LG G Pro 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Phablet Comparison

Samsung set the gold standard of phablets with its Galaxy Note series, and while there are a few other likely candidates, we suspect the biggest rival to the company’s largest and most premium flagship could be the latest handset from an age old foe.

Earlier last week at Mobile World Congress, LG officially unveiled its largest phablet to date, the G Pro 2, giving another option to the growing number of consumers who are in the market for a supersized smartphone.

Samsung set the gold standard of phablets with its Galaxy Note series, and while there are a few other likely candidates, we suspect the biggest rival to the company’s largest and most premium flagship could be the latest handset from an age old foe.

Spec by spec, the LG G Pro 2 just might have what it takes to stand up against the top contender of the fiercely competitive phablet market, but it will have to overcome a few minor obstacles along the way to succeed.

Design and Build

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 offers a squarer, more compact form factor over the LG G Pro, mainly due to its slightly smaller screen.

samsung note 3 vs lg g pro which is better comparison
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 offers a squarer, more compact form factor over the LG G Pro, mainly due to its slightly smaller screen.

Both phablets have plastic finishes, and the LG G Pro 2 feels a whole lot like the G2 consumers have come to know, just a bit bigger. It houses its physical control keys (including the power and volume buttons) on its backside, whereas Samsung went for the more traditional home button on the front, with volume and power buttons on the sides.

The back cover on the G Pro 2 is also fitted with a carbon fiber coating which gives an extra premium feel to the phone, although it doesn’t feel as nice as the Galaxy Note 3’s faux-leather plastic backing. Rear camera placements are basically identical, being centered near the top of the device.

Design Comparison Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LG G Pro 2
Size and Weight 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168 grams 157.9 x 81.9 x 8.3, 172 grams

Display

Both the Note 3 and the G Pro 2 feature gigantic full HD resolution screens protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with the G Pro 2 offering about seven percent more real-estate over the Note 3 – proving that the screen size arms race is still alive and well.

LG’s new phablet boasts a mighty 5.9-inch display compared to the slightly smaller 5.7-inches on the Note 3. However, because it gives ground on size a little, it has an improved pixel density of 386ppi. But that’s very unlikely to make much of a difference to the naked eye.

What might make more of a difference, in color saturation at least, is that the Samsung device uses an AMOLED display, while LG uses the more natural looking IPS LCD technology in its handset. At first glance, the LG G Pro 2’s display looks really bright and beautiful; however both displays are sharp and have great viewing angles.

Display Comparison Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LG G Pro 2
Screen Size and Resolution 5.7″ 1920×1080 5.9″ 1920×1080
Pixel Density 386ppi 373ppi
Technology AMOLED IPS LCD

Camera

In terms of resolution both the Note 3 and the G Pro 2 have somewhat similar camera combinations, offering a 13 MP main sensor with LED flash and a 2 MP front shooter. Technically speaking, the front facing camera on the G Pro 2 is minutely improved at 2.1 MP, but odds are you won’t notice any difference.

note 3 vs lg g pro camera comparison which is better
Both the Note 3 and the G Pro 2 have somewhat similar camera combinations.

When LG launched the G Pro 2 at MWC the company focused a lot on new camera features, including Hybrid Image Stabilization technology, and the ability to record HD video at 120fps. Some other features include MagicFocus, which allows you to select the focus area of an image in post-processing, and burst mode, which takes up to 20 continuous shots and can automatically convert them to video.

The new “Natural Flash” on the G Pro 2 produces images with a more balanced color and exposure compared to a normal LED flash. On the front, a “selfie” flash feature reduces the preview screen and adds a bright white background for softer lighting.

Both phablets offer an impressive range of photo modes and pro settings like geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, panorama, and HDR.

Camera Comparison Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LG G Pro 2
Primary 13 MP, 4208×3120 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps 13 MP, 4128×3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps
Secondary 2.0MP 1080p @30fps 2.1MP 1080p @30fps
Features Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, panorama, HDR Geo-tagging, face detection, optical image stabilization, panorama, HDR

Under the Hood

When it comes to their processing power, we can only call it a tie as both phablets are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a 2.3 GHZ quad-core CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, and 3GB of RAM – an impressive amount of memory for a mobile device. Samsung also offers a HSPA model of the Note 3 which features an Exynos 5 Octa-core processor clocked at 1.9 GHz with a Mali-T628 MP6 GPU.

The Galaxy Note 3 gains a minor upper hand in storage with its 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models while the G Pro 2 is currently available in only 16GB and 32GB variants. Both devices have a microSD card slot for expansion up to an additional 64GB.

Communications on both devices come standard with WiFi (with hotspot capabilities), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and an infrared port. The note 3 gets additional brownie points for its 3.0 USB port opposed to the slower USB 2.0 found on the G Pro 2.

Both phablets also offer an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, and are powered by removable 3,200 mAh batteries, but we’ll have to wait a while before we know if the G Pro 2 can keep up with the lengthy uptimes offered by the Note 3.

In regards to the operating system, this one goes to LG. The G Pro 2 is expected to ship with Android 4.4 KitKat, overlayed with LG’s custom user interface (which looks very similar to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI). Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners is still awaiting the highly coveted update from 4.3 Jelly Bean – all dependent on region and carrier.

Hardware Comparison Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LG G Pro 2
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (N9005, N9002)/ Exynos 5 Octa 5420 (N9000) Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800
CPU Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 (N9005, N9002)/ Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 (N9000) Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU Adreno 330 (N9005, N9002)/ Mali-T628 MP6 (N9000) Adreno 330
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, temperature, humidity, gesture Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Communications Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, NFC, Infrared, USB 3.0 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, bluetooth v4.0, NFC, Infrared, USB 2.0
Battery 3200 mAh Li-Ion 3200 mAh Li-Ion

Unique Features

For some people, there’s nothing better than good old-fashioned handwriting, which is probably one of the main reasons why the Samsung Galaxy Note line-up has been so successful by offering its unique S-pen. Unfortunately, the G Pro 2 adopts a more conservative approach to the phablet niche, and lacks a stylus.

On the other hand, LG made a few unique software implementations of its own, such as the KnockCode security option, allowing the user to easily unlock the smartphone while the device is still sleeping.

Conclusion

In the end, both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the LG G Pro 2 are fantastic phablets, and choosing one handset over the other will most likely depend on your productivity needs and software preference – both of which feature a trove of proprietary applications.

Quite frankly, the fact that the two have very similar specs probably won’t work out well for LG due to Samsung’s size and popularity. LG has not yet announced how much its new device will cost, but undercutting Samsung would be a step in the right direction if it wants consumers to give the G Pro 2 a second look.



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