LG hasn't always been a fan favorite: For a long time the company was best known for its budget handsets that did little to stand out from the competition. In recent years, however, LG has earned a reputation for creating solid, reliable devices. The LG Optimus G Pro continues that string of successes, blowing away its nearest competitor in size and design, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, and rivaling the recent HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 as one of the best Android phones on the market. The G Pro runs like a sports car engine in the body of a family minivan--an unassuming aesthetic mixed with luxury performance. Provided you can fit it in your hand (a big caveat), this quick, flashy giant might very well be the phone for you.
Built for Goliath
At 5.9 by 3.0 by 0.4 inches the Optimus G Pro is larger than almost any other phone on the market. Like last year's Galaxy Note II, the G Pro packs 5.5 inches of screen real estate, straddling that fine line between tablet and phone.
On the other hand, the G Pro carries its size well. It's definitely overlarge (people with tiny hands, beware), but I found the G Pro surprisingly comfortable to operate. In addition to a volume rocker, the left spine of the handset features a quick-launch button that can be customized to open any app on the device--handy for accessing the camera or a browser. The G Pro is slightly slimmer than the Galaxy Note II, which helped it sit better in my average-size hands. You're also able to compress the keyboard closer to the left or right side if you really want to use the device one-handed.
As for the screen, it's a beautiful behemoth running at 1920 by 1080 resolution, with a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch. That's a much higher resolution than what you get on the Galaxy Note II's 267 pixels per inch and 1280-by-720-resolution display, though the G Pro's density doesn't quite live up to what the HTC One and Galaxy S4 offer (both are 1920 by 1080 displays, with 469 and 441 pixels per inch, respectively). Unfortunately, this beautiful screen is housed in a cheap plastic exterior that relentlessly attracts smudges. The phone is by no means ugly--especially with the screen on--but it just doesn't stand out, as the lovingly-honed HTC One does.
Performs like a pro
Driving this enormous phone is the same basic architecture as the HTC One--a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM. The G Pro feels quick and incredibly responsive. The phone handled everything I threw at it with ease, including bleeding-edge games and resource-intensive applications. The G Pro comes equipped with 23GB of usable storage out of the box, though you can always add more via a MicroSD card.
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