Another mid-range tablet that mixes performance and value for money with great success
The eight-inch tablet has really come of age in recent months. Spurred on by the iPad mini’s 7.9-inch screen, Android tablets hovering around the eight-inch to 8.5-inch mark are doing well.
This particular 8.3-inch tablet, the aptly named LG G Pad 8.3, has a very attractive build. Much of the back is made from metal giving a strong all round finish and smooth touch. The two speaker grilles sitting parallel to one long edge rather destroy the generally sleek design lines of the back, and that’s a bit of a shame. The grilles are also indented, and that means they might attract dust and fluff over time. Sound quality is a little tinny but it’s liveable with, and there’s plenty of volume.
The power and volume buttons sit on the upper right long edge of the chassis. They are comfortable to use one-handed if you are working with your left hand and holding the tablet in tall mode. One-handed use should be possible for most adults, with the reach around the 126mm chassis not too much of a stretch. The weight of the tablet isn’t really a problem, either. We were quite happy to hold the 338g of this tablet for protracted ereading, web browsing and gaming sessions.
LG’s G2 became quite the unexpected hit with its innovative rear-mounted buttons and tiny bezels. Can its big brother repeat the feat?
If you like your phones on the big side (we don’t want to say ‘phablets’, but you know what we’re talking about…) then your choices are somewhat limited. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been the one to have up to now, with commendable efforts by HTC in the form of the HTC One Max and Sony with the Xperia Z Ultra. After the good but not exceptional original G Pro, LG is back with another shot at the format with the G Pro 2. Is it the new king of the hill?
At 5.9 inches, the new device has a larger screen than the Note 3, matching HTC’s One Max. All of the devices have a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, which is common to all flagship devices at the moment – the forthcoming G3 will likely be the first device from a major manufacturer to make the push to Quad HD (aka QHD – 2560 x 1440). A Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU is paired with 3GB RAM, again matching the Note 3 while besting the Snapdragon 600 found in the One Max, which is starting to look a little ‘last generation’ now. 16GB or 32GB of storage is onboard, expandable via micro SD, wireless connectivity is as exhaustive as you’d expect with dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and LTE support. Imaging comes courtesy of a 13-megapixel rear camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and a 2.1-megapixel front camera.
From a design perspective, LG has very much opted for a common design language when the G Pro 2 is compared to its smaller G2 sibling. The two key elements of the design – the expansive screen with tiny bezels on the front and the innovative button placement – are immediately apparent and the former comes courtesy of the latter. By moving the buttons to the back, LG reduces the space needed around the screen allowing for an ultimately smaller device with a screen that really ‘pops’ as you use it.
With its unique curved design the LG G Flex turns heads – but does this Android phone live up to the hype? Find out in our full review
The LG G Flex is one of the most expensive smartphones you can buy at £650. For that amount of money you should expect top of the range perfection from a handset. What you get with the G Flex is certainly different, but we aren’t sure a purchase would be money well spent.
The gentle curve from top to bottom is the obvious thing that makes this 6-inch screened phablet stand out from the crowd. It brings the handset closer to your mouth when you make calls, which LG marks as one of its strong points.
The curve also means, says LG, a better video viewing and game playing experience. We’re not sold on that, to be honest. And given that the screen’s resolution is just 1,280 x 720 pixels, it is not exactly cutting edge.
Android Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks 5 is now on sale
The new fifth volume of Android Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks is the most comprehensive yet. Its in-depth masterclasses cover everything you need to know to get started with your Android device, from using the phone’s camera to managing battery life and more. For those looking to expand the functionality of their Android and start using some of the cutting-edge apps and services, the Tricks section is a real treasure trove with an abundance of step-by-step tutorials. And, for the adventurers among you, the definitive guide to hacking is finally here; from flashing a Jelly Bean ROM to your phone to freezing unwanted apps. Plus there’s a comprehensive guide to all the essential apps you simply must download.
Andy Betts, Editor of Android Magazine, said: “Android Tips, Tricks, Apps and Hacks Volume 5 is an indispensable guide for all Android enthusiasts. If you’re new to the system and looking to discover what makes Android so great, or an experienced user who wants to learn how to hack and tweak your device then you will not find a more comprehensive book.”
Too good to miss, Android Tips, Tricks, Apps & Hacks 5 is available now (24/01/13) at www.imaginebookshop.co.uk and all good retailers for £9.99.
We review the Nexus 4, from Google and LG and the first to run Android 4.2.
The Nexus range of devices have always been the ones that most excite Android enthusiasts.
Although traditionally not as consumer-friendly and therefore not able to match the sales of big hitters like the Galaxy S III, the devices represent Google’s vision of what an Android device should be and often serve as a reference for the handsets produced in the coming months.
Since Google’s business is not reliant on hardware sales the company is also able to sell the handset through its Play Store at close to cost SIM-free. The Nexus 4 is also available on contract through O2 in the UK.
We review the LG Optimus 4X, the latest quad-core Android phone
When it comes to sales LG is only a bit part player on the Android scene, so the Optimus 4X HD will naturally struggle to reach out from under the huge weight of publicity its fellow quad-core devices the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are getting, but it is a handset that has surprised us in almost every way.
The form factor is unusually well thought out for an LG phone and includes a number of design touches that you may not expect to see in high-end Android phones these days.
The back cover and edges are subtly retro in appearance and add just enough personality to make it feel more than simply a large Android phone that is all about the screen. On the subject of the screen, it performs well in all lighting conditions and the way it handles video and complex games has to be seen to be believed. It does not offer the same immediate gratification as the HTC One X, but the processors and screen technology work together to put it at an advantage for certain tasks.