Over the last few years, the dynamics of mobile phone manufacturing
arena have changed significantly; companies that were once at the top
are nowhere to be seen and others have risen to the helm. LG belongs
firmly to the first category, as a company that is struggling to keep
pace with current conditions in the smartphone market. Meanwhile it's
once close competitor and Korean counterpart Samsung has taken the top
LG seems to have been trying a lot of tactics but is yet to get
to come up with a successful high-end Android device. It announced the
first dual-core smartphone last year and similarly the first quad-core
phone this year (although Optimus 4X HD was last to reach the market).
At first glance, LG seems to have finally stuck gold with 4X HD, but
will this phone finally help the company change its fortunes, we will
find out in this review.
The other two
quad-core smartphones that we have seen this year had very distinct
looks. While HTC's One X had this beautiful polycarbonate clad body,
Samsung's Galaxy S III was more plasticky and conservative. LG has gone
for the elegant look, it might not look as good as One X, but it is
certainly very likeable. It's angular, slab-like thin design is decent
for a flagship model, but may be not ideal. It is still very plasticy.
phone is huge, mainly because of the 4.7-inch display on-board, but is
still comfortable to hold unless you have very small hands. It is all
black (white version also available) apart from the two silver strips
running on the edge of the smartphone.
The volume rocker has been
intelligently hidden on the left side such that you won't even notice
it the first time. The power button is located at the top along with
3.5mm headset jack, and Micro-USB port is present at the bottom of the
The build quality is solid and the smartphone feels
nice in hand thanks to the rubberised and textured back. The front of
the device is covered with single piece of Gorilla Glass to help with
you with scratches and occasional falls.
Overall, LG has made one
great piece of hardware; it might not go down in the history books but
the hardware is unlikely to dissapoint anyone either.
displays have become the standard these days and anything less would
not do justice to the 4.7-inch screen on LG Optimus 4X HD. The device
sports an IPS panel, which provides great colour reproduction and
Despite being good in its own right, the display
still falls short of the superb HTC One X display, but only because the
One X has set a very high standard. Optimus 4X HD still is a great
display and one of the best that you will find outside One X.
to other flagship smartphones, LG has also included 8-megapixel rear
camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera in Optimus 4X HD. The image output
from the rear sensor is pretty nice and the resulting images are quite
good. However one issue that plagues the Optimus 4X HD camera software
is its nature to lose manual focus after every 2-3 seconds. So if you
tap to focus on an object in your frame, the phone will initially focus
on that but switches to auto-focus after two-three seconds. This is, of
course, pretty irritating and had us rushing to click photographs before
the dreaded auto-focus kicked in! We couldn't find any preference to
disable this behaviour.
Overall, the camera software is quite
simple, yet decent, but does not offer extra features like the funky
Instagram kinds of effects present in One X. However the options to
tweak ISO, White Balance, and Scene mode are present.
The camera supports full-HD recording and also allows you to add funny face/ background effects during live recording.
Software/ User interface
of the biggest positives for Optimus 4X HD is the revamped Optimus UI
on the smartphone. It is far better than the previous versions.
Korea manufacturer has finally got it (almost) right. The same skin is
present on all other Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones from LG, so even if
you don't go for 4X HD and opt for cheaper ones like L5 and L7, you will
still get this nice UI.
Starting from the unlocking your phone,
to making a call or browsing the web, the user interface is pretty
decent and most of all, fast. Well, the fluidity can also be attributed
to the beast quad-core processor on-board, but still it is some nice
work from the folks at LG.
Apart from the cosmetic changes by LG, the interface seems pretty stock, unlike HTC's Sense interface.
new LG lockscreen is also worthy of mention. Unlike the stock ICS way
of swiping the lock sign to unlock, on Optimus 4X, you put your finger
anywhere on the screen and a circular translucent window to your
home-screen opens up. When you swipe away that circle, your phone is
unlocked. Lock-screen also hosts four app icons at the bottom, swiping
any of them from the lock-screen, takes you directly to that app, which
is pretty useful when you are in a hurry to make a call or send an SMS.
also allows make several customisations to home-screen. Some of them
are ability to apply one of the four themes, or changing the home screen
One software enhancement that we particularly liked on
Optimus 4X HD was the inbuilt comprehensive backup mechanism that allows
you to backup or restore apps, bookmarks, calendar, call log, contacts,
home-screen or system settings to the device memory or SD card.
terms of the pre-loaded apps, LG has included SmartWorld (extra app
store), SmartShare (DLNA app), RemoteCall Service (remote servicing
tool), Quickmemo (note app) and MediaHome (a dashboard for all
multimedia content on your phone).
Similar to Sony's SmartTags, LG
is also bundling a NFC sticker, which allows you to change system
settings to a predefined set by simply tapping your device to that
Performance/ Battery Life
Be it HTC One X or LG
Optimus 4X, there are no doubts about performance of Tegra 3. This
quad-core processor is a performance beast and that has been proved
again and again. Everything is just snappy on Optimus 4X HD.
to the stockish interface, the 1GB RAM on-board is not bogged down,
which means that despite opening multiple apps, the phone remains butter
smooth (not Jelly Bean's Project Butter kind, but the best you can get
It is the best performance we have seen so far of any LG
Android device and amongst the best across Android devices from any
manufacturer. The Korean company has certainly stepped up its game big
time and the Optimus 4X HD marks its entry into the big league of
On the gaming front as well, as expected, the phone did not show any sign of strain during Shadowgun or Dead Trigger sessions.
brings us to the tricky part. If you bundle a quad-core processor and
720p display, it is likely that your battery will not last very long.
The 2100 mAh battery in Optimus 4X HD will just about get you a day's
worth of juice with normal usage.
With multi-core processors and
HD displays in our smartphones, we really need some breakthrough
innovation in the battery technology to take us to the next level.
last few high-end smartphones from LG haven't really clicked with
consumers and LG is the only one to blame. However, the company seems to
have finally got it right with Optimus 4X HD. Right from the presence
of Tegra 3 to great software and elegant design, LG Optimus 4X HD ticks
all the right boxes.
Overall, the Korean manufacturer has released
a great Android smartphone, maybe not at the same level as the One X
and the Galaxy S III, but certainly a worthy contender nonetheless.
For more images of LG Optimus 4X HD check out our gallery.
Price: Rs. 34,490
- Great performance
- Elegant design
- Focus issue in camera
- Battery life
Ratings (Out of 5)
Battery Life: 3.5
Value for Money: 4