LG Optimus G Pro review

A worthy rival for those suffering from Galaxy fatigue

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LG Optimus G Pro review

With such an expansive display, the Optimus G Pro practically screams out to be your new BFF when it comes to playback of multimedia content. Some of the built-in options fall a bit short, but thankfully there are plenty of others to choose from via Google Play.

Almost small enough to overlook, a small infrared sensor sits on the top of the handset, next to the headphone jack. Coupled with the included QuickRemote app, this sensor allows the G Pro to take control of living room devices – assuming it can find them, that is.

QuickRemote mimics a traditional remote with an attractive user interface that adapts to whatever device you're controlling. We had no problem adding a seven-year-old, 50-inch Samsung HDTV as well as a recent LG Blu-ray player, but the software failed to discover settings for our Sony receiver.

LG Optimus G Pro review

While QuickRemote does provide categories for TV, cable box, audio, DVD, Blu-ray, projectors and even air conditioners, we were surprised to discover absolutely nothing for modern set-top boxes, such as Roku or Apple TV. This is a shame, especially when QuickRemote can has the ability to control different gadgets in up to five different rooms.

LG also continues to push Miracast for Apple AirPlay-style content sharing to a larger display. Unfortunately, this feature requires a 2012 or later LG HDTV or the purchase of a separate dongle, and we had neither on hand, but our initial hands-on with the G Pro showed "a decent amount of lag," ultimately limiting this dual display trick right out of the gate.

Of course, we also tested plenty of third-party entertainment apps from Google Play which worked great on the G Pro, including Hulu Plus, Plex, Netflix and Dish Anywhere. (The only notable exception we found was VUDU, which only runs on select Android tablets as of this writing.) For an extra $9.99 per month, AT&T bundles Mobile TV, but with limited programming choices, users are better off downloading official (and free) apps.

LG includes stock Video and Music Player apps, which are serviceable methods of viewing supported formats including MP4, WMV and DivX for video files, or AAC, MP3, WAV and WMA audio files. Given the wide range of better third-party options, we'd rather see such apps consolidated into a single general media player.

If you prefer to create your own home movies, LG also preinstalls Video Wiz, a simplistic video editor for adding a few clips, selecting an optional theme, tossing in some music and creating a slick movie with minimal effort. It's not quite as full-featured as something like iMovie on the iPhone, but it gets the job done nicely.

You'll have plenty of space, too: The LG Optimus G Pro ships with an ample 32GB of internal storage, with 23.3GB available out of the box. If that's not enough, up to 64GB can be added via micro-SD slot, which can be found under the back cover near the SIM card slot.