Dimensions: 150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm (5.91 x 3.00 x 0.37in)
Weight: 172 g (6.07 oz)
Screen: True Full HD IPS Plus LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size: 1080 x 1920 pixels, 55 inches (-401 ppi pixel density)
Memory: microSD, up to 64GB
Internal: 16132 GB, 2GB RAM
OS: Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset: Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600
CPU: Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300
GPU; Ad reno 320
2G Network GSM 850 I 900 I 1800 I 1900- allversions
3G Network: HSDPA 900 I 2100- E985, E988
HSDPA 850 I 1900 I 2100 -for AT&T
4G Network LTE 1800 I 2600- E988
- Huge, beautiful screen
- Snappy performance
- Feels and looks great
- Massive battery
- So-so camera
- Scratch- and smudge-prone back
Big is beautiful. This device is both.
Anyone who has been following the developments in the world of mobile phones will know that it is absolutely flooded with Android mobile phones. Every manufacturer, it seems, has at least a few in their lineup, so it is up to manufacturers to differentiate themselves from the competition. This is no easy task as there are just so many features in even the mediocre devices.
LG has always set themselves apart by coming up with devices that pack a little more than the competition in packages that are a little more eye-catching than average. Even before they ventured into smartphones, their devices had always had a little more flash that most. This approach continues with the LG Optimus G Pro.
The LG Optimus G Pro is a handsome phone. The slab is a function of needing as much screen real-estate as possible for mobile devices, and is something we accept. It is, however, also a very boring one. LG has made the most of the situation by creating a phone that is quite a looker. The Optimus G Pro has a rather large 5.5-inch screen behind Gorilla Glass 2.
The bezel around the screen is rather thin, which makes the phone as small as possible while maximizing the viewable image, and the glass front adds a lot of protection while throwing in a nice bit of heft as well. The sides of the screen are also nicely beveled, which makes the phone very pleasant to hold. This is a device you’re going to want to pick up a lot.
The back of the phone is removable plastic, but doesn’t take away from the premium feel of the device. It also carries a very eye-catching, shiny design that makes the back ofthe phone look like it’s covered in little dark tiles. It’s a very LG design element and something that does a lot to make the phone look pretty.
The Optimus G Pro’s screen is sharp. A pixel density of 401 ppi isn’t the absolute sharpest in the market, but it is past the point where a normal user would be able to tell. Images and video both appear sharp and nicely saturated, with perfect viewability at even half the maximum brightness.
Quad-core devices are routine for android devices these days, and the Optimus G Pro is no different. It ups the ante by giving you 1.7GHz of processing power per core, and an Adreno 320 GPU. That’s a lot of power, and it shows. Full HD videos come up clean, smooth and sharp, without a trace of stutter. Any less would be a waste on the Full HD screen, so there’s really no surprise there.
One of the features LG has been boasting about with the G Pro is the 13-megapixel camera. It is one of the highest in the mobile phone world. The camera is able to focus quickly, and shutter lag is present, but minimal. There should be little trouble taking the shot you need, though we did notice that the pictures, once zoomed in a little, lacks some sharpness. The edges can get a little muddy, with some loss in saturation, though it should only become an issue if you blow up the image. Low-light performance is slightly above average, so this would make a great snapper for your nights out.
Data hogs will be pleased to find out that the G Pro is LTE-compatible, and does a great job with grabbing cellular reception. I’m not sure if they added an extra-large antenna to go with the plus-sized body of the device, but it managed to grab a small but significant amount of cell signal over some of the other devices I had on my person. This allows you to tether off of the connection and share the productivity with other devices in the area.
Tethering usually means a dead battery in short order, but the Optimus G Pro has a huge 3000mAh battery. This allowed me to squeeze out just about a full day of service, as long as I used tethering judiciously. Battery technology is not quite ready to deliver all-day LTE tethering in a mobile phone form factor, but the Optimus G Pro does a fine job with what it has. Normal use will see you get from home to work and back with a bit to spare as long as the screen isn’t always on, gobbling power while you compulsively check Facebook.
Though all-around impressive, I do have a few issues with the device. It might be a little large for some, though others might view this as a fair price to pay for all the screen it gives you. The default keyboard is also a little difficult to use, and one may want to consider switching to an after-market keyboard replacement shortly after unboxing the phone. The back, being plastic, is also quite prone to both smudges and scratches, so if you’re the type that loses sleep over either of those things, you might want to invest in a nice aftermarket case.
Overall, the Optimus G Pro is a device worthy of the top spot in LG’s lineup. It’s a little on the large side, but if that’s your thing, and a stylus just isn’t your thing, give this guy a look.
Words by Ren Alcantara
First published in Gadgets Magazine, September 2013