LG Optimus 2X smartphone worldtech20 review

LG Optimus 2X

The earth cried out for the dual-core smartphone and LG and NVIDIA answered the decision. Actually, the world only ever dreamt about multicore mobile architectures up until late last year, but sometimes that's all it requires to get those zany technical engineers engineering. So here we're, in early February 2011, beholding the actual world's first smartphone designed around a dual-core processor, the LG Optimus 2X. This can be a landmark handset in additional ways than one, however, as its presence available signals LG's first sincere foray to the Android high end. However the company delivered two thoroughly competent devices for that platform with the Optimus S and T really, they were the very definition of mid-range smartphones and in reality that Samsung, HTC and Motorola were being left to fight among themselves for that most demanding Android users' hard-earned rubles. So now that LG's joined their rankings, was the wait worthwhile?

LG Optimus 2X
 LG Optimus 2X Hardware

Nothing much has altered since we first achieved this phone under their codename of Star a couple of months back. One uninterrupted slate of glass covers your entire front, broken up only from the earpiece grille at the very top. Four capacitive touch buttons maintain 4-inch WVGA LCD organization, along with a front-facing camera simply to the right of your LG logo. As we said in our preview, this is the uncomplicated and restrained pattern, evidence perhaps that LG thought we would spend its time and money on the lies beneath the epidermis.

LG Optimus 2X
The actual glass front slopes off on its left and also right edges before being engulfed by way of a metallic frame that wraps round the whole handset. Fit and finish between your two is absolutely great. The third component for the 2X's external setup can be a flexible matte plastic cover that makes up its entire rear section. It's stupendously easy to replace while still forming a great seal with its encircling elements. The austere black rear (there'll be brown and also white versions too) is decorated which has a silver column running through the middle brandishing a "with Google" motto, which ends in a slight bump near the top, designed to accommodate the 8 megapixel camera module. We're happy to see another little glass protect here protecting the the len's from accidental damage.

LG Optimus 2X review

Overall, the LG Optimus 2X feels wonderfully put together. It will be rigid and unyielding, as well as although its construction components are nothing special, the cumulative result can be a highly pleasing one. Care about detail is evident throughout, as even such simple things since the power / lock option and volume keys (the only physical controls on the 2X) feel perfectly tested and built. The screen does experience a bout of excessimus bezelitus as well as we'd have preferred non-capacitive Operating system buttons, however those are design decisions we'll have to live with at this aspect. You'll find the bezel at the least partially justified when you available the rear and observe how densely packed the 2X's internals tend to be.

 LG Optimus 2X Tegra 2
Tegra 2

  The star of their internal show is undoubtedly NVIDIA's Tegra 2 system-on-chip. It truly is highlighted by two 1GHz Cortex-A9 CPU cores and eight GeForce GPU cores, but still finds the room to add native HDMI and combined display support. Pairing those two together means you can view content on your Optimus 2X and your nearest HDTV while doing so, though that capability isn't available when playing back video (only the greater screen gets the moving picture feed). We still found an abundance of use for the combined display functionality, particularly when browsing or revealing pictures on the mobile phone, but it also helps tilt-controlled games such as preloaded Shrek Kart transform the 2X in to a very slick-looking motion controller intended for big-screen gaming. It takes quite some graphical prowess in order to execute this "HDMI mirroring" process, particularly when displaying 3D games and not simply stills, but the 2X manages to do it without a sweat.

Gaming on the LG Optimus 2X

In which HDMI cable -- bundled from the box, as it need to be -- is also placed to good use having 1080p video content, which looks sharp and also plays back flawlessly around the 2X. As we observed above, the mirroring ability is dropped when handling video, but that's unlikely being an issue because we all can't imagine a application scenario where you'd ought to see a video feast upon both displays. Getting the HDMI connection up is really a zero-setup affair and playback switches between devices around the fly -- disconnect your HDTV as you're watching a video and it flips up to the LG Optimus 2X and integrated speaker; hook it backup again and within a 2nd it's back booming at you through the HDTV. Just seamless. Scope out the video below for the demonstration of this phone's video-crunching qualifications.

