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back to article LG Optimus 2X dual core Android smartphone

There was much talk of dual core handsets at this year’s Mobile World Congress – devices which effectively double the processing power available on smart phones. Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Atrix are coming soon, but the LG Optimus 2X is first out of the traps, and also includes Android 2.2, an 8Mp camera and an HDMI …

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Silver badge

"...the focus tended to be a bit flat."

What does this mean?

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WTF?

What?

So the touchscreen isn't great (!), the camera average at best, the battery life poor and it has a largely pointless dual core CPU which doesn't even eliminate lag and just makes the UI and video recording a bit smoother.

And this is worth 80%?

Sort your scoring out, chaps, this doesn't make a damn bit of sense at the moment.

Btw, Android phone makers: dual core CPUs are stupid unless you've got an improved battery to cope, and touch sensitive buttons are shite.

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Not stupid

Android is an immature OS thriving at the moment largely on the back of the 'bling' factor (it's cool, and the majority of the people who get phones running it won't notice it's shortcomings). So dual-core CPUs will play to that perfectly as they'll provide a useful extra marketing hook.

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dual core CPUs

They are perfect to Atrix-like setups. I would love to see a standard comming up so that I could buy such a screen + keyboard combo, and use it with whatever smartphone I happen to be using at that time. Upgrade the phone, keep the screen + keyboard. Maybe any phone with an HDMI port and an USB port could be made to work with it...

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FAIL

Ahem...

"There was much talk of dual core handsets at this year’s Mobile World Congress – devices which effectively double the processing power available on smart phones...unfortunately doesn’t always perform as well as it looks...Does it mean that lag has been completely obliterated? No, of course not...the dual core processor certainly seems to give the battery quite a hammering – I barely got a full day’s use out of it. The Optimus 2X runs Android 2.2 Froyo, rather than the very latest Gingerbread version – although the company states it will be upgradeable – but LG has overlaid elements of its own S-Class UI on top and, for the most part, it works fine."

So let me see... Dual core and it still lags, but now the battery can hardly last 24 hours. It doesn't run the current version of Android, but it might do at some point. The GUI has had to be overlaid and the overlay sometimes doesn't work too well...

Business as usual for an Android phone then.

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Grenade

I own one

I bought mine at the end of last month for £430 and am delighted with it (I previously owned a G1 and a Nexus One)

It's easily rooted and there are already a handful of custom ROMs out there with more coming every day - I've opted for pretty much stock Android, others like to keep more LG elements.

True the touch screen does need a slightly firmer touch but in terms of speed it DESTROYS all single processor phones, e.g. it benchmarks as 3 times faster than the Galaxy S mentioned in the article and even pips the yet to be generally available (and more expensive) Motorola Atrix.

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non androids?

Have you tried comparing it with a non-android phone? maybe a windows phone 7 to see if it still destroys the competition?

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Silver badge
FAIL

Awesome

It beats other phones in a benchmark.

I must get one then because that is exactly what I look for in a phone.

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cjp
Boffin

Big LG Mistake...

I have this phone, and agree with your review. It's a great phone, with some annoying bugs. I had the same lag problems with the UI. Then I spotted this:

http://android.modaco.com/content/lg-optimus-2x-2x-modaco-com/336435/lg-screwed-up-bad-heres-why-your-ui-is-jerky/

Looks like LG made a huge error here. I'll be flashing it with custom wrong which solves this.

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Grenade

Custom Wrong?

"I'll be flashing it with custom wrong..."

Freudian slip there? ;o)

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cjp
Black Helicopters

ah yes

I think it must have been. Lets hope I don't flash it with the "wrong" rom when I come to do it for real!

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Megaphone

Could this be put to LG?

"cjp

Big LG Mistake... #

Posted Wednesday 13th April 2011 12:55 GMT

I have this phone, and agree with your review. It's a great phone, with some annoying bugs. I had the same lag problems with the UI. Then I spotted this:

http://android.modaco.com/content/lg-optimus-2x-2x-modaco-com/336435/lg-screwed-up-bad-heres-why-your-ui-is-jerky/"

As all the comments on here are moderated, The Reg is reading them so would it be possible for them to ask LG about this issue? The link seems well researched and it would be interesting to see if LG are even aware of the issue and have any plans to address it as it sounds like it is ruining the user experience of the phone.

