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Hands-on with LG's phablet-size G Pro 2 and shrunken G2 Mini

BARCELONA—LG has high hopes for the phablet market, first evidenced by the launch of last year's LG Optimus G Pro, and now by its follow-up, the LG G Pro 2. The company's second-generation phone-tablet hybrid boasts a 5.9-inch Full HD IPS display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, and 16 or 32GB of storage. It's about 0.4 inches smaller than Samsung's ginormous Galaxy Mega, and just a tad smaller than LG's own curved G Flex.

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The G Pro 2 doesn't immediately feel like other phablets. Not only is it thin, but it feels relatively light, too. 

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LG stuck with the pearly white polymer chassis for the G Pro 2. It doesn't feel cheap, per se, but it doesn't feel too sturdy either. 

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LG is sticking with rear-facing volume and power buttons for the G Pro 2. It was difficult for me to reach back there with my index finger, but I had the same complaints about the phablet's smaller sibling, the G2. It's doubtful that the rear-facing buttons are a permanent feature of LG's phone lineup. For now, they're merely a feature the company is trying out with consumers.

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LG also included a few software features to help those with small hands. Most notable is Mini view, which shrinks down the interface to the side of the screen to let users control the phone with just their thumbs. Nice. A phablet feature that recognizes phablet U.I. can be a challenge.

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The G Pro 2's 13 megapixel camera also features 4K video recording capabilities, with the hopes that users will play the videos back on their 4K-capable LG television sets. There's also Magic Focus, which lets users adjust image focus points after shooting a pic.

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LG is also offering a device at the opposite end of the spectrum: the G2 mini. It felt great in the palm of my hand, and it's a reminder that LG hasn't forgotten consumers who'd rather wield a smaller device. 

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It has the same rear-facing power and volume buttons as the G2, G Flex, and G Pro 2, but it sports a smaller 4.7-inch, 1080p display, as well as a 2,440 mAh battery pack.

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The G2 mini seems to be a response to phones like the Moto X, and though it contains mid-range specifications—a Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM—it's a step in the right direction for LG's full device lineup. 

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There's no word on when either of these devices will make it to the US market.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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