Even though LG is one of the most powerful companies when it comes to electronic devices, it is still trying to make a stand within the Smartphone biggest brands of our time. The LG Optimus 4X HD is another attempt to do so within the Smartphone market. Will it be able to join the top tier companies? We’ve had the device for about 3 weeks in order to test it to the maximum, read on to see what we found.
For starters, the 4X HD has pretty interesting specifications when it comes down to hardware. Here are some of them:
- Processor: Nvidia Tegra 3, QuadCore 1.5 Ghz Cortex-A9
- Graphic CPU: ULP GeForce
- Memory: 1Gb RAM / 16 Gb Interal
- Screen: 4.7’’, 720×1280, True HD IPS
- Camera: 8MP com LED
Well just by taking a look at these specs and without even turning the device on, it clearly seems that we’re in the presence of a top tier device, with pretty powerful hardware.
The presence of a Nvidia Tegra 3QuadCore leaves us with great hopes of great performance during gameplay and video playback which is amplified by the magnificent 4.7 inch screen.
This leads us to the unboxing.
The device lies within a well conceived and minimalistic box, like every other LG box we’ve had in the last few months.
Inside the box you will be able to find the following:
- LG 4X HD;
- 2150mAh battery;
- USB cable
- Quick start guide
- Tags NFC
To find out more about the way this device will be brought to you, take a look at the unboxing video below:
Design and Ergonomics
Now that we have the device in hand lets star by judging its look and feel.
The first impression is alwaysthe most important, or so they say, and for that LG didn’t overlooked the design, continuing to bet on a premium looking line. In order to create that look the 4X has rounded corners and a metallic double line all around. The plastic back cover has a rugged feel to it, which provides a great feel and helps prevent the device from slipping from your hands.
In order to house the 4.7 inch screen LG had to make the 4X bigger than its brethren but still staying true to the design line. The 4X HD is still a Pettitte phone that fits well in hand, while having the following measurements 132.4 X 68.1 X 8.9 mm. How LG managed to do this is a secret that we’re sure most companies would like to know. You can easily reach every buttom on this phone, as well as all the the corners of the screen, with one hand, and mine are petite.
On the top of the device we can find the lock button as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack. On the left there’s the volume rocker and on the bottom we can find the micro USB slot and the microphone.
The 4X weight is amazingly right for its size, satying at the 133g mark, the same as the Samsung Galaxy SIII. In order to access the micro SD card slow, the back cover has to be removed, also giving you access to the battery and the SIM card.
On the front of the device lives the marvelous 4.7 inch screen, the front camera and the light sensor. On the back there’s the 8MP primary camera with the LED flash and the speaker.
Although the 4.7 inch screen with 720×1280 pixels might seem too big for this phone it fits amazingly and allows you to enjoy the device to its fullest.
The screen has very good image quality and great viewing angles. But not everything can be amazing, when you find yourself outside in a sunny day it will be very difficult for you to discover what is on the screen.
The corning Gorilla Glass also helps you to protect the massive screen when the phone is in your pocket or your purse.
Performance and Software
This is where LG has been letting their users down. We really want to find out if this time it will be different or if all we can expect from their devices is out of the shelf processors with medium performance. LG has been known by the Android users as a company that lacks in their relationship with its costumers by not upgrading their devices software, or at least not upgrading ass fasts as other brands do.
In the Android world this is a big downfall for the brand, because it leads the buyers to other devices or to simply give up on the brand software and root their device. When it comes to the 4X HD, LG already gives its customers a 4.0.3 Android version and there are rumours about an upgrade to 4.1 Jelly Bean, bu there’s no date set, yet.
As it seems LG is trying to correct their mistakes with the new devices they put on the market, but we will have to see if it really works.
In this particular device its important that LG comes through with the update so that every one can enjoy that ultimate performance from this piece of hardware. We say this because the Ice Cream Sandwich doesn’t take the QuadCore processors to the limit, as Jelly Bean can do.
As most smartphones on the market nowadays, the 4X doesn’t come with pure Android OS but with the interface Optimus UI v3.0 developed by LG.
