LG Optimus 4X HD review

The LG Optimus 4X HD is a quad-core beauty – is this LG’s best phone yet?

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LG Optimus 4X HD review

For

  • Classy styling
  • Great battery life
  • Gorgeous display

Against

  • Not latest Android
  • Average camera
  • Low-rent widget icons

The Optimus LG 4X HD is the company’s first with a quad-core processor. But since the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S3, will anyone give a 4X?

LG’s latest premium Android, the LG 4X HD, is a stylish machine. It has a crisp, clean design with neat details like the chrome edging in subtly varying widths and the rough, matte back. It’s not as wide as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and it doesn’t feel like a palm-stretcher as Samsung’s does, even though the screen is only 0.1in smaller.

Android phone makers can add their own styling to Google’s operating software and LG matches earlier LG blowers. This isn’t as sophisticated as Samsung’s or as gorgeous and feature-packed as HTC’s and the shortcut icons look cartoony on this hi-res display.

But the way the widgets shrink as they are swiped offscreen is cute. As is the lock screen which, as you stroke your finger across it, reveals the home screen in a circular window that moves with your finger. Neat. This phone, by the way, comes with Ice Cream Sandwich, not the very latest Jelly Bean software.

LG Optimus 4X HD: Build

There’s a fashion for phones with sealed battery units, to maximise cell power and minimise the space for the battery’s casing. But the 4X HD has a removable back (handy if you want to swap batteries). Some phones with pop-off backs can creak when you flex them but this one is solid and silent.

The power button on the top edge is perhaps a little too recessed for easy use, but the other button, the volume rocker on the left edge, is neatly hidden. It falls under the thumb naturally enough but is so discreet it’s hard to see when you’re looking directly at it.

LG Optimus 4X HD: Features

The 4X HD has the now standard resolution for smartphone snappers: an 8MP camera. There’s also a 1.3MP sensor facing front. Still shots were acceptable but not especially strong or instant – shutter lag was evident in lower-light shots.

Video was strong, however, with autofocus that worked well, despite what you may have read elsewhere. The facility to zoom in while shooting by pinching the screen was useful.

LG Optimus 4X HD: Screen

The 4.7in display on the LG 4X HD is one of the phone’s standout features. It has high pixel density (312ppi), so not much less than the iPhone 4S’s much-vaunted Retina Display. It’s sharp, then, but also bright and vividly coloured. It’s a pleasure to look at.

LG Optimus 4X HD: Performance

Quad core means speed, right? Well, it certainly seems to here. The phone is very responsive, from simple tasks to heavy ones conducted with lots of programs running. Pages load super-fast, apps open instantly. It’s very satisfying to use. The only downside comes when your data connection is slow but that’s not LG’s fault, of course.

LG Optimus 4X HD: Battery

This phone has a powerful battery, at 2150mAH it’s more powerful than the one in the Samsung Galaxy S3. As a result, it’s easily enough to see you through a full day’s usage, though we’d still recommend nightly recharging.

LG Optimus 4X HD: Verdict

The LG 4X HD is a slick, impressive phone that will last all day with ease and do everything at speed with no slowdown, no making you wait. The screen is great: rich and vibrant with plenty of pin-sharp detail.

And the styling is LG at its best – quirky but classy and in a case that fits well in the hand. LG’s biggest problem is that other phones – like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X – offer as much if not more. Still, it’s easier to hold than the Samsung.

LG Optimus 4X HD availability: Available now

LG Optimus 4X HD price: £450

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