T-Mobile LG Optimus 2X 1080p HDMI Output and Gaming Demo

When you finally get past those nicely executed headline features, nonetheless, there's a certain deficiency of real utility to be enjoyed from this dual-core computer chip. The trouble is in which smartphones haven't really was without for processing firepower in a very good long while. What applications does one run on your mobile that may choke a 1GHz COMPUTER, whether it be some sort of Snapdragon, Hummingbird or a great A4? There aren't quite a few, right? And there are even fewer which may have such a demanding overhead while running inside background -- which happens to be NVIDIA's big selling point for Tegra 2, that it allows you to multitask without ever acquiring bogged down. The graph below illustrates this nicely, but it also provides your very best case scenario -- you have to be engaged in a CPU-intensive method while decoding music inside background, another CPU career, and downloading / setting up applications. As soon while you back off, say by switching off of the background music and allowing your foreground process to get all the processing energy (and thereby complete it is task more quickly), some great benefits of having a dual-core machine can become far less tangible.

The final outcome therefore is that, indeed, multitasking maniacs will find their mobile lives accelerated with that second core, but all of those other world might very effectively shrug its shoulders and enquire "is that it? " Like a city dweller owning the supercar, the Tegra 2 buyer should be wary of the idea that his hardware will far exceed his daily needs all of which will only show its true, brilliant colors on uncommon occasions and under just the right circumstances.

LG Optimus 2X Display

A 4-inch WVGA (800 x 480) LCD may appear like standard fare pertaining to modern Android phones, but LG's panel can be a notch above the normal. It's bright and effectively saturated, retaining its colour fidelity even at oblique watching angles. We wouldn't say it's competition for the IPS displays available on Apple's apple iphone 4 or Sharp's IS03, however again, not many tend to be. In the absence of such advanced display technological or Samsung's snazzy Super AMOLED, we reckon LG has given us the following best thing with the 2X's screen.

Update: As it turns out, LG's 4-inch LCD about the 2X is actually a good IPS panel! That would be the reason it looked better than the run of the mill LCD, however we'd nevertheless caution against expecting iPhone-level quality. It isn't up for the same standard.

All that said, our testing unit received a manufacturing defect in which exposed some backlight bleeding towards the top (see image below). We don't expect retail units to suffer from the same flaw, so we'll let this blog slide unless and until we hear of the issue showing up throughout other handsets.

LG Optimus 2X
One thing we touched on inside our Optimus 7 review had been LG's preference for less sensitive capacitive touchscreens than the competition. It was a commendable choice on the Optimus 7, helping us all minimize unintended inputs, however we found the event on the LG Optimus 2X instead less satisfying. Far too often our gentle swipes still did not move the stoic homescreen via its position and there were to apply that extra extra pressure to get it to register. Adapting to this peculiarity is most likely just a question involving habit, but it's still something to be aware of.

LG Optimus 2X Camera.

LG Optimus 2X Camera
Spanning a full eight megapixels, LG's camera sensor can surely enable you to get all the dots you'll need, but what is it gonna fill them up having? A great amount regarding detail, as it turns out. In the full-sized image in the bike rack above, we can read all the facts next to the bike's code number without difficulty, while noise is kept under control admirably well. In actuality, you're more likely in order to decry the noise-reducing blur, that is sprinkled in judiciously, when compared with any signs of increased graininess. The integrated LED flash can be quite bright, to the point regarding washing out any things that get too close (a habit the 2X has obviously selected from its family partner, the Optimus 7), though we reckon which is to be well appreciated by all of the nightclub amateur photogs. Overall, the LG Optimus 2X packs a really impressive little camera, particularly considering it essentially comes to be a free extra on something you're keeping within your pocket anyway, and its full collection of adjustment options increases those credentials. We enjoyed having exposure compensation just as one easily accessible option, while experimenting with the negative photograph effect, which does exactly what its name suggests, was also plenty of fun.

LG Optimus 2X Camera
We do have several dissatisfactions to express, nonetheless. The first is that colors look just a little washed out. London can be a dreary place at now of the year, though the LG Optimus 2X made the item look that extra bit bleaker than it truly was. This isn't a massive issue as could possibly litany of color adjustment programs around (plus the phone gives a vivid mode of it is own) and we'd sacrifice some saturation for all your extra detail quite fortunately. The second thing that ailed us was how the camera app takes a short while to process each image before being ready for your next, yet leaves you with not a visual clue to the actual fact it's still working. Therefore, users bashing the "New" button to get started on composing a new image are left frustrated and a little confused why the phone isn't answering and adjusting their input.

