Taking a look at synthetic benchmarks, the Optimus G Pro is one of the three fastest smartphones currently available on the market, which is not surprising given that it is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 chipset with four Krait 300 cores running a 1.7 GHz clock, aided by Adreno 320 graphics. It also includes 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by micro SD cards to a capacity up to additional 64 GB. In practice, the difference between the speed of this device and other smartphones with the same (or similar) hardware background is nonexistent — absolutely every task runs fluidly, without any lag, including zooming in and out or scrolling through heavy web sites.
Knowing that the industry has clearly reached a pinnacle regarding performance, LG has, much like Samsung with the Galaxy S4, used the processor power for inventing new software options. The device comes with Android OS 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) with the option of upgrading to the current version, and with LG’s Optimus UI, which is quite mild and closer to “pure” Android than what HTC’s Sense UI or Samsung’s TouchWiz have to offer. Actually, the most evident difference compared to the Optimus G, as well as older LG devices, is that the applications drawer has been adjusted to the screen size and has five columns and six rows with icons.
Software innovations that use processor power are thus mostly “hidden” in already delivered applications or are reduced to system options. Apart from the mentioned option of simultaneous video recording with the front and back-facing cameras, the much more useful innovation is the multitasking option with the second screen.
Thus, it is possible to connect the Optimus G Pro to a TV set with MHL and reproduce video in full HD, while doing something completely different on the phone’s display. Certain applications can be run in a floating window while another application is being used in the background. The so-called Wise screen is also supported, which is identical to Samsung’s Smart Stay (the phone follows the user’s eye movements), which puts the device on the Galaxy S4’s level when it comes to software. The Optimus G Pro has proven to be a great challenge for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note III.
The quality of photographs taken with the 13-megapixel rear-facing camera is above average. A certain amount of noise appears with details and while shooting under poor lighting conditions, however, sharpness and exposure precision are highly satisfactory. The colors are vivacious on photographs, regardless of the shooting conditions, and are even slightly oversaturated. This is usually never seen as a flaw, but rather as an advantage, and purchasers of this device will surely be pleased with the results of the rear-facing camera.
They will be less pleased, however, with the video recorded by the Optimus G Pro, seeing how the level of visibility of fine details is drastically lost compared to taking photographs. Continuous autofocus and automatic exposure are not entirely precise and timely, which results in rather unimpressive recordings. There are smartphones that record full HD video at 30 fps significantly better.
Depending on the market it is delivered to, the Optimus G Pro comes with a spare battery. This is a practical addition, given that the existing battery with a relatively great capacity of 3140 mAh during more intense usage can lose its charge before the end of the day. It is good news that the additional battery pack also includes a docking station, which can recharge the phone wirelessly by simply leaning it against the station. However, it should be kept in mind that the primary and the spare battery cannot be charged at the same time, although there is a slot for the spare battery on the docking station.
As far as everyday usage goes, we found that the Optimus G Pro is more economic during frequent usage of 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi antennas than during more intense display usage. This means that despite using the chipset that has been optimized for HD resolution, a bigger display dimension (from the previously seen 4.7 or 5 inches when it comes to Snapdragon 600 devices) clearly affects power consumption the most.