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LG G Pro 2 review

LG G Pro 2

LG's latest phablet handset takes the high-performance components of the G2 smartphone and drops them into a sleek new body complete with 5.9in, Full HD display

LG stuck gold with the G2 smartphone, an incredibly compact handset with a giant 5.2in display – made possible by moving the power and volume buttons from the side to the back of the phone. It was one of our favourite handsets of last year, and now the company is looking to repeat that performance with a phablet. Enter the G Pro 2, a 5.9in handset that takes everything we loved about the G2 and adds a bigger screen.

LG G Pro 2

That screen has a 1,920×1,080 Full HD resolution, backed by fantastic viewing angles thanks to an IPS panel. Even under the harsh lights of LG’s Mobile World Congress booth, it looked incredibly bright, but also beautifully sharp and with vivid colours. A 373ppi pixel density means it’s impossible to see individual pixels from an average viewing distance and Corning Gorilla glass 3 protects the screen from scratches and scrapes.

The rear-facing power and volume buttons naturally return to the G Pro 2, making more room for the display by reducing the thickness of the screen bezels. It makes all the difference once you pick the handset up, letting us grip it in one hand and comfortably reach most of the screen. It’s large enough that some people will still struggle to reach the top edges, which is where the new Mini View comes in. It resizes the entire display, simply by swiping the onscreen Home buttons from left to right. This shrinks the entire UI, so you can reach everything onscreen with one thumb. You can resize it based on your own personal thumb reach, so no screen space is wasted.

LG G Pro 2

It feels surprisingly light, weighing 172g, which is mainly because LG has opted for a plastic construction. Admittedly LG has done a fantastic job so the G Pro 2 still feels like a high-end handset. The removable backing plate has a set of fine dimples to improve grip, and shows no sign of flex or bend.

The rear-facing buttons sit directly below the 13-megapixel OIS+ camera, which supports 4k video capture and the new Magic Focus after-shot focusing system, which uses 5 sequential images to let you choose where to focus after taking a shot. It takes about a second longer to capture an image as it rapidly changes focus point, but the end result is an image you can tweak as you see fit after pressing the shutter. Naturally we won’t be able to judge image quality until we get a final review model, but the few snaps we took on the show floor certainly looked sharp and detailed.

LG G Pro 2

The G Pro 2 launches with Android 4.4 KitKat. LG has tweaked its unique version of Android with the same icon pack, reskinned quick settings menu and widgets as the G2. It’s incredibly customisable, however, letting you tweak just about every part of the UI including the app drawer and lock screen.

Other new additions include Knock Code – a custom pattern lock screen which uses multiple taps in a set pattern to create, 86,000+ possible unlock combinations. You could tap once in each corner, or come up with your own secure pattern. It should be more secure than an on-screen swipe, as there will be no visual clues.

Powered by a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 paired with 3GB of RAM, the G Pro 2 is every bit the Android powerhouse. It felt incredibly responsive during our time with the handset, showing no signs of lag or stutter when swiping between home screens, loading apps and jumping between several open games. You should have plenty of room for apps too; depending on the model it will have either 16 or 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded using the microSD card slot. Finally, a 3,200mAh battery should keep that huge screen powered up for at least a full day outside the house.

LG G Pro 2

We were big fans of the G2 smartphone, and LG appears to have recaptured its essence in a larger screen for the G Pro 2. It may not have a stylus like the Galaxy Note 3, but otherwise the G Pro 2 is easily on par with Samsung’s phablet thanks to high performance components, a gorgeous display and a capable camera – we can’t wait to get one in for a full review, assuming LG actually brings it to the UK. The company currently only has plans to launch in Asia from March onwards, with no pricing confirmed.

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