24
Feb
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When we first caught a leaked glimpse of the Optimus G Pro in 5.5" form, Note II comparisons were immediately drawn - the G Pro really is the Note's not-so-long-lost brother.

This morning, at LG's booth at MWC in Barcelona, we got some hands-on time with LG's latest and largest handset, and overall, it impresses. The Optimus G Pro is running Android 4.1.2, and it's by far the quickest non-Samsung handset I've ever used. I'm guessing LG has begun implementing some Project Butter optimizations into its UI layer (they have to be manually added by the OEM - they don't just 'happen'), because this thing is stupid quick.

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As far as the hardware, I'm on the fence. On the one hand, the G Pro feels very solid (like the Optimus G), but it also seems quite heavy and thick compared to the Note II. The back of the phone has the same patterning as the Nexus 4, in white, though it doesn't have the same clean look of that phone - the texture on the G Pro looks ostentatious, and just kind of aesthetically unnecessary. It really screams "tiled bathroom" to me.

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The physical home button looks a bit too small in most photos I've seen, but it's actually ever-so-slightly raised above the chassis, making it fairly easy to depress. It also glows green (and presumably red) around the edges when you're charging the phone, which is kind of cool. The Optimus G Pro (and most of LG's new phones) also has a rather confusingly-placed memo button of sorts (it brings up LG's take on Samsung's S-Memo), which was also present on the Vu. There's also a kind of neat circular Qi charger you can use with it.

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As a refresher, the G Pro is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, and its 5.5" IPS LCD display is one of the largest 1080p panels we've seen to date (though Pantech holds the crown). LG's managed to stuff a 3140mAh battery and 2GB of RAM in there as well. Compared to the company's first phablet effort, the Optimus Vu, the G Pro feels vastly more refined. This could definitely be a viable competitor to the Note II - at least until the Note III is unveiled.

Check out our hands-on video below for more - international pricing and release information have not yet been announced for the G Pro, though the device has already been launched in LG's home market of Korea.

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • spydie

    no mention of a stylus (smart pen)? Guess it won't be much competition

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      There's no pen included with this device.

      • Sergio

        Key difference...

  • TylerChappell

    Quick! Someone is stealing it!!! Oh...wait...that's just LG stealing Samsung's design.

    • mauric

      Now it's just waiting for apple to sue LG.

      • Paul

        I was thinking Samsung suing LG for "copying" them. Pure irony really. But its all good, I love my Note II, finest Android phone I've owned to date, fast, stable, does its job, etc. I see no need to "upgrade" if you would call it an upgrade. Although I'm more of an Android fan than Samsung fan, (I go with whatever is best and at this time Samsung seems to be doing it), I keep an eye on the competition. Although LG is a bit of a sore spot for me, I've had troubles with their handsets in the past. They'll have to keep making good quality products for a while before I' consider them over Samsung or even HTC or Sony.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Holy crap, talk about a UI that copied Samsung in the first photo. Those buttons are not standard Android and so many of them look just like Samsung's, it's kind of ridiculous.

    LG, come on, you can find your own identity without doing this.

    • Jay T

      Yeah, when I saw that pic I had to look closely to see which phone was which.

    • Freak4Dell

      It's all good...now Samsung can sue LG. Circle of life.

    • abdulhadi

      I want to know is Qremote
      can it control ac if yes then what brand it can control !!
      that will be amazing!!

  • Sujay

    Damn Awsome phone..... Cool..... Samsung.... Just get lost.....

  • s44

    KIRF Note2... lovely. The size screams for a pen though.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Does it though? I have the Note II, but I don't ever use the pen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/vivecuervo7 Isaac Dedini

        Exactly. If you want a pen, get a Note. I have been using the Note since it came out and have used the pen only for the two weeks I was playing Draw Something.

      • Mario

        I think this will appeal to those that don't want an s-pen, and people who like the monster snapdragon 600. Plus, much easier to flash CM, AOKP, or PA on it since you're not loosing any functionality like multi-window, and s-pen gestures.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Yeah, it's definitely not a bad device at all.

  • http://www.yepi2.info/ yepi2

    I like it because it gives me a sense of comfort in the other phone. thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000395806552 Carlos Manuel Leemet

    I have galaxy nexus and nexus 4 looks pretty similar which is a little bit annoying and now that phone which looks pretty same as note II...
    It's like same look another manufacturer and the chips... :DD

    Nice but I think LG can do better than this...

  • mauric

    It just looks like a cheap rip-off of the note II. Only this LG comes without a pen and with less functionality. I don't see trouble for samsung here.

    • Paul

      I like the 'idea' of the S-Pen but in reality I rarely use my S-Pen. There's so many tricks/shortcuts with it and it's just a hassle to learn/remember, I stick to using my Note II as a normal Android phone, but I like the 'idea' of having the S-Pen. The only thing about this LG that even remotely interests me is the 1080p display. I'd consider that a bigger pro than the con of of not having the S-Pen. But I'm perfectly content, nay I'm very happy, with my Note II at the moment.

  • sillmacka

    I thought this was running a snapdragon 600 soc. At least that is what Anandtech claims in their hands on test. http://www.anandtech.com/show/6792/lg-optimus-g-pro-hands-on-performance-preview-snapdragon-600-tested-at-mwc-2013

  • Giorgos Angelos Makris

    Dat bezel

  • L boogie

    Have to wonder what the Note 3 is gonna be like but I'm in no hurry, I'm enjoying the Note 2 minus the 1080p screen which would definitely be on the next iteration but as far as this LG phone, should have launched with 4.2 otherwise it's a very good phone despite the almost in your face ripoff of Samsung's bad boy

  • Ivan Myring

    The fastest phone that isn't Samsung? What about the nexus 4, HTC one and Xperia z

  • blairh

    It actually weighs less (160g) than the Note II (182.5g).

  • Freak4Dell

    This looks a lot nicer than the Samsung one. Losing the pen kind of defeats the purpose, but I'm sure people will buy it and look at life sized pictures of their cats or whatever it is that people do on these giant phones.