Aug 23 AT 2:49 PM Steve Raycraft 24 Comments

Review: LG Optimus G Pro: Great choice for larger phone


Remember back in the ’80s when we saw over-sized cell phones and longed for the day when they would be less cumbersome? Welcome to the future. Cell phones are lighter and thinner and definitely pack more punch than the phone we saw Zach Morris use on Saved By the Bell. However, despite becoming thinner, the trend is once again pointing towards larger phones. There are several 5-inch-plus devices from all the major manufacturers, most notably (no pun intended) the Samsung Note II. I recently had the privilege of spending some time using the LG Optimus G Pro and found that, while the device has its flaws, I do appreciate the larger sized “phablet” device as they are begrudgingly called by many people.

The Good

Performance: The LG Optimus G Pro is powered by a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, carries 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 chip to handle graphic processing. The G Pro arrives with Android 4.1.2 and, combined with its fast processor and large amount of RAM, performance on the device was great. I experienced little to no lag when moving between screens, browsing the web and opening applications.  I expect that the performance will only get better if LG decides to update the software for the phone.

Display: The Pro G sports a large 5.5-inch IPS screen with a full HD 1080p resolution, giving it a pixel per inch value of 400. The display remained easy to read in various lighting conditions and when viewed from different angles. I found the colors on the phone to be very vibrant. The text was clear and crisp, making it a pleasure to read books on the G Pro.

Build: There are many factors that determine the build quality of a device. Some are subjective, like how a phones feels when you hold it, but we all agree durability and comfort using our phone is important when shelling out large sums of money for a device. The G Pro weighs in at 173g, which is slightly less that the Note II, but it still feels solid. LG uses a thin aluminum frame to separate the Corning Gorilla glass from the plastic removable battery cover on the back. I typically use a case on my device, but the G Pro feels durable enough to stand on its own without a case.

Network: What good is a phone with great specifications if it’s crippled by the network it’s running on? Fortunately, the AT&T network in my area is rock solid. While traveling the county, I consistently had a strong signal and only fell below two bars of service a couple of times. The data speeds I received far exceeded my expectations; I averaged 27MBs down and 12MBs up on the AT&T 4G network.

Battery: The G Pro sports a healthy 3140mAh battery, and after 8 hours of moderate use, I found I still had around 30% battery available. Power users many need to have a charging cable nearby, but they still should make it a majority of the day without needing to charge the phone.

The Bad

Quick key button: LG added a button on the left side of the G Pro to provide a quick shortcut to applications. The default is set to QuickMemo, but it can be customized to launch any application. I applaud LG for having a dedicated button, but all too often, I found myself accidentally hitting the button and unable to navigate on my device. I typically keep my phone in my front pant pocket, and there were many instances when I took the phone out of my pocket and found the phone had launched QuickMemo. It would be nice if the button was either on the top or bottom of the phone instead of the side.

Interface: A good user interface is crucial to any device, and this is one area where I feel LG dropped the ball.  The LG software overlay seemed antiquated, and it was not as intuitive as I would have hoped. The G Pro remains outdated, arriving with only Android 4.1.2 instead of 4.2, which is already shipping on many other devices. LG hasn’t mentioned anything regarding what devices will receive the new Android 4.3 software update, but given the Optimus G Pro is a high-end device, it’s quite possible that it will see this update sometime in the future. Hopefully the UI will get a slight tweak as well in the near future.

Pen: A 5-inch smartphone lends itself to using a stylus. Given there is a QuickMemo app, it was surprising to find the G Pro does not ship with a built-in pen. This is one glaring area whee the Note II outshines the Optimus G Pro. Hopefully we will see a pen included in the next iteration of the device.

The Final Word

If I were to sum up the Optimus G Pro in one word, it would be “competitive.” The Optimus G Pro falls into a market that may not appeal to everyone. We all want the most for our money, but not everyone is willing to carry a smartphone that barely fits in your purse or pant pocket. LG may not have the same amount of money other manufacturers have to promote their product, but do you really need that when you have a quality product that sells itself once you’ve used it? The Optimus G Pro isn’t in the limelight as much as the Note II, but when you compare specs and build, they are very similar. The Optimus G Pro is a great “little” device for those looking for a less expensive upgrade to a new “phablet” smartphone. You can find the Optimus G Pro on AT&T for $99 on-contract and $439 off-contract. There’s also a new White color option available.

I was first introduced to Android with the Samsung Fascinate and I've been hooked ever since. I love the customization that Android offers the user to personalize their phone. I enjoy writing and have been blessed with the opportunity to share this passion for Android with others.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Arthur

    Wish Paranoid Android supported the G Pro, from what I have read, the build quality is better than the Note II and the screen is really good. I hate the LG skin so that is the primary reason I am not getting one.

    • Richard Yarrell

      Plain and simple the Lg Optimus Gpro is nothing more than a boot leg wanna be Note 2 which it isn’t.

      Sales have been comically low on [email protected] which in my was expected.

      Bottom line Note 2 reign supreme nothing else matters till September 4th of course.

      • Jake H

        Why Richard, what happens on Sept fourth? Please enlighten us.

