When LG introduced the world to the LG Optimus 2X late last year we were suitably impressed by its dual-core processor and multimedia capabilities, but because LG has a history of not importing its high-end devices into the U.S., we held out little hope that it would hop across the pond.
Fortunately, we were proved wrong. At CTIA 2011 in Orlando, Fla., LG introduced the T-Mobile G2x, which is essentially a T-Mobile USA-branded version of the Optimus 2X. Available now for $199.99 with a two-year contract, it boasts an impressive 1GHz Nvidia dual-core processor, great specs, support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, and all-around good looks. Sure, it's running Android 2.2 at launch, but LG promises it will be upgradable to version 2.3 in the future and Android fans will appreciate the stock Android interface.
Also notable is that the T-Mobile G2x is T-Mobile's first "G-series" phone not made by HTC (unlike the T-Mobile G1 and T-Mobile G2). This underscores T-Mobile's confidence in LG; we hope the G2x is the first of many excellent LG smartphones to make their marks on the U.S. market.
When you hold it in your hands, there is no doubt that the T-Mobile G2x is a premium handset. At 4.9 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick, the G2x features smooth, rounded corners and is clad in a matte soft-touch finish on the back, with a seamless piano-black face and attractive gunmetal-gray accents around the sides. At 5 ounces, the G2x also has a certain heft that gives it a solid and luxurious feel in the hand.
The 4-inch IPS touch-screen display is simply stunning. The WVGA resolution provides crystal-clear sharpness, with vibrant colors and impressive detail. This is especially evident when playing games and HD video. It's not quite as vivid as the Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Galaxy S 4G or the qHD display on the Motorola Atrix 4G, but it still offers rich colors and great graphics.
The touch screen is really responsive, requiring only a simple tap for a touch to register, and thanks to the dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, we were also amazed by how zippy the navigation felt. Simple tasks like scrolling through a Web page or launching an application felt that much quicker. Even the accelerometer kicked in faster when switching from portrait to landscape mode. The G2x comes with a gyroscopic sensor as well.
Beneath the display are the usual Android shortcut keys in the form of touch-sensitive buttons for menu, home, back, and search. On the top right of the phone is the front-facing camera. There are a couple of external speakers on the bottom along with the Micro-USB charging port. The volume rocker is on the right, and the 3.5mm headset jack, HDMI port, and power/screen lock button are on the top. The microSD card slot is located behind the battery cover, but you don't need to remove the battery to access it. On the back of the phone are the camera lens and LED flash.
T-Mobile packages the G2x with an AC adapter, a USB cable, and reference material.
The T-Mobile G2x's feature set is an embarrassment of riches, with plenty of advanced smartphone technology that promises to provide speed and multimedia prowess. As we mentioned, it has the highly praised 1GHz Nvidia dual-core Tegra 2 processor. It does have only 512MB of RAM, but we didn't notice any performance drawbacks in real-world tests. Transitions between menus felt snappy, and we jumped through different points in an HD video clip with zero jittering.
To prove the strength of the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor even further, LG has included the Nvidia Tegra Zone app with the phone. The app lets you easily find, purchase, and download games that take advantage of the Nvidia processor. The G2x comes with Nova and Need for Speed Shift, and we have to say that both games performed very well in our initial tests. Graphics were very smooth and we experienced zero lag time during gameplay.
Because of all this power, it's no surprise that the G2x comes equipped with multimedia features galore. It has a Micro-HDMI port so you can hook up the phone to a big-screen television, and with mirroring mode, you can see on the TV whatever is on your phone. If you want to go wireless, the G2x also supports DLNA, a technology that lets you share media on your phone with other DLNA devices wirelessly. The G2x also comes with T-Mobile TV, a T-Mobile service that gives you access to live and on-demand TV.
If you would rather watch your own movies, the G2x comes with 8GB of internal storage. This might not seem like a lot, but you can load additional media onto a microSD card--the phone supports up to 32GB of extra storage. To get content onto your device, you can treat the phone like a mass storage device by dragging and dropping media, or you can use the DoubleTwist software to sync content wirelessly.
One of the other benefits of the dual-core processor is that the phone supports full HD 1080p video playback. In addition, the G2x can record video in 1080p with its 8-megapixel camera. The short video clips we recorded looked pretty impressive, considering they are from a phone. We don't think video quality quite compares to that of a professional quality camera, but for family videos or simple YouTube clips, it works great.