Review Price £399.95
LG Optimus 4X HD - First Look
LG was the first out of the blocks with its quad-core phone here at MWC
2012. In fact it's claiming to have the world's first quad-core phone.
Dubbed the LG Optimus 4X HD, it packs in an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core
processor running at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 4.7-inch (1280 x 720) True HD
IPS display, 16GB of internal memory, NFC, an 8MP camera with full HD
1080p video recording and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
We've had a decent play with the handset and here are our initial thoughts.
We have to admit, our first impressions weren't all that great. There's a lack of wow factor to the phones design that means it rather shrinks into the background compared to the HTC One X for instance. The reasons for this a numerous: the back is simply moulded glossy black plastic with a perfectly nice-but-nothing-special crinkly finish, the general shape and profile of the phone is rather generic, and there are no obvious extra features. However, this isn't at all to say it's not good.
LG has clearly done some impressive engineering work to make the phone so light, thin (8.9mm) and not too tall or wide. In this regard, it makes the handset sit reasonably comfortably in the hand, and should be more pocketable than some devices.
It's also perfectly attractive with two metal rims running round the edge, and a prism like detailing running between them. The fit and finish feels good, with no obvious flex alerting us to weak spots.
Prizing the back off reveals a microSD slot which can takes cards up 64GB in size. This alone will give this phone greater appeal to some people than rivals that don't even have expandable storage.
Tapping the unlock button on the top edge – not the most convenient location on a phone this large – and you're greeted by a new-style unlock screen. Press anywhere on screen then start dragging your finger away to reveal a circular window into the homescreen world below. Keep dragging until it fully unlocks. It's pointless, but we like it.
That world is populated by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as evidenced by the three resopnsive and backlit touch buttons that sit below the screen.
The screen itself is good. We're getting so used to high quality screen nowadays that on the high-end handsets it's almost a case of just pointing out the ones that aren't up to snuff. That isn't the case here. The high resolution TrueHD IPS LCD panel is super sharp and looks good from any angle. LG was also at pains to point out that it also actually has lower power usage than OLED for everday tasks like email, web browsing and Facebook, where white expanses drain extra power – OLED only uses less power on darker scenes.
Talking of video, we were shown a neat trick whereby you can zoom into and pan around Full HD video in real time to get a closer look – a good demonstration of the power of quad core. You can speed up and slow down playback on the fly.
The Optimus 4X HD's screen is also nice and responsive, a fact that is greatly helped by the fast quad-core processor under the hood.
As ever, LG has tweaked the Android interface but for the most part it's not done too bad a job. We'll look at that sort of thing in a bit more detail when we do our full review, though.
Another demonstration of the phone's power is its ability to convert 2D games and other apps into 3D when plugged into a 3D TV. We were shown demos of Angry Birds and Google Earth (rendered in Full HD) running in 3D and we were genuinely quite impressed.
As is de rigeur these days, there's an 8MP camera on the back which can also shoot Full HD video. We gave it a quick whirl and it seemed okay. There didn't appear to be all that many standout extra features but it took a decent shot comparable with most other 8MP shooters.
The message to take away from out first impressions is this: the LG Optimus 4X HD is clearly a very capable phone with features aplenty, we just wonder if it's missing that wow factor, though. Hopefully for LG's sake we'll be more impressed upon second showing, when we get one in for a full review.
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