After receiving the LG G Pad 8.3 for testing and enjoying it so much I was really excited about the news that I would also be taking the G Pad 8.0 in for testing, even though I knew nothing about the device.
So was the G Pad 8.0 worth the excitement? Read on to find out…
Design and Ergonomics
Unlike its older brother the G Pad 8.0 loss its back aluminium like finish, which took a little of its finesse and great looks away.
Besides that, we were presented with a smaller device, since the G Pad 8.3 had an 8.3 inch screen and its little brother only has an 8 inch screen. So here is the funny thing, the G Pad 8.0 has a smaller screen but weighs more than the G Pad 8.3, at 342grams against the 338grams of the latter.
We received the LTE version, all in black, it is worth mentioning that the G Pad 8.0 has a white version as well, but in that version the borders around the screen are still black and only the sides and back of the device are white.
On the top of the G Pad 8.0 you will find the microSIM, microSD card slots in one port, the 3.5mm phone jack and the Infrared port for the remote feature of the tablet. On the bottom of the G Pad you have the microUSB cable slot and the microphone, all in all similar to the G Pad 8.3, same as the left side which is clear of buttons and the right side that is home for the lock/power button and the volume rocker.
On the back of the G Pad 8.0 you will find the 5MP camera, again, without LED flash and near the bottom the speaker, although there are two speaker holes, there is only one speaker underneath.
When it comes to dimensions the G Pad 8.0 is a little smaller than the G Pad 8.3 although it is a bit thicker, the G Pad 8.0 has the following dimensions: 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3 mm against the following of the G Pad 8.3: 210.8 x 124.2 x 9.9 mm.
So why is the G Pad 8.0 heavier than its older brother, we really don’t know, but looking at both devices side by side, you will clearly see the difference in build quality between both. The G Pad 8.0 has a bigger margin between the screen and the edges of the device while the screen of the 8.3 almost ends on the rim of the device with only a little margin.
There is a satisfactory feeling while holding the G Pad 8.0 as well since its back is made out of a somewhat rubberised plastic making it soft to the touch, much like the Nexus 7 (2013) version. Just bear in mind that it doesn’t have that premium look you got used to with the G Pad 8.3.
The G Pad 8.0 has an 8 inch IPS LCD screen, with a resolution of 800×1280 pixels and 189ppi. Again, as most of LG recent devices I found no issue whatsoever regarding viewing angles in any direction, meaning that laying the tablet flat on the tablet still makes the screen contents visible when your leaning back on your couch.
LG did save some money on the luminosity sensor, meaning that there is none in the G Pad 8.0, unlike the G Pad 8.3. This will make you wonder how many time you will waste adjusting the brightness of the screen when you could be doing more important things.
There is however a feature that will probably save you some time of fiddling with the screen brightness at least during night time. If you activate this option the screen brightness will be set to 0% between midnight and 6 AM. I just don’t know how useful this really is but I leave that to you.
It seems kind of weird that LG would leave out the luminosity sensor but keep the Stay Awake option, that basically uses a sensor to detect if you are staring into the screen and thus prevents it from locking.
Performance and Software
The G Pad 8.0 comes with Android 4.4.2 and will probably receive the upgrade for Lollipop in the coming months.
Talking about some specifications the G Pad 8.0 has a 1.2GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 305 GPU processor.
After getting used to the G Pad 8.3, the switch to the G Pad 8.0 was a bit disappointing performance wise, but more on that later.
The UI is the usual for LG devices, a small overlay over the stock Android UI and overall very intuitive. As in all recent LG devices you also have access to the KnockCode, Dual Window mode and some other cool features.
As far as pre-installed applications go you have:
- LG SmartWorld
- Polaris Office 5
- Update Center
And then the usual Google and Android apps. This is definitely an improvement when it comes to saving storage space and giving the user the option to install what they really want instead of just assuming to know what you want.
As said in the G Pad 8.3 review QPair is an app that allows you to link your tablet to your smartphone and thus receive calls, messages and all notifications of your smartphone in your tablet.
Polaris Office is known by all of usual Android users that need to view/edit MS office files such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
QuickRemote allows you to have remotes for your TVs, Home Cinemas and so forth, bear in mind that you can have more than one remote configured in the app.
QuickMemo+ allows you to take notes quickly and in a useful matter, just by drawing on the screen.