The 4X has 7 homescreens and a few widgets are already in place, but this is all customizable. On devices that have a pure Android interface you have to have 5 homescreen where in this interface you can choose between 1 and 7. As is to be expected you have the possibility to use the Google search feature in every homescreen, since all of them have the search bar on the top.
As is expected with Android devices you have the notification bar, in this you have the ability to turn on and off many features like sound, WiFi, GPS, among others you can choose for yourself in order to customize this feature to our liking.
In this same bar there’s a new feature you can use, the QuickMemo. This is an awesome new feature that allows you to take quick notes on your screen by writing with your finger, and them save them to your gallery, or just let them stay on the screen in order for them to appear the next time you openthe application so that you can remember what you wanted to do. You can take a quick look at this feature on the video review.
When you open the app menu, you are presented with three tabs, Apps, Downloads and Widgets.
We can’t put our finger on the reason why LG keeps separating the downloaded apps from the pre-installed ones, since it only repeats the application icon in both the Apps and Downloaded tabs.
The contacts messaging and Email are basically the same as seen on the LG Optimus L5, so if you want to know more about them please take at look at the L5′s review.
So now on to the pre-installed applications. Besides the normal Android applications seen on every device the 4X presents us with the following.
Guarantees the devices upgrades when they are available.
Allows you to make a backup of all the information stored in you device, in a way you can then put it back when you feel like it. You can also schedule your backups.
An application that allows you to keep updated about the finance world.
Allows you to manage the processes that are currently running in your device and terminate those you choose.
Enables the reading of NFC tags and the allows you to change the configurations of the profiles you already have, as well as create new profiles and make new tags with those profiles.
So that we could test the performance of the 4X we made a few benchmark tests. As usual we tried AnTuTu, NenaMark 2 and the Quadrant Standard.
One of the things we noticed, and isn’t at all regular in LG devices, is that when we ran the tests, or started to play games that needed a little more performance, the device started to heat up pretty quickly.
Even though the 4X has a magnificent group of hardware specifications we noticed that there was some lag and slowness some times while playing. We hope this is resolved once the upgrade to 4.1 Jelly Bean is available.
Connectivity and Battery Life
In order to evaluate the 4X on the internet front we ran a SpeedTest.
The 4X has two browsers available. The standard Android browser and Google Chrome. Both of them do an amazing job browsing most of the websites we saw, but Chrome gets away with a little bit of a better performance.
Battery life is one of the biggest complaints of every person when they enter the Android device family. And for those of you that are thinking about getting this device, you will complain. When you out the massive hardware specs of this device side by side with the massive display it is to be expected a small battery life. But when you compare the 4X battery life with other top end smartphones it has a reasonable performance lasting up to two days while making a few calls,sending a few messages and with WiFi always turned on.
The GPS of this device does its job gracefully, it gets a signal quickly enough in open spaces and with favorable weather conditions.
The 4X camera has great quality, having said that, the 8MP do their job. In darker environments the LED flash also does it job, as you will be able to see in the snapshots we took with this device. Since the 8MP can’t do anything on their own, we would like to give kudos to LG for the auto-focus and the stabilization available when we are taking a photo.
The camera also has various configurations that enable you to take pictures in many different ways, one of them being the ability to take a snapshot automatically when someone is smiling.
When it comes down to video recording the 4X enables you to record at 1080p at 30fps as you can see in the video below.
Outdoors Sample Video:
Indoor Sample Video:
Indoor Sample Video (Low Light):
Video Review Part 1:
Video Review Part 2:
After several weeks of having this device in our hands we are able to speak up about the quality of this device.
As we’ve said before, there’s nothing missing in the hardware department, but we noticed that there’s something missing in the handling of the device, in the way it behaves itself while being used.
LG’s decision of keeping their personalized interface is a good one, since the Optimus UI only enhances the Android OS, even though this doesn’t happen with some of the other brands.
The lack of an update to Jelly Bean is starting to get noticed. If you’re looking for a smartphone the 4X might be a good choice for you if you like well built devices with good design and a big screen.
When you compare this device with other in the same hardware category, price wise the 4X will always be an option to consider.
Review by: AndroidEmotions