      • squiddy20

        Says the dumbass who “wouldn’t touch any LG products with a 10 foot pole”. If that’s true, how do you know it’s a “boot leg wanna be Note 2″? Can’t know something until you try it. Retard.

    • MarySand

      my neighbor’s mother-in-law makes $65 every hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for 10 months but last month her check was $15263 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more… C­­A­­F­­E­­4­­­4.â…­­­­O­­­â…¯

  • Nick Gray

    I think LG is doing a lot of things right, especially with external hardware and build quality. While their phones may look very similar to what Samsung has to offer, LG manages to make its product feel more premium. In my books, LG has the upper hand on hardware, but Samsung still beats them on the software side. That’s pretty bad considering that I have almost no respect for Samsung’s UI. The features they offer are good, but both LG and Samsung need to go back to school and learn a thing the basics of UX.

    • donger


  • Matt

    This is the best phone I have used and I personally find the lg software and ui to be light and pretty good…he’ll of a lot better then TW that I had on my note.

  • sweet

    good phone but not a great phone imo. Looking to see what samsung is going to bring to the table.

  • HavokTEK

    I own this phone and find it a solid piece of hardware next to my wife’s GNote2. I’ve beennburnt by LG in the past with the tmo phone. Here they follow the same path…Good hardware ahead of it’s peers, and then it’s forgotten and the flaws never fixed with a software update or a new iteration of the phone. So even though I know this fact, I have this phone and it rocks. Wish it had some developer support from the community and LG themselves. Damn where’s my stylus!!

  • Laura

    I just purchased this phone the other day after having the IPhone 4GS and so far I have fallen in love with it. I love the size of it and how light it is. The battery life is very impressive. Camera is good quality the customization is endless. I was going to wait for the new Note phone which would be coming out in September but this was much cheaper and seemed like basically the same thing as the note only no pen. And I’ve found one can write very easily with just a finger. I’m happy I’ve made the switch to Android.

  • thymeless

    Good phone at a good price. It’s been on my list as a contender for next phone for a while. The main thing holding it back for me is the lack of developer support. There’s root for it, but the ROM situation is pretty bleak. LG shouldn’t have given AT&T an exclusive on this. If it was available from many vendors, it would have sold well I believe. And that would have been better for all of us.

  • jean65

    If you think Glenn`s story is unimaginable,, a month ago my moms best friend basically also easily made $4922 sitting there a ninteen hour week in their apartment and they’re neighbor’s aunt`s neighbour has done this for 10-months and errned over $4922 parttime from there laptop. applie the tips on this web-site………….

  • Raptor

    LG got its advertisement through sites like this.

  • NeoJesus

    Note 3 will have 3gb of RAM.

    I used to have an ipad. Not having a lot of RAM sucks when you surf with a lot of tabs. It runs out of memory and reloads the tab from the internet when you touch it.

    I want lots of RAM.

  • amy74

    my buddy’s mother-in-law makes $82 every hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her pay was $20584 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site ……..

  • Bobbi

    I want this phone!!! It looks like a great device and almost all the reviews are positive. BUT…… I’m in Canada and as far as I can see its not available here yet anyone know when we can expect this larger than life phone here :(

    • Ross

      I reccomend you to get DROID MAXX

  • barry

    This has been my very first smartphone.I fought all the technology for a long time but found that I really needed the GPS, and ability to search businesses and phone numbers on the go. I was due for an upgrade and when I found out I could get this phone for 100 bucks I jumped on it,,As I stated earlier this is my first smartphone so I really didn’t know any better I or have anything to compare it to,but after having it for a few months and noticing how fast it was compared to my friends iPhones I don’t regret getting this phone at all it is bad ass!!! It controls everyTV in my house even the air conditioner thermostat.I’m sure it has its drawbacks is I will find out later but its a good phone the screen is bigger it takes great pictures

    • tmorgan

      How long does it take to get from the lock screen to actually taking a photo? The Moto X is very fast at taking a photo but I’d like a bigger screen like this LG device.

  • andrew

    Snappy response times, fast dual and wide band 4g connection where I live, a brillant screen which leaves almost every other high end device (as at Nov. 3rd)in the ‘also ran’ bin.
    Expandable storage, something which LG’s flagship G2 doesn’t get.
    The Nexus 5 will be $100 cheaper outright with the G Pro currently selling at a discounted price. The Nexus will run a little faster, but no micro SD card.
    Which leaves the more expensive Note 3 as the only contender. The iPhone 5s is just a toy in my book. Too small for multimedia use.
    I have just ordered 2 of these, one as a gift, the other in black for me.

  • Andy

    Awesome, huge screen. Good battery life. A nice set of widgets that make it possible to multitask with ease. The price is right. Ir you need a case.

  • Quadricana

    my LG g pro is drop battery too much.

  • Randy

    The LG G2 is much better phone than LG Optimus G Pro. In addition to that, it has a battery that lasts so much more and the bezels in the sides are very narrow making it an amazing phone. The only con is that you will need a case if you don’t want your phone shattered. Best cases you can buy for LG G2 right now are: