LG G Pad 8.3 review: Couch surfer

GSMArena team, 25 October 2013.

Standard connectivity options

The LG G Pad 8.3 isn't the most feature-full device when it comes to connectivity, but it does have most of the basics covered (except network connectivity, of course).

Local connectivity consists of dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast wireless display, and Wi-Fi Hotspot.

Wi-Fi Direct is a technology that lets devices connect to each other without the need for a Wi-Fi hotspot. The beauty of it is that only one device has to be Wi-Fi Direct-enabled for the magic to happen.

Using this technology several (up to eight) devices can share files in a more advanced, fast and secure way, paving the road to the eventual demise of Bluetooth. Speaking of which, there's also Bluetooth capabilities for connecting accessories.

The USB port has yet another feature - it enables USB On-The-Go. You'll need an adapter for that too (again, there isn't one in the box).

The G Pad 8.3 has several ways to push out multimedia but it can do more than that - the IR emitter and QRemote app allow it to control your multimedia setup, whether a TV or set top box.

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IR remote control devices are organized into rooms adding a new device editing a room

You can add multiple devices to QRemote and organize them by room so it can easily handle your home theater setup or the TVs in all your rooms at home

The app is accessible right on the lockscreen by way of a widget, which saves you a click when you want to use the G Pad as a remote. There's no QSlide version of the remote, but you can add it to the notification area.

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QRemote on the lockscreen in the notification area

The remote can also be configured to launch automatically when the G Pad connects to your home Wi-Fi network.

The last connectivity option worth noting is the QPair app. QPair lets you pair the Pad 8.3 with any other smartphone (not just LG models) which runs Android 4.1 or later, although the app warns you that not all features are supported by all phone models.

When you pair it with a device (which is done through Bluetooth), you can use the tablet to answer calls and messages, as well as transfer QMemos to the phone, or use its internet connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Note that you cannot do the same from the phone end.

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QPair

Excellent web browser

The LG G Pad 8.3 features the standard Android browser (with some LG modifications on top), but also comes with Chrome preinstalled so you are given a choice right from the start.

The standard browser offers the typical minimalist interface, with the address bar, used both for typing URLs and initiating web searches, on top.

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The LG G Pad 8.3 default web browser

Scrolling down moves the address bar out of view. In previous versions, there was a bottom control bar that housed back and forward keys and a few shortcuts, but LG has made the default Android browser identical to Chrome, offering the usual capacitive keys below and shifting the aforementioned navigation buttons up top.

On the very left of this top navigation menu is the QSlide button, which turns the browser into a floating mini app. You can't switch between tabs in this mode, but the top control bar is still available.

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Browser in QSlide mode

The browser comes with Incognito mode, which enables you to surf the web without it keeping track of your history or storing cookies. It can also save pages for offline reading: they go in the Saved section of your bookmarks, and can be accessed even when you're no longer connected to the internet. The bookmark list shows a thumbnail of the bookmarked page and you also get a history section in addition to the Saved pages list.

Find on page, desktop view, and share page options are available from the contextual menu. If you tap and hold on some text you get the usual markers and select/copy/find/web search/share options.

The G Pad 8.3 supports double tap and pinch zoom. There's text reflow too - it adjusts the columns of text to fit the screen width. If you've pinched to zoom in, you need to double tap the screen to make the browser reflow the text. Text remains legible even at very low zoom levels thanks to the high pixel density.

The powerful quad-core hardware enables the G Pad browser to play Flash videos within the browser without a hitch, and most Flash-based ads play without a hitch. But if full Flash content is what you're after, you'll have to side-load the app as it's no longer available through the Play Store.

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A YouTube video playing in the browser

Chrome is also available on the G Pad 8.3 out of the box. It doesn't support Flash or QSlide, but it will sync tabs (among other things) with the Chrome browser on your computer.

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