LG Optimus 2X review: Interface
This being Android (and Android 2.2 Froyo at that), multiple home screens are the order of the day. There are seven provided in the LG Optimus 2X, and it's pretty clear that the LG team are fans of HTC, with several clear nods to the fan-favourite Sense UI used on phones such as the HTC Incredible S and HTC Desire S.
There's a clock and weather widgets on the first Home screen, which even has a flip clock like HTC's overlay.
LG's actually provided a whole range of widgets in their own menu when you go the 'Add' option in the Home screen menu.
There's a range of other clocks and alarm clocks, including analogue and digital, bookmarks, calendar, FM radio control, social feeds and more.
The social feeds app is a large widget with a tab for Facebook and a tab for Twitter, both of which tie into the LG-specific apps for these two social networks that come pre-loaded on the phone.
HTC's Leap View, which graced phones such as the HTC Desire when introduced, is replicated here. Pinch in on a Home screen to bring up all seven in miniature, at which point you can choose one to zoom in on.
Navigating around the Home screen is quick enough, thanks to that Tegra 2 dual-core processing ticking over inside. There are plenty of frames dropped, but the phone doesn't tend to actually hang – that is to say, it does what you're asking, it skips over the animation part sometimes.
More of a problem is that it can be a picky with regards to touches. Often, pinching in to bring up the helicopter multi-home screen view both activated that view, and thought we'd touched a widget, meaning the phone would zoom out (which is what we wanted) and then suddenly launch something.
More irritating than that is the Lock screen. It's easily the slowest part of the phone to respond, which gets on your nerves when it's standing in the way of you actually doing anything. It's doesn't have this problem all the time, but often enough for us to think it worth mentioning.
Pull down the Notifications bar and you'll notice quick options for turning on and off sound, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, along with a rotation lock button. There's also a permanent music widget.
Hit the Applications icon and you'll be taken through to the full System Applications list. There's a lot of stuff in here right from the off, thanks to a whole bunch of pre-loaded apps, including Facebook for LG and Twitter for LG.
These two apps really show off the speed off the phone – there's absolutely no waiting around in them. Tap something and a new screen slides in immediately, not missing a step. Very smooth, very impressive.
The interface is unsurprisingly slick on the whole, considering the power behind it. In the apps that have clearly been optimised for it, it's as fast and responsive as the comparably specced iPad 2, which is no mean feat considering that Android doesn't have the targeted hardware development that Apple does.
However, we aren't that blown away by the interface overall. While it's undoubtedly fast, it's not that much faster than the likes of the HTC Desire S. Android has been running buttery smooth on HTC hardware for a while, but HTC has done more with UI design, improving on LG's efforts here.
We're not saying the Optimus 2X's interface is bad, by any means – Android's popular for a reason, and LG hasn't tinkered with that formula too much.
But when you compare a marginal – sometimes non-existant – speed increase in the LG to an improved user experience overall in HTC Sense, we'd say the latter wins every time.
If you're wondering about the LG Optimus 2X being on Android 2.2 when 2.3 is the new hotness, and already features on the likes of the Google Nexus S and HTC Desire S, then we can only tell you that LG has said a 2.3 upgrade is coming.
We wait hopefully for official word (with the rumours putting the 2.3 drop in July), since it's possible Android 2.3 might help to fix a few of the niggles.