LG Optimus G Pro enters the oversized Android phone fray

If you're wondering what the next crop of high-end smartphones will look like, the answer is “bigger.” LG's Optimus G Pro is yet another example of the ever-decreasing size gap between phones and tablets.

The Optimus G Pro's core specs

The 4G LTE Optimus G Pro has a 5-inch 1080p display, which represents a bump up in both size and resolution as compared to the original Optimus G’s already big 4.7-inch, 720p screen. The Optimus G Pro also gets a boost in processing and battery life, thanks to a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip and a 3000 mAh battery; its predecessor had a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and a 2100 mAh cell.

So far, Japan's NTT DoCoMo is the only carrier to announce the LG Optimus G Pro, with plans to launch the phone in the spring. LG will likely have more to say soon, with Mobile World Congress coming up in February. At the moment, AT&T and Sprint sell variants of the original Optimus G, which is arguably LG's best high-end phone.

Other spec boosts for the G Pro include a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2.4-megapixel front-facing camera. The new phone’s internal storage capacity is 32 GB, but it also has a card slot that supports microSDXC cards. While U.S. versions of the original Optimus G are still waiting for an upgrade from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the new phone will come loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

A growing trend... literally

Phones with 5-inch, 1080p displays seem to be the big trend among Android handset makers right now. The Optimus G Pro will face competition from the upcoming Sony Xperia Z and Huawei Ascend D2, along with HTC's Droid DNA (or the J Butterfly in overseas markets).

Samsung's Galaxy S IV is rumored to have a 5-inch display, as well. With nearly identical tech specs across the board, phone makers will have to compete on minor features, such as waterproofing in Sony's and Huawei's phones and a Beats Audio sound system in HTC's devices.

Here's a thought: If companies like HTC or LG really want to stand out in this day and age, they could offer smaller phones with premium tech specs instead of cramming pants pockets with increasingly larger devices. But that's just crazy talk, right?

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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