The G Pad 8.0 comes with 16GB of storage, of which approximately 10GB will be available for the user to take advantage of. Not to worry though as the G Pad 8.0 has a microSD card slot that can handle microSD cards up to 64GB, and cloud storage is also available.
There is also another feature available if you go to Settings, which is called Smart Cleaning. This allows the user to clean the temporary and useless files they have without worrying and thus keep their storage clean.
The bad thing about this device is definitely the RAM, of the 1GB of RAM of the G Pad 8.0, you can count on around 300MB of free RAM to use, which perfectly accounts for the lagging we noticed while using the device.
Another useful feature of this device is the ability of opening the Camera or the QuickMemo+ app just by pressing the shortcut keys. So if your screen is off and you want to go to the camera app just press and hold the Volume Up or Volume Down key. If your screen is unlocked and you want to go to the QuickMemo+ app just press and hold the Volume rocker altogether.
You will also notice that the Notification bar has a lot of information to show you at the same time. Let’s start from the top. Here you have the options bar, which has the quick options all of us use on a daily basis, turn WiFi on or off, same for data connections, sound, screen rotation, bluetooth, etc.
The second bar identifies all the apps that you can open in Windowed mode and drag it across the screen as well as resize it. This is useful when you need to multi task.
Then you have the brightness bar and bellow that notifications sound, and after all of this, you will finally find your notifications.
There is no doubt the G Pad 8.0 comes full with little features that will probably make your life easier.
As we hinted at at the beginning of this review, the G Pad 8.0 disappoints a little when it comes down to performance, not only in games but also just going back and forth in the user interface and just mocking about.
We took it upon ourselves to run the usual benchmark tests as well as playing the usual quick and heavy games just to see how it fared, besides the flaws detected in regular use.
You will be able to see some slowdowns in the Dead Trigger 2 gameplay and if you look closely enough there are some parts of fruit ninja that aren’t up to 30fps as well. But in comparison to its big brother the G Pad 8.3 this was to be expected as we are dealing with a slower CPU as well as GPU and half of the RAM.
Connectivity and Battery Life
You can share/receive media content through the SmartShare Beam available in LG Devices, if you have another LG device available.
You can also share your screen and sound in a TV through MiraCast.
Besides the options for media sharing and the usual WiFi hotspot the G Pad 8.0 also has the option for Bluetooth tethering.
As far as connectivity goes the G Pad 8.0 also has the usual suspects, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-F Direct and DLNA, still no NFC on board.
As far as battery life goes the G Pad 8.0 is equipped with an 4200mAh battery, making it almost automatically last less than the one on the G Pad 8.3, which is noticeable with the same use we gave the G Pad 8.3. By using both devices to read books and play some games, the battery of the G Pad 8.0 lasted a little less than the one on the G Pad 8.3, but not so much to say that the battery life is severely impaired.
The G Pad 8.0 has a rear 5MP camera, with no LED flash and a frontal 1.3MP camera.
As far as the frontal camera goes, it has enough picture quality for conference calls and such, but for those of you who are selfie fans, neither cameras of the G Pad 8.0 will satisfy you.
The frontal camera has a neat feature for taking self pictures, just show your hand, palm open and then make a fist and it will start counting down before taking a picture.
The rear camera takes decent pictures at best, in good light environments, but on something less than that you better prepare yourself to get grainy pictures such as the one shown bellow.
Again there are loads of options and photo modes to experiment with, which you can watch in the video review in the near future.
Given the price tag of the G Pad 8.0 it is not a bad device overall. With longer use you may start to see more lagging here and there and the lack of a luminosity sensor is a bother as well but besides that it still is a neat device to have, if you can’t afford its bigger brother and need an LTE device.
The biggest fault the G Pad 8.0 has is the lack of RAM available for user run applications, thus causing the lagging we saw and some slowness overall while navigating through menus and opening web pages.
The screen is great and the features it brings with it are also great, allowing for multitasking in two different forms, first in dual window and then with QSlide applications. But if you overuse it you will again see slowness creeping up on the device.
Overall if you can afford and find the G Pad 8.3 in a store go for it, otherwise the G Pad 8.0 with a price tag around 200€ is still worth a try if you’re not a performance user.
Review by: Cátia Sofia Ferreira @ AndroidEmotions