LG Optimus G Pro review

A worthy rival for those suffering from Galaxy fatigue

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It takes a good deal of power to keep a bright 5.5-inch display running, so a removable 3140mAh battery powers the G Pro. Slip a fingernail into the notch at the lower right edge and the entire back of the handset pops off, easily snapping right back on with a well-placed push on each edge.

Although LG rates the G Pro for 15 hours and 30 minutes of talk time or 24 days standby, those estimates vary wildly depending upon what you actually do with the device. For example, we left both Skype and third-party Google Voice VoIP app GrooVe IP running in the background and barely made it through a full day, even with the handset idle most of the time.

LG Optimus G Pro review

Of course, there's a lot going on inside this beast, not the least of which is accessing AT&T 4G LTE's network on Band 4 and 17. Though not yet as prevalent as competitor Verizon Wireless, we've found AT&T to run faster in our neck of the woods, and the LG Optimus G Pro continued that tradition.

LG Optimus G Pro review

On the high end, we peaked at 17.43mbps down and as much as 12.60mbps up when using the SpeedTest app, although something closer to half those figures would be considered a more reasonable real-world result. Unless you're spoiled by blazing-fast Google Fiber speeds, the G Pro delivers.

Those not in an AT&T LTE area will still have access to HSPA+ 21Mbps (with backward compatibility to EDGE or GPRS) with coverage on UMTS 850/1900/2100MHz and GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz. Cast aside those dreams of roaming free with any old micro-SIM card like the international model, because this G Pro is locked up tight to AT&T's network.

While imprisoned on AT&T's network, you'll have a Mobile Hotspot app to share the data connection with up to eight other devices as well as Smart Wi-Fi, whose goal is to save battery life by automatically switching to known hotspots. We gave it a spin, but found that it wasn't much of a time-saver in practical use.

Speaking of Wi-Fi, the Optimus G Pro deftly handles 802.11a/b/g/n wireless connectivity as well as Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and is also capable of streaming media via DLNA-enabled devices.