Powerful processorGorgeous screenKnockOn feature works wellComfortable lớn hold for a phabletMicroSD supportGood camera
It’s still massiveNot waterproof or extra durablePrice tag unknownLacks a stylusNo standout reason to lớn choose it
Big phones are on the rise, and these days, the bigger the screen, the more people want to lớn scoop them up. We aren’t always fans of phablets here at DT, but we’ve long stopped complaining about them. Some of you like your phones extra large, & we’re not about khổng lồ stop you. If you’re looking for a good phablet (that’s phone + tablet, a play on words!), you may want lớn consider LG’s new G Pro 2. After using it on a couple different continents, we think it’s a great option next to the four major phablets on the market today, though we’re not sure we recommend it over LG’s own G Flex.
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You’re gonna need two hands for that
The phablet category is not for the faint of heart. If you spend all day worrying that you’re going to lớn drop your phone, don’t buy a phablet because chances are, you will drop it. We’ve only had the G Pro 2 for a week, but we’ve already dropped it on a concrete sidewalk once.
The G Pro 2 is still thin và small enough to fit in a guy’s front pocket, but lượt thích it’s competitors, it’s on the edge of being too large lớn use.
We pulled the phone out of our pocket on the street khổng lồ access a map, held it with one hand, & halfway through unlocking it with our KnockCode (more on that soon), the phone just slipped out of our hand. All it took was the startling sound of a moped racing past. Lượt thích all accidents, it happened both in slow motion and too fast to recount. Luckily, it only took a few scratches & the battery cover và battery popped out. The screen came out uncracked. The G Pro 2 isn’t extra durable, but the plastic back does repel falling damage more than a glass or metal back might.
The point is that it’s more difficult khổng lồ keep hold of a big phone lượt thích the 5.9-inch Pro 2. Keep that in mind. If you prefer a better grip, there are smaller game android models lượt thích the 5.2-inch G2 và Motorola’s 4.7-inch xe máy X (the most comfortable phone we’ve held).
Having said all that, there are a few things that make the G Pro 2 more comfortable than most phablets. One is the button placement: LG now puts power and volume buttons on the back of the phone. It takes a little getting used to, but it makes the buttons easier khổng lồ access. The G Pro 2 also sports an industry-leading thin bezel – that’s the space between the screen and the edge of the phone. This lets LG pack a larger screen into a phone about the size of a Galaxy lưu ý 3. It’s also very thin, at only 8.3mm, or a third of an inch.
Overall, the G Pro 2 is still thin & small enough to fit in a guy’s front pocket, but lượt thích it’s competitors, it’s on the edge of being too large khổng lồ use. Be sure khổng lồ try out a big phone before you order it. If you’ve used và enjoy the Galaxy Note, then you’re in good shape.
KnockCode, a new, but slow way to unlock your phone
The other fun trick you can bởi vì with an LG is wake the phone up by just tapping on the screen twice. This feature is called KnockOn & works because LG keeps the touch layer of the screen turned on even while the phone is sleeping. We love KnockOn, & for the G Pro 2, LG created KnockCode, which adds security. You can create a custom tapping code using all four quadrants of the screen, then tap that pattern when the phone is off lớn unlock and re-awaken it. LG claims there are more than 80,000 combinations to try, making it more secure than a four-digit pin.
At first, we really liked KnockCode, but because LG forces you to lớn re-enter the code even if your phone screen has been off for only a few seconds (and the G Pro 2 defaults to lớn turning off every 30 seconds), it grew tiresome. All of these new security features slow down our use, và when we were periodically looking at maps of a đô thị to get around, trying, & failing, then succeeding, to lớn unlock the phone grew tiresome. The response time needs a boost.
Overall, we still love KnockOn. Double tapping the screen lớn unlock the phone is great, but KnockCode, as safe as it is, annoyed us. Once we turned it off & went back khổng lồ double tapping, we were a lot happier.
A familiar interface
LG hasn’t changed the basics of its interface this time around. The G Pro 2 runs Google’s game android 4.4 KitKat operating system (the newest version), but everything looks familiar. Well, familiar if you are a reviewer who uses LG phones frequently.
