Mobile Phones Guide

LG Optimus 4X HD review

LG Optimus 4X HD - The Affordable Quad-Core Contender

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Launch SRP S$738

Overall rating 8/10
Design:
8
Features:
8
User-Friendliness:
8.5
Performance:
7.5
Value:
8.5
THE GOOD
Bright and crisp 4.7-inch HD IPS screen
User-friendly UI
Low price point
Good performance
THE BAD
Mediocre media playback battery life


Performance & Conclusion

Performance

The LG Optimus 4X HD comes with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.5GHz alongside 1GB of RAM. Along with the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core powered HTC One X and the Exynos quad-core powered Samsung Galaxy S III, it forms part of the league of top-tier smartphone devices that are currently preloaded with Android 4.0 and feature quad-core processors. The other quad-core Android 4.0 smartphone that was showcased at MWC 2012 but is not out yet is the Huawei Ascend D Quad / D Quad XL.

As usual, we subjected the review unit to the Quadrant benchmark, which can be found on Google Play. To gauge how it performed against the competition, we matched its scores against similar devices using quad-core processors such as the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X.

Test Phones Compared
Device LG Optimus 4X HD Samsung Galaxy S III HTC One X
CPU NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 Quad quad-core Cortex-A9 1.4GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.5GHz
GPU ULP GeForce Mali-400MP ULP GeForce
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB
OS Google Android 4.0 Google Android 4.0 Google Android 4.0

We were impressed with HTC One X's Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which propelled it ahead of its competition by a huge margin when it first came out. Soon after, we were even more impressed with the Galaxy S III's Exynos 4 Quad quad-core processor when we tested the Galaxy S III with Quadrant and other benchmarking apps. The LG Optimus 4X HD comes with the same NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and ULP GeForce GPU that are found on the HTC One X but it fared slightly worse than its competitor. We attribute the difference to better optimization on the HTC One X.

Raw benchmarking results aside, the LG Optimus 4X HD ran extremely smoothly and had absolutely no problems rendering pages or running graphic-intensive apps like Temple Run, thanks to its quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. The phone's lag-free performance, brisk day-to-day user experience and blazing fast web loading definitely contributed to a positive user experience.

 

Imaging Performance

Before we get into camera photo capture capabilities, we share a few notes of its 4.7-inch qHD (1280 x 720 pixels) HD display. Colors seemed a little muted on the screen but otherwise, it featured crisp details, good viewing angles with adequate brightness even under sunlight. However, one thing we noticed that has happened on a few occasions was the auto-brightness feature on the Optimus 4X HD appeared to malfunction during certain situations, often becoming too bright even under well-lit conditions for example.

Next up, camera imaging performance. The LG Optimus 4X HD comes with a 8-megapixel camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. Testing the 8MP camera, we found the images looked relatively sharp, though noise levels could have been improved. Colors are slightly oversaturated and a faster shutter speed is preferable; otherwise, the Optimus 4X HD performed respectably in this department.

 



 

Battery Mileage

Using the same 480 x 800 pixels resolution video that we use across all our mobile device battery tests, we set the same test parameters which includes having the video looped under the following conditions:

  • Brightness and volume at 100%
     
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
     
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter
     
Test Phones Compared
Specifications/Device LG Optimus 4X HD Samsung Galaxy S III HTC One X
Processor
  • Quad-core 1.5GHz
  • Quad-core 1.4GHz
  • Quad-core 1.5GHz
Display Size
  • 4.7-inch
  • 4.8-inch
  • 4.7-inch
Display Type
  • HD IPS
  • HD Super AMOLED
  • Super LCD 2
Display Resolution
  • 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 1280 x 720 pixels
  • 1280 x 720 pixels
Dimensions
  • 132.4 x 68.1 x 9.19mm
  • 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm
  • 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
Weight
  • 141g
  • 133g
  • 130g
Battery
  • 2100mAh
  • 1800mAh
  • 2150mAh



 

The LG Optimus 4X HD didn't perform too well in the battery test, lagging behind both its quad-core competitors. The Samsung Galaxy S III remained at the top of the trio with 581 minutes uptime! In comparison, the Optimus 4X HD only obtained 280 minutes of video playback before refusing to play the video at the 3% mark. Even HTC One X's mediocre 339 minutes managed to outlast Optimus 4X HD. The only obvious reason for this outcome despite its listed specs about is because of the phone's power consumption which certainly needs improvement. The wide margin over its competitors can be attributed to several factors: an energy-sapping HD IPS touch screen, less power-optimized software and as mentioned earlier, a heavier body.

The results are likewise replicated in the portability index (battery to volume ratio). While the LG Optimus 4X HD shares almost similar dimensions with the other two quad-core devices, it is slightly heavier than the comparisons. Coupled with its low battery mileage, it is unsurprising that the Optimus 4X HD came up last in this index. 

To give you a real-world gauge, we observed that the phone could last almost a whole working day on a single charge, with emails and Twitter feeds pushed constantly to it. Other activities included occasional web surfing and phone calls. So while it's not stellar in our battery formal video-based battery life test, in actual day-to-day usage, it's about on par with the rest of the phones. The video based performance results would probably appeal more towards users who tend to watch movies while traveling long distances.

 

Conclusion

The LG Optimus 4X HD is most definitely not the best quad-core phone out there but on the whole, it is a functional phone with some unfortunate downsides. We had no problems with its design (though somewhat bland), because it is practical: the angular build, grooved back and plastic lightweight body gives it a better grip. To add on, it comes with a 4.7-inch 1280x720 pixels resolution touchscreen, expandable SD card memory of up to 64GB and a 8-megapixel camera, all of which makes it primed for multimedia purposes like video playback and photography. Its camera capabilities might not be the best of the 8MP devices in the market, but it is rather decent to say the least, with room for improvements. Of course, its quad-core Tegra 3 chipset and 1GB of RAM keeps the performance on the device running smoothly without any noticeable quirks. The user experience is not too derivative from one that's on the stock ICS user interface, but thankfully, LG has added a couple of gems that improve the phone usability and make it easier to use.

But of course, everything is not all sunshine and rainbows. The LG Optimus 4X HD's battery performance in media playback is lackluster to say the least and could have been better, given that its hardware components are similar to the HTC One X. Fortunately, more casual day-to-day usage like voice calls, data usage on apps and a dash of multimedia was handled decently and as can be expected to last just as long as with any modern phone prior to needing a charge (which is close to a full day).

However, we would say the main factor that will sway opinions to favor it above its competitors is undoubtedly in its price point.

 

Available from 28th July onwards in Singapore, the LG Optimus 4X HD will be retailing at a sweet tune of S$738, just a tad less than the recently released dual-core HTC One S ($748). The device will also be accompanied by a free LG leather case (worth $50), while stocks last. Compared to the HTC One X (S$898) and Samsung Galaxy S III (S$998), its price is significantly lower and on par with older/top-tier dual-core smartphone devices. If you are looking for an affordable quad-core device, the LG Optimus 4X HD is certainly an option to consider. For those who are looking for phones with long-lasting battery life of around the same price point and don't care about chasing the best hardware specs, the Motorola Razr Maxx (3300mAh) is an upcoming device to look at.