As Android smartphones go, the LG Optimus G is a pretty capable, if nondescript, handset. Apparently, the folks at LG thought they could do one better, and the result is the 800-pound gorilla known as the Optimus G Pro.
Increasing the already expansive 4.7-inch display on the Optimus G, the G Pro features a stunning 5.5-inch, True HD IPS LCD. While it's only packing a pixel density of 400ppi, it's a bright, in-your-face display that consumes nearly the entire front of the device and can be viewed from just about any angle you can imagine.
For comparison's sake, that's bigger than either of the current Android darlings, the Samsung Galaxy S4and HTC One, and only slightly smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, its spiritual cousin. As plastic handsets go, we prefer the Optimus G Pro's look and feel to that of current Galaxy models, although you'll want to keep a tight grip on it, since the back cover tends to be somewhat slippery at times.
Externally, the Optimus G Pro is a welcome departure from its predecessor. In place of the square-ish frame of the earlier model, LG has rounded off the corners and edges here to keep the 5.91 x 3.0 x 0.37-inch device as thin and unobtrusive as humanly possible.
At 6.14 ounces, the end result weighs nearly a full ounce over the original G, but the difference is negligible without holding them at the same time. Although AT&T markets the Pro as "indigo" in color, the fishnet-style dark blue back cover comes off as sheer black in all but the brightest lighting.
Aside from the 1920 x 1080 Full HD screen, the front of the G Pro features a physical home button that echoes the Galaxy S4, but this one is more slender and ringed with a cool LED light that pulsates in different colors to get the user's attention when notifications arrive (or crimson red while charging). Capacitive buttons for back and menu flank the home button, but they're invisible until you actually use them.
A thin metal frame surrounds the Optimus G Pro, almost thin enough to be imperceptible on the sides, but definitely noticeable at top and bottom, which feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and micro-USB port respectively, along with a pair of noise-cancelling microphones.
On the right edge is a power/lock button, while the left features a volume rocker along with a customizable "QuickButton," which can be set up to launch anything you'd like. The removable back cover features a 13MP camera lens with the familiar AT&T globe beneath it; at left is a small speaker, with LED flash at right.
All this goodness is powered by a quad-core, 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB RAM, and this combo does a rather spectacular job while scrolling, swiping between screens and pretty much anything else. We benchmarked the G Pro at 19,791 using AnTuTu 3.3, which smokes most anything else Android with the exception of a Galaxy S4 or HTC One.
At this writing, the LG Optimus G Pro is an exclusive to AT&T that will set you back $199.99 with two-year agreement or $549.99 for those who prefer to go month-to-month. (The unlocked international model, which even includes a spare battery, will set you back $750 by comparison.)