LG Optimus G Pro, one of the highlight devices of the MWC 2013 was launched in India on July 4th in New Delhi. The launch event was held at Le Meridien Hotel and Techsplurge was one of the few technology blogs present to check the device out that many have already counted to be one of the biggest competitors of the vastly successful Samsung Galaxy Note II.
The bloggers got a lot of time with the device in the event to play around with the device. The event in itself was a sparkling one with plenty of lights, razzmatazz of music and whose who of the India Tech Blogging world present. The Blogger’s meet was scheduled at 17:30 hours. We were excited to be a part of the show and had a good solid look at the device. Since we had the device for a fairly short period, we feel we would not be justice if we wrote a full review. So, here are our initial impressions of the G Pro and we promise to come up with a full review once we have used the device extensively. Let’s dive in.
Before anything else, let us get into how heavily will this device weigh on your pockets. With the drum rolls playing in the background, it is pretty shocking that the LG Optimus G Pro will set you back by about Rs. 42,500. However, some of the online retailing outlets such as Flipkart have the device for as less as Rs. 39,000. The device is available for pre-order right away and the delivery date is promised to be in the second week of July.
We definitely are a little apprehensive of the price. The reason being simple, the G Pro is not an Apple product. And we have seen pretty much every device apart from an iPhone which has touched the 40K zone has hit a bit of a dead end. The BlackBerry Z 10 and Q10 being a prime example. Yes, the HTC One, has been one exception and that is primarily due to the fact that everyone has always loved the premium build quality that HTC delivers with it’s devices. For all the goodness of the G Pro, we feel that the price is maybe a couple of thousand bucks northwards. However, you never know with the market, you may see a slash if the device does not do great. Our golden mantra? Patience.
The chassis of the LG Optimus G Pro is mainly plastic. The plastic is always attracting finger prints but LG did mention the device will ship with a smart cover which would double up as a wireless charging jacket.
The back of the device has a very similar plain patterned back as that seen on the LG Nexus 4. Holding the device does give you a premium feeling and we found it to be a lot more comfortable in hand a compared to the Galaxy Note II or several other phablets we have seen. There were no visible creeks in the device and the subtle curves on the sides made the device comfortable in pocket.
The LG Optimus G Pro is 76.1 mm wide as compared to 78.7 mm Samsung Galaxy Note II. This makes the device a lot more comfortable to hold and carry
The back cover although flimsy was very easy to pull off and add the Micro Sim card and the Micro SD Card. There is a metallic looking ring which runs around the device like we have seen on some of the Samsung devices. The star of the show as far as the hardware of the device is concerned though, is the notification LED.
The notification LED is flanking the home button of the device and is capable of producing several colours. Gives the feeling of a glowing home button and especially in a dark place, this looks absolutely stunning. You can set the LED to show certain colours when certain people are contacting you. For example, set red color for the Boss, so you see the light and know who it is and so forth.
The speakers on the device in our little time of playing were loud though we really aint exactly sure how good they are due to the loud music at the gallery. The power on/off button is located on the right flank of the device and the volume rockers with a button to launch any application on left. For someone like me, with fairly large hands, I found the power button to be a little small, but for average users this should not be an issue. The 3.5 mm headset jack is located on the top of the device alongside the IR Blaster and the Micro USB connection port is at the bottom with the primary microphone.
Real Time Performance
In the little time we got with the device on the spot, the performance looked crisp. We did download a couple of games and the device performed well with everything we threw at it. Multitasking was real time, but that is more of a credit to Android than LG, but still, things were generally snappy and we found the device to be smoother than any other phablet. Closing and opening the apps was breeze and there were no stutters as we scrolled across the apps page and the home screens. There was no visible lag until we really threw the kitchen sink at the device which is to be expected.
