LG Optimus 4X HD P880 - Performance, Camera and Verdict

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LG Optimus 4X HD Performance
Powered by Google’s mobile operating system, the

LG Optimus 4X HD runs Android V4.03, or Ice Cream Sandwich as it’s also

known. Of course, LG has added its own launcher over the top. This has a

few neat features. For example, when you press the lock screen a circle

appears around your finger and gradually increase in size as you swipe

to unlock the phone. There are also quick launch buttons at the bottom

of the lock screen for the dialler, messaging facilities, email client

and camera and pressing and swiping on these takes you directly to the

relevant application.

LG Optimus 4X HD 2

The homescreen is divided up into seven

screens that you can add shortcuts and widgets to. There are also

control buttons for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in the notifications menu, along

with a quick memo feature and the ability to quickly change the phone’s

sound profile. The app launcher menu has been split into three areas

for apps, downloads and widgets, to make managing items you’ve got

installed a little bit easier and you can now resize a lot of icons on

the homescreen so they show more information. For example, resizing the

calendar allows it to display upcoming appointments.

LG Optimus 4X HD P880 4  LG Optimus 4X HD P880 1

LG

has added a number of apps to the Optimus 4X HD and on the whole these

are quite useful. For example, there’s Polaris Office for creating or

editing work documents and LG’s Smart Share app that lets you stream

digital content from computers and NAS drives to the phone. It works

well, and happily played 720p HD MKV files from our Iomega NAS drive to

the phone without stuttering. The video looked stunning on the 4X HD’s

high resolution display too.

LG Optimus 4X HD Camera
In fact, this phone

is a multimedia powerhouse, as long with playing back HD video files,

you can also shoot in 1080p Full HD using the phone’s camera. When

shooting a HD video you can also have it fire off stills at the same

time. Another neat trick is the Time Catch mode. When you enable this,

the camera keeps buffering images to memory so when you press the

shutter buttons it capture a series of images before and after you’ve

pressed the button allowing you to choose the best ones.

However,

the camera is far from perfect. The biggest issue is the autofocus.

It’s a bit on the slow side and sometimes just gets locked with blurred

focus. When this happens you have to touch the screen to get it to

refocus. This is more annoying than it sounds and makes it more

troublesome to use than the iPhone 4S or S3 cameras. Video footage

suffers the same problem, as the autofocus often hunts to find the right

focus, ruining your video in the process. Also images aren’t quite as

sharp as the shooters on the 4S or the S3, although its low light

performance is probably as good as both of these.

LG Optimus 4X HD 1

The phone

also has NFC onboard and LG includes a few spare NFC tags in the box

which you can use to get the phone to automatically switch sound

profiles when it’s near to them. For example, you could put one on your

bedside table so when the phone is sitting on the item of furniture it

goes into silent mode automatically.

LG Optimus 4X HD Processor
Rather

obviously, the 4X nature of the LG Optimus 4X HD’s name refers to its

quad-core processor. However, the phone’s chip actually has five cores,

which is surely the silicon equivalent of cranking it up to 11. The

fifth core is actually primarily designed for battery saving duties and

is clocked down to 400Mhz, as it’s what the phone runs on when it’s

idling along. The other four cores are the power houses with each

clocked at 1.5GHz. Whether you really need four cores on a phone is a

moot point as at present most software isn’t written to take advantage

of them and they do have a hit on battery life. Nevertheless, the

Optimus is for the most part brutally fast, as its benchmark figures

show.

LG Optimus 4X HD 3

In

Sunspider it clocked up a score of 2090.ms, while in Browsermark it

turned in a result of 92548. It’s GPU isn’t as fast as that in the Samsung Galaxy S2

follow-on, but it still managed 51 fps in the GLbenchmark Egyptian

Standard test, while on the Linpack multi-thread test it cranked out a

result of 94.597.

It’s very quick at rendering even more

complicated sites that other phones dawdled on and apps and most other

functions feel lightning quick to use. However, as with all Android

phones there are maddening moments of unresponsiveness, which seems to

mostly be down to the way Android is actually designed. This is an

Android issue and happens on the S3 too, so we can’t make too much of a

deal out of it on the 4X HD.

You’ll be able to store plenty of HD

videos on this phone to take advantage of that big, lush screen as

there’s 16GB of memory built-in, and the microSD card under the battery

cover can accept cards of up to 64GB in size.

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Unfortunately

the huge display and mammoth processing power of the quad-core CPU have

a negative impact on battery life. You’ll get a day’s usage out of it

but not much more unless you keep the screen brightness turned down and

make use of the power saving mode that LG has added into the Settings

menu. The power saving mode acts a bit like the Battery Saver option on

Windows Phone handsets. It lets you stop the phone from automatically

syncing and turns off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they’re not in use.

However, the fact remains that it’s bested by most other high-end phones

when it comes to battery life.

Call quality was pretty middling

too, as when it’s struggling for a signal callers tend to take on a bit

more of a Dalek-like quality than they do on some other phones. In

stronger signal areas it’s fine though.

Verdict
Overall,

the LG Optimus 4X HD is a very impressive phone. It’s slim and light,

has an excellent HD screen, super fast performance and aggressive price

tag. In short there’s an awful lot here to like. However, it’s still far

from perfect as its camera software needs work to improve the autofocus

and it’s battery life lags behind it’s main rivals.

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