Showdown: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G Pro 2

Does the LG G Pro 2 have what it takes to dethrone the mighty Samsung Galaxy S5?

LG's original G Pro was named the "Best Smartphone" of last year's Mobile World Congress. Now the company has released its successor, the G Pro 2, and it's looking to take on Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5. Few details set the two smartphones apart, and we've put together a side-by-side comparison to help you choose which smartphone is the one for you.

Sam Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

LG G Pro 2

Verdict

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Operating system
Google Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Google Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Draw
Screen size
5.1in
5.9in
LG G Pro 2
Display resolution
1920x1080
1920x1080
Draw
Pixel density
432ppi
373ppi
Samsung Galaxy S5
Durability
IP67 (Dust and water resistant)
Standard
Samsung Galaxy S5
SIM card
Micro-SIM
Micro-SIM
Draw
Front camera
2-megapixels
2.1-megapixels
LG G Pro 2
Rear camera
16-megapixels, single LED flash
13-megapixels, single LED flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Camera features
Phase detection, HDR, selective focus, virtual tour shot, autofocus, panorama
Magic focus, natural flash, flash for selfie, burst shot, slow-motion editing
Draw
Video recording
Ultra HD @ 30fps
Ultra HD @ 30fps
Draw
Internal memory
32GB
32GB
Draw
Expandable memory
Yes, microSD up to 128GB
Yes, microSD up to 64GB
Samsung Galaxy S5
Thickness
8.1mm
8.3mm
Draw
Weight
145g
172g
Samsung Galaxy S5
RAM
2GB
3GB
LG G Pro 2
Processor
Qualcomm 2.5Ghz (quad-core)
Qualcomm 2.3Ghz (quad-core)
Samsung Galaxy S5
LTE support
Yes
Yes
Draw
Wi-Fi
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Draw
Bluetooth
4.0 with A2DP
4.0 with A2DP
Draw
NFC
Yes
Yes
Draw
Quoted battery life (talk time)
Up to 21 hours
TBA
?
Battery size
2800mAh
3200mAh
LG G Pro 2
Connector
Standard Micro USB
Standard Micro USB
Draw

Design

The LG G Pro 2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 continue the tradition of growing in inches. The Galaxy S5 has a 5.1in screen, but that's dwarfed by the almost 6in display gracing the G Pro 2.

LG G Pro 2

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The Nexus 5. The G Flex.

These are two LG smartphones that stand testament to LG’s innovation and design. And from the look if it, the G Pro 2 is another example of LG getting design right.

There’s no two ways about it; the G Pro 2 is a big smartphone at 5.9 inches. LG has tried to soften its appearance by trimming down the bezel. The bezel on its sides measure just 3mm and the company claims overall that the smartphone has an “industry leading screen-to-frame ratio”.

The G Pro 2 is almost 20 per cent heavier than the Galaxy S5

The G Pro 2 advocates symmetry as a design language. The earpiece at the top mirrors the LG badge at the bottom, while the front facing camera on its left reflects the ambient light sensor on its right.

Turn the smartphone over and you’ll notice a cluster of controls and imaging technologies. This console of sorts houses the 13MP camera, the volume rocker and a power button. If the power button is anything like that of the G Flex — and we can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be — it will glow different colours to let you know the phone is ringing, or that you missed a phone call.

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The centre placement of these controls makes the G Pro 2 ergonomic, regardless if people favour their right or left hand. The edges of the smartphone slightly taper to improve how the large smartphone feels in the palm of your hand.

Weighing the LG G Pro 2 down is its hefty 172g body, which makes it almost 20 per cent heavier than the Galaxy S5. It’s a lot for a smartphone, even one with a ‘phablet’ style screen.

Samsung Galaxy S5

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The Galaxy S5’s facade looks a lot like that of the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4. It’s not that the smartphone hasn’t had any changes, but rather that the same old changes have been made: a bigger screen, finer bezels and a subtly tweaked home button. Not even Apple, the company who started the trend of recycling designs, has the audacity to push the same look for a third year running.

