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LG Optimus 2X making Euro debut this month, but without Gingerbread

LG's dual-core Optimus 2X Android smart phone will go on sale in Europe this month, although it will only ship with Android 2.2 Froyo, with an update to 2.3 Gingerbread to come.

LG's dual-core Optimus 2X Android phone will be available in "key European markets" this month, the company says, but there's a sting in the tail for potential buyers, as the handset won't be shipping with the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread software.

The 2X has been on sale in LG's native South Korea since January, and its European debut is much anticipated. The company's announcement gives no details on specific countries, though: we're assuming the UK counts as a key market for the device, but there's no news on which operators will be selling it. 

The Optimus 2X is one of the first smart phones to use Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor, and LG is keen to flag up the device's 1080p video recording and playback, as well as its 'HDMI mirroring' feature, which makes it easy to watch and play video, photos and even games on bigger TVs and PC monitors.

The device also has a 4-inch, 480x800-pixel screen, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, along with 8GB of internal memory, and 7.1 multi-channel virtual surround sound.

It will run the Android 2.2 Froyo software out of the box, and while LG says it will be upgradeable to 2.3 Gingerbread, for now the company will only confirm that "the upgrade schedule will be announced in local markets in the near future". We're guessing operators will have a say in the exact timing, as usual.

There's no doubt the Optimus 2X is a powerful smart phone: it aced our CPU and 3D benchmarking tests last month, making good use of the Tegra 2. In our review of the device, we were less impressed by the amount of bloatware preloaded on it, and were equally unsure about some of the software wrinkles.

Still, if you're keen to bagsy an Optimus 2X early, you can pre-order a SIM-free model for £500 on Expansys, which also has the device listed for free on a Vodafone contract.