MWC 2012: LG Optimus 4X HD Hands-On Preview

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After several months of keeping quiet, LG has prepared six new smartphones that includes Android OS and LTE support for this week’s Mobile World Congress. Among these the Optimus 4X HD is most eye-catching, a 4.7-inch model with a quad-core Tegra 3 chipset — and each core runs a 1.5 GHz.

This chipset’s most unusual feature is that it actually includes “four plus one” cores. The additional, fifth one runs with a 500 MHz clock and takes on background processes at times when the device is not being ourt under a lot of demand, giving far greater battery life than when the central quad-core processoris being used.

LG Optimus 4X HDThe Optimus 4X HD comes with a 2150 mAh battery. LG convinced me that the battery on this device will last much longer than on the previous Optimus 2X model because of Nvidia’s excellent Tegra 3 architecture.

I toyed with LG’s treat, of course, and my first impression is very good — as was expected from a device that belongs to this class. This was mostly felt while playing fast games, like car races. Thanks to the MHL chip, the smartphone was connected to a 3D TV set, which means I even played 3D car races (3D imaging is not supported on the actual phone’s screen). Everything ran smoothly, swiftly, and without any glitches. Switching over to other applications from the game and then returning to it occurred almost instantly — I did not even have to wait a second.

The same goes for video playback. LG used the processor’s power and included an application for watching videos on the device. This supports swift forwarding to any part of the recording, speeding up, slowing down, even pinch-to-zoom, which is an option normally characteristic only for viewing photographs. This is why 1080p recording reproduction is supported — videos look very sharp even when zoomed in.

Apart from the hardware, the Optimus 4X HD’s display is also quite impressive. This is a HD-IPS LCD screen with which LG wants to compete with Super AMOLED Plus screens. In the conditions of really poor artificial lighting which were present on LG’s exhibition area in Barcelona, the screen performed above average. The 720 x 1280-pixel resolution aides this, which offers a 312 ppi density on the 4.7-inch display — sufficiently big to present even the tiniest of details with exceptional sharpness. The contrast was not lost even while I tilted the device under a wide angle (and I tilted it quite a lot while playing games), the colors were quite vivid, even though the more vivacious ones were more saturated than the colder ones.

Being 8.9 mm thick, the Optimus 4X HD feels comfortable whenLG Optimus 4X HD held in hand, despite its lush diagonal. Still, its design is not the least bit attractive. When it comes to features, this phone is much like HTC’s quad-core smartphone One X, however, it is not nearly as esthetically polished.

On the other hand, those who prefer a “purer” Android OS which has not been modified by such user interface as HTC always includes, will love LG’s Optimus 4X HD more. It uses OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with a few LG user interface modifications (familiar from previous LG models) which are not as aggressive as Sense UI or the Samsung TouchWiz. As I was told, LG is planning to stick to it in the future as well.

Mobile World Congress

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