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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Behold the behemoth G Pro

An expansive and bright screen

Touting a thin profile

Keeping it in high-end the family

Not for baby hands

Sports Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2

13 megapixels for serious shutterbugs

Plethora of photo-editing options

2.1-megapixel shooter in the front

Powerful Snapdragon 600 inside

Wireless charging is separate

Unveiled at MWC 2013, the LG Optimus G Pro is a 5.5-inch device that will launch in Korea this month, followed by a North American release in Q2. Though it lacks a stylus, the quad-core handset is still packed to the brim with Android Jelly Bean, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,140mAh battery.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The G Pro has a full-HD IPS screen with 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and 400ppi. It sports a 16:9 aspect ratio, is bright and responsive, and has a wide viewing angle.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The phone has a slim 0.25-inch profile. On the left, you have a flush volume rocker that's situated quite low on the edge -- almost right in the middle of the body. Above that is the QuickMemo shortcut key.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

You can see that LG is trying to give its top-tier phones a more cohesive look, and the handset flaunts the same glittery (bathroom-esque) tile design seen on the Nexus 4 and the Vu II.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Though the screen size is great for media and entertainment, other things had to take some getting used to. For example, texting became much more cumbersome, especially in landscape mode. Taking into account that I have small hands, it was hard reaching letters that were in the middle of the keyboard.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The phone includes 2GB of RAM and runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Our unlocked device had a bunch of standard Google apps like Messenger, Maps with Navigation, Local, Voice Search, Talk, Chrome, Gmail, Search, Plus, YouTube, and access to Play Movies and TV, Books, and Store.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The back of the device houses a 13-megapixel camera with flash. A small strip of chrome encircles the lens, which bubbles up ever so slightly out of the back plate. To the left is a small audio speaker. Using a small indentation on the left edge, you can pop off the backing and access the 3,140mAh battery and both the Micro-SIM and microSD card slots.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The camera comes with loads of options, such as: four photo sizes (from 1,280x960 to 4,160x3,120 pixels); a 15x digital zoom; a flash; geotagging; a timer; four color effects; five white balances; five ISO options (from 100 to 800); six scene modes; three focuses; a brightness meter; a voice-activated shutter; and a time-machine option that enables the camera to take shots even before you press the shutter.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The front-facing 2.1-megapixel camera includes three photo sizes (from 1,280x960 to 1,920x1,088) pixels; two scene modes; and the same white balances and color effects. You'll also get geotagging, a timer, the option to save a picture's mirror image, voice shutter, and beauty shot.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The device is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core CPU, and it's one of the first to run a Snapdragon 600 processor. I can attest that it's incredibly fast -- small tasks like quitting to the home screen, browsing through the app drawer, pinch zooming, and scrolling through text were all executed without hesitation. And more complicated tasks were done just as smoothly.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Underneath the plate is an NFC chip. Though the handset is capable of wireless charging, you'll need to buy a special back plate from LG to make use of it.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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