LG Optimus G had been well received by the consumers and to improve upon it LG had some time back launched the Optimus G Pro. The G Pro is not just an incremental upgrade to Optimus G; it is new device with a larger display screen, new design and latest hardware and software. Here is our review about LG Optimus G Pro.
LG Optimus G Pro sports a 5.5-inch display screen and though it comes under phablet category, it gives a feeling of a smartphone only. The reason being its less wider profile as compared to Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and other phablets from Indian players.
The Optimus G Pro has a curvy design and has dual tone colour pattern. A grey coloured aluminium frame runs through the phone separating the back and front plastic panels while the rest of the body is of black colour. The back panel and chess board like pattern on it.
The aluminium frame has unique design – at middle of right and left panel it is thin and widens as it approach the ends, and in the top and bottom panel it’s quite broad and uniform.
The front panel of LG Optimus G Pro is dominated by its 5.5-inch HD display which curves towards the end and joins the edge of a smartphone at an angle. Apart from the front screen panel has a physical home button which is surrounded by a crome ring. Two capacitive touch buttons for Back and Menu functions are also there, just below the display. Physical home button also lights up in different colours wherever there is any new notification. On the top there is 2.1 megapixel camera, sensors and earpiece grill.
LG Optimus G Pro has a removable back panel and after removing it one can see the battery slot along with micro-SIM and SD card slots located just below it. The back panel is made of plastic and is a bit slippery.
Black panel also houses a 13-megapixel camera lens along with an LED flash on right side and a speaker on left. To protect the camera lenses from damage due to scratches or accidental falls, the camera unit is surrounded by a raised enclosure.
In right hand side panel of the phone, the Power/ Screen-lock button is located and on the left side there is a volume rocker along with a customizable button, which by default gives access to Quick Memo.
In the top panel resides the 3.5mm headset jack and Infrared port while the bottom lies the USB port.
The LG Optimus G Pro has a nice design but the button placement could have been better. As during the review, quite often while accessing power button, the quick button also got pressed.
The phone has a full HD (1080 x 1920 pixel) display with 401 ppi pixel density and is one of the few smartphones available in the market from MNC player that flaunts a full HD display. The display is great with very good contrast ratio and vibrant colours.
It has Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection which safeguards it from scratches.
Webpages, movies or anything else feel great on this large and vibrant display. Snappy touch response also means that it is a joy to use the phone. One may find some difficulty in reading text in bright sunlight but can address through tilting the phone a different angle.
Performance and battery
The phone uses a Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600 chipset with 1.7 GHz quad core processor and 2 GB RAM. Thanks to the combination, it gives a snappy performance, without any lags whatsoever. You throw any game at it and it handles it like a breeze.
On the memory front there is 16 GB of internal storage, out of which 10.5 GB is available to the user.
The phone also offers a micro SD card slot for expanding storage up to 64 GB. Thanks to its HD screen and decent speakers, watching HD videos was an awesome experience.
I didn’t face any issue vis-Ã -vis WiFi connectivity or call quality. G Pro comes with a 3140 mAh battery and it provides a decent backup. On a full recharge I was able to sail through the day while keeping the 3G and Wifi on, around 1.5 hours of calling, half an hour of surfing, around 45 minutes of gaming and two mail sync. I had also kept the social media on auto sync mode along with keeping the display on auto brightness mode.
User interfaces and added features
The LG Optimus G Pro runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and has added its own Optimus UI. Like Samsung Galaxy SIII, G Pro also has a Smart Screen and smart video feature that keeps the screen on if the phone detects the user’s eyes looking at and pauses a movie if it detects user is not looking at the display respectively.
In the notification tray apart from the regular notification menu like, data, sound , Wifi, Bluetooth and so on, LG has added another notification assembly called QSlide apps that comprises of video, web browser, memo, calendar, calculator, and a edit tab to change the order and brightness control. Users at any point of time can run any of the two apps from QSlide apps simultaneously and there’s use a slider to bring them to foreground.
LG Optimus G Pro also comes with a Quick Remote app – universal remote control – using which you can control TV, set top boxes music system and AC. I was able to use Quick Remote app for my TV, STB but it didn’t support the AC (Brand: Carrier).
To make typing a smooth affair, LG has also included a feature in the keyboard to enable one hand operation. When activated it gives the keyboard a right or left orientation.
The phone uses a 13 megapixel camera at the back, and the camera is very responsive also thanks to a powerful processor that the phone uses. The picture quality of the rear camera is good both in still mode as well as video recording mode.
Also like Samsung Galaxy S4 one can use both the camera while recoding and shooting a picture. In simple terms photographer can add his picture into the still or video shots.
The camera user interface gives a lot of options and is well sorted and easy to understand. The camera has several shooting modes like Intelligent Auto, HDR, Panorama, VR Panorama Burst shot and Beauty shot. It also has a time machine mode, which snaps several shots and lets you choose the best. There are the typical settings for exposure control, white balance, focus mode, ISO, etc.
While in day light the camera performance is great and very life like, in low light it is found wanting.
LG Optimus G Pro is a great device with one of the best HD display I have seen in smartphones. Though its launch price (Rs 42,500) was an issue, but it is now available for as cheap as Rs 35,870 while the average price hovers around Rs 38,500. At this price, it is a very good buy.
Photographs by: Sushil Kumar