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Put Launcher Pro or SPB shell

on it, and it's blindingly fast with very little lag, if any. ;)

I'd be more worried about the fact that it randomly freezes and / or reboots quite a bit...

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Pint

huh?

Why would a dual core processor make copying files from a PC faster?

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Just because USB2 is 480mb/s

doesn't mean that you get that ALL the time. Stick a USB2 port on an old 486DX machine and see if it works at full whack!

If the processor can't handle that much data as well as everything else going on then you'll get slower transfers. So by having a dual core processor you can handle all that data while simultaneously doing background stuff (e.g. handling the comms with your desktop, playing music, etc).

I'm not sure, but could being able to have two threads working simultaneously help as well? Perhaps having one 'prepare' the drive for writing and performing validation of transferred files, and the other do the actual writing? I imagine that'd make it a lot quicker as well.

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Pint

Well

For starters, 486DX machines didn't have USB2 ports. They'd have a motherboard which didn't have PCI slots, just ISA, so i'm unsure how you'd add a card with USB2 ports to perform that est. But ignoring that for the minute ...

Does the processor really get all that involved in transferring data coming in from a USB connection to storage? Genuine question

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Badgers

USB processing...

What do you think handles the USB processing? Hint: It's a "Universal" controller chip located somewhere on the mobo...

With Network you can offload processing to a dedicated network controller chip, though most onboard network and the cheap plugin cards just use the CPU. but with USB you can't use a dedicated chip for a specific purpose as the whole point is that it is universal..

I for one would welcome a direct access style network/data transfer controller chip on Mobo's especially one that could handle All network data be that ethernet wifi usb or even blutooth data transfer directly without loading CPU overhead.. it aint going to happen though.

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Silver badge

@A/C 12:16 GMT

Yes, the USB electronics only implement the very basics, the CPU is used to do all the hard work.

Firewire on the other hand is far kinder on the CPU and handles far more itself in the interface.

If you have a little Atom powered netbook or nettop, try copying a file on a USB stick back to the same drive, and watch the task manager CPU usage.

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Gold badge

Re: Genuine question

"Does the processor really get all that involved in transferring data coming in from a USB connection to storage?"

It depends. I have a machine under my desk at work with some USB ports on the motherboard and some others on a PCI adapter (that also does firewire). A live video application consumes around 25% of the CPU when the camera is plugged into the PCI adapter and about 5% when plugged into a motherboard socket.

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Flame

Interesting...

Interesting how all the Android apologists claim the ridiculous flaws this phone and its OS have can be solved by "flashing custom ROMs". That's largely what Windows Mobile 6 users claimed.

Do you guys have any idea how ridiculous it is to expect your common or garden Android Phone user to "flash custom ROMs" to fix their freaking phones?

I mean honestly - would you give that advice to your milkman? Your mum? Your kids? The job centre receptionist? They may all have this phone, and all experience its wretchedness.

Seriously. Stop pandering up to Google and LG. If the phone doesn't work out of the box, there's no way the 99.999% of its userbase, who are NOT techies, will ever fix it themselves.

SHEESH!

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FAIL

I think Jim Coleman is underestimating his mum.

Managing ROMs on an Android device using something like the deviously named and super secret "ROM Manager" app is, if you will forgive the complicated technical terminology, a complete piece of piss.

Given that the app has been downloaded over 600000 times, and taking your figure of 99.999% who would "no way!!!" use such a tool, that suggests that the android userbase must be around ten times the population of the planet.

Cool.

Wait ... hang on ... perhaps you're just talking shite.

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Troll

Interesting..

"I mean honestly - would you give that advice to your milkman? Your mum? Your kids? The job centre receptionist? They may all have this phone, and all experience its wretchedness."

