LG Optimus 2X revisited: a prime contender?

We reviewed the LG Optimus 2X long before it hit the shelves, back in February. Since reviewing the device, LG have continued to update and we’ve been living with the phone once again to see if they’ve ironed out any of the oddities we detected previously. 

Can it now compete alongside the likes of the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II, or is there something still amiss?

When we looked at the LG Optimus 2X originally, our biggest gripe was instability surrounding a number of functions - the gallery and browser seemed especially temperamental.

The latest software version seems to have fixed these problems, and we didn’t find ourselves having to pull the battery to get it running again.

Previously the menu offered a folder called “Preloaded Apps”, which was empty, whilst a huge run of apps appeared in the menus pre-installed. This is now much clearer, with the “preloaded apps” being offered up in the folder so you can install them if you want to, or ignore if you don’t.

  

We thing we did detect (and we can’t say we ever noticed it when reviewing the original device) is that the camera view picks up the screen brightness based on the position of the slider in the display settings. This also over-rides auto brightness, so if you have the slider all the way down, when you fire up the camera, you effectively can’t see anything on the screen. 

Easily countered - you just move the slider up before you toggle to auto brightness and the camera will be ok.

We did find some lag around the homescreen. Unlocking the device often saw a delay before you could do anything else. We found that turning off weather animations in the weather app helped resolve this problem for the most part, but we still found occasions where tapping the soft home button didn't take us back home as fast as expected - often resulting in a double-tap and heading into the overview instead.

  

Battery life is still on the low side, and over the past week (whilst on holiday) we’ve found ourselves having to charge the phone early evening after starting with a full charge at the beginning of the day. This isn’t so unusual for high-end devices, but if battery life is important to you, perhaps the Motorola Atrix will serve your needs better. 

Since reviewing the Optimus 2X we’ve also seen LG’s Optimus Black. There are some refinements to the user interface of the Optimus Black that are missing from the 2X. The one we noticed the most was the option to open up a text message from the lock screen, so we’re guessing that there will be another update to the 2X coming along that will make further tweaks.

Hopefully that update will also bring with it an update to the latest version of Android: the LG Optimus 2X ships with Android 2.2 and although there is little real difference in functionality between Froyo and Gingerbread, this level of device should be packing the latest version, as it’s competitors mostly do. Rumours have Android 2.3 arriving around June/July.

Overall the LG Optimus 2X remains a great device, but it feels slightly behind the experience of the HTC Sensation and the Samsung Galaxy SII as an overall package. It does offer great media performance however and the screen is absolutely fantastic and we still think it is a phone worthy of consideration.

If you haven’t read our full review of the LG Optimus 2X, you can find it here.