LG G Pad 8.3 Review
Interface and Functionality
Built on top of Android 4.2.2, LG's custom user experience in the G Pad 8.3 continues to provide that jolly, colorful UI that's quite popular in the Asian markets. It's not bad if you happen to like this kind of style.
There's nothing fundamentally different in terms of how things work with this interface – there aren't any major, in-your-face features such as HTC's BlinkFeed homescreen, for example. In essence, the homescreen consists of a number of pages, on which you can deploy your app shortcuts and widgets. LG's software is incredibly customizable, even allowing you to change stuff like the icon size. There's also a standard main menu, featuring a grid that holds all of the apps you have installed on the tablet.
The LG G Pad 8.3 doesn't have phone functionality, which is normal for a tablet, but since there are some rare instances that do have such functionality, we wanted to get this out of the way. Naturally, you can't make phone calls or send texts, but you can still utilize all the internet-based means of communication such as Skype, WhatsApp and so on. You can log in with your Google account and still have all your contact information on hand if you happen to need it. This means that you also have access to your Google Calendar and all the other Google services that you may use.
Processor and Memory
It might come as a bit of a disappointment for some, but the LG G Pad 8.3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset (quad-core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz), and not the 800. Sure, it would have been cooler if it was the 800, but still, having the slightly less powerful Snapdragon 600 should allow LG to make the G Pad 8.3 a bit more affordable, plus this should give a boost to battery life.
Having the Snapdragon 600 means that the graphics chip on board is the Adreno 320, still an excellent GPU, although not as fast as the Adreno 330 in the Snapdragon 800. Anyway, we do find performance to be quite good with the LG G Pad 8.3, and we do think that users won't have an issue running the current or even the next generation of software available for Android with this chipset. There are some slight slow-downs here and there while using the tablet, but nothing major.
RAM amount is more than sufficient at 2 GB, so no worries there. Internal storage comes in at only 16 GB, but the presence of a microSD card slot means this isn't a dealbreaker.
Internet and Connectivity
There are two browsers found on the G Pad 8.3 – Chrome and LG's own browser. Both browsers are quite similar, but have their own advantages. For example, Chrome can be synced with your account in order to replicate your browsing experience across devices, while LG's browser features smart vertical scroll snapping, allowing for more intuitive vertical scrolling. Double-tap zooming works flawlessly with both browsers. At the end of the day, both are good and it'll be up to you to select which one you enjoy using more.
Sadly, you can only purchase the LG G Pad 8.3 as a Wi-Fi-only device right now. We've been told that in case there's enough demand, LG may produce a 3G/4G-enabled version, but the company doesn't have any immediate plans to do so. The on-board GPS works well and manages to pinpoint the user's location in a timely manner. However, if you'd like to use navigation on the G Pad 8.3, you'll have to get a third-party solution with offline maps.
The LG G Pad 8.3 isn't all about fancy external design. LG has produced a new software feature called QPair, which makes it easy to pair the G Pad to a compatible smartphone like the G2, in order to sync call, message and SNS notifications, transfer QMemos, as well as use cellular connection of the phone for internet browsing on the tablet. This feature is quite handy, because it removes the need to constantly have your smartphone by your side. For example, with QPair enabled, you can just take your tablet and go to another room, leaving your phone behind, and you won't have to worry about any missed calls, messages or stuff like that, because the G Pad 8.3 will notify you about those. Still, bear in mind that the connection is established via Bluetooth, so it won't work at a great distance. The QPair app is available on the Play Store, and interestingly, you can even install it on a non-LG phone (Android 4.1 and up only). However, some QPair features may not work, depending on the model. We tested the app with an LG G2 and an HTC One, and it performed equally well on both devices.
Aside from that, there's the SlideAside feature, which allows you to slide up to three apps to the side, and then quickly recall them later by doing a three-finger swipe from the side. Then there's QSlide. What it serves for is to enable you to display up to three app windows on the screen, which would probably be quite useful if you really need some serious multitasking capabilities. Finally, we're glad to see the KnockOn feature still on board, letting us wake the display up by doing a double tab on the screen. Pressing the Power key is so last year!