Road Test: LG G Pro

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - Si­mon Din­gle si­mond@fin­

Why have a TV and a phone when you can have a phone the size of a TV? You could also use it as, say, a tea tray or chop­ping board – and it’s per­fect for hid­ing be­hind in cof­fee shops when you don’t want to be spot­ted, fur­ther dis­rupt­ing the news­pa­per in­dus­try.

The LG G Pro is big. Very big. It’s a mas­sive, 5.5” hunk of plas­tic that over­whelms your hand. It’s also a great smart­phone once you make peace with the size. And it has a nasty user in­ter­face – but you might be able to look past that too.

The first thing that strikes you about the G Pro is the screen, which is not just big, but also beau­ti­ful. With a full HD dis­play and bright, vi­brant colour re­pro­duc­tion, this is one of the best screens avail­able and scores the G Pro big points in our books.

Un­for­tu­nately, this beau­ti­ful mon­i­tor is also used to dis­play atroc­i­ties in the de­sign depart­ment. As is usu­ally our gripe with man­u­fac­tur­ers run­ning the An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem, LG has de­cided that Google’s de­sign depart­ment isn’t good enough and has de­vel­oped its own skin for the op­er­at­ing sys­tem, com­plete with big, clumsy switches for set­tings tog­gles and some truly ter­ri­ble icons. Like Samsung, LG has ac­tu­ally made the An­droid ex­pe­ri­ence worse in its at­tempt to dif­fer­en­ti­ate.

Se­ri­ously guys, leave it to Google. It has bet­ter de­sign­ers than you.

It’s not all bad, how­ever. Some of LG’s “im­prove­ments” are ac­cept­able, such as its func­tional lock screen and no­ti­fi­ca­tion area. In gen­eral, how­ever, I’ve never longed more for a stock An­droid ex­pe­ri­ence, free of clut­ter. Then there’s the hard­ware. This is a very sturdy prod­uct that feels solid with­out be­ing heavy. The build qual­ity is re­ally very good, es­pe­cially com­pared to the pla­s­ticky fin­ish of, say, the Samsung Galaxy S4. The G Pro is also quite thin, which

means that it fits com­fort­ably into pock­ets, de­spite the over­sized screen.

It also has an im­pres­sively large bat­tery that per­forms very well, es­pe­cially for a phone this size. The cam­era is quite good in well-lit en­vi­ron­ments, but fairly ter­ri­ble in low light sit­u­a­tions.

This phone will not ap­peal to ev­ery­one – but for those users who want a ‘ph­ablet’, the G Pro is one of the best choices avail­able. The rest of us will want to wait for the far more ap­peal­ing LG G2 that was re­cently un­veiled – al­though it might take a while to get here if the wait on the G Pro was any­thing to go on.

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