The LG Optimus 2X is the second of the LG devices we have recently been asked to review. I have been using the handset as my primary phone for almost two weeks now so how does it really perform? Does it really live up to the “POWER OF TWO” slogan that’s sprawled across the front of the box?
WHERE TO PURCHASE:
INSIDE THE BOX:
- LG Optimus 2X Handset
- 1500 mAh Li-Ion Battery
- 3 Pin UK Plug with USB slot
- USB to Micro-USB sync and charge cable
- HDMI to Micro HDMI Data Cable
- 3.5mm In Ear A192 wired Headphones
- LG-P990 User Guide
For full specifications please visit GSM Arena
- HDMI Mirroring
- LG Remote Call
- LG Integrated Twitter Application
- Location of Volume Buttons
- Speaker Location
- LG Integrated Facebook Application
- No LED Status Light
DESIGN & LAYOUT:
TOP: Power Button | Micro MDMI Port | 3.5mm Headphone Socket
RIGHT: Volume Up and Down Buttons
BOTTOM: Microphone | External Speakers | Micro USB Charge / Sync Port
FRONT: Sensors | Internal To Ear Speaker | 1.3 MP Front Facing Camera | Soft Keys – Menu / Home / Back / Search
BACK: 8 MP Camera | Single LED Flash
When the package came from LG carrying the LG Optimus Black and LG Optimus X2 I was over the moon, this was my chance to see if the “POWER OF TWO” handset would really live up to it’s hype.
When I took the phone out the box and had a look round it to see exactly where everything went I was surprised to see that the back cover release was a simple hole just big enough for a finger nail to get into at the very bottom of the device. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem however when you consider that the charge port is right beside it and practically the same width then let me tell you that it really is a problem, especially in low lit conditions where you have to remove the back cover and your finger nail ends up in the charging port.
After I managed to get the back cover off the handset I noticed just how tidy the layout was, infact, if I were to say it was almost too neat and tidy I wouldn’t be too far from the truth. The sim card had to be inserted before the battery which made perfect sense and the location of the MicroSD slot was ideal for quick memory changes (no need for getting something to push the card in to release it). Sadly though, and like most modern handsets, the camera lens sat inside a recess which makes it rather annoying should you want to clean it. The battery, I must point out, is probably one of the easiest I have found to be removed, a large finger slot makes it all very easy.
OK I had the device all ready now so it was time to boot it up, a single 2 second press on the power button and we were off! The first thing to strike me was just how bright the LCD was, considering this was not AMOLED or Super AMOLED the device was super bright and very colourful.
After doing the usual Google Android registration I got my first glimpse at the LG Home screen. Admittedly I’m not a huge fan of custom UI’s loaded by manufacturers though this one didn’t seem half as intrusive as the others I had unfortunately encountered *cough* samsung *cough* .
The home screen had an upgraded weather app to that which was on the LG Optimus Black and if I’m being completely honest I would say that this was rather disappointing and the first in a short line of areas where LG could have done more to showcase the power of the phone.
Upon seeing the LG App Advisor and having no idea what it was I decided that this would be the first thing I looked at, just really to see what was in there. I was greeted with a very nice animated Android logo juggling app boxes and very impressed I was, so much so that I was completely heartbroken when I upgraded it, based on a pop up, only to lose it to a static image (this upgrade took away the Juggling droid and left me with two LG App Advisor icons on my main menu). Sadly though, the fancy animation was the only thing that made this worthwhile. The App Advisor had very basic apps that didn’t even come close to showing the device’s capabilities and I felt that this was a missed opportunity to showcase the device.
It was now time to check out the menu structure as you can guarantee that when a manufacturer customises the UI there will be a custom menu in there too.
I wasn’t disappointed! Infact, if anything I was surprised to find that there were 3 custom layouts which was great because I wasn’t forced with crazy menu styles and I could also see (from the Vertical Grid) the apps I had downloaded in a separate section.
