We began our day at Mobile World Congress with a visit to LG's booth, where it offered hands on with its 1H 2013 lineup of smartphones. Among them is the new 5.5" Optimus G Pro, the larger brother of last year's Optimus G - the basis for the Nexus 4.

The Pro adds a 5.5" 1080p display, driven by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 SoC (quad-core Krait 300 running at 1.7GHz paired with an Adreno 320 GPU. Internally there's 2GB of LPDDR2 memory, and storage expansion is provided via a microSD card slot beneath the battery cover. The 3400mAh battery is removable.

The Optimus G Pro is mostly made out of plastic but the device felt good in hand. It's pretty impressive what can be done with plastic these days although it seems like metal and/or glass are necessary for the ultra high end device feel. When it comes to ensuring that a device feels rugged, there's no real replacement for plastic however.

The Pro features an IR emitter as well as an extendable DMB antenna, the latter should obviously disappear if and when this thing hits the US market.

The display itself looked wonderful at the show. The 1080p panel is very sharp, bright and contrasty. Subjectively, colors looked good at the show but we'll have to run it through our suite to get a feel for just how accurate the colors are.

The demo units at the show were running Android 4.1.2. They also featured LG's own software customizations, including the ability to view multiple apps on the screen at the same time (QSlide) and set their transparency so you can do things like have a video or calendar visible while reading a web page. The QSlide feature is clearly geared towards multitasking, similar to what Samsung has done on its Galaxy Note line. You launch QSlide enabled apps via the LG customized notifications shade, and then control their transparency using a slider at the top of each QSlide app. While semi-transparent, the app will ignore touch input allowing you to continue to interact with the app behind it. In opaque mode however you can interact with the foreground QSlide app. Although it is possible to open multiple QSlide apps at the same time, you quickly run out of screen real estate. 

Another neat feature of LG's latest Android build is Dual Recording, which is a camera customization that allows you to simultaneously record from both the front and rear facing cameras. The 13MP primary camera is limited to 720p recording in this mode.

The Optimus G Pro felt extremely quick and responsive during our hands on time at the show. Scrolling and UI performance was all very smooth. Given that we haven't had much experience with Snapdragon 600 and its Krait 300 CPU cores I ran a few tests here at the show to get a feel for what is in store from Qualcomm's performance mainstream quad-core SoC for 2013:

Mozilla Kraken Benchmark

Using Chrome, Kraken showed some great performance on the Optimus G Pro. While not quite as fast as Intel's Atom Z2460, it's a big step forward compared to the APQ8064 (Krait 200) based Nexus 4. If this data is representative of the sort of improvement we can expect from Snapdragon 600, I'll be happy.

On the graphics side, Adreno 320 is still powering things on the G Pro, although we don't know what clocks the platform at the show was using:

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

Since the Optimus G Pro uses a full HD/1080p display, the on and off-screen results are very similar. Frame rates are low enough in Egypt HD that the lack of vsync in the offscreen tests doesn't have a real impact on performance. Although respectable, I suspect that the 26 fps here is a bit lower than we'd see on production hardware since the 320 should be clocked higher in Snapdragon 600 than in the S4 Pro from last year. 

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  • Froyorkshire - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    The Nexus 4's problems have more to do with its construction, because the virtually identical Optimus G doesn't experience the heating problem as badly. Since the Optimus G Pro is an upgrade to the G instead of the N4, I think it's safe to say it won't have the problem.
  • Chloiber - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    As far as I remember, Anandtech wrote in their review of the Nexus 4 that the GLBench crashed on the Optimus G when they ran the tests sequentially (probably because it didn't throttle at all and the SoC was overheating which resulted in a crash). Because of that, they ran the benchmarks with some time in between. I think that's actually the reason they even thought of overheating in the N4 because they already had problems with the Optimus G.

    Now I don't know whether the issue was resolved on the Optimus G afterwards or not. The results from the GLBench are a bit strange though, as the One also scored relatively low. So it's either throttling or a software/driver issue - let's just hope software :)
  • flyingpants - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link


    Maybe Galaxy Note 3 will have it :)
  • flyingpants - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    Isn't putting a nexus 4 in a freezer giving it an unfair advantage? Do you think any of the other phones are losing performance from thermal throttling (maybe nowhere near as severe as the Nexus)? It would be interesting to test them all in a freezer to find out
  • jonup - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    You can easily disable throttling in terminal. And I would not consider that unfair/unrealistic scenario, because Google Nexus is targeted at enthusiasts and it is really run in stock setup. It's generally the other way around. Testing stock Nexus is unrealistic.
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    It's also listed on the charts under normal operating conditions.
  • aranyagag - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    If the galaxy S4 is not using exynos octa and is instead taking qualcom 600 , this phone has everything I need-- Good that they have a removable battery and an sd slot.
    Anand could you please post the amount of internal memory, and whether the sd card slot is compatible with 64 gb cards?
  • aranyagag - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    it has a physical home button with capacitive back and menu buttons
  • aranyagag - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    internal memory is 32 GB and sd card is 64 GB

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