LG G Pad 8.3 review: Couch surfer

Couch surfer

GSMArena team, 25 October 2013.

Phonebook sans network calls

The phonebook of the G Pad 8.3 is pretty much the standard Jelly Bean affair with added UI goodies sprinkled on top. It has a tabbed interface, in which the central tab lists all contacts alphabetically. You can navigate the tabs by swipes or, alternatively, touch the specific tab labels.

Because this is a Wi-Fi only tablet, all the options related to calling are removed, but you can still store contact phone numbers alongside images, email addresses, and more.

The tablet interface splits the screen into two, with your contact list on the left and your selected contact details on the right. There's a quick alphabet scroll on the right and a regular search bar on top of the contacts list. Besides the contact list, the other tabs are Groups and Favorites.

Filters keep the phonebook from getting messy - you can choose which groups are displayed and which are hidden (e.g. Family, email contacts, Twitter contacts and so on). The list can be sorted by first or last name and you can choose how contacts are displayed - First Name, Last Name or the opposite.

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Contacts and Favorites • Viewing a single contact

You can edit the contact info by hitting the pencil icon in the upper right corner, while the star icon next to it will add them to favorites. Editing a contact is pretty straightforward: you can add or remove fields as needed, as well as specify the types of phone numbers, email addresses, ringtones, additional fields and even add notes.

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Editing a contact

Loudspeaker test

We also ran our traditional loudspeaker test on the G Pad 8.3, to find out that it has a decent speaker. It scored an mark of Good and should not be difficult to hear except in the loudest of environments.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Amazon Kindle Fire66.6 63.766.9Below Average
Apple iPhone 566.8 66.167.7Below Average
Microsoft Surface RT61.7 60.264.2Below Average
Sony Xperia Tablet Z66.064.670.1Below average
Google Nexus 1068.366.167.8Average
LG G Pad 8.366.966.675.7Good
Asus Google Nexus 768.6 65.975.8Good
Samsung Note II N710070.0 66.680.5Good
Apple iPad mini68.265.775.7Good
Apple iPad 467.266.175.9Good
Samsung Galaxy Note 370.5 66.678.0Good
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 201475.766.677.2Very Good
LG Optimus G74.671.382.7Excellent

Messaging

Email capability is excellent with support for Exchange available out of box, and social media buffs will be pleased with the level of SNS integration as well.

The extended Gmail features include batch operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted, spam reports and of course conversation-style email view mode. Your inbox is divided into Primary, Social, and Promotions sections, and you can swipe individual emails to the side for quick archiving.

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The Gmail app

The generic email client supports multiple accounts, and operates in much the same fashion as the Gmail one. If you add multiple accounts, then the Combined Inbox feature will come in handy, although there's no conversation-style view like in Gmail.

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The generic Email client

QWERTY, Path, voice and handwriting input

The LG G Pad 8.3 offers a standard QWERTY keyboard, which features both portrait and landscape typing. The keyboard fills up the screen nicely and offers great ergonomics with ample spacing between keys, still leaving enough room above the keyboard for you to see what you're actually typing.

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The QWERTY keyboards

The level of speed and accuracy are commendable in both portrait and landscape. There's a dedicated setting that enables keypress vibrations.

There is Swype-like (LG dubbed it Path keyboard) input as well, though it's somewhat uncomfortably out of sight in the Input Language submenu. You need to enable Shape Writer instead of the standard QWERTY layout in the settings.

Voice input is enabled too, as well as handwriting. Furthermore, since this is a Jelly Bean device there's also support for offline voice typing, as long as you have preinstalled the required language packages. We are really pleased with its speed and accuracy, too.

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Handwriting • Split keyboard

The 8.3" display allows plenty of space for cool keyboard features. One of them is the Split keyboard option from the settings menu. It's pretty easy to enable - just pinch to zoom out on the keyboard in landscape mode. There's also an extend keyboard option as well as one for handwriting. The latter is invoked by flicking the portrait keyboard sideways, to resize it for comfortable one-hand input.

Mind you, having the Path keyboard option on will conflict with (and effectively disable) the Split and One Hand keyboard options.

Reader comments

  • AnonD-142628

People complaing bout poor camera quality? well i don't care about the camera on a tablet. who takes pics with a tablet anyway....thats stupid.

  • AnonD-142628

Great review. Sounds like serious competition for Nexus 7 2013. I was about to buy nexus 7, but i'll wait and try out LG G Pad first.I like the bigger screen..it's much wider. Only thing i don't like is LG UI. Nexus is 32 GB, LG only 16 GB, but LG is...

  • vicky

good