There doesn’t seem to be much of a consensus yet these days about the ideal size for a smartphone. While tiny devices are still very popular, there’s been a sudden rise in smartphones large enough that some consider them small tablets rather than large phones. There’s even a coined nickname for these tablet-like phones: the “phablet.” Of the available phablets, the LG Optimus Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note II are the ones at the top of the list. Which is the better one? Let’s consider a few important factors as we make our decision.
The two phones have very similar dimension. They’re both large phones, with the Galaxy Note II at 5.95″ x 3.17″ x 0.37″ and the Optimus G Pro at 5.91″ x 3.00″ x 0.37″. The Optimus is just slightly smaller, and you wouldn’t think that it made a noticeable difference, but it really does. It’s easier to hold naturally than the Note II. When it comes to size, the point goes to LG.
Both phones have a 5.5″ display, and at first glance the picture quality is similarly excellent. The Note II gets the advantage as far as screen brightness and color intensity, although you wouldn’t notice it unless you put both phones up next to each other. However, the Optimus G Pro includes HD resolution, which the Samsung phone does not. Small text is clear and easy to read, and pictures are crisp. The point again goes to the Optimus G Pro but not by a wide margin.
Use of Stylus
One of the big selling points of the Note II was the array of features using the S Pen, a digital pen that made it easier than ever to draw or take notes quickly and accurately on your phone. The Optimus G Pro includes pen-based features and apps, but the apps are still imprecise. Even more importantly, the phone does not provide you a pen to take full advantage of these apps. Too many of their features also seem like a rip-off of the Samsung options. Point goes to the Note II, easily, although LG’s next phone will hopefully see improvements.
Photography junkies will be curious about the cameras on these phones. While sometimes the assumption is that more megapixels is better, the Note II’s 8-megapixel camera takes better photos in low light, while the 13-megapixel on the Optimus G Pro only wins out with photos snapped in good light. Neither camera is stellar, but if you want a more consistent quality no matter wherever you are, go for the Note II.
As far as performance speed and smoothness, the two phones are right around the same level. They both have a quad-core processor, but the Optimus G Pro is just a touch faster. The difference is so minute that unless you play a lot of power-heavy games you’re unlikely to even notice. Once again, the Optimus G Pro just barely squeaks into first place on this matter.
In the end, which phone is better? The two phones really are almost entirely on even playing fields. Even in areas where one phone is superior to the other, it’s almost indiscernible. There is one important exception: the S Pen. The Note II made important strides as far as the digitized pen stylus, and it shows. The Optimus G Pro tries to keep up but falls behind. If you don’t intend to use the pen-based apps often, then you will appreciate the Optimus G Pro’s small lead in terms of specs, but if you want to really take advantage of these new note-taking apps, the Note II is a better bet.
David Johnson loves to blog about how to save money on mobile phones. He recently used Samsung Galaxy S4 promo code to save $100 off a new smartphone. You can follow the Facebook page for more information.