No that would be stupid, almost as stupid as telling them it is because they are holding it wrong.

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Pint

Right

Only problem is, no'one suggested getting the milkman, your mum, your kids to flash a custom rom. This is a tech website, populated by techies. We discuss technical solutions. If you don't like that, the Cosmo forums are that way --->

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FAIL

When it's an 'official' update

Flashing a ROM involves going to your computer, plugging in your phone, running a program and going to make a cup of tea while it installs. Alternatively, you can copy a file to your SD card, do a bit of button jiggery-pokery and then go make your cuppa.

After the cuppa, it's done. There's none of the irritating crap like 'checking dependencies' or searching out drivers that are compatible- just fire and forget.

If you can operate the kettle for your cup of tea, you can run an update. Yes, if you want to run an 'unofficial' ROM it's sometimes slightly more difficult. But that's an unofficial ROM; people would expect that to be a bit harder. And in any case you only need to do it once per device so you can get a more tech-savvy relative or friend to do it for you.

And yes, my mum- who's definitely not a techie- has done this (with an old WinMo phone).

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Flame

Shite?

I see the fairly obvious fact that "99.999%" was entirely rhetorical passed you by.

However, 600,000 downloads of an app corresponds to 0.3% of the, what, 200Million Android phones out there? So my figure should have been 99.7% rather than 99.999%.

I think my point still holds very firmly. Don't you? I'm even being generous and assuming NONE of those are techies, and I think we all know that probably 99.999% of them are. ;op

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Flame

Sheesh...

Dude, the phone is aimed at the GENERAL PUBLIC even if your fix isn't. Actually, the fact that you appear to be admitting your fix is "just for techies" completely proves my point, which was that your fix is "just for techies".

Go figure.

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cjp
Pirate

eh?

What makes any of us "Android apologists"? The review and others here have pointed out the flaws in the phone, and have suggested flashing it with a custom ROM as a solution. This doesn't mean this is the right phone for the average joe. Thus the ho-hum score the reg gave it.

I bought this phone well aware of the software flaws, but I waited until good custom ROMs were out until I did. That's me. But I'd tell my Mum to by an iPhone. But the iPhone doesn't suit me.

And not all Android phones have these problems, so why generalize so? Many of my non-techie friends have Android phones and are happy with them.

This is a techie site, so maybe expect people who like to tinker with technology to be here. Just because we like to flash custom ROM's doesn't mean we're "pandering" to anyone. It just means we like to combine the best hardware and software together to get the job done. Just as when I buy a new laptop and take the original OS off it, because it doesn't full-fill my requirements.

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FAIL

Oh come on!

If someone on here suggests a solution to a problem with a device, you're saying I should always assume it's only for techies?

WTF?

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WTF?

@jim coleman and his miraculous arithmetic horse

200 million? The last forecast I saw was about 75 million by the end of 2012 which is when it is predicted to overtake ios-based gadgets. Is this more "rhetoric" or are you simply plucking figures out of your backside?

The 600k figure is for downloads of a single app so represents a fraction of the number of people who are actually performing the perfectly simple act of updating the ROM on their phones. A perfectly simple act that you don't credit your immediate family with the intellectual agility to perform.

You didn't make a point in your original post, firm or otherwise. It was pure squeaky hyperbole coupled with a silly "apologists" ad hominem and some upper case squeaking.

Weak troll is weak.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Pint

Learn to read Jim

I said this is a tech forum, we discuss technical solutions. If you don't like it, the Cosmo forums are that way -->

You seem to want to turn someone discussing a technical solution into a reason to dislike Android because the general public might not be able to do something technical. You are a luddite. This is the wrong forum / website for you. There's nothing wrong with that, and i'm not disagreeing with the point that there will be people who find the idea of custom roms too much. Those folk should buy something else, and read the Cosmo forums, rather than this one. See ya.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

@Adam

Quote: "Flashing a ROM involves going to your computer, plugging in your phone, running a program and going to make a cup of tea while it installs. Alternatively, you can copy a file to your SD card, do a bit of button jiggery-pokery and then go make your cuppa."

