back to article LG Optimus 4X HD quad-core Android phone review

I was never much of a fan of LG’s Android phones, they struck me as rather ordinary and frequently hampered by an unhealthy obsession with 3D. But suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere South Korea’s other phone maker has delivered an absolute blinder. Between you and me, this may prove to be the best Android handset of 2012. LG …

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I'm actually a little gutted I didn't try this out before getting the s3.

I much prefer the shape of the lg.

Although as you say, they are worse than Motorola for updates.

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Anonymous Coward

LG - Steer Clear

Sorry but after the firmware debacle that was & is the LG O2X I wont be going anywhere near any LG product. Current track record for LG would suggest that Jellybean will be available for this handset sometime Q4 2012..no wait that would be Q4 2017 and even then it will be buggy & broken.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: LG - Steer Clear

Current track record for LG would suggest that Jellybean will be promised, but instead the phone will be obsoleted ten months after introduction and ALL promises made to developers for drivers will be broken.

LG drops support for their phones faster than Charlie Sheen's boxers in a whorehouse.

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Silver badge

Fab phone. Dinosaur price.

When ZTE and Huawei can offer an Android for £50 or £100 the day game is up for expensive, glossy, trinkets without the cache of brand leadership.

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JDX
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Re: Fab phone. Dinosaur price.

That's like saying because you can buy a TataCar for £8, the game is up for BMW.

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Re: Fab phone. Dinosaur price.

The game is up for BMW as far as my family are concerned -- now have Tata (actually a Jaguar, company now owned by Tata).

Anyway, a car matters -- a phone, not so much.

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Nice phone..

...pity it's an LG. Here's hoping some kind gent ports JB to it, because you can be sure LG won't be in any hurry.

Only problem with this phone is the looks. The average punter will simply overlook it on the shelf with all the other latest and greatest shininess. Which is a shame.

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K
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Megaphone

Stop whinging...

If you want JB, root the phone and install it yourself..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stop whinging...

Unfortunately because it has an Tegra chip that means that any Jellybean custom rom will be crippled until an official one comes out asNvidia dont release source code. This is current & ongoing problem with custom ICS roms for the O2X so I doubt it'll be any different for JB and the O4X.

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Re: Stop whinging...

Nvidia dont release source code

Can't you put a request in with Anynomous, to do some hacking?

Oh right, nobody knows how to contact them...

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Silver badge

Excellent

Thin, but has a microSD slot. Thin, but has a very nice capacity battery.

My only slight concern is that LG has been pretty poor at rolling out updates in the past, and that at 4.7", this thing is a bit of a slab.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

"at 4.7", this thing is a bit of a slab."

Make your minds up peeps! the iPhone5 is going for a larger screen, but I bet that wouldn't be a "slab".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent

You're right the iPhone 5 won't be a slab because it will be a 4.0 inch screen not a 4.7.

I had a HTC HD7 a few years ago and the 4.3 in screen was nice for some things but the phone was too big to use in one hand, after that I got a Samsung Galaxy S with a 4.0 screen and it was perfect - nice increase in size over a cramped iPhone screen but still very usable

It surprised me how the small difference made such a big difference to ergonomics.

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Oh no, LG aren't very good at providing software updates. Oh no, I'll have to decide now whether i like the features and stick with them for the lifetime of the phone.

Remember a few years ago when we bought a phone and its capabilities remained exactly the same until such time as it went to landfill?? Just because Google releases a new version doesn't mean it needs to be on your phone, especially if you chose the right phone in the first place instead of whatever looked like it had the most horsepower & biggest screen.

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Anonymous Coward

"Remember a few years ago"

My first cell cost $100 and I couldn't even get it to synch contacts (required an odd cable - $$ - odd software - more $$ - and ultimately wasn't worth the bother.

Nowadays, phones like this one cost as much as a low end laptop - or a slab... and for all intents and purposes are, essentially, little all-in-one computers. I have a collection of old Windows Mobile phones that are - hardware speaking - still completely functional, but the software is so obsolete that their only user these days is for the little ones to play with as toys.

Not necessarily disagreeing, and not saying that you intended your comment in this way, but I don't think we should be celebrating phones that can't be upgraded/repurposed anymore than we would celebrate a laptop or slab that couldn't be upgraded or repurposed.

If the hardware is still sound, and the owner is inclined to take the time and effort... seems a waste to just throw it away.

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Re: "Remember a few years ago"

But when you get the phone on a contract, as most (i should think) will do, it comes with a lot less cost than a laptop (becuase you're paying for the contract anyway, so ignore the monthly cost from TCO).

By the end of a two year contract. you're going to get more from trading it in than you would have spent on it in cash-up-front terms in the first place. So its not really any sort of comparison with a laptop purcahse that costs you 450 up front, and is only worth 200 2 years later, but is still useful for another couple of years at least.

I have no problem investing say £50 cash at time of purchase to buy a phone that performs its required duties well, never gets a software update, and if kept, only does what it did on day of purchase if i decide to keep it.

