It’s been a long time since LG released an Android tablet and the last time we remember it was outrageously expensive. LG’s comeback to the tablet market is marked by the G Pad 8.3 with a form factor that’s strikingly akin to the iPad Mini. Check out our full review of the LG G Pad 8.3 after the break.
We thought LG would have given up on the tablet market altogether but after it announced the G Pad 8.3 last September, it made a really good first impression. It was designed well, had an impressive configuration and was also priced competitively.
The only other critical factor is when they’d release it in the local market. Fortunately, the answer to that is this December.
Design and Construction.
The G Pad comes with a simple yet elegant design. The solid body is made of a combination of metal and glass, crafted into a smooth slab with curved corners and a slim body.
The size is very close to that of the iPad Mini but slightly taller due to the 16:9 screen aspect ratio. The front panel is entirely covered by Gorilla Glass while the back panel is mostly covered with brushed metal aluminum.
The power button and volume controls are on the right side, the 3.5mm audio port and slot for microSD card are on top, microUSB port and microphone at the bottom end.
The 5MP rear camera is tucked at the top corner at the back while the 2.1MP front facing camera is on the other side, just beside the LG logo. The dual stereo speakers at the back are both flushed towards the right corner giving you the impression that it is meant to be oriented in landscape position when playing music or movies.
With an 8.3-inch IPS LCD, the G Pad comes with a full HD 1080p resolution. That puts it at about 265ppi in pixel density, among the highest in Android tablets we’ve seen of late.
The IPS display on the G Pad is undoubtedly among the best we’ve also tested — colors are natural, screen is bright and vivid, images are sharp, high contrast and very wide viewing angles.
Like the G2, the G Pad has a very thin bezel which is generally good but sometimes could get cumbersome while holding the tablet in portrait orientation (it is perfect for landscape orientation though).
The tap to wake or tap to sleep feature is also present in the G Pad (borrowed from the G2) which is among the most useful and practical feature we’ve seen.
OS, UI and Apps.
The G Pad comes with Android 4.2 Jellybean which is already a capable version of the operating system. LG added the same Optimus UI (there was no news about changing the name of their UI) we were already familiar with, especially on the G2.
The user interface is clean and simple, with some additional features that were first introduced in the G2 were also added (like Quick Memo and QSlide).
Multimedia and Camera.
We first saw the Quick Remote on the LG G2 and the same feature is also found on the G Pad. We’ve extensively tested the remote app for TVs and other appliances and it worked almost flawlessly most of the time (even on air conditioners).
QPair is another native app to the LG G Pad that allows you to share SMS and other notifications from your G2 to your G Pad. We liked the fact though that you can actually edit the soft button menus and re-arrange them or add another button.
While the tablet only has 16GB of internal storage, there’s also an option for USB OTG so you can plug in a flash drive or HDD if you want to access larger 3rd party storage. That’s aside from the option to expand external storage via microSD card.
The pair of speakers at the perform quite well, just enough power and some level of clarity although bass is expected to be lacking in oomph.
The 5MP rear camera is decent, works good with ample lighting but degrades very quickly on low-light conditions.
Photos are nothing spectacular but pretty decent; good enough for a tablet. As for video recording, here’s a sample of a YouTube clip we got:
Tick on the 1080p setting before playing the clip.
The autofocus works well and focuses at the subject at very close range.
Performance and Benchmarks.
The tablet is a very capable one and is able to handle anything we throw at it, from gaming to multimedia, all while multitasking several apps.
The G Pad scored a good 11,483 on Quadrant, a high of 22,199 on Antutu Benchmark and a full 60.0fps on Nenamark 2.
These scores are better than the ones we got from the Xperia Tablet Z and the Nexus 7 2013. The only other tablet that scored much higher than the G Pad is the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (with its octa-core chip).
Connectivity and Battery Life.
The current model that we reviewed is the WiFi-only variant as the LTE model is not yet released. Nevertheless, we’re contented to have the usual connectivity options like Bluetooth and GPS on board. In fact, we’re already happy that it comes with a built-in IR blaster as a remote control.
We were hoping there’d be NFC here as well but unfortunately, there’s none.
As for battery life, we’re pretty satisfied with the performance of the G Pad. On normal use, we manage to last over a day — mostly running social networking apps, Chrome browser, music player and YouTube.
Using our standard battery bench of playing a full HD 1080p movie in a loop at 50% brightness and 0% volume, the tablet lasted close to 8 hours.
With a suggested retail price of Php16,990, the LG G Pad 8.3 is probably among the best Android tablets you an get around these days, right up there with the Nexus 7 2013. In fact, the two are are almost in the same caliber but the G Pad 8.3 slightly edges over the Nexus 7 2013 in some aspects (like premium build, wireless remote, expandable storage).
We can definitely say LG G Pad 8.3 is a great comeback in the tablet market for LG Mobile. It’s got the right mix of everything — beauty, performance and price competitiveness.
LG G Pad 8.3 V500 specs:
8.3-inch IPS LCD @ 1920 x 1080 pixels, 265ppi
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor
Adreno 320 Graphics
16GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD card
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
HSPA+/LTE 100Mbps (optional)
5MP AF rear camera
1080p video recording @ 30fps
2.1 MP front-facing camera
4600mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 4.2.2 Jellybean
216.8mm x 126.5mm x 8.3mm
338 grams (weight)
What we liked about it:
* Very nice design
* Premium build quality
* Great hardware configuration
* Impressive display quality
* Good battery life
What we did not like:
* Lacks NFC
* Low internal storage