LG Optimus 2X review
|Review: March 2011|
In a nutshell: The LG Optimus 2X is the world's first smartphone with a dual-core processor.
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.
LG Optimus 2X features include:
- 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 1080p Full HD video recording plus secondary 1.3 megapixel front camera for video calling
- Display: Capacitive TFT touchscreen with multi-touch zooming, 480 x 800 pixels (4.0 inches)
- GPS receiver with digital compass, Google Maps and Google Navigation
- Media player with DivX support
- FM radio
- Stereo speakers with virtual surround sound
- Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Google Talk (Instant Messaging)
- Ringtones: AAC(+), MP3, WMA, polyphonic ringtones
- Internet: Web browser with Flash support and YouTube app
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI
- Memory: 8GB plus microSD memory card slot (up to 32GB)
- Vibration alert
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), WCDMA (900/2100 MHz), GPRS, EDGE, HSPA 7.2/5.76 Mbps
- Size: 122 x 64 x 9.9 mm
- Weight: TBA
- Battery: 1500 mAh
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LG Optimus 2X user reviews
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Average rating from 7 reviews:
Reviewed by jm from uk on 20th Jul 2011
i hate lg optimus 2x keeps shutting down for no reason evrytime i charge it, it hangs up al the time and the touch screen is sluggish.
Reviewed by Layla from China on 16th Jun 2011
I actually live in America, but I bought the phone in China. I'm just here in any case that any American or European wants to buy the phone in China. Out of all, the phone is wonderful it's super fast and awesome camera. BUT. In China, they did NOT install the "Android Market" but instead they installed a somewhat similar (not really) market called "gomarket" Because of that, I am extremely unsatisfied. It lacks hundreds of apps and games and I think just totally brings down the phone because the fun comes from the apps, right? I'm still trying to figure out how to get the Android market on there, so if you don't mind the Android Market missing, then feel free to buy it. Also, I do not know if it is usable in America since I have not returned to America. Good luck!
Reviewed by Steve'o W from United Kingdon on 27th
I just got this phone and wow it is fast, and I mean fast, I just went over to another site and read a very negative review about the 2X, they reckon three other new out smartphones will PWN it, well so they should as they are twice as much on contract. What they failed to mention is that LG have basically brought the phone out at a steal in terms of price, there is nothing wrong with this ringer, it feels great in the hand (ahem) and also does what it does well in terms of camera, battery and video etc, I really like it and it certainly does shift, BTW haters, LG have not locked the bootloader on this phone so it WILL be getting custom ROMS aplenty muuuuhhhhhaaahhhaaaa!!!!
Reviewed by Hannah from uk on 20th Apr 2011
this phone is great, the battery life is poor but i downloaded an app called juice defender and now i can get 2days out of the battery. so very pleased with this phone!
Reviewed by william from uk on 18th Apr 2011
samsung and lg seem to want to copy the iphone look which is a let down. i returned mine after a few days its not the best you can get battery life is poor and a iphone wannabe
Reviewed by TiM from N.Ireland on 17th Apr 2011
Waiting on LG to update this handset to Gingerbread. Battery life is poor... Having to charge once a day. If you were a heavy user, you may not even get a full days use to be honest. As for the lack of a notification LED, I found an app that flashes the buttons at the bottom, so thats keeping me happy about that anyway. Apart from that its a nice phone. I'm liking it a lot.
Reviewed by TiM from N.Ireland on 4th Apr 2011
Just got this today. First impressions were very good. But i was disappointed to find out that it doesn't have a notification LED.. A really simple thing, yet LG have decided to omit it from the 2X :( Had an iPhone 4 before this, and not really missing it... yet.. lol Charged battery this evening, and its down to 75% already in a short space of time. So i'll see how things go tomorrow when im using it at work. Hope LG update it to Gingerbread soon.. Will write another review in a few days after using it for a while..