The LG Optimus 2X is the world’s first dual-core Android-phone using the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset, a mobile processor with both a dual-core ARM Cortex a9 CPU and a NVIDIA GeForce class GPU. LG claims the Optimus 2X is the fastest Android-phone on the market today and it will be the benchmark for other Android-phones to be released in the near future. In this review we’ll take a closer look at this new Android super-phone. Is it really the best your money can buy?
Let’s start with the Optimus 2X specs:
- Dual Core NVidia Tegra 2 Processor @ 1Ghz
- Android 2.2 OS (Froyo)
- 4-Inches WVGA (Wide Video Graphic Array) 480×800 pixel resolution
- 8 GB Internal memory, Micro SD Slot Available (Expandable up to 32 GB)
- 8 MP Camera with LED Flash
- HD Video Recording at 1080p
- 1.3 MP Front Camera for Face to Face Calling Feature
- 1500 mAh Battery
- Color Output – 16M Colors
- Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- HDMI Mirroring 1080P Recording
- DLNA(Digital Living Network Alliance Compatible)
- Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n ,GPS
The design and build-quality
The LG Optimus 2X is a typical candy-bar shaped Android-phone. Although the 4″ screen is huge the Optimus 2X doesn’t look massive or bulky at all. Main reason is that the phone is only 10,9 mm thick. The phone-housing feels solid and the back cover has a special coating that provides a firm grip. Just below the screen you’ll find the 4 standard Android keys, menu, home, back and search. The Optimus 2X has a set of capacitive keys that are very responsive. At the top of the screen there is the earpiece, light-sensor and the front-camera. At the bottom there is room for the micro-USB port, the speaker and the microphone. On the top a 3,5 mm headphone-jack, HDMI port and the on/off switch. The left-side is totally clean and on the right-side are the usual volume-keys. The back-cover has a small metal strip in the middle with the “Google” logo and the 8 Mp camera and LED-flash. The metal strip is a typical design feature that you’ll love, or hate.
As stated before the overall build-quality is very good. The LG Optimus 2X feels solid and looks like it could easily survive your curious friends who are eager to take it for a test-drive. The back-cover fits firmly on the phone, even after removing it a dozen times. The only point of concern is the chrome finish along the edges of the Optimus 2x, like the iPhone, that looks like it could easily get scratched.
The screen and interface
The 4″ screen capacitive touchscreen has a 480×800 resolution, shows a lot of detail and is capable of bright, saturated colors. At first the colorful screen looks great, but when using the phone for a longer time I noticed the colors are a bit unnatural and overdone. The screen-brightness is impressive and is the main reason the Optimus 2X is great to use in-doors, but also in bright sunlight. The capacitive screen is multi touch enabled and very responsive. Pinch-to-zoom, swiping, using the on-screen keyboard, selecting, it all works like a charm.
Like other manufacturers (Samsung, HTC) LG provided the Optimus 2X with a special user-interface and ditched the standard interface Android provides. This LG-interface has its own widgets that look really nice, but in my opinion doesn’t provide a better user-experience then the standard Android-interface. Located at the bottom of the screen there is a dock with room for four apps. The app-drawer is divided into categories and you can move apps to any category you like or add your own categories. You can change the drawer-style into horizontal, vertical or a list-view. You even can choose to set 3, 5 or 7 homescreens.
Every day use
There is no doubt at all. The LG Optimus 2X is fast, lightning fast. There is no lag at all, not even when you have several apps running in the background. Zooming, swiping, opening apps, scrolling, you name it, the speed witch the Optimus 2X shows brings out the best in Android. It is clear that this is where the NVIDIA Tegra 2 shows it’s capabilities. LG provides the Optimus 2X with the standard Android-apps and some extra’s as well. For instance a Twitter and Facebook app are pre-installed. It’s a nice gesture for first time Android-users so they can unpack, charge and start posting status-updates, but the apps are very limited so a visit to the Android Market is eminent.
Yes you can also make phone-calls with the Optimus 2X, in the end it’s an Android-phone. No complaints about the phone-functions. The sound is loud enough and clear. Also no dropped calls or other problems, just what you can expect form a modern cell-phone.
The 8 Mp camera should be able to shoot some decent pictures, and it does. It’s not a professional DSLR but for a phone the results are more then just ok. The camera a capable of taking pictures with high detail and the macro-function is great. But there is also a down-side. The colors look a little washed out. I took some pictures in my back garden and although the light-conditions were okay, the colors aren’t as bright as I would suspect them to be. The same thing occurred with the two macro-shots. There are different pre-sets available in the camera-software so you can quickly change from automatic settings to macro sports, landscape or a portrait-picture. Settings for ISO en White-balance are also available. Below you can see some samples from the camera. The last two pictures are macro pictures.
The NVIDIA Tegra 2 provides more then enough power to make sure the Optimus 2X is not only is great Android-phone but also a gaming-device. This is were the large and colorful bright screen kicks in and provides you with a gaming experience unknown to Android, until now. The only thing that causes the iPhone 4 to still be the leader of the gaming-pack is the large amount of games that can be found in the Apple App Store. It’s a good thing that Android is catching up on the gaming-front with new and exciting games being released every week.
Although the LG Optimus 2X has a large, bright screen and a swift processor the battery-life is what we can expect from a modern Android power-house. I managed to use the Optimus 2X for two days on just one battery-charge, similar to the iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S I also use.
If you are looking for a fast top-of-the-line Android-phone the LG Optimus 2X is the one to get. It’s lightning fast has a very nice screen and an overall good build quality. There’s no doubt the competitors like HTC en Samsung will soon release similar Android-phone’s, but for now the Optimus 2X is the benchmark they have to beat.
the good things:
- Build quality
- Screen (bright and responsive)
- Battery life
The down side:
- Screen colors look unnatural
- The LG-interface doesn’t provide any advantage in user-experience. No easy way to switch back to the standard Android-interface