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LG Optimus G Pro

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: AT&T
Manufacturer: LG
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What's Hot: Huge IPS full HD display, very fast CPU and GPU, very good camera.

What's Not: Though narrow, it's still a handful for those with small hands.


Reviewed May 16, 2013 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The LG Optimus G Pro is that "other" phablet on the market. At 5.5", it's big even when compared to today's giant flagship Android smartphones like the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z. That's the same screen size as the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which was previously the only 5.5" smartphone on the market. But LG got smart after their fiasco with the LG Optimus Vu, an extra wide-body super-sized smartphone offered on Verizon in the US. The Optimus G Pro is actually phone-shaped and not quite as wide as the Note II, and it's much narrower than the 4:3 aspect ratio Optimus Vu. That means though it's large, and still not particularly well suited to those with small hands, it's a bit more phone-like and easier to hold and use with one hand than the Note II.

LG Optimus G Pro

The LG Optimus G Pro (not to be confused with the Optimus G) is an Android smartphone with a full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display, quad core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. It's exclusive to AT&T in the US, and sells for $199 with contract and $549 without. It's $100 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but comes with twice the storage and no digital pen. Clearly for those of you who want the big screen but could care less about the pen, the less expensive LG is worth a look.

Design and Ergonomics

Like the Note II, the Optimus G Pro is a shiny, plastic phone with a removable back cover that grants access to the 3140 mAh removable battery, microSD card slot and micro SIM card slot. The design is generic: it simply looks a like larger version of many other Android rectangular, black plastic smartphones on the market. It has a bit less style than the invitingly slim and curvy Note II, but it feels every bit as solid and well made. In fact the battery door isn't as wafer thin as Samsung's, though the phones share a similar weight. It doesn't look in the least bit budget, but the design simply doesn't stand out.

LG Optimus G Pro

As with many other phones, the power button is on the upper right hand side and the volume rocker is on the left hand side, making it well suited to right handed users. We love the assignable button on the upper left side. By default it's assigned to QuickMemo, but I assigned it to the camera. You can set it to launch any app that you wish, including downloaded apps from the Google Play Store. We also appreciate the one-handed option that shrinks the dialer and keyboard and shifts it to your choice of right or left side to make it easier to use with one hand.

Calling and Data

The LG Optimus G Pro has very good call quality on AT&T's network: we heard almost no background noise and voices were clear with good treble to bass range for both incoming and outgoing voice. Call volume is average, and the single rear firing speaker is adequate but not wildly loud for speakerphone calls and multimedia.

LG Optimus G Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Note II and the LG Optimus G Pro.

Data speeds were very good on LTE 4G, and data speeds fell between the spritely Samsung Galaxy S4/Note II (both with very high download speeds) and the HTC One. We averaged 18.8Mbps for downloads and 8.1Mbps for uploads according to Ookla's app. The phone has the mobile hotspot feature so you can use it as a high speed wireless modem for your laptop or tablet.



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LG Optimus G Pro Video Review


LG Optimus G Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Note II Comparison

Performance and Horsepower

The Optimus G Pro runs on the cutting edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU quad core CPU clocked at 1.7GHz, just like the HTC One. It uses Adreno 320 graphics and this is currently the fastest CPU and GPU you can get in a smartphone. That said, as we've seen before, LG's smartphones score a bit lower than the competition in synthetic benchmarks. Can you see or feel the difference? No, because it's faster than the OS and demanding apps like 3D games require.

The phone has 2 gigs of RAM, and that too is cutting edge, so you have plenty of memory for multi-tasking. It has 32 gigs of storage like the non-expandable HTC One, and that's twice the storage you get with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S4 base $199 (with contract) version. Nice. Given how much space today's 3D games require, we'd love to see 32 gigs as the standard on high end smartphones, especially since the OS and pre-installed software eat up 9 gigs of that storage. You can expand storage using microSD cards up to 64 gigs capacity. Keep in mind that you can put videos, music, documents and other data files on microSD cards but you can't install apps on microSD cards with Android 4.0 and newer.


