Of all the manufacturers who showcased handsets at the Mobile World Congress, amongst the busiest was LG, who had a strong line-up of devices on show. One of the more interesting devices was the LG Optimus G Pro, a powerhouse smartphone running on Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2
The Optimus G Pro is a hefty handset, weighing in at a top weight of 172g, and measuring 150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4mm. The front of the handset is dominated by the huge, 5.5 inch display, which has a pixel resolution of 1080 x 1920, which equates to 401ppi.
The True HD-IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen fits from edge to edge of the handset, with just a thin bezel around the outside, as LG made use of every available space to fit the display in. LG are pretty bullish about the quality of the display here, claiming that it renders colours 100% accurately and it is easy to see why they are so confident. The display is very impressive, and images present extremely well. In this regard the G Pro more than holds its own against other devices sporting AMOLED displays.
Running on Android Jelly Bean, the Optimus G Pro is powered by a Quad Core 1.7 GHz processor, and has a 3140 mAh lithium polymer battery. Internal memory on the handset is 32GB, with 2GB RAM, with support for MicroSD cards up to 64GB in size. As part of Jelly Bean the device benefits from the inclusion of Google's Project Butter, which makes the OS very smooth and fluid to use. LG have layered their own UI on top of the Android firmware, which bites deeply into the operating system, endowing the handset with a number of additional customisation features. Many Android fans take issue with manufacturer UI's, claiming that with the later versions of Android the system has a good enough UI of its own. But it is unlikely they will disappear any time soon, as rival manufacturers strive to make their device stand apart from the competition.
The handset includes a high quality 13.0 Megapixel camera, which is capable of recording 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. There is also a front facing 2.1 Megapixel camera, which can also record 1080p HD video at 30 fps. There are a number of options within the camera UI, with user customisable shortcut options, so you can quickly find the features you use most often.
An interesting feature on the video recording side is you can use both cameras simultaneously to record a video clip. The front facing camera places its recording inside the picture of the main camera, as happens when you make a video call. This gives the option of being able to record a video clip and capture yourself giving a commentary of what's happening inside the clip, too. The cameras can be switched, making the rear camera the secondary lens and the front facing camera the primary.
As a flagship phone, you would expect the G Pro to offer the best in mobile connectivity, and LG do not disappoint, equipping the handset with HSDPA, HSUPA, WiFi, NFC and LTE 4G. EDGE and GPRS are also available, and the handset includes Bluetooth, GPS, aGPS and GLONASS, too.
The device has a full media player, supporting a good number of formats for music and video playback, including FlAC and DivX. There is a 3.5mm audio jack, plus support for stereo Bluetooth, and the G Pro includes Dolby Mobile Sound enhancement for superb audio quality on playback.
There's no doubt that, buoyed by the success of the Nexus 4, which LG brought to market for Google, new life has been breathed into the LG brand. Now is the opportunity for LG to build on that, and with the Optimus G Pro they have a device that is able to compete with the top devices from other manufacturers.
The build quality is top notch, performance is excellent, and the specification puts it at the top of the tree. Whether the device will appeal as an everyday usage handset will remain to be seen, but given the success Samsung have had with the Note and Note II, there is no reason why LG can't muscle in on that market with the Optimus G Pro.
The G Pro is expected to be released during Q2 2013.