Hands-on: LG Optimus G Pro

Hands-on: LG Optimus G Pro

Clash of the 5.5-inch Phones

The Samsung Galaxy Note II has been out in the market for about six months, yet there was hardly any rival in sight that could come close to challenge it. However, LG stepped into the picture last week when it unveiled the 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro. 

Judging from the specs list of the Optimus G Pro, it appears that LG is gunning for the same market segment - consumers who want screen sizes above 5-inch. Can LG give Samsung a run for its money? Well, let's see in our hands-on article of the LG Optimus G Pro. Here's a quick overview of its specs: - 

 

  Key highlights of the LG Optimus G Pro

  • Android 4.1 .2 Jelly Bean
  • 5.5-inch IPS display / 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal memory
  • (microSD support up to 32GB)
  • 4G LTE
  • NFC
  • 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera
  • 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3140mAh
  • 150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4mm
  • 172g
     
  • Availability: TBA

The LG Optimus G in its full glory.

 

Design and Handling 

The LG Optimus G impressed us with its good design and looks, and it is only natural that we've expected similar or better quality from the Optimus G Pro. Unfortunately, the 5.5-inch device is clad in a plastic chassis. It feels cheap and does not have the looks of a flagship model. Primed as the device to take on the Samsung Galaxy Note II or to lure consumers over to its camp, LG could have taken a more serious and premium approach in designing the Optimus G Pro.

While the patented Crystal Reflection Method is used to add some differentiation to the LG Optimus G Pro, it could not hide the fact that the device is still clad in a plasticky chassis.

You will find the Q Button and volume controls on the left side of the LG Optimus G Pro. More details on the Q Button will be shared later in the article.

As the Optimus G Pro sports a 5.5-inch display, it is only logical that the Power button be located on either side of the device for easier access. We are glad to see this being implemented in the Optimus G Pro, as we have spotted the 5.7-inch ZTE Grand Memo still housing the Power button at the top right corner. The location of buttons may seem trivial, but it can affect the usability of a device.

On the right side of the LG Optimus G Pro are the Power button a groove towards the bottom to assist you in removing the back cover.

Overall, there is nothing really wrong or impressive about the design and handling of the Optimus G Pro. Compared to the flagship devices from ASUS and HTC, the Optimus Pro G clearly lacks in quality.

LG touts its 5.5-inch display as being superior to competing screen technologies such as AMOLED in the aspects of accurate color reproduction, brightness, lower power consumption and sharpness. At Full-HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), the Samsung Galaxy Note II is clearly out of the league. Text looked razor sharp and colors were punchy.

The LG Optimus G Pro is designed with one goal in mind: be on-par with the Samsung Galaxy Note II or be better.

If the LG Optimus G Pro enters the market soon with an attractive price tag, it stands a chance of disrupting the sales momentum of the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Software

The Optimus G Pro runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and comes with two unique UX features which are developed specifically for it. They are Dual Recording and Virtual Reality (VR) Panorama.

Dual Recording makes use of the front and rear cameras of the Optimus G to capture video simultaneously. Not only can you now film the reaction of other people, you also can record your responses on the LG Optimus G Pro.

VR Panorama functions like Photosphere in Android 4.2. We were told by a LG spokesperson that VR Panorama works faster and better, although we were unable to verify the claim on-site. Stay tuned for the complete assessment when we get a review unit. 

The Q Button is actually a shortcut key on the left side of the LG Optimus G Pro. You can select any app on the list to be the shortcut.

The LG Optimus G Pro is the third smartphone to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processors. 2GB RAM is becoming the standard for most Android flagship devices these days. Do expect benchmark showdowns among these smartphones when they arrive on retail shelves. 

Other specs include 32GB internal storage capacity, a microSD card slot supporting memory cards up to 32GB, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a removable 3140mAh battery. wireless charging capability and 4G LTE. LG Singapore recently launched the Optimus G, hence we expect the Korean company to stagger the launch of the Optimus G Pro at a much later date. Here's a quick look at how the LG Optimus G Pro stands among the small but growing segment of 5.5-inch smartphones: - 

Comparing the LG Optimus G Pro against the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Lenovo K900
  LG Optimus G Pro Samsung Galaxy Note II Lenovo K900
Display 5.5-inch IPS 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED 5.5-inch IPS
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels 1280 x 720 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz Exynos 4412 Quad quad-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core 1.8GHz
RAM 2GB 2GB 2GB
Storage 32GB
(microSD support up to 32GB)
16GB
(microSD support up to 64GB)
16GB
(microSD support up to 32GB)
Front Camera 2.1MP 1.9MP 2MP
Rear Camera 13MP autofocus 8MP autofocus 13MP autofocus
Battery 3140mAh 3100mAh TBC
Dimensions 150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4mm 151 x 81 x 9.4mm TBC
Weight 172g 180g 162g