It might have been first out of the tech block (as per the Guinness Book of World Records, as we are being told) with a dual core processor driven smartphone — the LG Optimus 2X — but LG seems to have come a trifle late to the quad core processor phone party. Likes of HTC and Samsung have already released their products in this category.
But we doubt too many people will be holding that against the Optimus 4X HD, given the fact that at Rs 34,990, it is the most affordable quad core mobile phone available in the country. The Galaxy S III comes for approximately Rs 37,990 while the HTC One X commands a price in the vicinity of Rs 36,000.
Though not exactly in the league of the LG Chocolate or the more recent Optimus Black in the looks department, the Optimus 4X HD cuts a smart figure with a large 4.7-inch display. And when the phone is switched on, the display hogs all the limelight — it is delightfully bright and at 1280 x 720 one of the best we have seen on a handset. Text looks crisp and videos and pictures are a delight.
We did not like the textured back much, and the metal strips on the sides, with the volume and power and screen on/off keys jammed between them are a bad idea. Still, at a mere 8.9 mm thickness, the 4X does not look bad, although it is not in the category of the One X and the iPhone 4S.
But the innards really make the 4X. The phone is powered by a quad core Tegra 3 processor, which packs in 1 GB RAM, 16 GB of storage, an 8.0-megapixel camera, and comes with 3G, NFC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Yes, we did miss the HDMI port (and packaged cable) that had come with the Optimus 2X, but this is still a tech spec beast. And unlike the 2X which ran on a version of Android that many had thought outdated at the time of its release, the 4X HD comes with a very recent version of the OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, with its own Optimus 3.0 interface running on top of it.
High definition games like Shadowgun played beautifully on the device with no lags, and browsing the Web was a delight, especially as one can use the mobile version of Chrome as well as the pretty good default browser on the device — yes, pinch to zoom and Flash are supported, so you can pretty much open any website you want. LG have placed their Optimus 3.0 interface on top of Ice Cream Sandwich and while some people might like the more colourful icons and customisable seven home screens, we honestly prefer the plainer classic ICS look.
One touch we really loved was QuickMemo, which allows you to make notes on any screen and share them with people. So if you are browsing the Web or looking at a map and want to share what you are looking at, just pull down the notification bar, select QuickMemo and using your finger, scribble whatever you want on the page or image you wish to share and then share it. Very neat. The usual software suspects like e-mail and social network support and an office suite are all there.
The quality of the sound is decent (although not in the Nokia PureView league) and we really like the 8.0-megapixel camera with its multiple shooting modes. What’s more, thanks to the quad core processor, you can edit videos and sound files on the device without a glitch.
All in all, the Optimus 4X HD is a very good option for those looking for a large screen phone with plenty of processing muscle. It is also the most affordable of the quad core league. Just make sure you don’t stray too far from a charging point — the battery generally needs a recharge a day.