The front-facing 1. 3 megapixel camera must be thought of strictly as a video calling facilitator. Chromatic noise sneaks in almost as soon as you step out of perfect lighting and also the pictures you take from it won't be of use for way too many purposes. As to video for the LG Optimus 2X, it may be recorded at resolutions nearly 1080p -- we noticed no obvious processing lag or perhaps frame rate stutters by any means -- and does a good job of emulating the camera's stills performance by capturing a good amount of visual and aural detail. Check out the video below with an idea of what to anticipate, it was shot while using Super fine quality placing.

LG Optimus 2X 1080p HD video sample

 LG Optimus 2X Loudspeaker, earpiece and battery life
Loudspeaker, earpiece and battery life
The loudspeaker on the LG Optimus 2X is a principal imitation of Apple's iphone 3gs arrangement -- it sits behind the proper grille you see above and does a very decent job. Sound end result is hard to muffle far too, as some of it escapes throughout the back of the mobile phone, a handy little imperfection to its design. The earpiece is also properly, with call quality staying no better or worse compared to the competition. The 2X does heat during extended calls, but again, we can't think of any comparable phones that will don't.

Battery life was an important aspect for us with this particular phone, for obvious motives. Our happy discovery was which the LG Optimus 2X can sustain the current crop of Android multimedia powerhouses, perhaps even outlasting a few of the less frugal among them (Desire HD, we're pondering you). This is mostly right down to Tegra 2 having an acceptable power draw when idling. We managed to cross the 24-hour standby mark on the day when we would about an hour's really worth of calls, a couple of minutes of HD video, and some sporadic music playback, all while keeping push email notifications plus the 3G and WiFi radios continually on. Note that in most of that time the screen was deterred and the processor didn't obviously have much work to carry out, but the experience illustrates you can take a dual-core smartphone on the go, provided you don't expect anything more from it than you'd from its single-core brethren. The camera ended up being the biggest battery drainer, together with 1080p decoding and development following up in close second, both predictable effects. We can't conclusively say whether or not the LG Optimus 2X is approximately power-efficient than its contemporaries -- efficiency like a function of both strength consumption under load plus the duration of load situations, the latter being shorter on the faster chip -- but we didn't feel any more restricted by its durability than we did with all the likes of the Galaxy S, Desire HD or maybe Droid X, its direct competitors in the Android big leagues.
 LG Optimus 2X Software package

Not to put too fine a point on this, LG, but each and every your dual-core beastphone seem like an 18-month old HTC Main character?
Reading the spec sheet, you'd expect lag around the LG Optimus 2X to be measured in flaps of your hummingbird's wings, but the mildly changed Android homescreens plod along in the fashion that's appreciably worse than what you'd get on the real Hummingbird devices, Samsung's Galaxy S versions. UI responsiveness on the 2X can be defined as mediocre, which we discover a mind-boggling development as the hardware is obviously fast enough. It's vital that you note that applications bunch as fast or faster than other Android handsets we've encounter, it's just that navigating in their eyes and through the 2X's possibilities didn't feel as snappy once we would have liked. The final code simply doesn't check out have been optimized along with it should have also been -- a suspicion corroborated simply by our unfortunate knack for finding solutions to crash applications. For case, our review unit's Gallery app crashes whenever we exit it via the trunk button after entering it through the Clock application. We found that bug without even trying to find it, never a good sign.

Worse yet, the 2X's relatively unresponsive behaviour isn't exactly sparing program resources. We installed Advanced Process Killer (which we also was able to crash, woohoo! ) around the 2X and even after clearing out the many apps running in the setting, the highest amount of memory we're able to free up was 210MB. Which means that of the device's 512MB regarding available RAM, a good 300MB are taken on by the OS per se. That's a hefty footprint to have the fact that that 256MB of RAM was the standard among smartphones until not too long ago.
LG Optimus 2X
 One of many culprits for this deficiency of frugality is the Songs app, which is impossible to de-activate because its controls are incorporated into Android's window-shade slide-down selection. That integration in alone isn't actually the worst idea on this planet -- and neither are the rest of LG's moderate modifications towards Android interface. Contact pages are spruced up in the well organized and rational manner, the messaging application includes a delightful little drop-down preview of one's latest unread text, and the calendar and weather / clock widgets will also be nice extras to have got. There's a boilerplate social networking updater, which can mail your status out for you to Twitter, Facebook and Myspace at the same time. That part's good, the Twitter for LG and Facebook for LG apps will not be.