Only if it's not official, and only if your not using something like 'ROM Manager'.

Official updates come OTA, (Over The Air), all you have to do is click, 'Yes' when prompted about wanting to update, click 'Yes' leave it for a while, and your done.

Some old Android devices did need to be done in the way you mention, such as early HTC devices needing to use their Sync software on a PC, but that was a couple of years back now.

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Law
Pint

ah yes... the humble ota update...

My wife's well used and bashed in htc hero (pink - ugh) had a 2 year old battery that was showing its age (barely half a days non-use before it died) - she had 1/3 charge on the phone and an OTA update popped up, she clicked ok (I'm assuming android does some sort of minimum charge check here too... hopefully). Long story short, her phone died mid-way through the update. Cue a non-booting Hero, and lots of moaning.

So I was handed her dead phone and told to make it work... downloaded the ruu from the HTC website, but the phone didn't boot up into the main android os, so it never got to the update stage... eventually I ended up having to extract the rom.zip from the temporary files folder, copy it over to the SD card, launch into the bootloader, and let it do it's business there... luckily it worked... jumped on Amazon for a new battery, now it feels like a new phone for her again, so she's happy.

Not sure what the point of my story is... Android is a nice platform and I've been more than happy with my Desire (and my wife with her Hero)... I guess that as these phones get older and batteries become less predictable even 2 year users can get a bit stuck just using an OTA... had I known her phone was so badly in need of a new battery I would have avoided the issue by buying her a new one ages ago.

I wonder had I not helped and had she not figured it out, would HTC have fixed it for free? It wasn't in Warranty... but it's an official update that went wrong and "bricked" an otherwise working phone.

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Dead Vulture

How...

can you take a technical review seriously when the reviewer lacks the wit to take screen captures using the Android SDK? The Android phone reviews on this site are starting to smack of production line journalism. A shame because the app reviews are not bad.

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or

or press power+home using the phone's built-in screenshot capability

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Happy

Its too bad you had problems with this phone

I am actually typing this on my motorola Atrix right now and it performs incredably well. Browsing the web is much faster and even motoblur has no lag issues at all. I think that nvidia is trying to push these processors for gaming as all which is I think alot of the increased power is noticed, although like I said just about everything is very lag free. Multitasking also seems to be greatly improved expecially with the Atrix's 1gb of ram. Battery life is a bit lower then a regular phone but is more then enough to make it through to the next time you charge it.

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Bronze badge

That picture of a bus

is a disgrace, what happened there? :-)

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Bronze badge

no short change there

Methinks we must remove the standard HDMI port, the USB port and and put a bar to memory upgrades by removing the SDHC card slot.

Now that would be a game changer!

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Silver badge
FAIL

"but it's one louder..."

Having seen reviews where the reviewer actually shows the output of the camera, I have to say that the video quality really doesn't show those extra 260 lines... and then there's the oversharpening, flare and poor contrast. Why bother to put a 1080 processor in there if you cripple it with a tiny, cheap lens and sensor? The flash is also lousy, despite being a Xenon tube.

This looks like LG ticking the boxes without regard to the quality of the results. Two cores? Check. Xenon flash? Check. 1080p? Check. Image quality... um....

I suppose if you don't care about quality, and just want the biggest number, it's great. Personally, I like accurate colour, real detail, low-light ability and contrast in a camera.

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Stop

@Kristian Walsh

"I suppose if you don't care about quality, and just want the biggest number, it's great. Personally, I like accurate colour, real detail, low-light ability and contrast in a camera." Yeah but u cant even count. Since when did 720 plus 260 = 1080. And its the sensor thats 1080 not the processor. Finally the cost of the lens is irrelevant. There are 200 quid devices with good optics. How could u put an "expensive" lens on a camera phone ??

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Silver badge

I can count..

... but sometimes I can't type. The typo doesn't change my argument, though. The images from this device don't meet the expectations I'd have of a 1080p capture device. For a start, I'd expect to see more detail than a 720 capture, not less..

