LG Optimus G Pro

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Update: LG expects to begin rolling out the new Optimus G Pro in overseas territories including the U.S. during the second quarter.

LG technically officially announced the Optimus G Pro for the Korean market a few days ago, but now we've got all of the gritty details on the device. As we saw before, the new device will sport a full HD 1080x1920 5.5-inch (that's 400 ppi) display, with seemingly tiny bezels. Under that screen will be a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (SDcard expandable) and a removable 3,140mAh battery with wireless charging support. We're looking at 13MP rear and 2MP front cameras, LTE connectivity and shipping software of Android 4.1.2 with LG's latest UX customizations.

The press release indicates availability of "next week" for the Korean market. Pricing is quoted at 968,000 won, which with a quick currency exchange calculation is just shy of $900 (although that's not always indicative of eventual U.S. pricing). The Optimus G Pro will be on display at MWC in just a week, so you can bet we'll have our hands on one soon.

Source: LG

 

Reader comments

LG finally reveals Optimus G Pro specs, price, availability

68 Comments

Not really sure. I personally like the home button on my GS3. It gives Samsung's phone's a uniqueness instead of looking like the 3 dozen other Android phones that are identical to each other. The Optimus G Pro is a pretty blatant ripoff of the Note 2, but I guess copying the hottest selling tech and hoping not to get sued too much is the way things work these days.

I don't have a specific preference for physical vs capacitive buttons, but the mixing on my Note is really annoying. I can train myself to tap or press, but I hate going back and forth.

It stopped me from getting the Galaxy S3. Having a buttonless Nexus 4 is pretty cool, the screen is more black (compared to AMOLED) with a black bezel, making it harder to tell between the top or bottom of your phone. It looks like more screen real estate when it is turned on, and you have a rom that gives you a transparent nav bar, is pretty good use (especially when on netflix). I prefer the look of the S 2 over the S 3 but both are great phones

Its a personal preference, personally I think the lack of buttons on the nexus family is a nice touch makes the phones fascia sleeker and more appealing. Also it can be a little annoying(SGS3)where you have 2 captive buttons and one actual button at the bottom.

Just one more thing to break or allow something into the phone. My Note 2 has a hefty home button but I still worry about it. I like my Nexus 4, simple, easy.

It seems there are close to 60 Million of us that have no problem with it on just the GSIII alone not to mention all the Notes and other phones out there. This LG is proof that more and more phone makers are starting to believe it is a good idea to have a physical button on the front.

I think a lot of vendors were always shy of doing it because "that's how Apple did it." But now that Apple is becoming less and less relevant in new phone design, makers have less concern about using good ideas that Apple happened to use.

As for all the apparent angst over the button, all you're really hearing is overly vocal homers that think any deviation (whatsoever) from strict Google intentions is automatically wrong.

-Suntan

Fallacies>Prime>Appeal to Numbers

For all the comments on this I have yet to see one that actually lists an ADVANTAGE to having a physical home button. Personal preference is not an advantage.

Using > signs = can't construct a proper response...

No matter. Feel free to think whatever you want. One person's perceived advantage is another person's misplaced "personal preference." I suppose I could ask you to "prove" that blue is blue, and then crap on every response you give saying those are just your personal preferences for what makes blue, but I'll not bother.

In any case, I'm glad the industry is not moving exclusively towards Google's onscreen buttons and I'm also glad more manufacturers are starting to offer phones with physical home buttons.

-Suntan

Just because 60 million people bought the Galaxy S III doesn't mean 60 million people prefer to have a physical home button than a capacitive or on-screen home button. I would have chosen the Galaxy S III over the Galaxy Nexus if it were out at the time I bought it because it's much faster, has better battery life, and has a much better camera, but I hate physical home buttons.

I didn't say they "prefer" it. I said they have no problem with it, or at least, it didn't stop them from buying one.

In any case, no need to get so wrapped up in the details of one sentence. Phones with physical buttons seem to be doing well in the market, I'll just leave it at that. Continue the rage if you want...

-Suntan

When using a large phone with 1 HAND the physical home button is difficult to press or you have to re-position your hand. That is very inefficient and honestly I almost dropped my phone (S3) a few times because of the physical button. I now run AOKP with the onscreen buttons (5 - menu, back, home, recents, search) and MUCH happier. The phone is large enough that the loss of screen space not even noticed, I can also hide the nav bar if I want for video or what not. I also reassign the physical button to be an additional power button (just power no home) so when it's sitting on a desk/table I can simply press down to turn on/off. I really can't stand the physical button...

When you have a physical button, it becomes locked down. A software update, mod or other option can't utilize that real estate. It takes up physical space on the device that is completely inflexible.

For instance, on the Nexus 4 when I watch Netflix or Youtube, the area that had been the home, history and back buttons becomes viewing real estate. Having a physical button has a negative impact on that. You either end up with smaller screen real estate or a longer device.

Functionally, it's one more thing that can potentially break or get jammed with gunk or let water in.

From a design standpoint, it gives the device a cleaner set of lines (but that's personal preference).

The GSIII is a great device, but it's not perfect and I would personally consider the inclusion of a physical home button to be a poor design decision.

