G Pro watches your eyes

The Optimus G Pro is the new "flagship" smart phone from LG, a real go-getter with its quad-core processor and a beauty too with its 5.5-inch touch screen.

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset comprised of a 1.7GHz quad core CPU and an Adreno 320GPU (graphics processing unit), it relies on the operation commands of the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean system.

You get two gigabytes of RAM, ample to prevent crashing or freezing, and the 16GB on board can be expanded up to 64GB with a microSD card.

The Full HD IPS display is gorgeous in 1,920x1080-pixel resolution at 400 pixels per inch. IPS (In-Plane Switching) is LCD technology that offers better viewing angles and colours. In this case the viewing angle is an impressive 178 degrees, great for any activity, from viewing photos and Web pages to watching video. Everything always looks sharp.

The 13-megapixel main camera has an f/2.4 aperture. Together with the 2.1-megapixel front camera, you're assured of good image quality for a mobile device.

Before buying, though, consider the 3G operator you use, because there are two models. The E988 supports a 900/2100MHz 3G connection and the E989 goes for 850/2100MHz.

My test was with the E989 on TrueMove H's HSPA+ 3G connection at 850/2100MHz, and it did very well. Its touch-screen and menus were very responsive. Applications were handled fast, videos and music played smoothly and Internet pages popped up quick.

Connected to TrueMove H, I could download and install applications rapidly and upload pictures to Facebook and Instagram just as fast.

Among the useful built-in fun, there's a function called QSlide that allows you to work on two windows at the same time. A swipe of the screen from the top reveals the QSlide bar with a menu of Videos, Internet, Memo, Calendar and Calculator. Use any two simultaneously, overlaying and resizing the windows as you please.

QuickRemote uses the G Pro's infrared port to turn it into a universal remote, letting you organise the functions according to room type, and not just the living room or bedroom but also the kitchen! Then select the device to be controlled. In the living room that might be the TV or its set-top box, or the air-conditioner or a projector.

Not all devices are compatible. I couldn't get QuickRemote to control my Samsung and Humax satellite receivers. But it had no problem with the TV sets.

QuickMemo is a built-in diary that will store photos. You can jot notes by hand if you buy the stylus pen. A QuickButton key activates QuickMemo and will also grab any screen shot or take a photo (when in camera mode) for QuickMemo so you can write or draw on it.

Then there's a function that gets the front camera to monitor your eyes so that the screen never shuts down while you're reading. Another function will also pause a video if you look away from the screen, and then resume play when your gaze comes back!

In Dual Recording mode you can record videos with the front and rear cameras at the same time. In Dual Camera mode you can get simultaneous pictures of your subject and yourself.

The image of you is superimposed as a window over the main photo and you can move it anywhere you like.

Finally, VR Panorama mode gets great shots of entire horizontal or vertical environments and creates 360-degree views.

The LG Optimus G Pro has a suggested retail price of Bt19,900 (S$770).

Key specs

- OS: Android 4.1.2Jelly Bean

- Networks: Model E988 supports 3G 900/2100MHz and Model E989 supports 3G 850/2100MHz.

- CPU: 1.7GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Processor

- Display: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Plus (1920x1080 pixels / 400ppi)

- Memory: 2GB RAM

- Storage: 16GB (up to 64GB external memory)

- Camera: Rear 13MP with LED Flash / Front 2.1MP

- Battery: 3,140mAh (removable / wireless charging capable)

- Size: 150.2x76.14x9.4mm

- Weight: 172g