LG's latest flagship smartphone, the 5.5-inch, Full HD, Optimus G Pro, was officially launched in Macau for the Asia-Pacific market today. Originally introduced in Korea in February, followed by the US in May, the Optimus G Pro will now be rolling out to Asia-Pacific in both black and white colors, with Singapore availability scheduled for early July. Pricing is currently unavailable.
For an in-depth look at the Optimus G Pro, check out our hands-on with it at MWC in February.
At the launch, Dr. Ramchan Woo, head of LG's smartphone division, highlighted some of the Optimus G Pro's key features and answered questions. Of particular note was Dr. Woo stressing that dual-camera recording - also a prominent feature of Samsung's Galaxy S4 - was actually a technology invented first by LG.
When asked if LG is worried about the headstart other manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC have gotten with the earlier releases of their latest flagship smartphones, Dr Woo stated that the "Optimus G Pro is in a different class to the 5-inch flagship smartphones already released by other companies, as it is actually the first full-HD 'big phone' to reach the market."
It's worth noting that, right now, LG is the only major manufacturer to have released a Full HD smartphone with a display larger than 5-inches. Samsung's recently launched 5.8-inch Galaxy Mega supports only a 960 x 540 display resolution, while the 6.3-inch variant of the Galaxy Mega as well as Huawei's 6.1-inch Ascend Mate both use 720p resolution displays. Even the widely acclaimed Samsung Galaxy Note II that's using an identically sized 5.5-inch screen as the LG Optimus G Pro is only a 720p display (check here for more comparisons).
On the subject of the Optimus G Pro's plastic build (which was one of the few things that disappointed us in our hands-on review) Dr. Woo stated that, "due to the size of the phone, using a metal chassis would make it far too heavy," which is why LG opted for plastic. Having said that, Dr. Woo revealed that LG is actively researching other materials for use on future phones.
Also showcased today were some of the official accessories that will be available for the Optimus G Pro.
Available in five different colors, the G Pro Quick Cover is a battery cover replacement with a fold over front cover. The case is made of plastic with a textured rubberized front cover. Similar to Apple's iPad smart cover, opening the case will automatically turn the screen on, and closing it will turn the screen off, although, as a nice touch, you can actually close the case during a phonecall and continue with your call.
The G Pro Wireless charger allows you to simply place your Optimus G Pro over the circular charging pad and it will recharge your battery.
All Optimus G Pro's will come bundled with LG's Quadbeat in-ear earphones. A quick demo left us with the impression that sound quality is far better than most bundled earphones, with quite a lot of bass that should be sufficient for most people, but there are definitely better in-ear monitors available out there. Of course, those you would have to personally purchase (and they are not cheap) from a wide variety offered in the market whereas LG's Quadbeat should be considered as premium in-ear earphones that are bundled with LG's top tier smartphones.