Hands on with LG's Optimus Pro smartphone

BARCELONA—LG kicked off the first official day of Mobile World Congress Monday by showing off its latest Android smartphone, the Optimus Pro. That wasn’t the only smartphone to get some attention from the company at its Monday press preview, but the Optimus Pro stood out, thanks to its high-end specs and impressive array of features. I managed to grab some hands-on time with the phone to see how well it handled in person.

At first glance, you could easily mistake the Optimus Pro for a Samsung Galaxy Note II. Both phones have a 5.5-inch display, a physical home button, and a rounded rectangular design. Once you get ahold of the phone, though, you quickly realize that this isn’t Samsung’s stylus-equipped “phablet.”

How thin is the LG Optimus Pro smartphone? This thin.

The Optimus Pro doesn’t feel as sturdy as the Note II and didn’t sit as comfortably in my hand. Where the Optimus Pro does excel, however, is in its HD IPS display, which boasts a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch. Text and photos displayed on the phone looked extremely sharp, with vibrant colors that were a real treat for the eyes.

The Optimus Pro ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and runs on a hefty 1.7GHz quad-core processor. I experienced no lag whatsoever while using the handset, something I can’t really say about most other smartphones I’ve used. Apps opened instantly and home screens flew beneath my fingertips. The Optimus Pro’s 13-megapixel camera took some decent shots, but I really would have liked to test it under better conditions; the booth was too brightly lit, and the shiny white tables made lens flare a serious problem.

That’s a 13-megapixel camera on the Optimus G, though it was hard to gauge just how good its photos look in the unforgiving lighting at Mobile World Congress.

LG didn’t give us a U.S. release date or pricing for the Optimus Pro, so it’ll probably be a while before you see the phone on store shelves in the States.

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

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