LG has signalled its arrival in the quad-core mobile game with the LG Optimus 4X HD hitting the scene early doors at MWC 2012 in Barcelona.
Set to go up against the Huawei Ascend D1 Q and HTC One X the Optimus 4X HD boasts Nvidia’s powerful 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 4-PLUS-1 technology, 1GB of RAM, 4.7-inch (1280 x 720) True HD IPS display, 16GB of internal memory, NFC, 8MP camera with full HD video recording and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
LG confirmed that the Optimus 4X HD will slide right into the top end of the product price range, so expect to see the handset easily push £500 when it hits the UK in Q2 of 2012.
Approach the LG Optimus 4X HD and you do feel that you are looking at a premium phone with the dual metal rims running around the circumference, sandwiching prism detailing which is part of LG’s new signature design.
The textured back sits nicely in the hand with the tapered sides making the slim phone feel even thinner and giving the illusion that the Optimus 4X HD is not a wide as it actually is. The case is made of plastic but the build quality is firm, so it doesn’t detract from the premium look of the Optimus 4X HD.
You can see signs that Ice Cream Sandwich is on board straight away with the three touch buttons located at the bottom of the screen touting the Android 4.0 design.
Press the unlock button at the top of the LG Optimus 4X HD and the screen awakens, bright and crisp and we’re greeted with a new way to unlock the Ice Cream Sandwich interface. Press in the centre of the screen and then drag in any direction to increase a peep-hole of the home screen until wide enough for the animation to pop and unlock.
The touchscreen is very responsive and had no trouble picking up even our lighter gestures. The power of the quad-core processor is obvious as you skip through the home screens and app trays with absolutely no slow down, juddering or lag.
You get a decent array of seven home screens with the Optmius 4X HD and editing these is simple. LG has added its own skin to Ice Cream Sandwich making it easy to update your screens with whatever widgets, apps and backgrounds take your fancy.
LG has done a pretty good job with its Android overlay with some nice touches including the menus which it has brightened up and added colour to. It has also grouped various options into sub categories within the menus, allowing users to navigate to what they want a lot quicker.
You’re able to watch full HD video with ease on the Optimus 4X HD thanks to that large True HD IPS screen and we saw how you’re seamlessly able to zoom in and out of video while it is playing, without any slow down.
Once zoomed in you can then pan round the video as it continues to play as normal, which is very impressive and all thanks to the quad-core processor.
The other video related feature we were shown was the ability to the speed up and slow down the rate of video playback, again on the fly as the footage plays and the processor was able to cope with it no problem.
Video zooming and speed regulation are two of what LG is promising to be eight new, unique user experiences which will feature on the Optimus 4X HD when it ships in Q2 of this year. The version we got our hands on was a development model which was missing the additional 6 experiences and the booth representatives were unable to tell us what they may be.
We were shown a benchmarking test done via Quadrant which showed the Optimus 4X HD to be twice as fast as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus – now that’s blisteringly quick!
We posed the question, how does the quad-core processor compare to a dual-core in terms of actual user experience and the helpful chaps at the LG stand quickly hooked up a quad and dual core device to a couple of HD monitors and ran the same Nvidia graphics test (an illuminated ball rolling round a circus) to provide us with a side by side comparison.
It was clear to see that the quad-core Optimus 4X HD was able to render the movement and changing light conditions far more effectively producing smooth and defined results compared to the more grainy visuals produced by the dual-core phone.
The LG Optimus 4X HD will allow you to convert 2D games into 3D, as long as the handset is plugged into a 3D capable TV. Want Angry Birds in 3D on a 50-inch screen? Then step this way.
Hands on: LG Optimus 4X HD review
Although boasting the quad-core power we did find some apps were a little slow to open, such as the camera. We raised this issue and were assured that it was purely due to the handset still being in development and that the lightening speed would be seen throughout on the finial version.
The 8MP camera is easy to use with a familiar Android feel to the layout and settings menus. There are plenty of options to tweak your images from effects, to scenes to ISO and brightness adjustments. Shutter speed was pleasantly quick (less than a second) and the auto focus, tap to focus and LED flash allowed us to take pleasing photos of the LG booth.
Video recording is just as easy allowing you to capture full HD (1080p) footage and with the ability to stick a microSD card of up to 64GB inside the Optimus 4X HD, you’ll have plenty of storage for any epic films you may have in mind.
Internet browsing was again a smooth experience even with the poor Wi-Fi available during our hands on review, with pages loading quicking and zooming smooth and efficient. Text reflow was also on hand to avoid any unwanted side-ways scrolling – because nobody wants that.
According to LG the Optimus 4X HD has even more to offer when it reaches its finished state and we are keen to get our hands on the release version for our full LG Optimus 4X HD review to see what else it can do.