LG Optimus 4X HD (LG P880) Review: LG’s Comeback Phone

Along with Motorola, LG is another player in the Android line up which has been sliding down the ranks since the last year. With a not so impressive phone portfolio, plagued with poor software and low build quality LG has been pushed out of the top four spot recently. LG’s latest flagship the Optimus 4X HD looks promising.

We decided to find out if LG is finally ready to play in the big league and challenge Samsung. Even before we begin with the review, we were disappointed with the fact that though LG was the first to unveil a quad core device they still only managed to launch it way after the HTC One X and the Samsung SIII did.

Specifications:

  • 4.7 inch IPS Display
  • 8MP Full HD camera with LED flash
  • 16GB ROM expandable up to 32Gb with external microSD
  • 1GB RAM
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Nvidia Tegra 3 1.5GHz processor
  • 2150mAh battery
Here is a quick unboxing video of the LG Optimus 4X HD:

Build & Design:

The LG Optimus 4X HD comes across as a sleek and compactly designed handset which interestingly appealed to a lot of people at first look. Personally we didn’t find it to be a drool worthy device but still it can hold its own.

It seems to be crafted all geometrically with a minimalistic design approach.  It has an all plastic body with a stripe textured design on the back which doesn’t feel cheap. It’s sleek and comfortable to hold with good grip.

The front of the device is occupied by the huge 4.7 inch IPS display with the proximity sensor and the front facing 1.3MP camera on either sides of the call speaker on the top. Right below the screen you have three capacitive touch buttons which are visible only when they light up.

You have a prism patterned design on both the sides with the volume toggle keys on the right and the left blank.

You have the micro-USB / MHL port on the bottom along with the mic.

The top of the device holds the 3.5mm audio jack and the power button.

While the back of the device houses the 8MP camera with LED Flash and the speaker placed right at the bottom on the back.

Display:

The 4.7 inch True HD IPS display of the LG Optimus 4X HD is similar to what they use on their Smart TV’s. The screen is bright and vivid enough to be legible under direct sunlight, though you are faced with glare from the screen at certain angles. It offers deep blacks and good contrast ratios which translate into an enjoyable viewing experience on the device.

Something looked amiss with the display until we realized that there is small distance between the front screen and the display which is considerable enough to make a difference in the viewing experience. It’s not a deal breaker at all.

Overall the display is one of the best out there, though just a little behind the HTC One X’s Super IPS LCD2 & Samsung Galaxy SIII’s Super AMOLED. Something you would not notice unless you keep these screens next to each other.

Performance:

The LG Optimus 4X HD is packed with the latest ammunition and on par with any other flagship device currently in the market. In fact, it even has an under clocked fifth core at 500MHz which functions only when the device is used for executing simple tasks.

The device also boasts of 1GB of RAM, 16GB (12 GB user available) internal memory which can be expanded additionally by 32GB with the help of an external micro SD card. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and micro USB / MHL.

The Optimus 4X HD runs on Ice Cream Sandwich with LG’s 3.0 skin on it, which is ably supported by the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor clocked at 1.5GHz.

Software:

That brings us to LG’s UI 3.0 skin which covers ICS on the Optimus 4X HD. This latest UI from LG is pretty similar to the stock ICS and unobtrusive and simple at the same time. It seems to have come a long way from the earlier clunky software skins that LG had developed. It offers a great number of innovative features and customizations which enhance the user experience.

The Lock Screen is an example which unlocks anywhere on the screen and allows you to open other short cut apps as well. Added functionality apps like SmartShare with DLNA and SmartWorld (LG’s app store) are a bonus.

Camera:

The full HD 8MP camera on the Optimus 4X HD is a decent shooter but lags far behind when compared to direct competitors like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Camera Sample

Talking of images, though they seem to have good color reproduction and detail in them the result is not that great in the auto focus mode with most of the images looking slightly out of focus.

Camera Sample

The lack of a dedicated camera shutter key makes things more difficult. The results are decent in all lighting conditions.

Camera Sample

The 1080p videos captured with the LG Optimus 4X HD show good clarity and detail with great audio quality to go with it. Though, the color reproduction might not be up to the mark at times.

The camera has a good UI which gives you a quick and easy access to all the necessary camera features. We believe that LG can greatly improve the camera performance with a software update.

Here is a quick camera sample shot using the full HD 8MP camera on the LG Optimus 4x HD:

Battery:

With a 2150 mAh battery under the hood, the LG Optimus does more than expected as the battery lasts you a full day with moderate usage. Power users are recommended to carry a charger. We did not notice any power drainage issues on the device. And the device is right up there with the best (read HTC & Samsung) when it comes to battery performance.

Here is a quick video review of the LG Optimus 4X HD:

Wrap Up:

The LG Optimus 4X HD is easily the best LG device we have seen till date and quite closer to competition than ever. LG has also priced the device quite aggressively with the device now being made available in the market at Rs. 30,000.

We hope that LG fixes the camera issue with a software update soon, and then it would truly be a serious competition to the SIII and the One X. Though for now it has arrived in the big league.

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