Now there is an almost-affordable ‚”phablet‚”, as LG enters the large-screen fray with the 5.5‚” G-Pro Lite. SAUL KROPMAN tests his high expectations of the device.
When Samsung released their Note ‚”phablet‚” the concept of a phone big enough to be a tablet didn’t exist. Fast-forward three phablet generations and the concept is exploding. Not everyone needs a high-end phablet, so enter the LG G-Pro Lite, a 5.5-inch device that combines a big screen and a stylus with slightly more modest specs. It’s important to disclose that the LG G2 was probably my favourite phone of 2013 and that I’m an LG fan, so the G-Pro Lite had a lot of expectations.
Let’s talk numbers:
We’re talking a 5.5‚” 540X960 pixel screen (it’s certainly not full HD, but does the job) coupled with a dual core processor, 8 Megapixel rear camera, built-in stylus and a 3000mAh battery. In layman’s terms: big screen, big battery, combined with a decent camera and processor.
On the outside, we have the standard three Android buttons on the front of the screen: with Home being a physical button, along with Power and Volume buttons around the side. Just above the Volume buttons is another key that turns on Q-Memo. This app and the stylus are designed to take notes by drawing on-screen. Yank off the back of the phone to access the SIM and Micro SD slots and, while it’s a slightly disturbing process, once the cover is on it’s all fairly solid.
Speaking of, the phone can support up to 32GB of extra memory and comes with 8GB to start. This does make the G-Pro Lite appealing for watching movies/series on long trips although HD fiends will find the lack of resolution a problem. Battery life is also great with a 3000 mAh battery powering the phone through close on two days’ usage.
Software is pretty standard Android with a couple of LG tweaks. There’s Knock-On, where a double tap of the screen activates the device, as well as Q-Slide, which allows for shortcuts to apps from the Android notification bar.
The phone comes preinstalled with BBM one of the first non-Blackberry phones to do so as well as a bunch of LG branded apps.
While the G2 blazes through any sort of app you throw at it, the G-Pro Lite is slightly lower-spec. However, since the screen resolution is also lower, it can handle any app. I found that every app with the name ‚”Angry‚” or ‚”Bird‚” in it worked perfectly, and daily usage is fairly seamless.
Using the big screen definitely helps when it comes to browsing the Web as well as sending and receiving emails. I’ve been a long time iPhone user, but I’m rapidly seeing the benefits of a bigger screen for productivity purposes. Thankfully, the phone is super thin, meaning it doesn’t feel uncomfortable in the pocket.
It’s hard not to like the G-Pro Lite but, at the recommended price of R4799, it’s an even easier product to want. If you’re looking for a phablet that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you’ve come to the right place. LG are rapidly becoming my favourite Android manufacturer and the G-Pro Lite is yet another great device in its arsenal.
* Follow Saul Kropman on Twitter on @SaulKZA