Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[Review] LG Optimus 2X - First Dual Core Android Phone

The Optimus 2X with the 1 GHz dual core processor offers a definite performance improvement over the smartphones powered by 1GHz single core phones. While it feels just same as the likes the HTC Incredible S and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc under normal usage, but take it to the next level with gaming, and the extra power does make the difference. For a price of around Rs 26k, this is definitely a better deal than the HTC Incredible S, the Samsung Nexus S and the Sony Ericsson siblings- the Arc and the Play. Along with the extra power, you will get a very capable phone, excellent display, a good camera, HDMI video out capability and 8GB built-in storage.

  • Phone feels faster than the single core processor ones, particularly when pushed
  • IPS LCD Display is quite vivid
  • 1080p HD video recording added to a good camera
  • HDMI out lets you connect to external display


  • Looks understated to the extent that they are boring
It is true that all phones come with their own selling points and their own ‘claim to fame’. However, what is also a fact is that almost none of them can lay claim to what the LG Optimus 2X has- the world’s first smartphone with a dual core processor.

This is LG’s biggest bet in the high-end smartphone market, not just because of the price, but also because of the kind of competition it is facing. The iPhone 4 has its own staunch supporters, and they don’t care if the rivals have a dual core processor or not . At least not till the iPhone gets a dual core processor anyway! The Samsung Galaxy S II has also been launched (For the complete hands-on, click here) in India, which just makes competition tougher for the Optimus 2X. What LG really needs here is for buyers to understand what the dual core experience is supposed to offer, and in what scenarios does it really work.

First Impression: Sleep inducing looks!

Straight out of the box, and the LG Optimus looks just like any other smartphone out there- the often seen form and finish. The 4.0-inch screen has four touch-based keys placed below it- menu, home, return and search. The display is the Gorilla Glass type. The panel around the display is dressed in glossy black colour. The left side panel is completely clean, which is rarity these days with phones- since they need to stuff in a lot of stuff on the every slimming form factors. The right side panel has the volume controls, but no dedicated camera button. The top of the phone is a busy place to be power button, HDMI out port and the 3.5mm headphone jack. The bottom panel has the micro USB port and dual speakers, which do pack a real punch. The rear panel has a brown finish, matte thankfully, with a silver strip running down the middle- “with Google”. Above the strip is the 8MP camera with the LED flash.
It is obvious for a 4.0-inch screen phone to feel big, but the critical element is the comfort factor (how well it grips in the hand) while using it. The Optimus 2X does well on that front, and allows you to use the phone with the same hand that is holding it. However, the phone does tend to slip a bit, if the hand isn’t perfectly dry

Features: Lots of them
Well, where do I start! Let us take a look at the software bit first. This one comes with Android 2.2, with a promised update for Android 2.3 soon. This puts the Optimus 2X at a disadvantage, since the likes of the Galaxy S II will have Android 2.3 straight out of the box. However, what LG have done well here is made the UI look snazzier than before. The widgets look more in line of the HTC Sense, which is kind of the benchmark as far as Android UI’s are concerned. While flicking between the multiple screens on this UI, it was hard to miss the effort LG has put into making it looks vibrant. The widgets have more variety and are better looking too. Also, the pinch to see all home screens feature works very smoothly.
The hardware bit, the Optimus 2X does seems to hold a lot of aces. The processor is the most talked about part of the Optimus 2X. However, let us not forget that the 8MP camera can record 1080p HD videos @ 24fps. The phone comes with 8GB built-in storage, and will hold up to 32GB in a microSD card. The 4.0-inch display is the IPS LCD type with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. What helps the processor along when the phone is in operation is the 512 MB RAM, which in my opinion should have been more. Even a 1 GHz single core powered HTC Incredible S has 768MB RAM! At the heart of the phone is the ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor, clocking at 1 GHz, with the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset- a very powerful combo. Most people have remarked that this dual core processor is also 1 GHz, so how is it better than the other single core 1GHz processors out there? Well, without getting into the real number crunching scientific stuff, let us get to the performance bit, which will give you an idea of how the dual core responds in this phone.

Our Take: Dual core power, on a budget

The LG Optimus 2X is definitely a step up from the single-core processor powered smartphones. The extra power on tap, the good display, a good camera with 1080p video recording and a surprisingly good battery life- seems to have all the ingredients of a good phone. The bland looks may be a disappointment to some. For a price of around Rs 26k, the Optimus 2X has the Samsung Nexus), the HTC Incredible S  and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc as its main rivals. However, considering the fact that this is a dual core powerhouse, the 2X is definitely worth considering. Why not get the extra punch for the buck!

Rs 26,990

ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor @ 1GHz, 512MB RAM, Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset, 4.0-inch display, IPS LCD type, 480x800 pixel resolution, Gorilla Glass, 8GB built-in storage, MicroSD card up to 32GB, 8MP camera with 1080p HD video recording, LED flash, 1500 mAh battery

Features: 8
Performance: 8
Build: 7
Value: 7.5
Overall: 7.5


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