The LG Optimus 2X's saving grace is equivalent to that of many the Motoblur handset: LauncherPro. Anyone familiar with the remedial effects involving installing this little Android skin on the phone will know that your laggy default UI is simply something you look at to the 30 or so seconds it requires you to open the Market and download Federico Carnales' masterwork. Any qualms we have about the LG Optimus 2X's smoothness evaporate into nothing with LauncherPro in influence, and we even discovered the phone's unlocking cartoon -- whose appearance is still unchanged -- felt snappier.

LauncherPro spots over, but it won't fully heal LG's gaping software program wound. We still were able to clunk applications into inability, which was an sad reminder of what lies beneath the skin. LG's evident weakness on the software front shouldn't be overstated when it comes to its impact today -- iphone app glitches were sporadic in lieu of regular -- but it's a major sticking point should you be hoping the company will deliver a capable Gingerbread for the 2X. Of course, Froyo has been around for over half a year, yet the best thing we can easily say about LG's treatment on the OS is that "it doesn't crash too much. " Would you genuinely bet your mobile updating future on a track record like that will?

Tegra Zone.

[LG OPTIMUS 2X] nVIDIA Tegra2 Dual Core Android SmartPhone

  continuing theme through our computer hardware testing was that Tegra 2's total potential has yet to become tapped. NVIDIA is working hard on correcting that and possesses enrolled the makers in the Unreal Engine into its development program to ensure that upcoming graphically intensive games take advantage of the extra power the new hardware offers. The particular Tegra Zone, a installed app on all Tegra 2 devices, will be central to the present effort. It'll present NVIDIA-curated online games, videos, trailers, and iphone app recommendations that showcase the chip's superiority. Devs are being encouraged to create graphically fancier versions of their games specifically for Tegra 2 -- as the makers of Galaxy on fire 2, Dungeon Defenders and Samurai 2 previously done -- with a presence from the Zone serving as his or her reward. You might call up it fragmentation, but NVIDIA would likely call it just great business.

Update: LG has gotten in-tuned to say the Tegra Sector app was left with our review handset unintentionally and won't ship along with devices. NVIDIA is still in the act of testing its application out and you'll likely have to download it through the Android Market if you'd like it on your full price 2X. On the additional hand, NVIDIA itself features promised to preload the Zone on phones in addition to tablets running its silicon, we're just guessing it'll do so once said testing has been concluded.

Either way, NVIDIA's clout with coders and considerable budget look planning to secure Tegra 2 some sort of bright and increasingly beneficial future. In the quick, however, this powerful new chip's biggest contributions towards smartphone realm will probably be 1080p video recording and output plus a dash of added gaming oomph.


We started off by referring to LG's failure to make itself known among the Android elite to now. Up till now, the Korean giant has not so much as hinted in threatening the incumbents on top of the Android pile, plus the 2X is therefore its most crucial smartphone launch, well... ever. It carries the hopes and aspirations of the entire multinational corporation, and if you'd like any evidence of precisely how important mobile hardware has become, just go check out there LG's latest quarterly in addition to annual fiscal results. This phone matters. And it should matter to us the maximum amount of as it does to help LG, because everyone benefits from having another legit big-timer competing with the high end. Then maybe we won't should sit through umpteen different variations about the Galaxy S formula via Samsung or HTC's exhibition of "13 solutions to repackage a Desire HD. ".
LG Optimus 2X
 Fortunately for LG is it's built a very solid foundation for itself with all the LG Optimus 2X -- Tegra 2 is surely an undeniably powerful, multicore buildings, one that's only going to expand in importance and value even as move forward, and all of those other phone's specs all complement to our basic expectations of the top tier handset. Building is robust, finely thorough and generally unobtrusive. The screen might not have anything Super over it, but as LCDs proceed, it's a very good one. Where we were being left disappointed, however, what food was in the company's software setup. Neat little tweaks to Android's default interface failed to obscure the truth that the LG Optimus 2X is neither as responsive neither as stable as it must be. You might be competent to rectify those flaws by installing among the inevitable avalanche of custom ROMs that this device will benefit from, but we're here to review LG's own performance and we obtain the failure to deliver an honest platform inexcusable.

The LG Optimus 2X delivers great, benchmark-elevating hardware, but can't earn our stamps until it gets the software kinks straightened out there. As it stands today, it's a great doll for developers and enthusiasts that offers the rest of us a tantalizing glimpse at what famous brands the Atrix 4G in addition to Galaxy S2 might bring because the smartphone world continues the move toward multicore units.