LG Optimus G Pro Review
Introduction

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....


Design

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.

LG Optimus G Pro

LG Optimus G Pro

Dimensions

5.91 x 3 x 0.37 inches

150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Samsung GALAXY Note II

Samsung GALAXY Note II

Dimensions

5.94 x 3.17 x 0.37 inches

151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm

Weight

6.44 oz (182 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Weight

4.69 oz (133 g)

LG Optimus G Pro

LG Optimus G Pro

Dimensions

5.91 x 3 x 0.37 inches

150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Samsung GALAXY Note II

Samsung GALAXY Note II

Dimensions

5.94 x 3.17 x 0.37 inches

151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm

Weight

6.44 oz (182 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Weight

4.69 oz (133 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


You can compare the LG Optimus G Pro with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

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!

The LG Optimus G Pro is certainly the most manageable device of these XXL screen sizes out there - LG Optimus G Pro Review
The LG Optimus G Pro is certainly the most manageable device of these XXL screen sizes out there - LG Optimus G Pro Review
The LG Optimus G Pro is certainly the most manageable device of these XXL screen sizes out there - LG Optimus G Pro Review

The LG Optimus G Pro is certainly the most manageable device of these XXL screen sizes out there


LG Optimus G Pro Review
Android keys - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Android keys

Front cam and speaker - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Front cam and speaker


The Q key, along with the volume rocker underneath, and the power/lock key on the right, are easy to find and press, with decent tactile click, and the same goes for the rather thin home button underneath the display. That same home key has a notification light around it, that can ooze six different colors to notify you of a missed call, message or email, to alert you on a calendar event or the charging status, or simply flash in all colors of the rainbow when the alarm goes off in the morning. In addition, there is a color that can be lit up by third party apps that support the LED notification function, like the Facebook app, for example.

Q key and volume rocker (left) - The sides of the LG Optimus G Pro - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Q key and volume rocker (left)

Power key (right) - The sides of the LG Optimus G Pro - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Power key (right)

3.5mm jack (top) - The sides of the LG Optimus G Pro - LG Optimus G Pro Review

3.5mm jack (top)

microUSB port (bottom) - The sides of the LG Optimus G Pro - LG Optimus G Pro Review

microUSB port (bottom)

The sides of the LG Optimus G Pro


Another good idea by LG is to equip the G Pro with an infrared sensor at the top, and a Q Remote app to it, that lets you just pick the make and model of your TV, home stereo, set top box, AC unit and the like, then start using the phone as a remote control with a touchscreen. We wish every phone came with this instead of fumbling for the remote in the couch cushions every day, and lately the manufacturers are hearing us, as the HTC One and the Xperia ZL also have one. The brand choice in the app is somewhat limited when it comes to set top boxes, as it didn't have our Huawei one listed, or AC units, where only LG and Samsung are present, but hopefully more makes and models will be loaded down the road.

Back - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Back

Rear camera - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Rear camera

Battery compartment - LG Optimus G Pro Review

Battery compartment



Display

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.



LG Optimus G Pro 360-Degrees View

FEATURED VIDEO

71 Comments

1. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

5.5 is just too large. But for people with that size preference... Good alternative to Note

8. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Hardly a Note alternative if it doesn't come with the equipment to take a note.

24. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 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: 35; Member since: Mar 05, 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: 20; Member since: Oct 10, 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: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 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

41. AnTuTu

Posts: 1592; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

lil brother of Note 2 :)

80. praks

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 16, 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: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

It has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, and there are no mentions in the end about the performance?

5. Diego!

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Because if you check all the videos surfing the web, you'll see it has some lagginess...

13. lpratas

Posts: 398; Member since: Nov 09, 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.

22. Diego!

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Check youtube.

23. lpratas

Posts: 398; Member since: Nov 09, 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: 859; Member since: Jun 15, 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: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

i hate your arguments. give a link on youtube where you see lagginess!

9. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

The optimus g pro looks like a galaxy note 2 LG version

28. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

And the silver ring around the camera looks like it's from the One X.

45. Droiderr

Posts: 35; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

Spot on.. Cheap copy cat

4. Diego!

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

More CONS: - 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.

6. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2348; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

More like a 9.0, IMO ..

7. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Check the gsmarena HTC One preview. The Optimus G Pro actually benches higher overall.

10. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

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

11. ddxmms

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

note III ! lol

15. SleepingOz unregistered

Note III will definitely be much better than this. I wouldn't even trade my NOTE II for this.

26. Diego!

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Needless to say. LG sucks

12. amiroo

Posts: 269; Member since: Sep 03, 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: 731; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

4mp camera is going to be the One's downfall.
Optimus G Pro
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3140 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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