From Megahertz to Gigahertz and from single cores to quad cores, now smartphones have evolved a lot from where they begin. Take an example of LG’s first smartphone – the LG-GW620, which marked the beginning of the Google Android based smartphones for the company. It had a puny 528 MHz processor while today we have a LG smartphone, called the Optimus 4X HD which has a quad core processor with a whopping 1.5 GHz clock speed.
With the Optimus 4X, LG has made it quite clear that they want everything to be just perfect and has left no loose ends with this device.
The quad core processor, a 4.7 inch true 720P HD display and a super sleek design – all these made the Optimus 4X HD a hell of a device but how well does it really goes out on the real world, let’s find out.
Look and Feel
LG’s obsession with black has been going on for quite sometime and continues with the Optimus 4X HD as well. But just to break the monotony, LG has also launched a white version of the device as well.
The Optimus 4X HD is without any doubts slim and sleek, but at the same time it does not feel fragile as the Samsung Galaxy SIII. The device is extremely lightweight at 133 grams that includes a 2150 mAh battery too.
The lack of hardware buttons on the front gives this device a sleek and a clean look. The device we got for review came in black and it feels really bold in that. There are dual chrome accents on the sides that add a touch of glamour to the device while the textured back cover helps give some grip while preventing scratches that could ruin the look of the device.
The placement of the power/standby keys at the top would also be liked by many who are graduating from smaller smartphones to this where this type of placement is quite common. The left hand side houses the volume rocker which is a big turn off for the right handed users and cause a lot of discomfort.
The overall build quality of the LG Optimus 4X HD is good. The device is sturdy and can handle accidental falls quite well. We would not say that we dropped it deliberately but in real life usage it dropped quite a few times and not even the back cover ever got dislodged form its notches. The Gorilla glass really makes a lot of difference and protects the display from scratches as well as damages. Overall, we are quite happy with the way device has been designed and built.
Powered by In Plane Switching technology, the 720p True HD display of the Optimus 4X works great and has great contrast as well as colour vibrancy. At maximum brightness, the display can be used even in bright sunlight. The native resolution supported by the device is 1280 x 720 pixels at 4.7 inches, which is great for both HD movies and games.
The brightness level of the device can go really high but you will not be admiring that for a long time as it consumes battery and puts a lot of strain on the eyes as well.
The colour reproduction and the black levels are good and the picture quality offered by the display is sharp and vibrant. Although in comparison to Samsung Galaxy SIII it pales down a bit but doesn’t disappoint in any way possible.
Processor and Display engine
The Optimus 4X HD utilises the Nvidia Tegra 3 (4+1) chipset that includes a 1.5GHz quad core processor along with an ultra low power Nvidia Geforce GPU, giving the phone a fluid touch operations and faster execution of commands and application requests.
On gaming front also, the phone is capable of doing justice to most games even the HD ones. But HD game seems to put the processor under a lot of strain and the device heats up quite fast. And that is one thing we did not like about the Optimus 4X. It heats up so fast that within 15 minutes of gaming, you can easily warm your hands with the device on cold days!
The phone features a 1 GB of RAM memory and 16 GB of internal storage which works great for all applications. Besides, you can increase the storage space by another 32 GB with the help of an external micro SDHC data card.
With the hardware combination, the Optimus 4X HD did not suffer an application crash or froze while using, it just glides through all the application you tend to throw at it and that too with ease. Even in terms of multitasking, there is ample headroom for applications with 1 GB RAM and a quad core processor, so do not even worry about what all the device can do.
Decorated with Android’s newer Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, the LG Optimus 4X HD works well with about most of the applications available on the Google Play application store, but with the added Nvidia Tegra processor, users are also eligible for downloading and using games from the Tegra store as well. The Tegra store generally offers HD games, both paid and free, that have been optimised for Tegra powered device.
In terms of compatibility, most applications work easily and flawlessly on the smartphone while the quad core with a companion core keeps the performance fluid.
The Optimus user Interface 3.0 makes a lot of difference to the standard device with unique customisations that LG has added to the device. The lock screen has quick access icons which can be customised along with that there are seven home screens along with an endless loop so users do not need to come back to the same page one sided only.
The application menu has its own advantages with icon change option and one touch uninstall right from the application space itself.
Performance and usage
The Optimus 4X HD offers excellent performance that makes usage of this device fun and easy. Even opening too many applications at the same time is not a problem so hardcore users too won’t feel any pinch. During the course of the review, the device underwent a lot of application testing but the device never hung or froze.
The 4.7 inch display is a major plus point of this device. The display has good touch sensitivity, registering gestures very accurately too.
The onscreen keypad is nicely designed and spaced out as well, although fat fingers might have a slight discomfort while using this device but this problem can also be overcome with a capacitive touch stylus that can be bought from any mobile accessories shop if needed. Also users can make use of the Swype keypad for simple and easy typing.
The call performance of Optimus 4X HD is also another major plus point for the device. Calls are received and made without any issues. The earpiece and loudspeaker volume is abundant and the microphone also makes sure the receiver gets to hear every word loud and clear.
Due to the heating problem, using the phone for long conversation is a bit of issue and especially if you have played HD games for about 20 minutes or more before making the call.
Camera and Multimedia
The 8 megapixel camera of the Optimus 4X HD offers great variance in colours and full HD 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.
The image quality of the camera is good in both outdoor and indoor modes provided the lighting is sufficient. The LED flash comes in to play wherever needed but is only effective for close objects and it tends to give the subjects a yellowish hue too. The colours are captured nicely with details while the 8 megapixel resolution gives unlimited possibilities for the usage of the pictures.
On multimedia front, LG Optimus 4X HD features support for all generic Android formats plus you can anyway download a plethora of applications from Android marketplace or the Google Play store to extend multimedia capabilities. The loudspeaker however is a bit of a downer for the device. The sound although is average but it gets distorted at high levels for sure.
The bundled headphones are a boon to the ears with in ear design which is very comfortable plus delivers good sound as well.
Battery backup is yet another plus for the Optimus 4X. The device can lasts for 1.5 day between charges easily and even longer for light users. The device manages power usage quite brilliantly and offers superior performance on demand as well.
The LG Optimus 4X HD is a great and stylish device to have and flaunt. Its light weight profile and a great battery backup of about 1.5 days with regular day to day usage including gaming and internet browsing over WiFi also gives this device some brownie points. But most importantly the device scores well on performance too.
While the device impresses on every front, the price of this device is what attracts buyers the most. The LG Optimus 4X HD is at present available for around Rs 32,000 in retail markets while its closest competitors the HTC one X and the Samsung Galaxy SIII still are above 35,000.