The 1.7 GHz Qualcomm 600 SoC is the same one that we have seen under the HTC One or even the Samsung Galaxy S IV and it does not disappoint here either. There is a dedicated Adreno 320 GPU to help you with your graphics intensive stuff, and 2 GB of RAM to make sure things flow along nicely. In our short time with the device we had no complains with the performances of the phone.
Screen: Size Does Matter
The LG Optimus G Pro sports a massive 5.5 inches IPS Plus LCD Display with true HD resolution of 1280×1920. This gives the device a PPI of 401. Although this is lower as compared to the market leaders such as HTC One and the Galaxy S IV, but there is a catch. And not many bloggers knew about it until Mr. Amit Gujral, the Mobile Product Head of LG, India told us. Pixels on the LG Optimus G Pro are divided into three sub pixels instead of two as on the Samsung Galaxy S IV.
This is primarily te reason why the display on the LG Optimus G Pro is really vivid and sharp. The colours are natural and deep, in fact really natural and you will be forgiven for a second to be thinking the display actually is AMOLED. Even in real bright lights as present in the gallery, readability was never a problem. Viewing angles were fine, but once again we cannot vouch for the outdoor visibility since we could not bring the device out.
The size of the screen though is a double edged sword. If bigger the better, is your mantra you will love the screen. However, for me, using the iPhone 5 and HTC One, I found the screen to be a little too big to be using it everyday. One handed operation is pretty much impossible and if you have tiny hands then you might want to play with the device first before you invest into it.
There is a lot LG has changed on the G Pro
LG Optimus G Pro does not not come with Stock Android. The device is currently running Android 4.1.2 but an update is right around the corner. However, LG has added lots of bling stuff and not necessarily everything is really needed. Some of the features that really impressed us were:
VR Panorama: The ability to capture 360 image view is an Android feature, but LG seems to have implemented it better than anyone else yet. Taking VR Panorama is easy and quick.
Q Remote: We had a gripe with our HTC One that you needed a third party application for the IR Blaster to work. Despite that some of the Indian devices were not supported. None of that with the LG Optimus G Pro as the Q Remote worked really well and we actually did turn an AC off.
Q Apps: Q Apps are launched right from the notifications bar. They basically are small apps that run in the foreground of the task you are doing. You can open as many Q Apps as you want and this is really good as you can have the Calendar calculator all open as you browse your website.
Dual Recording: LG Optimus G Pro allows you to record from both the front and back camera simultaneously in full HD. Again, this is a unique feature in the device and we were impressed with how well the video played after recording it on a PC.
Audio Zoom: Audio Zoom is another feature we really liked. It allows you to zoom the audio in any video so you can listen to things a lot more clearly. Very interesting new add on.
VU Talk and ability to take notes from hand: VU Talk is another LG exclusive which allows you to share a notepad sort of a thing with your friends and you both can actually scribble on it at the same time. Basically, IM with real time writing and scribbling support. This is visual talking. You also have a neat notebook feature, where you can simply scribble and save ideas.
The rear camera in the LG Optimus G Pro is 13 MP and takes really neat snaps. We could not transfer any snaps and see the real quality of a desktop, but the camera worked well. Due to lights there were no real dim lights situations for us the test the camera in low light. The video recording was smooth and although there are not many customisations possible with the camera, the basic necessities such as HDR are present.
The front facing camera is 2.1 MP, and was very average. Overall, the camera of the LG Optimus G Pro serves a purpose and that is to take images for social networking like several other smart phones. There is nothing groundbreaking here. Nothing until now at least.
We will be having an extended period with the device in the coming week, but for now, the first impressions are good. The device is aimed a people who want an all rounder device which does lot of things very well without excelling ever at one particular thing. It is a powerful phone, no doubt and a large phone. Pretty simple to say the G Pro is the closest thing there is in the market to the Note II and if phablets are your thing, and price is no issue, then the LG G Pro is definitely worth considering if you are picking up a new Android phone.
We will come back with a video review and a detailed written review of the device soon. Till then, if there is anything in particular you want us to cover about the G Pro, please let us know in the section below.