LG Optimus G Pro: Best of MWC 2013

One of the first things I noticed about the Optimus G Pro was how thin it was. Though this keeps it lightweight and sleek, it also made it slightly cumbersome to hold with one hand and navigate with my fingers. There were a lot of times when I used my thumb to click on something on the far right of the screen only to have the bottom part of my thumb accidentally select and open something on the right. It's still an attractive handset, however, and I think it's a step up from both the LG Intuition and the original Optimus G.

You can really see that LG is trying to give its top-tier phones a more cohesive look, and it flaunts the same glittery tile design seen on the Nexus 4 and the Vu II (the sequel to the Intuition that's now available in Korea).

LG Optimus G Pro
The massive LG Optimus G Pro and in all its 5.5-inch glory.

On the left, you have a very flushed volume rocker that's situated quite low on the edge -- almost right in the middle of the body. I found myself often pressing the empty space between the rocker and the QuickMemo shortcut key (which sits right above it), when trying to turn up the sound. Above it is a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a small TV antenna on the right corner. On the right are a sleep/power button and at the very bottom is a Micro-USB port for charging.

Of course, what's most noticeable about the G Pro is that 5.5-inch full HD IPS screen. It has a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and 400ppi. It sports a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is more standard on mobile phones than the Intuition's 4:3 ratio.

Like most high-end LG handsets, the Pro's screen was bright and extremely responsive. I also like how the display edges are similar to the Nexus 4, in that it contours down toward the bezel. It has a wide viewing angle, and you can see images clearly in both indoor and outdoor lighting. Colors are extremely vibrant, icons are sharp, and text look crisp. I also have to say, watching videos on this was really enjoyable, more so than on the Intuition. Having that much more real estate is a relief to the eyes, and it gave me a more encompassing and engrossing experience than the ones offered on smaller handsets.

I did notice, however, that the whites on this screen often had a slight cold, blue-greyish tint to them. It's not as blue-greenish as on LCD displays, and you won't even notice it at first. But when I compared it quickly side by side to an iPhone, it was noticeable. In addition, though the screen size is great for entertainment, other things had to take some getting use to.

For example, texting became much more cumbersome, especially in landscape mode. Taking into account I have particularly small hands, it was hard reaching letters that were in the middle of the keyboard. The unit doesn't ship with a stylus, which would be beneficial for tasks such as these..


The Optimus G Pro runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and includes 2GB of RAM with up to 32GB of expandable memory via a microSD card you can access from the back.

Powering the handset is a 1.7GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm. During my brief time with it, I felt the phone was zippy and it executed simple tasks like launching the camera, scrolling through the app drawer, and returning to the home page, swiftly. Unlike the original Optimus Gs, where you couldn't take out their batteries, the Pro has a removable 3,140mAh battery.

On the back is a 13-megapixel camera that's capable of recording 1080p full HD video. It also has photo editing options like the ability to stitch several panoramic photos together in a sphere to generate a comprehensive 360-degree view. On the front is a 2.1-megapixel camera, which has dual-recording -- that means you can record a scene and your reaction or facial expressions at the same time.

LG Optimus G Pro screenshot
Using dual recording mode, I can record both the gloomy day in Barcelona, and my disdain for the rain.

It also includes NFC and wireless charging capabilities, but you'll need to purchase an additional back plate from LG to enable wireless charging. Other features include a few new upgrades to the user experience. QSlide, for instance, which lets you multi-task by viewing two opened apps, can now be resizeable on the display. Interface features, such as QSlide, QuickMemo and Live Zooming, have all been improved.

Last year, LG’s Optimus G was an exciting handset and the same could be said of the company’s 2013 offering. LG has matured a lot since the days of the Optimus 2X and its phones no longer feature boring industrial designs. In fact, the Optimus G Pro looks to have been designed with the same aesthetics found on the Nexus 4. But the stylish device comes too close to ripping off the Samsung Galaxy Note II thanks to the rounded corners and the flat, wide physical homescreen button.

The 5.5-inch IPS LCD has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a density of approximately 401ppi. While it lags behind the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One in terms of pixel density, seeing individual pixels on a screen of that resolution is next to impossible in everyday usage. The Optimus G Pro is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, which features the Adreno 320 GPU. That’s a combination set to grace many flagships this year and is already seen on the HTC One.

LG Optimus G Pro has a massive 5.5-inch full HD display

LG Optimus G Pro has a massive 5.5-inch full HD display

Other key specs of the phone are:

  • 5.5-inch True HD-IPS + LCD with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 13 megapixel camera on the back with LED flash and 2.1-inch front-facing cam
  • 32GB of internal storage, further expandable up to 64GB
  • Aldo look at Best of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013

One very neat addition is the 3140 mAh Lithium polymer battery, which should be able to keep up with the power demands of the quad-core processor and 1080p display.

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