Last year, the LG Optimus Pro almost did the unthinkable, beating the then-incumbent Note II at its own game. The LG flagship was better looking, more powerful and flaunted a better, higher-resolution screen than its rival. That was more than enough for it to get our nod back then.
Unfortunately for the G Pro 2, it hasn't been afforded the luxury of competing against a phablet of sub-retina sharpness or one with glossy plastic design that gets bashed from all sides. The second generation LG phablet is dealing with a far more polished Galaxy Note 3, which is as formidable a rival as they get.
It may only be a hunch, but it seems the LG G Pro 2 isn't offering enough to justify the 6 month delay. The camera got OIS, the screen is slightly bigger, but the chipset is the same and there's no response to the S Pen. A Snapdragon 805 under the hood or some sort of new dimension to the user experience, like a fingerprint scanner, could have altered the dynamic of this battle, but right now the LG G Pro 2 feels like more of the same 6 months later.
That said, you may not need the S Pen at all and chances are there will be enough people out there who don't want to go the Samsung way for one reason or another. It could be the choice of design, screen technology, or simply a fancy for Optimus UI over TouchWiz. And of course, there's also the matter of pricing - if LG manages to undercut its rivals by €50 or more, then it will all make sense.
And the great news is that if you tick one of the boxes above, the LG G Pro 2 won't let you down. It is an excellent device, offering stellar experience and demanding no compromises from the user. The screen is awesome, there are no issues with speed and response and the camera delivers on its promises. Helpful software is at hand too, assisting in plenty of your day-to-day operations.
If you are still not convinced, here's how the LG G Pro 2 compares to the other phablets on the market.
The HTC One Max looks better thanks to its aluminum chassis and throws in a fingerprint scanner, but that one isn't implemented well enough to make a meaningful difference. The HTC phablet is also far heavier, notably bigger and fails miserably in the camera department. The G Pro 2 has the processing battle in the bag too, rocking a Snapdragon chip that's a generation newer.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra offers excellent design and screen and a Snapdragon 800, but its camera is pretty terrible and with a 6.44" screen and ample bezels it's closer to tablets than phablets. Sony itself admitted that by releasing a Wi-Fi only version to be used as a mini-slate.
Finally, there's the Acer Liquid S2, which is the other S800-powered phablet. The handset that pioneered 4K video recording on mobiles is far heavier than the LG G Pro 2, has a bulkier frame and runs an older Android version. Plus the Acer device is next to impossible to find in many markets.
So as the phablet market grows, there should be plenty of space for the LG G Pro 2 to call its own. What was a very tiny niche is now a place where even second best-selling is a great achievement. It's up to LG to seize the opportunity and even shoot for the top. Just market it properly, making it more readily available this time and you're halfway there. Anything less will do a splendid device no justice.