For awhile phones kept getting smaller, and that was considered a good thing. Now, it seems, with the growing popularity of "phablets," the trend might be moving in the opposite direction. Are we headed back to the days of clunky devices?
Regardless of your feelings on phablets, their strong market presence can't be ignored, so here we present a showdown between the best phone/tablet devices available: the LG Optimus G Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the HTC Droid DNA:
Let's start with design. The Optimus G Pro definitely gets high marks. Basically, LG wanted the chassis to appear as little as possible around the screen, which makes the all-glass front of the phone look great. Slight curvature in the glass toward the edge is a nice touch. There are definitely a good number of buttons on the sides but LG does a nice job of integrating them with the body of the phone.
The Galaxy Note 2 actually doesn't look too different from the G Pro, sporting an equally svelte appearance without too many buttons. You may notice the size difference though, as the Note 2 is a little bulkier at 5.95x3.17 x 0.37 inches. In terms of size, the Droid DNA definitely falls closer to the smartphone end of the spectrum than the competition. That said, it's probably the least visually appealing of the three, even despite its black/red colors and Gorilla Glass 2 coating, especially if you prefer white and shiny to the whole Darth Vader thing.
Now on to display: The G Pro features a 5.5 inch True HD-IPS + LCD 1080p display and, as you'd expect, it's pretty spectacular. But it does have a lower pixel density (401 ppi) than the Droid DNA (440 ppi). It's difficult to gauge which display is better: that of the G Pro or the Note 2, given that the Note 2 features a stunning 1280 x 720 pixel Super Amoled display. The Droid DNA could be considered as having the best of the bunch, with a 1920 x 1080 display with the same resolution as the best HDTVs out there. But given all the great screens on the market these days, at a certain point it doesn't make a difference.
As far as hardware goes, the G Pro is incredibly fast, featuring the Snapdragon 600 and 2 GB of RAM. The Note 2 has the 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos chip and 2 GB of RAM, while the DNA sports the Snapdragon S4 processor. Both are wicked fast, though the latter was reported to sputter at times. The G Pro's battery life is pretty respectable at 3,140mAh. Same with the Note 2 at 3,100mAh. The DNA might give you problems however: it's only got 2020mAh.
The G Pro sports a flashy 13-megapixel camera with great features, compared with the Note 2's eight-megapixel camera with not-as-cool features. The DNA also has an 8-megapixel camera.
And the winner is? (ding ding ding!)... the LG Optimus G Pro! Sleek design combined with powerful hardware and snazzy features make for the winner in this Rocky versus Apollo versus the Russian guy from "Rocky 3" match. The G Pro just seems the most well-rounded without going too tablet, or smartphone, heavy. Of course, this might just be in rebellion against all the Galaxy S4 hype.