LG Optimus 2X

There’s been a lot of talk about smartphones sporting the next generation of technologies such as faster dual-core processors which promise even better multimedia performance. The LG Optimus 2X is one such device, being one of the first of many powered by NVlDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 processor. Unsurprisingly, the large 4-inch LCD touchscreen takes up most of the real estate up front, alongside four capacitive touch buttons at the bottom. Its unobtrusive design keeps the phone accessible. For example, ports are neatly lined along the top and bottom, while the volume controls are on the right, all of which fit very nicely into its streamlined design. Despite the large screen size, the 2X fits rather comfortably in our palms, with a sturdy feel that shows LG paid attention to build quality and construction. The few physical keys and buttons on the 2X were responsive and nicely spaced out.

While the 2X runs Android 2.2, what you get is a custom interface overlay that seems to have taken a leaf out of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface (which also shares many resemblances with Apple’s iOS), with a mix of both widgets and application shortcuts.

Using the 2X didn’t turn up any notable negatives, as the general user-experience was smooth, with a responsive touchscreen. The 4.0-inch LCD touchscreen certainly impressed with vibrant color reproduction and wide viewing angles, making viewing videos and digital still snapshots a treat. Audio performance was also decent, with a suite of equalizer modes at your disposal. Whether launching apps, games or multitasking, it was all too clear that the additional horsepower offered by the Tegra 2 processor had a lot to do with keeping things running silky smooth. One weak link of the 2X’s hardware offerings was the lackluster built-in digital camera. Despite offering a sensor resolution of S-megapixels, excessively aggressive noise reduction and washed out colors didn’t help its digital imaging scorecard.

Battery life on the 2X is also merely average, with our tests resulting in approximately 5 hours worth of use. In comparison, devices like the Google Nexus S or the Samsung Galaxy 5 did better. The 2X didn’t even manage to last a full day in casual use, so we’re a little disappointed that killer battery life wasn’t one of its aces.

At the end of the day, one question that you’ll have to ask yourself is: Do you really need a dual-core smartphone? For what it’s worth, we think that the average battery life is a minor niggle worth overooking for the simple fact that the 2X is able to handle processor-intensive tasks without skipping a beat. Given that Sony is looking to bring the PlayStation Suite to Tegra2-enabled devices running on Android 2.3 software in the near future (bonus: LG says the 2X will soon receive the Android 2.3 upgrade), the 2X is hitting the market at just the right time. Of course, if you’re able to do without the extra horsepower, there are still plenty of other options out there.

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