You can still get a pen for the screen if you like, many after market ones are just as good, but the LG won't have a lot of software like the note 2 that utilizes it

One of the best parts of the G Note is that it has a slot built into the phone for the pen. Who wants to lug around an accessory for their phone? Just an added annoyance.

Meh.

Looking at the updates that have come out since ICS, I could be fine living the life of a phone without any updates.

Seriously, updates were important back in the days of GB when there were still things that were lacking and/or limited in use. Now the updates seem to be minor bugfixes or just peripheral pieces of flair that have limited added value.

idk, maybe KLP will be some massive update with features galore, but personally, if that phone was released with no major bugs, I'd be fine with no updates at all.

-Suntan

In some ways, I'd agree with you... if the current build for a phone works well, and the important features (the "killer apps") are supported, then I'd see no need for an update.

In LG's case, however, it's not. Their "flagship" offerings fall short in many ways, primarily due to bugs and missing features. See their lackluster support for the Optimus 3D/Thrill 4G ("ghost call" bug that prevents incoming phone calls); the 4X HD and recent Optimus G are still lacking JellyBean - high end hardware, without Google Now. And yes, Google Now is getting to be a big deal, now that Google is allowing other programs to use its "offline voice recognition"... but you won't see that on the Optimus G while it languishes on ICS.

Samsung doesn't seem to have the same problem - the Galaxy S II and original Galaxy Note are getting JB updates (even in Canada, no less!) while LG phones that are still sitting on store shelves are on old software. Unacceptable.

NONE of the manufacturers (or service providers) don't suck at updates. The only exception is the Nexus line of devices.

That has to be the best laid out phone. Great specs, they got the 32gb internal memory plus sd card support, most other phones drop the ball here. Great freaken camera. This phone has it all. This is what a high end phone is all about. As far as the home button, love it. I like the home button, I wish other high end devices would include a home button. Just hope LG and the US Carriers can get on board and bring this bad ass phone to the US market. I would love to have this phone.

I agree, the spec sheet sounds fantastic! It's funny how everyone is talking about the HTC One, Samsung GS IV and the Moto X but nobody seems to be giving this phone any love. This phone is definitely going to be in the running for my money.

Probably because when it comes to software, Samsung, HTC and Motorola will all have features to show off while LG just has a large phone.

Agreed, I might throw down for this one, since I have an upgrade available. However that camera hump is rather obnoxious looking!

I kinda want this phone. If both this and the note ii or an att it will be really hard to hold out the extra 3 months-ish to use my upgrade on a note iii when I'm eligible in July.

Don't knock it till you try it. I wasn't sure about the giant until I got my Note 2, but since I've had it, I'm not sure if I could go back to a small phone again. I rarely use my Nexus 7 since I got it.

I'm still torn about the phablet. Tempted but it's a big deal to lock yourself in for about 2 years if you don't like it. With such a small bezel and lack of s pen I wonder if this will be any smaller than the Note. Will the size be in between my Gnex and the Note?

I think this would be my next phone if it has a good following in the hacking community. Though it'll be tough for me to be on anything other than an nexus anymore >.<

Don't count on it. Recent LG phones (other than the Nexus 4), including the Optimus G, come with encrypted bootloaders. Sony, Nexus, and some Motorola phones (depending on the carrier) are probably better bets for the custom ROM enthusiast. I hate to admit it, but Samsung's a good choice, too. HTC is rather slow to release their kernels under GPL.

I'm no LG fan at all but that looks insanely tempting. Remove able battery!

I run a Gnex and don't like the physical home button anymore. Once you get used to no button down there its hard to go back. My wife's S3 annoys me when I have that button where I usually swipe up for Google now on my phone. Also looks nicer not having a button there when you play full screen videos. Lastly the button is a dirt magnet. A persons hands have oil and dirt on them and when you swipe the crud goes in the open part around the button. Harder to clean. Just an opinion.

not even LG Optimus G is out in U.K. at the moment..... high specs on LG Optimus G Pro doesn't really interest me unless the price is reasonable and the build quality is good. Also, the pricing in Korea is always significantly more expensive than the pricing set for international.

this phone is old before its even out the box.... Android 4.1.2....what BS, especially for the price they are asking

Physical buttons are good actually, easy to wake up ur phone from sleep , other wise u have to stretch ur palm all the way untill top or sideways. I like it on my s3 but my nexus 4 don't have it . plus 3 screen button on nexus 4 eats up Lil bit of screen , when physical buttons phone gives u full screen without using anything else ,like screen button or something

Lol, I totally forgot about being able to press the home button to turn on screen. That is kind of handy.

Another nice thing I like about physical home button is that it doesn't accidentally get pressed, so you don't exit out of whatever you are doing.

On the other hand, I do like how you have Gesture Swipe for phones like Nexus 4. Swiping up from the on-screen buttons gets you to Google now is a nice touch.

To counter both arguments, on-screen buttons may take up screen space, but physical buttons add bezel space. Also, on-screen buttons can disappear when more screen space is needed, but physical buttons are always there, taking up space. In addition, it's actually much easier to turn on a phone with the power button when one-handed because the upper side of the phone is the thumb's natural resting spot, while the thumb has to bend down across the screen to reach the home button.

