T-Mobile G2X review: It's worth the hype

The T-Mobile G2X has a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and HSPA+ support, and it ships with stock Android. It packs plenty of features and performance in an attractive package.

When LG first announced the T-Mobile G2X at CTIA this year, we were absolutely excited that the U.S. would finally get its own version of the LG Optimus 2X, which was the first dual-core processor smartphone at the time it was announced. Of course, with the Motorola Atrix 4G and the upcoming Droid Bionic, the G2X won't be the only dual-core phone on the block. But with plenty of multimedia features, HSPA+ support, and a clean Android interface, the G2X still manages to come out on top as one of the best Android phones we've seen this year.

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Before we get into its insides, we have to note how handsome this phone is. It's sleek, with gunmetal gray accents, and a soft matte finish on the back. Weighing at around 5 ounces, it has a decidedly solid feel in the hand that tells you this is a premium handset. The 4-inch WVGA IPS LCD display is crisp, colorful, and stunning against the glossy black surface. The blacks are not quite as deep as that on a Super AMOLED or qHD display, but we still thought it was great for watching HD video and playing games.

And for those tasks, you'll appreciate the dual-core processor. The 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor makes a difference. Simple tasks like scrolling through menus felt faster and more complex actions in HD video games like Need for Speed Shift felt seamless. We jumped through different points in a HD video with zero lag. Since the dual-core processor makes the G2X well suited for multimedia, LG has outfitted the phone with a micro HDMI port, DLNA support, an 8-megapixel camera plus a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, and 1080p video playback and recording.

Next is the network. The G2X supports T-Mobile's HSPA+ network that claims 4G-like speeds. Indeed, while we weren't able to hit the theoretical maximum of 14.4Mbps, we still managed to get an average of 4Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up. Other features of the G2X include Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, plus the ability to act as a WiFi mobile hotspot for up to five devices as long as you cough up the $15 a month tethering fee.

Last but not least, the G2X has vanilla Android 2.2 FroYo. It's not 2.3 Gingerbread, but because it's the native version of Android, it should be easily ugpradeable. For Android fans who don't like manufacturers cluttering up the interface with skins and overlays, a simple and pure Android experience like this can't be beat. I don't mind it if the overlay makes things easier like HTC's Sense UI, but for the most part, I prefer the cleaner native interface.

One of the biggest concerns about the G2X is with its battery life. It has a dual-core processor and 4G, so we had low battery expectations when we started this review. I took it out with me this weekend as I ran a few errands, and I used it like I normally would--I checked a few emails (I had push notifications on for Gmail), used the map for directions, and surfed the Web to check baseball scores. To my surprise, it lasted the whole day without hitting the red battery mark; it was barely half way there by 10pm. I should note that I didn't get 4G everywhere--there were times when it would dip down to 2G--so that might have affected the battery life. Still, I was impressed.

We'll let you check out the full review of the T-Mobile G2X to get a better idea of what we thought of the handset. Suffice to say that we're happy to see LG make a bold step in the U.S. market with the G2X, and we hope to see more from them in the coming year.

 

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