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LG Optimus 2X review

Will the world's first dual-core smartphone prove to be a powerhouse?

LG Optimus 2X review: Internet

With 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity and 3G on-board, we were looking for the LG Optimus 2X to impress us with its speed here, and we weren't disappointed.

The phone maintained a nice and fast connection to our Wi-Fi network, and speed over 3G was good, too. A strong ability to retain signal is converted into decent mobile internet speeds.

At least, that's the case 90 per cent of the time. Sometimes, we just couldn't get sites to load in the browser. You can reload and reload, but it ain't happening. Then it happens. One of life's mysteries. One of the Optimus 2X's niggles.

Just navigating in the browser is also inconsistent. It's frequently sluggish to respond to gestures, especially just panning around a web page. Even when it does respond, it's often slow, and sometimes won't track the full distance you dragged your finger.

Pinch to zoom is accurate enough once it gets going, but it too can be slow to respond in the first place.

Predictably, Flash seems to be the instigator of the poorer side of browser performance. Have a few Flash elements on a page (such as on the TechRadar home page) and things go south quickly.

While we were impressed with Flash video performance in and of itself (see below), that minor elements of a site can get in the way of general browsing isn't good enough. There's still a long way to go before it sits perfectly comfortably on mobiles.

LG optimus 2x

Double tapping to zoom can drop a few frames when it's also reflowing text, but it doesn't actually slow down, so you won't mind. Here again, the touchscreen's responsiveness can be a little lacking when it doesn't recognise your double-tap. It also present a problem if you double-tap near a hyperlink, because it often interprets it as you tapping the link.

Infuritatingly, it's often not that responsive when you're actually trying to tap links, especially if the page is still loading (and if there's much Flash content on a page, it can be loading for a while after the main body has appeared). Sometimes, a link will highlight and you'll get a noise, but just nothing happens.

LG optimus 2x

Pages render brilliantly, and you miss nothing as a result of being on a mobile. The four-inch screen can fit a good amount of detail into its 800 x 480 resolution, and it's no problem to zoom in a little further and have the text reflow again if you need to. It's a shame that words don't reflow dynamically while you're pinching, like on the HTC Desire S, but we can live without that.

LG optimus 2x

You can add bookmarks, and there are tabs (or rather windows), though there's no fancy graphical view for these, as there is on the iPhone 4 and even the BlackBerry Bold 9780 now, which is a shame considering you'd have to say the phone could handle it.

LG optimus 2x

There's also Google's voice search built in, of course, and it delivers accurate responses.

This is all on par with the competition, though. What we were really looking forward to was seeing how Flash performed with all this extra processing power behind.

So far, we've been fairly unconvinced that Adobe's plug-in has made itself essential on mobile yet, with spotty performance on many phones, including Android devices and the HP webOS-powered Palm Pre 2. We've already talked about its effect on general browsing, but does it work in and of itself yet?

Short answer: Yes. Clearly, it just needed Tegra 2 behind it.

LG optimus 2x

Video is almost always smooth. Playing standard web-embedded size videos generally caused us no problems whatsoever. Well, that was true for a while.

We didn't have a bad thing to say about Flash technically, until one video totally crippled the browser. It caused a bug in the Windows tab viewer that erased whatever site was top in the list, and then meant we couldn't load any web pages at all.

Which certainly sounds like something Flash would do. However, restarting the phone fixed this problem, so it wasn't a massive pain. And we have to say that the playback was so very impressive at other times that we really can't knock it too much for what may have just been a dodgy player on the website's end.

The only real problem with Flash is that the controls are rarely designed for fingers. Most volume controls in particular tend to be too small and fiddly to use in any meaningful way. Sadly, the phone's built-in volume control doesn't really go as loud as we'd like, so this can be a bit of a pain.

Similarly, many videos will pause if you click (tap) on them, so if you're trying to press a tiny 'fullscreen' button, you can end up doing a bit of a stop-start dance.

Hopefully, finger-friendly controls will appear on more players, and things will really shine.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time7.83 Hour
Product ModelOptimus 2x P990
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)139 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.2 Froyo
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height122.4 mm
Width64.2 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time400 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameOptimus 2x P990 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Gyro Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberLGP990.AGBRBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The LG Optimus 2X is the world's first dual-core Smartphone. Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo), the latest Smartphone from LG allows users to experience improved performance when browsing the web, downloading applications and multitasking. Packed with the latest features the LG Optimus 2X offers an 8 MP camera with full HD 1080p video playback and recording. Content can be played back using the HDMI interface which shows content on HD TV displays to full HD quality. The LG Optimus 2x will also offer console-like gaming experience brought to life by the NVIDIA graphics dual-core processor and the phone's gyro sensor.