LG G Pro 2: Packed with features in an elegant package
Published on Apr 15, 2014 5:35 AM
If there is an award for a smartphone company that shows willingness to change designs and alter an interface, as well as admit that its previous iteration needed some adjustments, it must go to LG.
After a series of smartphones which featured a curved screen, rear button controls, interface tweaks and non-removable batteries, it is heartening to know that the company is still committed to making improvements to its devices.
LG's new G Pro 2 has ditched the fixed rear cover, so users can now switch batteries easily.
It has also put in a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The phone retains the rear power and volume controls of earlier models and keeps the Knock On interface - you tap twice on the screen and it wakes up the device from sleep mode.
LG has even enhanced Knock On with an extra feature - the ability to tap the black screen in sequence on an invisible 3 x 3 grid, to unlock the phone from sleep mode. This way, you do not have to make a rude grab for the phone to unlock it, in order to read an incoming message while in a meeting, for instance. And your phone is still secure.
Given that this 5.9-inch screen is rather huge for one-handed use, LG has also added a one-handed-operation feature, which shrinks the keyboard to a corner of the screen. Users can also shrink the entire display to take up a smaller space on the screen.
This feature lets you watch movies in full-screen mode, yet play games and use apps in a smaller window with one hand when needed - very useful when you are on a packed train.
Upcoming devices from Samsung and HTC will have cameras with a new depth focus, which allow users to change the focal point of objects in the picture after it has been taken.
LG calls this feature Magic Focus. What it does is take multiple shots of a scene, each with a different depth of focus. With the final image, a slider appears to let you choose the object within the shot which you want in focus. There is also an option to make every object in focus.
The catch is that you can do this only once per shot. There is no way to revisit the original photo and change your mind.
The new HTC and Samsung phones, however, allow you to reverse the option.
The G Pro 2's 13MP camera is sharp and responsive, with good colours all around.
When I tested the G Flex curve phone, I found that the screen showed grain whenever the brightness was lowered, possibly to go easy on battery life. Fortunately, LG has removed that annoyance and the screen here maintains its sharpness, even at the lowest brightness level.
This phone netted a reading of 29,420 on the AnTuTu Benchmark test, which falls short of the 35,528 of the six-month-old Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The G Flex's Quadrant Standard rating of 19,360 is also behind the 23,577 of the Note 3.
But these are numbers which can be gamed. In actual usage, there was no performance loss with the G Pro 2.
Battery life here is also strong, lasting more than nine hours in the Digital Life test.
- The LG G Pro 2 takes the best of current smartphone features and puts them in an elegant and easy-to-use package.
This story was originally published in Digital Life on March 26, 2014.
Processor: 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core
Display: 5.9-inch full-HD IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
Camera: 2.1 megapixels (front), 13 megapixels (rear
Memory: 32GB (expandable microSD), 3GB RAM
Operating system: Android 4.4 KitKat
Value for money 4/5
Battery life 4/5