If you had asked me last year about LG's prospects in the high-end smartphone game, I would have laughed. The LG Ally was one of the worst smartphones I've ever worked with, and I'd be willing to bet that the sales figures showed it. As consumers migrated from featurephones to smartphones, LG realized that they needed to up their game if they were going to compete.
Shortly thereafter, the mid-range Optimus line came out. Thanks to a decent spec sheet and adoption by the major wireless carriers (and a few regionals as well), the series took off. Then the high-end LG Optimus 2X was announced at CES in January. With a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 4-inch display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording capabilities, front-facing camera, and Android 2.2, it was a high-end device that could compete with - and in some ways, surpass - the competition.
Fast forward to today, and the Optimus 2X has landed in the States as the T-Mobile G2x. I've had about 24 hours to work with it, and here's what I've discovered thus far:
- Hands down, the G2x is the fastest Android device I've ever used, and is a testament to LG's ability to build a good high-end smartphone. The Tegra 2 processor loads apps at an unusually fast pace (check out the unboxing video below if you don't believe me), and the device is consistently smooth. Seriously, it's silly fast!
- Part of the G2x's speed comes from the stock build of Android 2.2 that's installed out of the box. Save for the T-Mobile applications like AppPack, Highlight, My Account, My Device, T-Mobile TV, Visual Voicemail, and a few games, it's a clean build. Unfortunately, you can't uninstall the T-Mobile bloatware, though you can sideload applications.
- The phone has a 4-inch WVGA display, which is a nice sweet spot between 3.7-inches and 4.3-inches. Colors are vibrant and crisp, though it falls short of the qHD, Retina, and Super AMOLED options on the market. Weighing in at 5 ounces, it's on par with the T-Mobile myTouch 4G and is easy to store in a pocket or purse.
- The 8-megapixel camera is decent, though I'd rate it below other 8-megapixel devices like the EVO 4G, Inspire 4G, and DROID X. The real star of the show is the HD camcorder. I shot a 1080p sample video yesterday, and the picture and audio quality was amazing.
- The G2x has a 1,500 mAh battery, and while I was skeptical that a battery of that size would work well in a Tegra-powered phone, it has been pretty impressive so far. It was at 100 percent when I received it yesterday, and I've put it through its paces with calling, text messaging, emailing, browsing the web, and downloading apps. It hasn't touched a charger, and it's at 30 percent as I'm typing this. Not bad at all.
- I haven't done formal HSPA+ network speed tests just yet, but early numbers look good. I've averaged download speeds between 3.5 Mbps and 4.7 Mbps, with upload speeds between 1.3 Mbps and 2.5 Mbps. I'll be doing additional speed tests throughout the city, so stay tuned.
I have additional testing that needs to be done, but so far, this is the best Android phone on the market at the moment. It's exceptionally fast, has a stock build of Android 2.2, and is packed with features. Stay tuned for more coverage on the G2x!