[MWC 2012] We got our hands on the first Tegra 3 handset, the LG Optimus 4X. Just like its predecessor, the Optimus 2X, LG is NVIDIA’s first partner for this new chip, but it won’t be the last (HTC unveils its own Tegra 3 device today as well). The LG Optimus 4X is different, and better in almost every way. It is obviously much faster, but it is also noticeably lighter (one can really “feel” it just by holding it) than the 2X. Actually, LG has improved the whole line up in terms of thinness and weight.
There wasn’t much of an opportunity to test apps and so on (ironically, the network at MWC is always spotty), but playing around with the Android 4.0 (+LG custom skin) was very smooth. I suspect that it has to do more with Android 4.0’s software because the CPU cores were not very active.
Interestingly, LG did add a custom software to show which of the 5 Tegra 3 CPU were active: 4 green bars for the speedy cores, and one red bar for the “companion” core. The latter was plenty busy at times as it peaked at 100% on a regular basis while I was browsing around, but remember that it is an ultra-low power core, so it is to be expected. When the workload was too much, the four others kicked in briefly.
Right now, I can’t tell if the battery life is much better with the companion core, but on paper it should be. Talking about battery life, LG is using a 2000+ mAh battery, so that should help quite a bit – or maybe it will just compensate for the LTE modem…
In terms of industrial design, the very light weight is awesome, but unfortunately, the smartphone feels a bit “plastic” – even more so than the Samsung Galaxy S2, just to give you an example that you may be familiar with. Some samples should ship next month, and I’ve heard that the phone should be available in late May or early June – we can probably get a better timeframe by tomorrow.
I’m really excited that new Android phones are much more responsive than anything that came out before the Galaxy Nexus. This is definitely a great direction, even if there are things that could be better. We’re looking forward to testing this handset!