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[MWC 2013] LG Optimus G Pro Hands-on: Big Phone with Stunning Display

The LG Optimus G Pro was previewed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain
The LG Optimus G Pro was previewed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain

LG Optimus G Pro: March of the Phablets Continues!

The LG Optimus G Pro was on display here at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. In a sea of new LG products, this one stood out the most. Sporting a 5.5-inch screen with 1080p resolution (400 pixels per inch) and an engine powerful enough to consistently push out those pixels, the LG Optimus G Pro truly has the potential to be a world-class Phablet contender. Before we get to our initial review though let’s quickly do a rundown of the specifications.

LG Optimus G Pro Spec Sheet

  • Quad-core 1.7GHz Krait 300 processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB Storage, expandable via microSD card
  • 5.5-inches True HD IPS+ LCD capacitive touchscreen (1920×1080 pixels)
  • 13.0-megapixel rear-facing autofocus camera with backlit sensor, image stabilization and HDR
  • Dual-video recording 1080p@30fps
  • Dual-band WiFi a/b/g/n, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, FM Radio, NFC
  • 3G, HSPA+, LTE
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 3,140 mAh battery

As you can clearly see in the sheet above, the LG Optimus G Pro has all the bells and whistles you’d want in a flagship smartphone. Read on for our initial take on it!

Slim, Light, Big Screen, and a Roaring Engine in a Plastic Body

lg optimus g pro side

Measuring just 9.4mm, the LG Optimus G Pro is an amazingly thin phablet. It’s not only slim though as it is also quite light at 160g, which is around 20g lighter than the Galaxy Note 2. The form factor and the weight can be attributed to the chasis of the device which is unfortunately mostly plastic. The material build quality of the body actually reminds me a lot of the Cherry Mobile Cruize (complete with the aluminum band along the sides that grow bigger at the top and bottom). Buttons are “plasticky” as well.

While we’re not totally in love with the plastic, it more than makes up for it with the display. The gorgeous 5.5-inch True HD display (400ppi) produces breathtaking images and videos making the LG Optimus G Pro a spectacular media consumption device. The 32GB internal storage combined with the expandable microSD makes for a whole lot of space for 720p videos that we can cram into this machine, hehe.

lg optimus g pro mobile world congress

lg optimus g pro philippibes

Unlike some smartphones we’ve tried in the past with 1080p display that lagged terribly with transitions and animations, the LG Optimus G Pro still delivers a smooth and fast Android experience. That’s because of what’s under the hood. Yet again we see a familiar formula to get Android running on all four cylinders with the LG Optimus G Pro: 2GB RAM, a quad-core processor (quality chip set), and Android Jelly Bean’s Project Butter.

While we weren’t able to try gaming on the Optimus G Pro, we’re quite confident it can deliver in spades considering the innards of this machine. We’ll confirm this though if ever we get our hands on a review unit back in the Philippines.

LG Custom Apps: Hits and Misses

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To further differentiate themselves from their competitors LG put in a bunch of custom apps in the Optimus G Pro. We’ll not get into the aesthetics of the UI considering it’s quite easy to change (just get a launcher like Nova Pro). Here’s a quick overview of some interesting custom apps/features:

  • Dual Recording: Both cameras record video at the same time. Your face from the forward-facing camera appears as an inset in the video being taken by the rear-facing camera. For a video blogger this is awesome. For everyone else? Not so sure how one would use this on a day-to-day basis.
  • QMemo: Notepad app. You can use your finger or a stylus to handwrite notes. There’s also handwriting recognition but we weren’t able to thoroughly test that one out.
  • QRemote: Universal remote app FTW.
  • QSlide: Now this is a fascinating take on multi-tasking and multi-window. QSlide basically lets you open another app on the screen simultaneously with another one (there are only pre-selected ones you can “pop-up” though). Once the screen is split, you can control the opacity of the secondary app through a slider. Apps you can pop-up are QMemo, default web browser (not sure if Chrome will work), Calendar QVoice, and Calculator.

The apps are intriguing to say the least, especially Dual Recording and Qslide.

Deserving of the “Flagship” title

lg optimus g pro hands on

Based on our initial hands-on, the LG Optimus G Pro deserves and should proudly brandish the “flagship” title. The only issue here really is if you want a 5.5-inch phablet. The size is polarizing but if you seriously think about it the good thing about phablets is that you don’t need to carry multiple devices.

We’ll try to secure a review unit so we can put this baby through the paces back home.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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