LG Optimus G Pro Review
The Optimus G Pro is LG's first handset with the trendy Full HD 1920 x 1080 screen resolution. It is available in both 5” for Japan, and 5.5” versions for Korea. It is scheduled for a global rollout in Q2 and is expected to also come in North America in unknown yet version.
The Korean model we nabbed for a review here eschews the typical 5” size of its direct competitors to go big, and set itself apart from the barrage of 5-inchers about to hit the market. Not only that, but the phone is also loaded with a powerful Snapdragon 600 quad-core chipset, and sports something you don't see often these days – both a memory expansion slot, and a swappable battery.
Everything about the phone sounds great on paper, but has LG managed to make the Optimus G Pro a compelling enough proposition to consider at this size? Read on our review of the original Korean version of this handset to find out....
When you grab the G Pro, it immediately becomes apparent that the handset is more compact than the Note II, despite the equal screen diagonals. LG has managed to achieve an incredibly thin side bezel, and has bet on a more narrow form, thus making it much more palm-friendly than Samsung's rather wide contraption. It is also refreshingly light for a phone of this size, at 5.6oz (160g), achieved by the use of plastic all around the phone, including the patterned removable back cover, which feels very sturdy, and has the NFC antenna integrated. Underneath it you can find the huge 3140 mAh battery, as well as microSD and micro SIM card slots for the ultimate flexibility. The only shot at “premium material” looks in the G Pro are the faux brushed metal rim around the sides, and the metal ring around the camera lens on the back.
We won't go as far as to say that you can easily use it with one hand, but it is certainly the most manageable device of these XXL screen sizes out there. The only boon is the capacitive back key under the display, which LG has placed on the left as usual, requiring impossible thumb stretching that almost precludes the phone from being operated safely with one hand. LG has had the brilliant idea to put a so-called QButton on the right side, above the volume rocker, which can be mapped to quickly launch any application of your choosing. If we could program it to be a “back” button, too, all of our prayers about controlling big screen smartphones with one hand would have been answered, as that's the most-used navigational button in Android, but alas, you can't map the back key to the QButton. Get to work, XDA-Devs!
Q key and volume rocker (left)
Power key (right)
3.5mm jack (top)
microUSB port (bottom)
The sides of the LG Optimus G Pro
LG has supplied a brilliant 5.5” Full HD 1080 x 1920 pixels screen on the Optimus G Pro, and the screen's pixel density of 401ppi, while not as high as the 441ppi of the Full HD 5-inchers, is one of the best you can currently get.
The colors are vibrant, viewing angles are excellent, and the display is sufficiently bright for comfortable use outside under direct sunlight. The only gripe we have is with the light sensor, namely the software that adjusts the brightness level in automatic mode, as it takes a while to light up the screen outside and dim it inside.
Moreover, the adjustment travels in a range, so if you have set the phone at half-brightness in manual mode, it will go +/- a preset percentage from there in auto mode, instead of blasting to full 100% outside, as it would do if you have it at 80%, for instance. Hopefully a software fix will be released as it happened with the 4X HD last year.
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1. VJo003 (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Mar 2012)
5.5 is just too large.
But for people with that size preference... Good alternative to Note
8. _Bone_ (Posts: 2061; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Hardly a Note alternative if it doesn't come with the equipment to take a note.
24. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
i dont understand why people think S-Pen is so important? i have owned Note (N7000), Note 2 and Note 10.1... u only use S-Pen for like the first 5 days and thats it! its just a gimmick! its only useful to 2 kind of people:
1- those who have good drawing...
2-those who have a lottttttt of free time to waste doodling on their phones to show-off even if they have horrible hand writing...
its a fact! sammy made the stylus return only to sell its Note line of products and it was successful!
Note 2 is nothing more than a blown and stretched S3 and so was Note to S2! as a matter of fact, the flagship of sammy is S series not Note series...
44. Droiderr (Posts: 30; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
By saying thet 2 is a streched S3 i think you mean that they streched the RAM too and doubled it.
63. hellt1M (Posts: 15; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)
you're kidding right... it has the same amount of ram... 2GB. same quad-core thats in the international S3. its almost completely identical with a stretched look... and a gimmicky pen that like the guy above said, is only useful for those 2 kinds of people.
21. zuckerboy (Posts: 715; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
it is not important to make 5.5 screen size phone important thing is adding a features like note 2 . so this phone never be an alternative to note
80. praks (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)
Device is amazing.. How do u accept Samsung with such devices.. I came across an interesting review online. LG Optimus review on gadget ride.com
2. sorcio46 (Posts: 392; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, and there are no mentions in the end about the performance?
5. Diego! (Posts: 474; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
Because if you check all the videos surfing the web, you'll see it has some lagginess...
13. lpratas (Posts: 86; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
Where you see laginess? I don't see any laginess at all. You need glasses because you see bad. I only see fluidity and speed in this phablet. With a chipset like the one that this phone use it's dificult to see any lagginess even that the LG UI was bad.
