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LG Optimus 4X HD review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 455
inc VAT

It’s strange to give a range-topping handset a Budget Buy award, but the powerful Optimus 4X HD is a real bargain on contract

Specifications

Android 4.0, 4.7in 1,280×720 display

http://www.unlocked-mobiles.com
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The 4X HD has Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chipset, with four cores running at 1.5GHz, plus a fifth low-power core which takes over duties such as music and video playback, letting the other cores power down. While the phone feels perfectly snappy in everyday use, the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark showed a performance deficit versus its main rivals; we saw 2,181ms from the 4X HD compared to 1,581ms from the One X and 1,459ms from the Galaxy S3. This didn’t make much difference when rendering web pages; the 4X HD could render the BBC News homepage in five and a half seconds, compared to five for the One X and four and a half for the Galaxy S3.

LG Optimus 4X HD

The 4X HD’s camera has an eight megapixel back-illuminated sensor. Back-illuminated models are designed to perform better in low light, and the combination of this and the 4X HD’s bright LED flash meant that indoor shots were impressive, as long as we composed them carefully and our subjects were fairly still. Indoor videos were also remarkably free of noise, although the noise reduction algorithms caused some interference when panning across large areas of solid colour, such as carpets.

Outdoor shots were reasonable, with accurate colours, but focus wasn’t particularly sharp, especially to the edges of the frame. It’s not a bad camera, but we much prefer the shots taken with the Galaxy S3.

However, LG does have one cracking camera feature: Time Catch. This lets you scroll back through four previous shots that were taken before you pressed the shutter – as the phone is essentially recording images all the time to make the viewfinder live view, these images are already in the buffer. We found it eliminated many ‘just missed it’ moments, as well as making it impossible for subjects to cover their face at the last minute to avoid being shot.

LG Optimus 4X HD

LG’s Optimus 4X HD is an impressive phone – the design, screen and operating system tweaks all make it feel like a premium handset. It’s not quite up there with the Samsung Galaxy S3, though – its screen isn’t quite as good, it’s not quite as fast and its camera doesn’t take such impressive outdoor shots. If you’re buying SIM-free, there’s no contest, as both phones are around the same price. However, the 4X HD is seriously good value on contract. While the cheapest we could find the Galaxy S3 was free on a £26-per-month deal, the Optimus 4X HD can be had for free for £15.50 a month (if you’re buying from www.mobiles.co.uk just make sure you cancel the insurance and tech support add-ons). This makes it a bit of a bargain, and a Budget Buy.

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Details

Price£455
Rating*****
AwardBudget Buy

Hardware

Main display size4.7in
Native resolution1,280×720
CCD effective megapixels8-megapixel
FlashLED
GPSyes
Internal memory16384MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1900/2100, 3G 900/1900/2100
Wireless dataGPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA
Size132x68x9mm
Weight133g

Features

Operating systemAndroid 4.0
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord, Excel, PowerPoint editors
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesheadphones, data cable, charger
Talk time9 hours
Standby time30 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£455
Price on contract0
SIM-free supplierwww.unlocked-mobiles.com
Contract/prepay supplierwww.mobiles.co.uk
Detailswww.lg.com

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