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LG Optimus 2X Review

on February 12, 2011 – 1:07 am7 Comments

Here is the FoneArena LG Optimus 2X review. And guess what ? It’s the first time we have reviewed a Dual-Core phone. Until recently LG was loosing ground in the smartphone race but they surprised the world when they announced the world’s first smartphone powered by a Nvidia Tegra2 processor. At CES 2011 , several handset makers announced products based on the Tegra2 but this is the first smartphone or super-smart phone to hit the market. LG needs a nice pat on the back for making the first move. Lets see how the device meets our expectations.

Interesting Features of LG Optimus 2X

  • GSM Quad Band , HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • World’s first Dual Core phone powered by Nvidia Tegra2
  • Dual Core 1Ghz CPU with Geforce GPU
  • World’s first camera phone to offer 1080p (1920x1080px) video recording
  • 480×800 Capacitive IPS Display
  • 8 MP Camera with LED Flash
  • 1.3 MP video calling camera
  • 1920x1080px Video playback , HDMI mirroring, DLNA
  • Android 2.2.1 with update to 2.3 promised
  • 8GB memory , supports upto 32 GB microSD cards
  • Bluetooth 3.0 , WiFi b/g/n  , aGPS
  • Browser with Adobe Flash Player 10.1
  • Stereo speakers
  • FM Radio
  • 1500 mAh  3.7 V battery
  • Accelerometer , Gyro sensor

Hardware

The first thing you would notice about the phone is the huge 4 inch display which has great clarity and color reproduction. The display runs on a 800×480 px resolution. The left and right edges of the display have a minor curve towards the end and its nice to use.

You have a nice metallic bezel running though the sides of the phone which gives it a nice feel.

Although the phone is made of plastic for the most part, it does not feel cheap like other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S.

You have the video calling camera on the top right and lg branding in the center. The earpiece  above the LG  logo. The proximity sensor and ambient light sensor sit on the left.

Below the display are the 4 keys for common operations of the Android OS – Menu, Home, Back and Search

On the top you have the power button / lock key on the right , mini HDMI port in the center and the 3.5 mm audio jack on the left.At the bottom of the phone are a pair of speakers with the microUSB port / charging port in the middle.

The volume rocker is on the right and the left is free.


On the back , what caught our attention was the thin metal strip with the Google branding in the center.The top houses the 8MP camera along with a LED Flash.

Below the battery cover is a 1500 mAh battery, SIM card slot and microSD card slot. While you can access the memory card slot without removing the battery , you cannot access the SIM slot.

The phone is certainly big compared to other devices but since this is the world’s first dual core smartphone , we are not complaining.

Camera

The LG Optimus 2X is equipped with an 8 Megapixel camera, autofocus and an LED flash. The amount of detail in the pictures is great. The colour rendering is on the more natural side. No artificial colouring or over saturation.

The noise level is kept to a minimum even though it is present. The LED flash is not as powerful as a Xenon or Dual-LED so lighting up a dark room is out of the question. But it can do a decent job. Try avoiding using the flash while taking macros as it may wash away the colour of the subject.

Camera Samples

Check out the samples below taken with the LG Optimus 2X


You can find all the full size images here

Here is a video taken with the phone in Full HD 1080p. The level of detail in the video is brilliant. One of the best we’ve seen in recent devices. It becomes quite useless in low light because of the amount of noise in the videos.

Another problem is that the videos are recorded in 3GP format and are compressed quite a bit. We feel that the quality would have been even better if the compression rate wasn’t so high and also at least an mp4 format would have been more helpful. But the compression rate and the video format can be fixed with a software update and we hope that LG do bring these changes.

The Full 1080p HD (1920×1080 pixels) videos can be recorded at a maximum of 24 FPS (Frames per second) while the 720p HD Ready (1280×720 pixels) video can be recorded at 30 FPS. The frame rate is what LG claims it to be and there is no stutter.

Multimedia

Audio

The audio quality on the Optimus 2X is average or above average at best. The audio quality through the 3.5mm Audio Jack is quite good and even the volume levels are enough for even loud environments. The music player is actually one of the sweetest implementations we have seen in Android

Video

Viewing videos is a pleasure on the LG Optimus 2x. The phone sports a 4″ LCD screen with 800×480 pixels (WVGA) Resolution. The display is definitely good but still falls short of the Samsung Galaxy S and the Wave in terms of contrast and visibility under sunlight.  The video player supports a wide variety of formats including mp4, 3gp, DivX, XviD etc.

Playback is supported even for Full HD (1920×1080 pixel) files especially since it can playback its own recorded video files. There is no lag while playing even big files and seeking through them is fine as well. However files larger than 4GB will be an issue if the phone is still in FAT 32 format. To add individual videos of over 4GB you have to convert it into NTFS file storage format. Subtitles are supported as well. However languages other than english might not be supported sometimes.

