day as their “next big thing”.
More importantly, there’s a very tight window of time Android OEMs can still dish out Full HD, Snapdragon 800-packing handhelds and claim they’re the bomb. So the timing is good so far, but LG also desperately needs a quick commercial launch. As in two, three weeks from now, tops.
Back to our comparison, once again we’re dealing with an incredibly evenly matched bout. The on-board chips are identical (2.2 GHz quad-core S800), as is the memory (3 GB RAM). Cameras? Not quite two peas in a pod, however it’s unclear who comes out on top without seeing G Pro 2’s snappers in action.
LG is raving about OIS+ (improved optical image stabilization), which sure sounds nice, and is completely missing on the Note 3. Yet we know better than blindly buy into marketing propaganda. What do the cold numbers say? 13 and 2 MP sensors for both, but 4K Ultra HD and 120 fps HD video recording only for the G Pro 2. So we have our winner.
LG G Pro 2 vs Note 3 – software and battery life
If LG rolls the G Pro 2 out tomorrow, Samsung may be forced to play catch up for once from a software standpoint. But not for long, as the Note 3 is steadily moving up to Android 4.4 KitKat around the world. The G Pro 2? It’s chocolaty out the box.
As far as unique little perks go, Sammy is still ahead, with LG however continuously raising the bar. You got Knock Code, Mini View, a Dual Browser, Content Lock and so on and so forth, whereas on the other side of the fence air gestures and S-Voice lead the pack.
The autonomy, like the camera performance, is hard to rate with no G Pro 2 reviews to rely on, so patience is advised. If you want a guesstimate, Samsung will take this with ease, due to G Pro 2’s bigger display and, especially, software optimizations. For the record, the tickers are exactly the same size – 3,200 mAh.
Connectivity, ports, audio and others
Kudos to LG for finally paying attention to little details, such as speakers. Don’t get me wrong, Note 3’s audio is decent enough, but it’s hardly a match for G Pro 2’s 1W Hi-Fi sound system. I can almost hear the 5.9-incher causing raucous in my apartment building. It’s just a phone, neighbor.
Too bad the underdogs still have no answer for S Pen support and Note 3’s high-speed USB 3.0 port, or else they’d jump in the favorite seat. Anything else to influence the final outcome of the duel? Not that I can think of, as there’s microSD support on both giants, 32 GB built-in storage, 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, etc., etc.
I’ll keep it short. The LG G Pro 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are tied all in all. They each have their little upsides and flaws, but ultimately choosing one or the other is a personal preference matter. Or maybe a pricing matter, since LG is yet to reveal that particular tidbit. Stay tuned.