LG Optimus G Pro Review

Interface and functionality

LG has introduced a few new features in its homebrew Optimus UI, and, as usual, lets you choose whether the launcher will switch along with the screen orientation to landscape mode, and is the only name brand Android overlay that has a dedicated landscape mode.

Some new features are tied up with an added hardware component, like the QRemote app and notification bar toggle, which makes us of the IR blaster, or the physical QButton, which has a separate setting option for mapping apps to it. Not only that, but when you set it to launch the camera app, the QButton also serves as a shutter key afterwards, for instance.

We also like very much that LG has expanded on the connectivity toggles slider idea it pioneered with the Optimus UI. In the pull-down notification bar you now have a second QSlide apps row, which this time is dedicated to launching the LG version of Sony's Small Apps, or Samsung's Mini Apps – resizable pop-up windows that can pin your calculator, video player, browser, etc., on the home screen, while you are doing something else underneath. You can have two QSlide apps at once, and there are seven apps in total that have pop-up window modes.

There is a one-handed mode, too, as every self-respecting big-screen Android phone should have, which lets you shrink the dialer or keyboard left or right, depending on the hand used. This way you can key in a phone number or a message reply quickly with your thumb only, without having to resort to both hands.

The default keyboard can be used with different skins, and has a handwriting recognition mode, as well as the Path mode, which intros Swype-like functionality in different languages. Besides the one-handed mode, there is also a split-screen regime you can check, that divides the keyboard in two in landscape orientation, so it is easier to type across the huge display.

Processor and memory

There is no need to sell Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 600 – it is currently the most powerful chipset you can find in an Android handset, and LG has clocked it at the respectable 1.7 GHz to boot. 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, aided also by the 2 GB of DDR3 RAM amount on the Optimus G Pro. You can see the benchmarks for yourself below – the G Pro is record-setter despite the large Full HD display.

Quadrant Standard AnTuTu NenaMark 2
LG Optimus G Pro 12239 18798 59,2
Samsung Galaxy Note II 5806 13515 58
Samsung Galaxy S III 5335 12016 58,6

LG has also generously put 32 GB of internal storage in the G Pro, of which 23 GB are user-available, along with a microSD card slot for further storage expansion on the cheap.

Internet and connectivity

With this screen size, processor and pixel density, we don't expect anything else but excellent browser performance, and the G Pro delivers. The browser just flies while zooming, scrolling or panning, and even the fully zoomed-out text is discernible. LG provides a handy transparent toolbar at the bottom for a back, forward and home keys, which can be hidden if you want the full screen canvas. There is, naturally, no Flash Player support from the box, so you'd have to install it from Adobe's archives if you need it..

The Optimus G Pro is loaded with radios – 4G LTE and 42 Mbps HSPA+ baseband modems made the cut with the Snapdragon chipset, but we also have Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS with GLONASS support, Miracast, DLNA and NFC. You can also use LG's own SmartShare Beam that will send pics, videos, music and Polaris Office files wirelessly to another LG handset with the option.

Wired connectivity is produced by the MHL port at the bottom, which lets you mirror your phone's display on a big-screen TV with the respective adapter.

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