Not even Apple pushes the same look for a third year running

Mind you, the Galaxy S5 does have one deviating design attribute: its back cover is now perforated faux leather. Samsung has also gone to the bother of dressing the S5 in a range of glitzy colours. Were it not for various hardware upgrades, a parallel could have been drawn between the Galaxy S5 and the old Malibu Stacy doll that gets a new hat.

The Galaxy S5 is dictated by function and practicality. Samsung continue to snub premium materials — such as an aluminum unibody — for its casing as plastic is lighter. There's another reason, too; plastic casing is easier to manufacture in volume, and this will help Samsung side-step the nasty production delays that plagued the HTC One.

Power

The two flagships represent the best technologies from both Samsung and LG. It comes as no surprise then that both smartphones are equipped with cutting-edge hardware; however, there are some interesting differences.

LG G Pro 2

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LG has been the underdog punching above its weight ever since it re-entered the premium smartphone market with the Optimus G. The company has been trying to leapfrog its rivals by innovating first across its entire product range. In the smartphone realm, the company was first with 4G LTE technology and curved-screen devices in Australia.

The G Pro 2’s hardware is good enough to trade punches with the Galaxy S5. Its quad-core 2.3GHz CPU marginally lags behind, but the LG more than makes up for it with 3GB of RAM.

Things begin to slide a little when we compare the two displays. The G Pro 2 delivers 373 pixels-per-inch (ppi) compared to the Galaxy S5’s 432ppi. The numbers tell of a one-sided fight, but the LG really isn’t disadvantaged for two reasons: its screen is a whopping 5.9 inches, and its pixel-per-inch density is still extremely healthy.

Samsung Galaxy S5

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Samsung has proven time and time again it is a master at hardware. The company continues to assert its excellence at packing powerful innards into value-for-money products, and the fifth generation Galaxy continues this noble tradition.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will come with two different CPUs. The company has yet to announce whether Australian Galaxy S5’s will ship with a quad-core 2.5GHz CPU, or its eight-core Exynos 5 Octa, which combines two quad-core CPUs using bigLITTLE architecture: one running at a powerful 1.9GHz and another at a more efficient 1.3GHz. Similarly, two variants of the Galaxy S4 were manufactured with the quad-core model being shipped to Australia.

The G Pro 2 has nothing on the Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 is down on RAM compared to the LG G Pro 2, but it might be able to make do with just the 2GB. Samsung has said its TouchWiz overlay is less cumbersome than that used on the Galaxy S4, and that coped fine with 2GB of RAM.

A great thing going for the Galaxy S5 is its resistance to water and dust. The LG G Pro 2 has nothing on the Galaxy S5 in this area, giving the reigning smartphone manufacturer an undisputed competitive advantage.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 comes with other unique features, such as a heart rate monitor and the Galaxy Gear companion devices. These features might cater to the needs of a niche, but Samsung can afford to include such additives. After all, it’s not like the Galaxy S5 is deficient in any area.

Final thought

If this was a horse race, it’d be a photo finish. We would have to call over the cameraman and deliberate over the minute differences that set the two rivals apart. And only then, after we scour spec sheets and weigh the pros against the cons, will we realise the LG G Pro 2 serves nothing exciting enough to take the crown away from Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

For all its strengths, there are no innovations on the LG G Pro 2 that could sway a happy Galaxy customer from upgrading to the new and improved S5. Few iPhone users will run past the Galaxy S5 and Sony’s Xperia range to sign up for it. LG needs something special — something ground-breaking — like a 5in water-resistant smartphone with a curve.

Australian pricing and availability for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G Pro 2 have yet to be revealed. Good Gear Guide will report on news regarding these two devices as it breaks.

Update, 7 Mar: Samsung has issued invites for the Australian launch of the Galaxy S5. Click here for more information.

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Tony Ibrahim

Tony Ibrahim

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