Mostly, LG’s interface looks a lot like Samsung’s, so if you’ve used a Galaxy phone, you will understand things pretty quickly. It has home screens, an ứng dụng menu, a nice weather widget, and access lớn Google’s Play Store, which has more than a million apps to lớn download.
There are areas of the interface that are too cluttered, and the Notification tray is one of them. It’s so full of QSlide apps (little mini floating apps you won’t use much) and dials that there are no room for actual notifications. We fixed this by tinkering with the settings (swipe all the way right on the Wi-Fi toggle menu lớn edit what appears here) và turning stuff off.
Unlike Samsung, which dialed back the number of apps it preloads on the phone with the Galaxy S5, down khổng lồ roughly 45, LG is still pushing 80 pre-installed apps. We really hope this is trimmed down because there is only 32GB of space to lớn work with.
Finally, we also like the ability to lớn customize the on-screen navigation buttons. In Settings, you can địa chỉ cửa hàng up khổng lồ five buttons on the bottom. We had the normal Home, Back, and Recent Apps buttons, but also added a menu button và one that tự động pulls down the Notification tray because it’s hard lớn reach sometimes.
Specs, talk, và battery life
Let’s get a few of the important points out of the way.
Specs: LG is pushing the G Pro 2 as a high-end phone. Though it’s 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor is no longer the fastest (there’s an 801 now), it still holds its own. It’s 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and 1920 x 1080 px LCD screen don’t hurt its case, either. It held up great in our benchmark tests và even nabbed a 20,000+ score in Quadrant, which is great. We haven’t encountered any slow downs during use. It’s speedy. It does have a MicroSD slot và removable battery, too.
Talk: We’ve done several interviews on the G Pro 2 & haven’t had any trouble hearing or being heard – or any more than normal. The Pro 2 has standard talking capabilities.
Battery life: Our first two days with the G Pro 2 were not fun, battery wise. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of installing the Moves ứng dụng to track our steps, which drained the battery very quickly. Once we uninstalled it, the Pro 2 and its big 3,200mAh battery (twice the kích cỡ of an iPhone) held it’s own. During normal use, the Pro 2 should be able to get two days of battery life. Just don’t install Moves.
Making a big screen small, & splitting it
If you don’t believe us that the G Pro 2 borders on being too large, look at LG’s own mini mode feature. Just swipe across the app android buttons at the bottom on the screen, và the entire screen shrinks down khổng lồ a more manageable size. Cleverly, the screen can be resized & shifted around the screen.
It’s easy to lớn sneer at the irony of making a large-screen display smaller so it’s more usable, but massive screens are here to lớn stay, & this is an easy, sensible solution. Fortunately, you can also use that big screen khổng lồ run two apps alongside each other. For once, this is very easy lớn set up, and is accessed by a long press of the apk Back button while an app is open. Then, slide your required apps on to lớn the đứng top or bottom of the screen. We should warn you, it’s easy to lớn get stuck in split screen mode. To lớn get out, exit to lớn the trang chủ screen.
A “MagicFocus” camera
One hot new feature for phones this year is the ability for cameras lớn mimic the Lytro, & refocus shots after they’re taken. LG’s MagicFocus outperformed competitors lượt thích Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Basically, the camera takes a bunch of shots in quick succession, each with different depths of focus. Then after you shoot, you can tap on the screen to lớn adjust the focus. It’s not a feature you’ll use much, but it does work.
The 13-megapixel rear shooter on the G Pro 2 didn’t let us down when we went sightseeing in Barcelona. The video clip recording worked well, too. Lượt thích most phones, it still doesn’t handle low light well, & the iPhone 5S camera is still a step ahead in many instances, but LG’s camera holds its own, as does the weaker 2.1-megapixel front camera.
We very much enjoyed using the G Pro 2, và though we’ll likely go back lớn a smaller-screened phone after the review period is over, it’s a great device. It doesn’t have the S Pen stylus of the note 3, but stacks up khổng lồ Samsung’s flagship phone in every other way. Thanks lớn its KnockOn unlocking và rear power/volume button placement, it’s more comfortable to hold than the chú ý as well. We still prefer the G Flex if we had khổng lồ choose a phablet to carry around, though.