The loudness of some videos were higher than the others. We are not sure whether Optimus 2X is at fault or whether the audio bit rate is to be blamed. The skipping or changing from one video to the other was instant. There is also the option of resuming the videos from the point of last playback or to start from the beginning.

Software

The phone comes with Android 2.2.1 build FRG83. We got to tell that Android 2.2 is not seriously optimized for dual core phones but despite that the phone runs fast. LG has promised an update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread for this device and we can’t wait to try our benchmarks with that update. Even with FroYo , most operations seem a lot faster than other Android phones in the market.

UI

We have a mixed feelings about the UI. While we loved the unlock screen and homescreens , the icons looks a bit inconsistent or out of place. You can configure the number of homescreen panels and add widgets to each homescreen.  Both LG widgets and Android widgets can be added.The transitions and pretty smooth thanks to plenty of processing power. The weather widget is pretty cool and worth checking out.There were no lags during our test and it we never had to pull out the battery to restart phone.


The notification bar has shortcuts to Sound, WiFi , Bluetooth , GPS and Accelerometer.The music player is present below and can be turned-off if needed. Whats cool is that you can control the music even without unlocking the screen.

Apps

The phone comes with several apps pre-installed.Twitter , Facebook and Myspace for LG apps are social networking apps developed by LG for this device.There is a Browsing Protection app from F-Secure.

You can always download the latest apps from the Android market. There is LG’s App Advisor too which lets you discover the top rated apps in your country or globally.

Benchmarks

Here are some benchmarks of the Tegra 2 CPU on the Optimus 2X.

Just want to point out that most these android  benchmarking tools available today support Dual core mobile phones.

Quadrant

Linpack

BenchMarkPi

Phone Calls , Messaging

Phone calls went through pretty fine and we did not experience any dropped calls.

SMS, MMS , Email are all supported. There is a built it Email client in addition to the Android Gmail app.

The keyboard support both landscape and QWERTY input and you always have the liberty of installing some Swype tools


The phone provides good integration of contacts with social networking sites.

Connectivity

The phone supports plenty of connectivity options include HSDPA and Wifi(n). You can also use the phone as a WiFi hotspot

The browser is pretty fast and supports flash content.

The Video out via HDMI is really impressive and we have a video which is processing currently to show you how it works.

Battery Life

This is something we were not expecting much as the Optimus 2X is the first dual core phone. But we were surprised as we could sail through a complete day with the phone. You might have to reduce the screen brightness to achieve this.With heavy usage like constant 3G downloading ,  video playback it lasted for around 12-13 hours . With minimal usage it can last close to 2 days with a single charge.

Conclusion

There are few things to complain about the Optimus 2X. There are a lot of things which LG has got right on this phone. There are some things which LG could have done better. It could have had a more premium external casing just to make it look special. They could have added a dedicated camera key, may be it was omitted to maintain a simple design. It would have been cool with Gingerbread on board but at least LG has committed that an update is coming . There will be more Dual-core phones hitting the market in 2011 but LG gets full marks for being the first. If are a person who loves to stay up-to date with the latest technology , you can go ahead and get the Optimus 2X, the future is here. It might take a while before other phones hit the market.

Currently the phone is available in Korea and is expected to launch in Europe this month followed by Asia. It is also rumored to hit USA this year.

Pros

  • Full HD Video Recording
  • Amazing Display
  • Fast
  • HDMI mirroring
  • Really loud speakers
  • Decent battery life
  • Plenty of connectivity options
  • Good in-call audio quality

Cons

  • microSD slot not hot-swappable
  • no camera key
  • OS is not dual core ready
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Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Nokia Lumia 1020 , Apple iPhone 5S & Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish

  • Chintan

    Video Review?

  • hari krishna

    Hello Varun

    I like this mobile very much. I want to buy this. Is this available in india market now?
    Please suggest me where i have to buy this.Please email to me.

    Thanks
    Krishna

    • Ronit

      Hi

      Hey I have new, sealed phone with bill and 1 year insurance premium paid… I want to sell this mobile for around 23K . Mail me at roy.ronit74@gmail.com asap if you want to buy..

  • amit mandal

    I use this phone it is Exilent. But battery is average otherwise it is exilent

    • robin

      Do you recommend it because I am gonna buy it or I wait until iphone 5 released? 

  • Mayur_32

    Awesome handset. the only weak point is battery backup, for that i root my optimus 2X, and using Droid (firewall) in it, issue solved :)

  • Prettygirl_bhavya

    awesome phone…battry backup sucks