Not entirely true. I have both Note 2 and N4. Measuring that extra bezel from the bottom of the display to the end of the bezel, the Note 2 has 12mm bezel while N4 has 14mm. Granted it is not much, but Note 2 has a thinner bezel at bottom. The top bezel is about the same at 13-14mm. I'm sure as technology advances, the advantage will be towards on-screen buttons as then it will be possible to minimize bezel space. Although I personally like some bezel space to be able to hold onto without touching the screen. Imagine not having any bezel space at all at the bottom, that would look odd. I like my phones symmetrical. :)

On-screen buttons disappear only in certain apps that I know off. It hasn't been implemented in a lot of apps. Probably due to Nexus phone lines being the only one with on-screen buttons. Everybody else is still using physical and capacitive buttons. I notice it when playing video games, some games have the ability to make it dissappear while others don't. This isn't very consistent that I would consider this an advantage to other phones without on-screen buttons.

I do agree that the power button is easier to press where your thumb is naturally at, but it's nice that there is another spot you can press to turn on the screen especially for a bigger one like the Note 2. Probably not as important in smaller phones.

Thing is, I just don't see this offering me anything the note 2 doesn't all ready. I'd prefer on screen or all physical buttons, but this doesn't have it. I don't care about 1080p as I likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and 720p and 720p is less hog on the horsepower. The battery is practically the same and the processor is a small bump. Finally, the note 2 has the s-pen. Though I won't use it often, when I do (remote desktop and drawing)it will be amazing and definitely missed. Come T-Mobile's next sale, I'm getting the Note 2 whether this is out or not.

Sir I think your completely wrong. You will most certainly notice a difference between the Note 2's display and this one. It's almost 200 pixels sharper. Since the Note 2 has such a big screen 720p honestly kind of looks bad because it's so fuzzy. But this would be crystal clear. Yes the battery is practically the same but still comes with a much better screen. And for you to say that the processor is only a slight bump in speed to the one in the Note 2 you are highly misinformed. Just because the clock speed is only slightly higher doesn't mean the processor in general isn't spectacularly faster. Just look at the iPhone 5 and it's 1.3Ghz dual-core processor. It's much faster than the 1.6Ghz quad-core in the Note 2. Since the Optimus G Pro is coming with the Snapdragon 600 that means it's going to be 50% faster than the S4 Pro which is still considerably faster than the Exynos processor in the Note 2. And Qualcomm stated it's 50% faster in their press conference and they don't lie. *much*

On the pixel density, the Note 2 has a ppi of 267 vs the 400 of the Optimus G Pro. That's only 133. Also, the limits of the human eye mean that most can't decern a difference once beyond 300 ppi, and that's if your eyes are perfect (mine certainly aren't). I don't know how you can say the Note 2 is fuzzy. I've checked it out in store many times and thought nothing of the sort.

2nd, my note on the processor has nothing to do with clock speed. It is once again a mater of diminishing returns. The Note 2 remains seamless through almost all usage. I admit I haven't seen any comparisons between the two, but I don't think they are even around (I searched before my first post). Plus, how much more of a drain will it cause to have to drive over twice the number of pixels that the Note 2 is (2.073 mil for 1080p vs .921 mil for the note 2).

This processor could end up being much faster than the Note 2's, but even if it is how often will you do something that shows it? If both devices are buttery smooth 99% of the time, then how much does it matter?

Looks really nice. The super sized phones are not my thing at this time but spec wise this hits everything. I really like what LG is doing. They still need to prove OS support to take my money.

Yea agree. The specs are awesome. It looked like they listened to consumers and made everything we wanted. Removeable battery, bigger battery size (or maybe this is about right for a 5.5" screen?) SD card, and 32GB internal memory, wireless charging, etc.

So, let's say both this Optimus G Pro and Note 2 cost the same, which would you buy?

What if the Optimus G Pro is $50 more, which would you buy then?

What if it'd cost $100 more than the Note 2?

I would go with Note2. Spec wise LG wins hands down, but Samsung got the software down. Multi view, air view, gestures to call and send messages, etc are all nice. Plus Samsung phones have a ton of accessories. IMO 2nd best with Iphone being the top for most accessories. So that is an additional plus.

I think user experience plays a bigger role than hardware. as long as it runs smooth and brings great user experiences then I'm sold.

Trust me, it won't be that expensive (~$900) in the US. Electronics (just about everything actually) is more expensive in Korea when you convert the currency directly to US$ or any other currency. But all items tend to sell several hundreds less.

Someone finally listened to the smartphone user about expandable SD card and removable battery and this phone has 2 GB of Ram and 32 GB of storage this is going to be the phone to beat, this is going to be my next phone. HTC if your reading this article or seen and read about this phone take notes this is what android is about. Its what makes it different about apple products now lets hope its developer friendly on rooting it with custom kernels. This phone with cyangenmod would be the best Android phone in a long time. Also finally a OEM ignored Google about expandable memory and removable battery