LG Optimus 4X HD

9/8/2012 9:31:06 AM

The way it handles video and complex games has to be seen to be believed

When it comes to sales LG is only a bit-part player on the Android scene, so the Optimus 4X HD will naturally struggle to reach out from under the huge weight of publicity its fellow quad-core devices the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X are getting, but it is a handset that has surprised us in almost every way. The design is unusually well thought out for an LG phone and includes a number of touches that you may not expect to see in high-end Android devices these days. The back cover and edges are subtly retro in appearance and add just enough personality to make it feel more than simply a large Android phone that is all about the screen. On the subject of the screen, it performs well in all lighting conditions and the way it handles video and complex games has to be seen to be believed. It does not offer the same immediate gratification as the HTC One X, but the processors and screen technology work together to put it at an advantage for certain tasks.

Description: LG Optimus 4X HD
LG Optimus 4X HD

LG has not overdone the changes to Ice Cream Sandwich, but has included a number of well-chosen apps and also tweaked the interface which can be customized immediately using one of the included themes. Other changes include a re-arranged Settings menu, which Google would do well to use for all versions of Android and other small tweaks to the Phone app which show that LG has really thought about how users will want to interact with a smartphone. It has managed to make many tasks easier to complete with minimal changes. A couple of the included games also highlight just how powerful the video processing is in this phone and at times the gaming experience feels very close to console quality.

The camera offers exceptional speed for still photography and feels as though it is taking a photo before you have even pressed the capture button. There is some clever technology employed to enable this process to occur so quickly and once you feel a camera react this quickly, it will be difficult to accept any lag at all from a competitor. Video capture was not as good as we hoped for in comparison to stills, and we found that the auto-focus would lag at times and thus reduce the overall quality of clips. Our test model was not running the absolute final firmware so we would expect this to have been fixed by the time the device goes on sale.

Description: The camera offers exceptional speed for still photography and feels as though it is taking a photo before you have even pressed the capture button.

The camera offers exceptional speed for still photography and feels as though it is taking a photo before you have even pressed the capture button.

Battery performance was more than acceptable, particular in standby and when performing less demanding tasks, but of course power users will still be having to find a charger once a day. For most users, however, two days of use will not be unusual and at a push even three days could be possible with some limited use. When the minimal depth of the phone and large screen are considered, this is a seriously impressive battery performance overall.

A good smartphone needs to bring all of its features together cohesively and to work perfectly in tandem with the software it is using, and the 4X HD manages to achieve this with ease. It surprised us in almost every way and is a huge leap forward from previous LG Android smartphones. The form factor, materials used and the overall performance make it a trusty workhorse with a different look to many of the other high-end Android phones and it grew on us very quickly. Some phones feel too delicate to handle without careful use and others try to cram too much in to a small space, but the 4X HD gets the balance right in almost every area. Besides some concerns over video capture performance, this really is a genuine alternative to the HTC One X and Galaxy S III, and proves that the quality of high-end Android phones is getting better all of the time.


Description: Retro feel - Camera - Screen LG Optimus 4XHD
Retro feel - Camera - Screen LG Optimus 4XHD

Retro feel

Subtle design tweaks around the edges make this phone feel somewhat retro. LG has done well to add a touch of personality without distracting from the practicalities that are required to make a smartphone useful every single day


There are two cameras on board: an eight-megapixel solution at the back and 1.3 megapixels at the front (useful for video calling). They work well in most conditions, but video capture could be better


The screen offers a 1280x720 resolution and is able to power video along with its HD IPS display. You really need to watch a high definition video on this phone to believe how crisp it is in real life

Battery life

In our tests the battery handled all tasks very well. A charge every one or two days is still required, however.


At no point in our tests did the 4X HD stutter at all. It is a true powerhouse of a handset


Super slim, light and with some nice retro touches. What’s not to like?


Every feature is near the high-end with minimal changes made to the Android OS

Value for money

As a high-end phone it is expensive and so ‘value’ will be in the eye of the beholder


This phone surprised us in many ways. It feels good, performs almost flawlessly and competes well with its rivals




More information


Technical specs

Operating system

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich


1.5GHz Quad-Core NVIDIA Tegra 3 4-PLUS-1




132.4 x 68.1 x 8.9mm


133 grams

Display size

4.7 inch

Display resolution

1280x720 pixels

Expansion slot

micro SD up to 32GB


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