23. lpratas (Posts: 86; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
I already checked and watched in youtube and i don't see nothing of lagginess, Must be your eyes. You only see HTC One and Xperia Z at your forward like others because you don't see nothing at not to be those phones.
25. Diego! (Posts: 474; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
So you now can read my thoughts??? Wow, you must be very good at forecasting the future! Congratulations! And I can see well, btw.
68. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1008; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
i hate your arguments. give a link on youtube where you see lagginess!
9. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3660; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
On the second page under processor and memory,
"You can rest assured that the interface just flies without lag or stuttering, and no matter how many apps you pile on, they all run without a hitch,"
3. tiara6918 (Posts: 1246; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
The optimus g pro looks like a galaxy note 2 LG version
28. Commentator (Posts: 2184; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
And the silver ring around the camera looks like it's from the One X.
4. Diego! (Posts: 474; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
- Rip Off / Evil Twin Sister of Samsung Galaxy Note II
- No Stylus
- Screen has an "inner" bezel
- Has some hiccups while scrolling... (check youtube)
- LG UI is exactly the same as Samsung Nature UX.
My Score: 5.5 for not being innovative with either design nor UI.
7. _Bone_ (Posts: 2061; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Benchmarks are slightly underwhelming for such a powerhouse. Overall it's problem is looking like the Note II but not having the same level of functionality, otherwise you can't really complain.
30. Taters (Posts: 2395; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Check the gsmarena HTC One preview. The Optimus G Pro actually benches higher overall.
10. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
Would definitely get this over Samsung, it looks similar but noticeably better than the note 2...and it also has a better processor ..so lg ftw
15. SleepingOz (Posts: 2483; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Note III will definitely be much better than this.
I wouldn't even trade my NOTE II for this.
12. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
lg faild when butterfly scores is 9/10..
one will be number1 this year.
14. lovefist (unregistered)
htc one is definitely the one this year.
29. lallolu (Posts: 211; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)
4mp camera is going to be the One's downfall.
31. Taters (Posts: 2395; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
No, I highly doubt it. The HTC One already has some serioulsy flags in design from what I see.
16. yero789 (unregistered)
This phone is great,but seriously LG?! I mean it looks like Samsung Galaxy Note :D :D They could've done something better with the design,considering how good was the LG Optimus G was with it's design...
32. Taters (Posts: 2395; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
The LG Optimus G was a one time collaboration between all the different divisions of LG. Since the phone didn't really make a dent in the market, that is unfortunately the last of it. They can't justify doing it again without the returns.
17. N-fanboy (Posts: 477; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)
I have never owned an LG smartphone before and it looks like staying that way... (N8,SGS2,XperiaS & Lumia920...so far)
18. lpratas (Posts: 86; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
This is a good phablet and the people have to admit it. Only talk about the HTC One and the Xperia Z that don't have nothing of special and are worse phones compared with the new offers of this year of the part of Samsung and LG. You have to admit that Samsung has had good smartphones from 3 years ago and since the last year LG also has good smartphones. Today these two brands have the best android smartphones in terms of funcionality and features.
19. fanboy1974 (Posts: 998; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
As a Note 2 owner I like it a lot. It beats my screen, processor but lacks my s-pen. The one feature I love is the ir blaster. Don't know why phone OEM took away this component given that 95% of my gear is ir controlled.
But I don't think this phone will beat the Note 3. Samsung has shown that it can get very aggressive and will be gunning big time. Exactly why I love android. I say bring it on since Apple lacks the nuts to give us real competition in the large phone arena.
27. TheLolGuy (Posts: 469; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
I've gotta say -- I've had a few LG phones before and I haven't really had a problem with them. (apparently the 2x was causing a lot of ruckus though)
I really thought they struck gold with the design of the Optimus G/Nexus 4 design. As a modest LG fan, I can certainly see the big effort they've put in trying to become relevant again. So why is it, then, they suddenly gave up and used Samsung's design? That's only going to take you closer to them, but not past them.
I will say that they did improve on the original design (in my personal opinion) with the metal ring around the camera and LED notification light infused with the home button. They look cool.
Still -- they could've done an evolution of the original G design. The clean uniformly black front was absolutely stunning for me and I liked the modest design with no super wavy or curved lines. The things I like that it didn't have was a center-placed rear camera and maybe the speaker grill placement. That's pretty much it.
LG made some pretty stunning original designs in the past -- are they giving up or something?
33. Taters (Posts: 2395; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
If the Optimus G sold well like it deserved to, they would do it again. They can't really justify putting in the money though since it appeared to sell poorly. The Nexus 4 doesn't make them much and the Optimus G sold like crap.
34. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
This is where 5.5+ inch displays have a justification for 1080p resolutions. 400ppi is still amazing and well above the "retina" display or anything else we have seen. Anything with 460+ is overkill but thats just imo.
47. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
łehehe...i bet you said the exact thing about 300+:]
35. scsa852k (Posts: 258; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
3 mistakes LG made with Opt G Pro
1. They decided to make a phablet their flagship device.
(There are a lot of people who don't prefer phablets just because of the size)
2. Copying the design of Note II is an understatement.
3. Do not have an outstanding feature that pops compared to Note II.
This is a great device no doubt, but what we see in this phone, we've seen already in Note II.
36. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Agreed. while it does have the higher ppi and less bezel....which, make no mistake about it...this is not near Edge to Edge like the RAZR M, so in truth, you are still holding a beast of a device like you are holding the Note 2.
But as you stated, it lacks several "phablet" like features that the Note 2 has and really, the higher ppi, the somewhat faster processor is not a good enough reason to pick this up instead of the Note 2. We all know Samsung will blow us away with the Note 3 as they did with the Note 2.
39. Bentos711 (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
It kinda looks like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 combined with the HTC One X.
40. GeekMovement (Posts: 1497; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
Wow, competition is tough this year. So far LG and Sony's new flagship devices both got 8.5 from phonearena. How will the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S IV do?
43. funkshit (Posts: 16; Member since: 12 Feb 2013)
In S. Korea, Optimus G Pro are sold out, and currently, it is best-selling product(More than Note II or GS3)
Best performance was qualified by a lot of users who bought one, and design, as well.(you would feel it's not like Note II, when you see the real products off-line)
When users asked whether to buy Note II or Optimus G Pro, totally major people choose the latter.
It's not too late to judge it after launching in your countries.
48. mahawa (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
This is an amazing device , specs are the best so far .But the thing is 5.5" is not suitable for everyone ,so you'll find many people are looking for something more compact to handle more easily in their daily life .But LG have done a very nice job with this one and i see that it is not fair to compare this with the note 2 because The G Pro has way more better hardware the note 2 and the Benchmark tests say that .
So if LG releases the Japaneese 5" model of this monster worldwide it's going to be a hit .
49. yasir-921 (Posts: 74; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)
Hey Danial P.
LG Optimus G Pro should be marked 9 out of 10, not 8.5. PLEASE CHANGE YOUR MARKING.
51. debugger919 (Posts: 24; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Why samsung fanboys are so mad? I think this is a perfect phone.
53. beefalo (Posts: 16; Member since: 10 Nov 2011)
I am confused by this review. It at least matches the Note 2 in every way and does better in a few:
Much higher resolution with no pentile
LCD screen which offers better outdoor visibility
More compact form factor
Yet the Note 2 got a 9 and this got an 8.5? I actually would not get either given I am not interested in a phablet, but I would like to see some consistency in the ratings. The only real downside I saw on this compared to the note is lower voice call quality. Now I'm not saying this deserves a 9, but it deserves better than the note 2.....
77. vonchirole (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 May 2013)
Except this was release this year while the Note 2 was released LAST YEAR. Last year, Note 2's specs was very much deserving a 9 or probably a 10.
56. Erthling (Posts: 15; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
I was thinking that a 5" is the max I would go for, my brother has the 1st Galaxy Note and I thought it was too large at 1st.... but alas, everyone eventually gets used to it, unless you have small hands or simply just dont like it.
But for LG to have made the case so slim and compact is a big Thumbs up to them!
Im seriously considering of getting this as my next phone for the next 2 years +
It covers all the bases and the best of all worlds. Simple, fast(fastest out there but im not gonna nit pick on 0.1 Ghz... ppl who do are just plain stupid), will definately be a big replacement for my laptop when im on the move (which is quite often), and apart from having the largest battery out there (and i dont think any other manufacturer is coming with anything bigger), its also replacable!!!!!
We got a big winner here folks! Dont just be haters due to the brand, (however, you cant deny that LG has gone up tremendously with their hardware over the past year)
Love the technology, dont be foolish haters.
57. Erthling (Posts: 15; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
Regarding the S-Pen not being present on the Optimus G Pro, Do all tablets (being 7,9 or 10 inches) have pens?
Why doesnt anyone bitch on those?
Haters gonna hate...
59. 9thWonderful (Posts: 230; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
Looks like a Samsung to me. Ok, LG, we gave you a pass when it came to the N4 but now this is getting ridiculous. Please come up w/something that doesn't closely resemble a phone that's already been done by another manufacturer, just once. Just try it.
60. Erthling (Posts: 15; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)
67. Swed1 (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)
Now i have LG G and its working really good. Before i had Samsung S3 and Iphone 5.
I am really happy to have this G its faster and better.
|Display||5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD|
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Quad core, 1700 MHz, Krait 300 processor
2048 MB RAM
|Size||5.91 x 3.00 x 0.37 inches|
(150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm)
5.64 oz (160 g)
|Battery||3140 mAh, 15.5 hours talk time|