Quadrant: 11,994
AnTuTu: 18,561
Sunspider: 867
Geekbench 2:2216

  Quadrant GLBenchmark 2.1Egypt Offscreen AnTuTu Sunspider JavaScript Test
LG Optimus G Pro 11,994 28 fps (GLBench 2.7 used, so results are lower) 18,561 867
Samsung Galaxy Note II 6001 66 pfs (v.2.5 used) 14,056 1052
LG G2 19,762 57 fps (GLBench 2.7 used, so results are lower) 32,990 823
Samsung Galaxy S4 12,276 41 fps (GLBench 2.7 used, so results are lower) 24,776 826
HTC One 12,252 37 fps (GLBench 2.7 used, so results are lower) 24,589 1155
Sony Xperia Z 7916 32 fps (GLBench 2.7 used, so results are lower) 20,403 1306
HTC Droid DNA 7823 78 fps (v.2.5 used) 14,578 1146
LG Optimus G 7235 59 pfs (v.2.5 used) 11,087 1289
HTC EVO 4G LTE 5086 56 fps 7001 1650
Motorola Droid RAZR HD 5055 51 fps 6760 1862
HTC One X 5001 56 fps 7074 1617
Samsung Galaxy S III 5102 51 fps 7011 1825


The phone runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with a promised upgrade to 4.2 (also called Jelly Bean since it's not a major update). It has LG's Optimus UI that reminds us of Samsung's TouchWiz, but it's more toned down. The phone supports motion features: turn it face down to silence an alarm or ringer and to pause video, and as with Samsung recent Galaxy phones, it can watch your face to prevent the screen from turning off when you're looking at it. As with other recent LG Optimus Android phones, the G Pro has QSlide for multi-tasking (with only 4 apps), QuickMemo for taking notes and screenshots anywhere and collaboration over the network with other LG Optimus phones. QSlide lets you float the calculator, Note Pad, Calendar and video player in a floating, resizable window. These floating apps have transparency sliders, but you're limited to just 4 apps, which falls short of Samsung's selection of Multi-Window apps.

13 Megapixel Camera

The huge, sharp 1920 x 1080 IPS display and the 13 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and HDR are the Optimus G Pro's biggest selling points. We see improvement here over the 13MP camera on some Optimus G variants from last year, and it takes truly lovely and natural looking photos. Colors are a little overly bold when viewed on a PC monitor, though they might not look it on the phone's display when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4 or Note II's photos viewed on their super-vibrant Super AMOLED displays. If you're keen on photography, I don't think you'll be disappointed with the G Pro. Is it better than the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S4? Not so much; in fact it's a close race. It's certainly good enough to not send me back to those phones when I need to take good photos and 1080p video.

Battery Life

Big phones have room for big batteries, and the LG Optimus G Pro has a relatively huge 3140 mAh battery. That's 40 mAh more than the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but that's not enough added capacity to make a difference. The phone has a very fast but also very power efficient CPU, and Qualcomm's LTE 4G chipsets are now surprisingly power frugal, and that helps the LG power through a full day on a charge easily with moderate use. The screen is the biggest power consumer (that's true of most larger screen smartphones), and driving 1920 x 1080 pixels eats a bit more power compared to lower resolution displays. Our first charge yielded unimpressive runtimes, but after that, the Optimus G Pro showed very good stamina, even when making liberal use of streaming video services and playing 3D games like Real Racing (3D games are merciless when it comes to power consumption). We still found that the Note II lasted 30 minutes longer for actual use time on a full charge, but both phones are tops for battery life thanks to their large batteries.


The LG Optimus G Pro has everything a super-phone should, except Samsung and Apple's glorious reputations and marketing budgets. In fact, I do wonder if this Android smartphone will get all the respect it deserves. It's LG's best Android phone to date, and we're impressed at the rapid progress they show here in both hardware and software. Yes, it could look more chic and elegant, but one could easily say the same of other Android phones. The phone has an excellent full HD IPS display that's viewable outdoors and is particularly well suited for reading text. It also features a very fast CPU, a pleasant UI that adds useful touches without bogging down the phone and a very good 13MP camera.


Price: $199 with contract, $549 without contract


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Display: 5.5" IPS display. Resolution: 1920 x 1080. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 3140 mAh.

Performance: 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad core CPU with Adreno 320 graphics. 2 gigs RAM, 32 gigs internal storage (with approximately 22.8 gigs available).

Size: 4.47 x 2.78 x 0.53 inches. Weight: 4.67 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band world phone with 3G HSPA+ and 4G LTE.

Camera: 2.1MP front camera and 13MP rear camera with LED flash.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Android OS 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with LG Optimus UI enhancements. LG QSlide and QuickMemo, standard suite of Google Android apps and AT&T apps.

Expansion: 1 SDXC microSD card slot.


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