The next “custom” UI find was one belonging to the home screen. The home settings option allowed me to set the number of home screens which was nice if not pretty standard now on most handsets.
After seeing the LG Custom UI at work I notice the menu had a “Home Selector” app. What a disappointment this was! With just one option, LG Home, and no details on how to get another this was a pretty much wasted app.
This is without a doubt one of the best apps I have seen preloaded by a manufacturer. It allows support reps at LG to take full control of your device should you ever need to call them for direct support. Impressed!
Next on my list was the Preloaded Apps app which had a number of great games for free and was way better than the LG App Advisor I had previously encountered.
The next app I looked at was SmartShare, unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to test this application though the concept of it is great!
Finish up with the Preloaded apps I went to Twitter and Facebook. There is a MySpace app though to be honest, it’s too 1990’s for us to use (Sorry Tom).
The Facebook app was awful, it didn’t hide anyone or any app that I had hidden on Facebook and it turn it made my wall uncontrollable to read.
Twitter on the other hand was great! It covered all my needs as far as Twitter apps go and also came with its own widget (as did the others).
Next stop, browser! I had to test the browser, I was desperate to see just how quickly the pages rendered and how they functioned with streaming video (football to be precise).
One of the most annoying parts of this handset is the screen unlock, it takes a right good swipe upwards to get the handset unlocked and if you tried to quickly swipe then forget it, you wouldn’t be getting into the handset.
The 8 MP cameral was simply amazing – for a simplistic user like myself though I wouldn’t get too excited if you are a pro or semi pro because long distance photo’s are a no no with this digital zoom. Focus control, colour control and video were all handled very well and managing the images and video’s was simple and quick which I guess I would put down to the 1 Ghz Dual Core processor on board. Some of the images and videos I took can be seen below.
I was desperate to test the power of the processor so off the the App Market I went and I downloaded the TegraZone Games app. Sadly a lot of the games on here were highly priced and being a poor fella I decided not to download them but to try the freebies instead.
This is where the device came into it’s own. Coupled with the HDMI mirror, gaming using my handset as a controller and my 37 inch LG Television was amazing. I was so surprised that the graphic rendering was not affected by moving the video output onto such a large screen. Not only was this amazing but the gaming experience and speed was also the best I had ever experienced on a handset. No screen lag and even with notifications going on in the background not once was my experience flawed.
Playing music was a bit a low point for me on the phone due to the location of the speakers, quite often the music would be playing into the arm of my couch or the covers on my bed as I listened to some music on a Sunday morning. The sound wasn’t as loud as I would have liked or as clear as I would have expected though it is worth mentioning that if you leave the phone flat down or turn it upside down then the sound is a lot crisper and a lot louder. The other downside of music playing was the location of the volume buttons though this is just a personal gripe as I am so used to the buttons being on the left hand side of the handset.
Call quality was brilliant, even in low signal areas I was able to hold a conversation and the call would not drop. This was also the same for the wireless signals on the phone.
Unfortunately the biggest disappointment for me was the over heating of the phone that caused it to power off during a charge and the only way to get it back on was to remove the battery and then power back up. This coupled with the strange inability to hold a GSM signal caused me no end of annoyance and again, just like the over heating issue the only way to fix this was a reboot. I must point out though that I have been assured by LG that this was not a known fault and that it was isolated to the handset I was given to review and they did offer to swap it out immediately for me.
The LG Optimus 2X is an amazing device. I haven’t used any other Dual Core device as yet though to answer my earlier question, “Does it really live up to the “POWER OF TWO” slogan that’s sprawled across the front of the box?” then the answer to that is YES!
Dual core is 100% worth the money, you don’t realise just how much quicker things move until you compare them side by side and even with the HTC Touch HD, the LG Optimus 2X completely out performed it.
Would I recommend the handset? At the current price, 100% Yes. This is now an affordable handset for those who would use it in the capacity it’s designed to be used in.
Overall Score: 8 / 10