LG Optimus G Pro.

LG's flagship Android smartphone gets bigger, faster and ... a bit familiar-looking

You're forgiven for thinking it. We all are. It's impossible to pick up the LG Optimus G Pro -- the oversized, 5.5-inch Android half-phone/half-tablet unveiled this week at Mobile World Congress in Spain -- and not think of another Korean manufacturer's similar product. Go ahead and get that out of your system.

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

This is the Optimus G Pro. Not the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. But, yeah. There are certain physical similarities. You can't help by notice that. And for sure the folks in the 50 or so countries LG's planning on launching the Optimus G Pro in (beginning in the second quarter) will notice. Maybe that's the idea. Or maybe not.

In a nutshell, it takes all of the hardware and software LG brought in the original, smaller Optimus G in the fall of 2012 and expands it to a larger platform. The display sports a 1920x1080 resolution, for about 400 pixels per inch. The internal specs are beefier, powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, the better to push all those pixels. Sluggish, this device is not.

There's nothing overly tricky about the button scheme. Volume keys and the on/off button are in the usual places. This is the Korea version we're looking at, so it's sporting an extendable antenna for picking up over-the-air television signals. (Which is still so popular in Korea that to ditch that feature might well cause a national revolt.)

Design-wise, LG has both changed and refined. The Optimus G Pro has lost some of the blocky edging of its predecessor, going for more rounded corners. It's also gained a physical home button, flanked by a back button and menu button. (With the security device attached to the USB port, the button takes on a cool green glow. Don't expect yours to do that.) The bezel between the display and edge of the phone is one of the thinnest we've seen.

The software is still pretty busy, but probably not by LG's standards. It's running Android 4.1.2 out of the box, with LG's custom user interface on top of it. If you're familiar with the Optimus G, you'll be right at home here. It's rife with all of LG's "Quick" features, like QMemo and QNote and all the overlays we've been using for months. It's a lot to take in at first, but there's a lot of functionality in there as well.

'Round back there's a 13-megapixels shooter that extends from the body of the phone ever so slightly. It's noticeable, but we've seen worse.

The Optimus G Pro has a removable 3,140 mAh battery that also can work with LG's wireless charging puck. The battery cover also can be swapped out for a flip cover to keep that large screen protected. 

 

Reader comments

Hands-on with the LG Optimus G Pro

17 Comments

I swear this device looks a lot like the Note II. That isn't a bad thing though, as the Note II has probably the best form factor for a device of its size.

I have to agree with you, basically you are trading a higher resolution for the S Pen, in which I'd keep my Note 2. The G Pro does look pretty slick tho, and it has some killer specs

And again another manufacturer puts the capacitives on the wrong sides. I guess it's nice for left handed people to get a lot of choice though.

So how long as LG just been a subdivision of Samsung? From their UI to a number of their devices they are almost exact replicas of the Samsung Galaxy phones. The level of copying goes beyond the influence Samsung took from Apple.

That said, at least they are modeling off of decent looking devices and making a few tweaks to keep them from being identical.

Rest assured though, it's highly unlikely lawsuits will be launched at each other though. It would go against South Korea's ambition to continue to dominate the electronics market what with China hot on their heels and Japan regrouping.

Darn it, hate the company LG but their hardware always appeals to me! Now if I do buy another LG Android device (which would be my 6th!), will it be the LG Note II or the Samsung Optimus G Pro? ;-)