LG Optimus 2X Review
In a nutshell: The LG Optimus 2X is the world's first smartphone with a dual-core processor. As well as providing an instantaneous response to user actions, this provides video acceleration, enabling video recording in Full HD 1080p resolution, as well as super-smooth flash video playback when web browsing or playing games. Super-fast internet access via 3G HSPA or Wi-Fi is possible, as well as output of photos, videos or games to a HDTV via the HDMI cable. A monster 1500 mAh battery provides power to the beast.
Review: March 2011.
The LG Optimus 2X is the world's first dual core phone. It seems as if dual-core phones have been talked about for ever (like, for about 6 months), but finally they've arrived. We must admit we were sceptical - since phones like the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire HD already run seamlessly responsive user interfaces with single core 1GHz processors, what real benefit could a dual core processor bring? Yet it turns out that the Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor at the heart of the Optimus 2X really does bring advantages, though not in the user interface, which is already fast enough in other high-end smartphones. The power of the Nvidia processor shows itself most with video - whether recording video in 1080p Full HD (another world's first for a phone), or mirroring video to a HDTV via the micro HDMI connector, or accelerating Flash performance for websites or games. This is where the Optimus 2X really sets itself apart from other smartphones.
You'd expect the Optimus 2X to be a big phone, and it is, but it's also very slim indeed, at just 9.9mm (the same as the Galaxy S), so it doesn't feel as cumbersome as it might. One reason for the size is the huge 4 inch touchscreen with the four virtual Android buttons below. 4.0 inches isn't quite the biggest screen available, but it's plenty big enough. The resolution of 480 x 800 pixels is the de facto standard for high-end smartphones and the TFT display isn't as bright or as sharp as the Super AMOLED display used on the Samsung Galaxy S, which is a shame when you consider LG's leading position in LCD TV's and the fact that this phone has the GPU grunt to power a higher resolution screen.
Initial releases of the 2X are running Android 2.2 (Froyo), but this should be updated to 2.3 (Gingerbread) soon. Like other manufacturers, LG have tweaked Android with their own tools and widgets, including home screen customisation, clock and weather widgets, social media feeds and other tools. Being Android, you can replace most of these tools with standard Android apps or download others for yourself. Needless to say, the user interface responds instantaneously to the touch, with apps opening immediately.
The camera on the 2X has 8 megapixels with autofocus and an LED flash, yet it's not as good as many other camera phones, with images tending to look washed out. The Full HD video recording ought to be the best ever, yet it lacks sharpness and is really no better than the HD video recording offered by many other top-end smartphones. Don't misunderstand us - the camera and video aren't bad - they're just not as good as you might hope from the specs.
Media support is generally very good, with support for all standard audio formats and DivX video too. The phone has twin stereo speakers with simulated surround sound and you can plug in headphones or mirror video output in 1080p glory to a HDTV (cable supplied). You can also watch video on the 480 x 800 pixel screen with hardly a judder, thanks to the Tegra 2 processor doing its stuff. An FM radio is included too.
Web browsing is excellent. Everything that a great web browser needs - a large screen, a fast GPU, multi-touch zooming, and fast HSPA internet access - is present and working well together as a team. Flash video is particularly well handled, thanks again to the dual-core processor. The graphics acceleration is also noticeable when playing games, especially games with more demanding graphics, and this is a genuine strength of the Optimus 2X.
Battery power is a consideration with a phone of this type. Fortunately LG have taken no chances and have given the device a monster 1500 mAh battery, which is as big as it gets in the mobile world currently. Don't expect a device as power-crazed as this to last for a week between charges, but you should certainly get through the day without needing to recharge. Careful users ought to get several days' use.
We'll just mention a few other highlights before rounding up. AGPS is here of course, with the latest version of Google Maps. A secondary front-facing video camera is supplied, with a resolution of 1.3 megapixels. Connectivity covers every base: as well as 3G HSPA there's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and the aforementioned 3.5mm headphone jack and bonus HDMI connector.
To sum up, the Optimus 2X is certainly an impressive device. Owning the world's first dual-core phone is nice, although that feeling won't last long as other manufacturers bring out their own dual-core offerings. In some ways the dual-core processor adds little, since phones with 1GHz processors already respond near-instantaneously to the touch. But the technology does enable features like 1080p video and superfast graphics support. We've noted that the camera technology doesn't really live up to the hype, so perhaps the Nvidia Tegra 2 is destined to spend most of its time playing Angry Birds. But that's not such a bad thing. If the Optimus 2X cost an arm and a leg more than competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire HD, we'd advise you to look elsewhere. But it costs the same as these other phones. So what the Optimus 2X brings to the table in the end is simply more choice. And that's got to be a good thing. Some other review sites have given rather negative initial reviews of the 2X, but that's just churlish. If you compare the features of the phone with other similarly-priced mobiles, we think you'll have to agree that the Optimus 2X deserves the five stars we've given it. It's not perfect, but then no phone ever is.
Features of the LG Optimus 2X include:
LG Optimus 2X User Reviews
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Average rating from 7 reviews:
Reviewed by jm from uk on 20th Jul 2011
Reviewed by Layla from China on 16th Jun 2011
Reviewed by Steve'o W from United Kingdon on 27th
Reviewed by Hannah from uk on 20th Apr 2011
Reviewed by william from uk on 18th Apr 2011
Reviewed by TiM from N.Ireland on 17th Apr 2011
Reviewed by TiM from N.Ireland on 4th Apr 2011
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