As we’ve come to expect of Android’s, you can add Facebook and Twitter information to your existing contacts, and the phone does a pretty decent job of matching up the contacts, making it easy to contact your friends in many different ways as quickly as possible. You can of course import and export contacts from SIM or SD cards as well.
What you don’t get is a single integrated messages app that brings in social network messages. SMS are instead handled by the standard Android app, which simply stores your messages in conversation style and date order. Meanwhile, you can add a social network feed widget to the homescreen but this separates out the two services into two columns and doesn’t provide any other particularly useful functions. Essentially, you’re going to want to jump into the full Facebook and Twitter apps to get the most from those services.
Email support is as comprehensive as ever with POP3, IMAP, and exchange all onboard. Setup is generally as easy as simply putting in your email address and your username and password, with the phone working out the rest. There are separate apps for Gmail (which will be automatically populated once you log into your main google account on the phone) and another one for all other emails. However, the second one has a better interface and also supports Gmail so it’s worth setting up all your accounts on that one app and easily accessing them all at once from there. We do miss not having the split screen landscape mode on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, but as this is the only phone we’ve seen with this, it’s harsh to call the Optimus out on this too much.
The overall typing experience is okay. The onscreen portrait keyboard is well laid out and, thanks to the responsive screen and speedy processor, keeps up with even the speediest typing. The width of the phone’s screen helps here as it allows just that little bit more room for your fingers to manoeuvre without mashing two keys at once. However, you need every ounce of that extra accuracy as the predictive texting isn’t as good as the likes of the iPhone or alternative Androids. You can download alternative keyboards, but it’s something of a pain that you may find you have to.
The web browser is as good as we’ve come to expect with speedy accurate rendering of pages and full support for Flash right out of the box. Indeed thanks to the fast processor, Flash is that much more usable than on other handsets. It’s still not perfect – most Flash games are still difficult to interact with – but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and of course trumps the iPhone.
However, as with the rest of the interface, due seemingly to the older version of Android, navigation is just a bit jerky. Pinch to zoom in and out or scroll up and down and it just stutters ever so slightly, whereas other Androids of this calibre are free of this. We’re not sure about the super slim ‘.’ and ‘/’ buttons on the keyboard when entering an address either. So again, it’s clearly a very good experience but just not quite the best.
We’re seeing more and more Androids copy the iPhone style double tap to zoom implementation whereby the screen resizes to the size of the picture or section you double tapped on. Not so with the Optimus 2X, instead it zooms into a sensible distance for easy reading when you double tap on a block of text. It also reflows the text to fit the width of the screen so you don’t have to scroll left and right. Both methods high their positives but we tend to prefer that used by this phone.
As you’d expect 3G and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi are onboard so general browsing speed is decent, signal permitting.