The reason older phones can't do 1080p is that their hardware can't encode the much larger frames of 1080p in real time (1960x1080 has over twice as many pixels as 1280x720). The sensor's vertical resolution is already higher than 1080 lines: an 8.0 Megapixel still image is 3264 x 2448 pixels, so even allowing for the different size crop (sensor is 4:3, but HD is 16:9), there are plenty of pixels left.

This is just LG doing the absolute minimum to get the big number on the specsheet for bragging rights, and if you want to fall for that, fine. The original capture just isn't good enough to need such high resolution - it's like re-encoding a recorded AM radio programme in 7.1 Surround - you're not going to get any more quality, just more data points.

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Flash performance?

For you guys who already have an Atrix or the Optimus 2X, how's the Flash performance? A friend has leant me a Galaxy S and while it's very impressive that it can run Flash, I find the rest of the browser becomes nigh-on unresponsive while it's running Flash video players.

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Gold badge

Think of the battery please

When are we going to see less emphasis on speed and largely pointless increases in power and more focus on battery life and reception?

This isn't just a criticism of this phone but the general smartphone market as a whole. Tablets are a little different as they are larger and can accommodate bigger batteries.

What good is speed if your device is about to black out.

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WTF?

v2.2 lag?

Anyone else remember reading a (long) while back that Honeycomb was going to solve all of these lag issues for us? Honeycomb-spec'd phones would be required to have a GPU, and the launcher and core OS would actually take advantage of that. Implying that they currently... don't. And of course, Honeycomb was rushed to market and needs to be de-gunked to work on non-tablets. I'm sticking with my Droid1 until they fix it. Ok, and maybe a NC!

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Unhappy

Chill?

When I want to read hormone driven 13 year olds demonstrating their abilities to behave in a public forum, I read Engadget. When I want some insight in to possible purchases, I look at the Reg.

I'm a bit of a nerd and enjoy messing around with tech stuff and the like but seriously guys, they are just phones!

For what it's worth, I have an HTC Desire. I like it very much and was happy on the stock rom. I went custom recently for a couple of extra features but mostly because I enjoy learning about things like that. My phone's contract is up shortly and the current favourite replacements are the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation. While I realise Android isn't perfect it suits how I use my phone best and I've enjoyed using my Desire. I was considering the LG but the more I read about it, the more it appears to be a valiant first attempt. I concede that whatever I choose will have a few annoying quirks though.

I am very impressed with my friends' iPhones but for a few reasons they aren't for me. They do still suffer from the same failing that blight almost all smartphones though, battery life. They are fine if you don't use them!

I like visiting here because people generally share experiences, fixes and wit. Please don't let it degenerate and keep a little perspective.

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Unhappy

Enough with the hi spec bad cameras

It only takes 2MP to do 1080p video. It only takes 3 to make a good photo - I know, I own a Canon G3. Instead, we are burdened with 8MP cams with very poor light sensitivity, slow shutters, slow shutter response, made slower still with anti-shake, slow storage and large storage consumption, all for the marketing point that 8>3. They tiny amount of glass available only makes matters worse, and adding higher density sensors is not the solution.

Please, please, HTC, Samsung, LG, just STOP IT. Put moderate MP cameras with decent autofocus in phones, no more than 5MP like the Google G2, and give us decent quality pics worthy of our events and memories. I'd gladly take 2 or 3MP as long as it worked well.

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Silver badge
Stop

Spot on.

I see these smartphone reviews with the ever increasing MP count and I just sit annoyed seeing more and more blurry, washed out, pixelated, compressed to hell pictures.

Smartphone cameras are just getting worse, not better.

Photography in the 21st century - a fucking mess.

Same for the video. I see all these 720p test clips from smartphones and none of the are as good as the VGA SD I get from my 5 year old Sanyo X-acti. No point having 720p video if you lock the compression to maximum and just ruin it.

User adjustable compression settings would be a start.

As you say I'd take a decent low compression VGA video cam and a really good 3.2MP camera than these crappy pseudo 8MP+ kiddy cams.

Do it properly or dont bother.

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