The whole device is packed in a frame with mildly eccentric corners. For sporting a 5.5 inch screen, the device is very light, thanks to it’s composition being mainly plastic. In addition to this LG has done a really good job in restricting the size of the handset, the device feels and looks smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has the same size of screen diagonal. The reason for this happens to be it’s more longitudinal structure and smaller side bezels. Up front the device flaunts a 5.5 inch display and a characteristic home button like many other handsets and a secondary camera. The rear is occupied by the primary shooter. Many users will enjoy the sturdy replaceable back cover and battery. Removing the back cover gives you access to microSD and micro SIM slots. the left side of this device has something interesting, a special button which can be set to quick launch any application of your choice.
The left side also has a volume control. The right hand side seats the necessary power button. All buttons are pretty easy to locate and are very responsive. A good innovation in this device would be the home button LED, the narrow home button at the bottom is actually bordered by LED, this glows in various colours to notify you about different things like missed calls, messages etc. The top of this phone has an audio jack and an infrared sensor, more on that later. The bottom seats the USB port to connect to a computer or for charging.
The device houses a 5.5 inch Full HD ( 1920 x 1080 pixels ) True IPS Plus display. The ppi will definitely be lower than the 5 inch HD phones, but anything above 400 ppi should render crisp images on the screen, this device has 401 ppi. However it smokes the 5.5 inch ( 1280 x 720 pixels ) display of Galaxy Note 2 by a huge margin in terms of ppi. The true IPS LCD display gets rid of that bluish tinge that you find in many Super AMOLED displays. The display is bright enough to be legible in direct sunlight too. For a big display, the phone has good viewing angles, text is clearly visible at angles as low as 15 degrees. What might irritate users is the slow response of the automatic brightness feature. In other words, the display takes some time to adjust to surrounding light.
Processor and Performance
The device comes with a powerful 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 Quad-core processor, same as the HTC One. This processor is beautifully complemented by the Adreno 320 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. The combined result of all this is an impressive benchmark score of around 11900 leading the HTC One at 11850 marginally and trailing the Samsung Galaxy S4 at 12400. Surprisingly, due to good optimization by LG, it feels a bit faster than the S4 and beats Galaxy Note 2 by a huge margin. Applications open in no time and multitasking is fluid. There are no stutters while browsing or reading PDF’s or Ebooks, images load quickly and pinch to zoom is very fluid.
The LG Optimus G Pro has a 13 MP Primary camera which can record Full HD videos. Camera does take good snaps in broad daylight but the problem comes in low lit places where the colours are somewhat washed out. In addition to this the flash is not the brightest we have seen. As a result, the camera does not perform as well as those found in the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4. That being said, the video recording on this is quite spot on. In addition to this the device also has a 2.1 MP front facing camera also capable of Full HD video recording at 30 fps, no complaints here.
The camera UI is rather simple with options like normal mode, HDR mode and intelligent auto mode,which automatically adjusts exposure levels. It has a quick toggle between video mode and camera mode. There are also various image editing options.
User Interface and Software
LG brings it’s own flavor to the stock android UI with a simple yet elegant Optimus UI. Since it has a 5.5 inch display, LG decided to enable landscape mode for the home screens as well. The newer Optimus UI on the Optimus G Pro does not look as cartoony as the previous versions, we would love to see more delicate touches on the keyboard and dial pad though. The notification bar is well equipped with all possible shortcuts to settings, WiFi, Bluetooth, data etc. LG also takes a leaf out of Sony’s book by introducing something called slide apps which are very similar to Sony’s small apps. These apps appear over any application running in the background in a windowed style, the cool thing is you can watch a video while doing something else in the background, you can also adjust transparency. Some may question the practicality of all this, but it is always good to have new interesting features.
The device comes pre loaded with LG’s stock apps like the camera app, the music app etc. What’s interesting is the Quick memo app which lets you take notes even if you are in an app and captures a screenshot, this becomes useful when there is a need to circle something in a document or a location in google maps. In addition to this there is a dedicated app which lets you control your TV, air conditioner etc via the infrared blaster on the top of the handset.
Other device suited modifications include that of the keyboard, it can be compressed and moved to the right or left for one handed use. One more cool feature is you can set menu button LED notifications through settings.
The speaker sound quality on this device is not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One. It is not the best in terms of loudness and clarity, still beats many others. On headphones, it does give a good audio output trailing the HTC One in terms of base and tonal quality.
The device comes equipped with every possible way to get maximum storage. It has an internal 16/32 GB internal storage depending on the model. This can be expanded via microSD to about 64 GB. In addition to this, the 2 GB of RAM does it’s job to boost performance, this really shows while multitasking, you experience zero lag.
The handset is bundled with connectivity options such as WiFi, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth and Infrared. The device experiences no gimmicks connecting with ease to any WiFi connection. Signal reception is good at most places. The earpiece volume is not the best around. Sadly, the Indian version does not have LTE.
We are happy to see a 3140 mAh removable battery. It does well enough to power the massive display for about a day, if you are a heavy user. There is also an option for a Battery saver mode, which looks similar to the stamina mode found in the new Xperias.