- Above average hardware performance
- Good multimedia features and an HDMI port
- Nice user interface with gesture controls
- Insufficiently sharp imaging on the display
- Lack of a dedicated camera key
One of the most interesting models for consumers who want to save some money by not purchasing a top smartphone model, but a mid-range device that actually offers more.
Until recently, it could be said that LG was lagging a little behind when it came to getting involved in the smartphone market race. The latest models, however, show that this South Korean manufacturer has finally caught up with the competition. The best proof of this is the LG Optimus 2X, with its most significant feature being the powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset, with a 1GHz dual core processor. The phone also comes with a 4-inch capacitive IPS LCD screen, Google Android 2.2 (Froyo), 8GB of internal storage, and a HDMI port.
Many Americans might not know it, but this model is already available here — it’s masquerading under another name, the T-Mobile G2x.
BUILD AND DESIGN
The LG Optimus 2X doesn’t carry the most modern design, but does have particularly slim dimensions of 4.9 x 2.5 x 0.4 inches (124 x 63 x 11 mm). Its 5-ounce weight is a little hefty even for a device with a 4-inch display.
It is crafted entirely out of plastic, but a very solid plastic that feels robust, compact and convincing when held in hand. Images can hardly describe the detail that largely contributes to the ergonomics of this smartphone that has a slightly curved glass covering the display. Thanks to this, the Optimus 2X feels natural when held and the slight screen curvature contributes to a more natural feeling when doing multi-touch screen gestures like pinch-to-zoom.
The LG Optimus 2X’s 4-inch LCD capacitive display has its good points and bad points. Undoubtedly, this is a high-quality screen with very good contrast that tolerates even direct sunlight regardless of the situation the device is used in. Similarly, the colors on the display are convincing and vibrant, be it photo imaging and video clips or simply running applications, i.e. widgets and desktop icons.
Where it deserves harsh criticism though is with sharpness. With a WVGA (480 x 800) resolution, it is up against rival models with qHD (900 x 540) resolutions with significantly sharper imaging on a 4-inch diagonal. Furthermore, the display uses IPS (in-plane switching) which puts it in direct competition with the device that’s best-known for its IPS screen — the iPhone 4. This raises high expectations, but unfortunately, these expectations are not met. The imaging is a bit blurry, something that is most evident when reading texts written in a smaller font size, for instance when browsing web sites.
On the other hand, the screen reacts to touch and finger movements instantly and with exceptional preciseness. A powerful processor is credited for this, which instantly fulfills the user’s wishes for smoothly running applications and moving objects on the screen. Thus, typing on the virtual keyboard is very elegant and can be mastered quickly.
Still, given the previously mentioned ergonomics and precision or speed with which it reacts to finger movement, this is one of the best screen keyboards that Android smartphones have to offer. Users who frequently write text messages and emails on smartphones and want a device without a physical keyboard should definitely consider getting Optimus 2X.
Other Buttons and Controls
Instead of physical ones, this smartphone has four capacitive keys, Home, Menu, Back and Search, located right under the display. This is common for devices with the Android OS. The power key is on the upper edge and volume control keys on its right side.
These are all the keys this phone has — the lack of a key dedicated for turning on the camera and taking photos is rather surprising. I was especially surprised by the lack of such a key given the exceptional multimedia options Optimus 2X has to offer.