Until recently i still had a Nokia 8210 in a drawer as an emergency phone. It never did anything more, or better, than the day i bought it. But it did its job perfectly well, so didnt NEED any updates. Much like my 8 year old laptop that now only gets used to monitor my cctv cameras, its not had a windows update for well over 5 years, but it doesnt care.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Remember a few years ago"

"I have no problem investing [in a phone that] never gets a software update, and if kept, only does what it did on day of purchase if i decide to keep it."

If it was just a phone, sure. But these devices aren't just phones, they are computers that can & do perform chargeable actions, and are not computers (such as your 8yr laptop) that sit harmlessly on an isolated home network. So not being able to install fixes is relevant.

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Re: "Remember a few years ago"

I disagree. mainly because at the end of its "life" as my main device, if kept, it would then become a backup device, just like my old laptop - useful for an emergency email / spreadsheet / letter but thats about it. The phone, similarly, would be a backup phone in case one was lost, or something for the kids to play angry birds on.

Why would i continue to carry around a phone well beyond its 2 year contract life when i can get a replacement with better specs for free? Nobody gives me a "free" laptop after a few years, so keeping that and making use of it beyond its anticipated life may be more necessary.

Yes, while used as a primary device the phone needs to do lots of things, and if you choose the right device at the time of purchase it will do those perfectly well for a couple of years. Maybe your needs will change, but in the space of 2 years i cant think of anything i do with my phone now that i couldnt do with the one i had 2 years ago. All be it the phone i have now does it a little quicker and a little slicker - the difference is minimal. Just dont compromise your personal wish-list when you buy the phone and you shouldnt be too upset with it if it doesnt get a minor software tweak.

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Thumb Up

Nice phone

A little way off yet, but that is my next phone! It has everything I want or need

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Flame

LG - poor track record on firmware updates, but then who hasn't?

Like others posting here I got burned with the LG Optimus 2X - a phone that promised so much yet delivered so little. Hardware problems meant the phone crashed continuously, and ancient software that was never updated meant sluggish screen response and poor battery life. Worst phone I've ever had and thank god Amazon gave me a refund on it.

After I sent it back I switched to Samsung, and after a short while with a Galaxy Ace (slow, blurry screen) got burned by the Galaxy SL. In every other country where this phone is sold, it received a Gingerbread update and the "Value Pack" - but not the UK. I've had the phone for six months now and still waiting. The handset is effectively dead, from a support perspective in the UK. Thank god for XDA, that's all I can say.

So if Motorola is as bad as LG who are as bad as Samsung, then who is doing it right? anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LG - poor track record on firmware updates, but then who hasn't?

Apple. No really. Free OS updates and no real problems with the OS software.

I won't by an android device unless it comes from google at the moment because I don't want to be stuck with an ancient version of the OS. I'm surprised so many people don't care and buy phones that'll never, ever get an OS upgrade. Mental.

I'm a software developer and I don't think that it should be beyond the wit of the developers at LG, Samsung, etc., to design their own GUI additions to be easily portable to incremental Android updates. They must be doing it wrong. I am available for consulting work at unreasonable rates.

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JDX
Gold badge

SIM

Why does the reviewer think not using a MicroSim is any kind of advantage? My new phone uses Micro and my operator simply sent me a free new SIM to replace my existing standard one.

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Re: SIM

Right-O, mate. And here we just use a big form factor to MicroSim cutter to reshape the existing one.

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Re: SIM

Do you travel much?

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Re: SIM

"Why does the reviewer think not using a MicroSim is any kind of advantage?"

Easy, you can swap SIMs between different phones. That was always the entire point of having a SIM in the first place. So you could switch phones, networks etc without having to ask anyone's permission. As a VERY simple example, whenever I travel, I buy a SIM pack from the country I am travelling in and stick it in my smartphone (much cheaper data, local calls etc). So that I can still receive calls and texts from home, my UK SIM goes in a 1p Samsung I got years ago.

Try sorting that out when one phone takes a standard SIM and the other a Micro SIM.

We have standards for a reason. Companies break standards for a reason!

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Anonymous Coward

Not another 5in screen...

Unimpressed by the lack of imagination here again. Slump a huge screen just because fandroids are usually blind or have clunky hands (or want clunky hands) to push and press rather than call people on the damn thing.

Oh well, I guess this will make fandroids sing glee until the said company can't be arsed to support them, they moan and then still stick up for them regardless to the fact that a said fruity company keeps on delivering updates.

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Silver badge

Re: Not another 5in screen...

What the hell are you babbling about? Fandroid? What is that junk?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not another 5in screen...

Fandroid = Classification of a nerd who cannot live without a phone that's oversized, crashes all the time and is keen to keep installing pointless ROMs because their phone manufactuer can't support them with their promised updates.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not another 5in screen...

Obvious troll is obvious.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not another 5in screen...

"Slump a huge screen just because fandroids are usually blind or have clunky hands (or want clunky hands) to push and press rather than call people on the damn thing."

iPhone 5 is going for a near 5" screen, but I bet it's going to be innovative and fantastic because its fruity (like their followers). Cut the crap mate, bloody iOS users, they all talk utter shite.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not another 5in screen...

