Knock, knock. Excuse us, we're just unlocking LG's new G Pro 2 with some light taps from our fist. Yes, the Korean company's showing off its 5.9-inch flagship here at Mobile World Congress and its once again gunning for rival Galaxy Note 3's place in the spotlight. Aside from sporting a de rigeur 1080p display, the G Pro 2 comes loaded up with Android 4.4 KitKat, 32GB of storage and a 13-megapixel rear camera that's primed to shoot video in 4K. We've got one in hand right now, so follow along for our first impressions.
The first thing you'll notice when you pick up the G Pro 2 is how light it is in hand and it should be, considering it weighs in at 172 grams. Much of that is due to the phablet's all around plastic design, which to LG's credit, comes off as subtly sophisticated and befitting the massive device. The removable backplate is finely dimpled, lending a grippy texture that should keep the G Pro 2 from slipping out of your hand. And speaking of its 5.9-inch screen size, LG's baked-in two new features to make one-handed operation more than just a PR talking point.
Mini view, the most essential of these software features, allows users to swipe to the left or right on the Android navigation keys and trigger a smaller, but functional copy of the homescreen. That minimized screen can also be adjusted to a user's preference and easily dismissed from the upper left corner. Dual browser, LG's clear take on Samsung's Multi Window, lets two apps share the G Pro 2's considerable screen space. To effect this, you need only longpress on the back button and then swipe the desired apps to the upper and lower screen halves. Both features can be disabled from within settings, however, so if you've got big paws, you won't have to worry about triggering them by accident.
Since LG's retained the rear button placement first introduced on the G2, the G Pro 2's sides are quite nearly clean. You'll only find a micro-USB port at its base and a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as DMB antenna up top. Volume and power are both located on back just below the 13-megapixel camera and its accompanying "natural flash." The backplate is also removable, so you'll have no problem swapping out the 3,200mAh battery should the need arise.
The G Pro 2's screen is gorgeous and exactly what we've come to expect from high-end Android flagships. The particular panel on the G Pro 2 is a full HD (1080P) IPS display, meaning viewing angles are excellent -- especially handy with a phone of this size. Beneath that massive screen expanse, lies a Snapdragon 800 CPU paired with 3GB RAM, ensuring all tasks and navigation will be fast and immediate. A fact we can confirm from our brief time with the device. As for storage configurations, the G Pro 2 will ship in either 16GB or 32GB version, but that can easily be augmented via microSD.
Back at the G2's unveiling, LG debuted a new screen wake gesture known as KnockOn. That feature required users to effectively knock on a specific area of the screen twice to wake the phone. According to LG, that particular feature was so well-embraced by consumers, it decided to build upon it with KnockCode, an evolution of the gesture that lets users program anywhere from two to eight knock-to-unlock combinations. And KnockCode isn't just going to be restricted to the G Pro 2 -- LG plans to roll it out to more device in its portfolio this year.
Now let's talk about the camera. Imaging pros will find little complaint with the feature suite LG's loaded onto the G Pro 2. Its 13-megapixel rear module is capable of recording video in up to 4K resolution (for display on compatible screens, of course), and at 120fps for slomo editing. The camera also boasts what LG's calling OIS+, or optical image stabilization plus, a feature it's improved upon since its inclusion in the original G Pro.
Unfortunately, we're not quite sure when LG plans on bringing this heavy-hitting phablet to the US or Europe. Right now, the company only has plans to release the G Pro 2 in Asian markets by the end of March and pricing is still to be determined. We do know that when it ships, consumers will be able to snag it in standard white and black, as well as a special silver version for South Korea and a red model for other Asian markets. If the launch and reception of the AT&T G Pro are any indication, though, we're betting this G Pro 2 could make its way stateside sometime soon.
LG G Pro 2