You're all so gullible biting at the bait. Anyway, with the flood of Apple articles here on the reg, I'd thought you'd of clocked on the new iPhone will most likely have a 5" screen that's taller, not wider. Yup, no need to grow my hands with nuclear rays.

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Re: Not another 5in screen...

All the rumours i've seen so far suggest Apple are going for a 4" screen. My grasp of numeracy isn't what it should be, perhaps, but i thought 4.0 was closer to the current 3.5 than the 5.0 that you are claiming.

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Thumb Up

Re: Not another 5in screen...

No need to grow your hands, I'm sure. Maybe you are just holding it wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not another 5in screen...

Hmmm...

" Anyway, with the flood of Apple articles here on the reg, I'd thought you'd of clocked on the new iPhone will most likely have a 5" screen that's taller, not wider. Yup, no need to grow my hands with nuclear rays"

So you reckon Apple can make a 4:3 screen that's 5" diagonally, and only increase the length of the phone? You do understand basic maths? It's been a while since I was at school, but, I reckon that a 5" diagonal will give you a 4" by 3" screen... as the iPhone is narrower than 3" (2.31" according to the Apple website), I will be mightily impressed if they can squeeze that screen into the existing width.

Oh, and it's "have clocked", not "of clocked".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not another 5in screen...

Hey, I made a mistake by not correcting the OP I replied to in the first place that it'll likely be a 4" rather than 5"; but I'll still forgive you because you just wasted 5 minutes of your life explaining something I already understand.

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Thumb Up

Agreed

LG do not have a good reputation in the Android market. Everything they have pumped out so far has been pretty poor. However, if they get this device into enough hands and keep it up to date, they could do some real damage to HTC. Frankly, the external memory slot is enough for me to call it better than the One X.

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting, but must have root and xda community

I'm watching this phone at xda closely. Would love to get one, however it needs to be root-able and a decent custom-roms developer community. Maybe in a month or two, once I see how things develop.

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Go

Requirements for an ideal Android Smartphone

I'll start with my must haves

MicroSD slot

Removeable battery

Must fit in hand, pocket, handbag comfortably

Good antenae for use indoors and weak signal areas

Decent speaker volume

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Re: Requirements for an ideal Android Smartphone

My HTC Desire S was almost your perfect phone then for a minute ... and then you mentioned speaker volume.

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Happy

Re: Requirements for an ideal Android Smartphone

I have the exact same phone.....................................hense why it is on my list

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Re: Requirements for an ideal Android Smartphone

You missed out 'stable'.

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Anonymous Coward

Tegra 3

How is the memory / strorage IO performance on this?

The Tranformer Prime (and other T3 devices? N7 seems /ok/) is crippled by this characteristic of the Tegra 3, causing 'Application Not Responding' messages and the like.

Otherwise, looks like a nice phone.

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Silver badge
Stop

eek

workmate had a 2x until he sent it back (after much wrangling and a lucky contract escape). Crashed quite often, bluetooth would lock up when it bonded with various cars. Not a good show, no real updates to fix it either - he didnt want to root and rom it. Swapped it for a HTC something-or-other which seemed to work.

anyways, I guess the 4x will suffer the same fate as most LGs. Rushed to the market and full of bugs despite having it all on paper.

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thanks for calling our attention to this...

I wasn't in the habit of even checking LG's offerings anymore...

But this looks better than the other current options...

As a Galaxy S2 owner, I had zero interest in the S3, cause I think they gave it a stupid shape and size like a pancake.

I will wait to see version 2 of the Galaxy Note though, before I buy something new.

HTC's headset design is just too... umm overdone? Too Gimmicky, I guess would nail it for me, I don't like the ever varying sectioning of case parts they do, particularly cause the manufacturing tolerances (gaps) are often a bit uneven... just makes them look cheaper than they need to, even though they use the better material (Polycarbonate)

I wish their designers would grow out of that phase, I've seen that they can do better.

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Dumb question

I liked the look of this phone so I follow the article's link to the expansy page and thought 'great nice looking smartphone for £400, can't go wrong'. Whether or not you agree about can go wrong isn't the point. Before buying I thought I would surf around and make sure there were no better deals elsewhere. I couldn't find anything as cheap, but just as I was about to buy I saw this: http://www.expansys.com/lg-optimus-4x-p880-black-229927/

It's the LG Optimus 4X HD P880, on Expansy for £480, as opposed to the LG Optimus 4X P880 they're offering for £400. The LG site only has the title with no HD, and the kit seem to be identical, but I'm hoping somebody can tell me for sure whether or not they're the same phone, just with a different price or if the 'non hd' version is a budget model. There also doesn't appear to be any bundled accessories that could account for the price difference.

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Alert

Re: Dumb question

Not a dumb question at all. The phones in question are the same. I'm not sure why the one page lacks the "HD". The P880 is the P880. Incidentally when I wrote the review the price was £424.99...at £25 less it's now that much more of a bargain.

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