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T-Mobile G2x by LG

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Carrier: T-Mobile
Manufacturer: LG
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What's hot: Quality materials, excellent IPS display, 4G, fast dual core CPU.

What's not: We'll let you know when we find it.


Reviewed August 16, 2011 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Sometimes, a smartphone seems to have it all: good looks, serious speed, stability and a solid software bundle. The T-Mobile G2x by LG is one of those smartphones. It’s an elegant and well made Android superphone with a striking IPS display, dual core Tegra 2 CPU, 8 megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video and 4G HSPA+.  Sounds great, but specs don’t tell the whole story; the Motorola Atrix, an Android phone with a Tegra 2 dual core CPU, slightly higher resolution display and HSPA+ also sounded superb on paper. It was a good phone but it lacked T-Mobile’s faster HSPA+ network, used standard LCD technology and it reeked of plastics. The Atrix was by no means a bad phone, but despite the hype, it’s not quite the phone the LG G2x (aka Optimus 2x overseas) is… that is unless you’re captivated by its nifty but expensive accessories like the Lapdock.

T-Mobile LG G2x

The LG G2x makes an excellent first impression: it looks like a quality phone with judicious use of metals and plastics that look like metal and feature complex curves. It looks like one of HTC’s better offerings, but with a less ardently masculine feel. The soft touch finish on the back feels good and makes the phone easier to keep in hand, and is a step up from the gloss black plastics used in the Samsung Vibrant and Nexus S Android smartphones. But it doesn't quite live up to the look of its competitor on T-Mobile, the HTC Sensation 4G. The bright and colorful 4”, 800 x 480 display dominates, and is the sweet spot for resolution relative to display size. The 5 ounce G2x (according to the specs, but 5.4 ounces according to our digital scale), has enough heft to feel like a quality piece in hand without being too heavy. The power button is up top where it belongs rather than on the side where it’s too easy to accidentally press like Samsung’s high end Android phones. It has micro HDMI out and a sexy metal strip on the back. Sweet.

Horsepower, OS and Battery Life

Even better, it runs standard Android 2.2 Froyo with no software overlays for slow-downs or UI bells and whistles you might not appreciate.  Since it’s stock Android, it’s also very stable, and battery life is surprisingly good. The phone just works, and works well at that, with no lags, serious quirks or problems. Call quality and reception are good, and 4G speeds are double what we’ve seen with T-Mobile’s 3G smartphones and AT&T’s 3G and 4G HSPA+ smartphones.

The T-Mobile G2x runs on a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core CPU with graphics acceleration, and it’s a fast phone.  It benchmarks at 2551 on Quadrant, and only the Atrix with the same CPU gets similar results. Other higher end Android phones benchmark from 950 to 1700 in Quadrant which tests the CPU, memory, 2D and 3D graphics. The single core 1GHz Nexus S benchmarks at 1648 while the myTouch 4G achieves one of the highest single core results with a 1796. The G2x feels every bit as fast as the speedy pure Google 2.3  Nexus S when navigating the UI, and it feels a bit faster than the myTouch 4G.

For those of you who like to hack and customize your phone, it's easy to permanently root the G2x using SuperOneClick-- the's phone's bootloader isn't locked down like recent HTC phone such as the T-Mobile G2.

T-Mobile LG G2x

 Battery life usually suffers with a large display and fast CPU weighing it down, but the G2x’s 1500 mAh Lithium Ion battery has surprisingly good stamina.  It had no trouble lasting through the day with moderate use that included plenty of web browsing, scheduled email checks and 30 minutes of streaming video using Flash Player 10.2. Speaking of Flash, playback performance was good with none of the usual slowdowns and poor frame rates we’ve seen on single core phones. Demanding 3D games likewise play very smoothly (see our video review).

T-Mobile LG G2x




The phone has 8 gigs of internal storage with approximately 5.5 gigs listed as available. There’s a microSD card slot as well (take that, Nexus S) but no card is included. The G2x has ~ 1.3 gigs partitioned for application installation (more than enough and more than average for an Android smartphone). The phone has 512 megs of RAM to run programs and the OS, and that’s a reasonable amount since the T-Mobile G2x doesn’t have to support a custom UI as do HTC Sense Android phones, Motorola’s MOTOBLUR phones and Samsung’s TouchWiz phones.

Video Review

Here's our 15 minute T-Mobile LG G2x video review:

Phone and Data

The T-Mobile G2x is a quad band GSM world phone with 3G and 4G HSPA+ on T-Mobile's bands (T-Mobile's webpage incorrectly lists it as quad band 3G/4G). Call quality is good with clear voice on both ends and sufficient voice quality and noise canceling for outdoor calling. The speakerphone is quite loud and clear for both calls and multimedia. Reception is average and is similar to our Nexus S and Sidekick 4G. We had no trouble pairing with and using a variety of Bluetooth headsets and the phone worked well with our 2011 BMW's built-in Bluetooth car kit including address book transfer and advanced calling features.

Data speeds on T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ are excellent and are second only to Verizon’s LTE 4G network (to be fair, Verizon’s LTE network also has far fewer users since there are no LTE phones, only data sticks as of this writing). We averaged 5.5 megs down and 900k up on Ookla’ app with a moderate -95 db signal. Market apps and updates download very quickly, Google Maps data won’t keep you waiting and web pages load quickly (also thanks to the fast CPU that improves web page rendering times). The G2x’s download speeds are similar to other T-Mobile 4G phones like the myTouch 4G and Sidekick 4G, and faster than the 3G Nexus S which averages 2.5 megs down in the same location.

The G2x can act as a WiFi hotspot that shares its wireless data connection with laptops, iPads and other devices. It also supports USB tethering. Download speeds using the LG as a wireless AP were good at 4.5 megs down (slightly slower than the phone itself) and 900k up. Samsung still has the edge for WiFi tethering with even faster download speeds: the Sidekick 4G managed 5.3 megs down using the same notebook in the same location. The G2x also supports WiFi calling, which means you can use a WiFi network to place a call if your cellular signal is marginal (calls still count against plan minutes).

T-Mobile LG G2x

The Nexus S and G2x.


Since this is a pure Google experience phone, you get all the usual Google apps including Maps, Navigation, YouTube, Gmail, email, Market, Gtalk, search, Voice Dialer, Voice Search and News and Weather. The phone is upgradable to Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread, and we don’t foresee anything holding that up for ages since this is a standard Google phone.

LG has always been fond of DivX video format, and as a result, the phone can play DivX locally stored and streaming video. We don't see many Android phones that can play DivX out of the box, and most need 3rd party video players to do so.

LG and T-Mobile include Polaris Office which can read, edit and create MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, Swype, and SmartShare for dLNA home WiFi network media streaming. T-Mobile includes T-Mobile TV powered by MobiTV, a $10/month on-demand and live TV streaming that includes full TV show episodes. It worked well in our tests over T-Mobile’s 4G network. TeleNav is also on board for spoken navigation (also $10/month), as is the Zinio magazine reader. For video chat with the 1.3MP front-facing camera, T-Mobile bundles the usual Qik app and there’s WiFi calling and WiFi Mobile Hotspot and USB tethering for using the G2x as a high speed wireless modem. Since this is a powerful phone with an Nvidia CPU and GPU, Nvidia’s Tegra 2 Zone app is here for browsing the latest Tegra 2 optimized games and news. Need for Speed Shift, Asphalt 5 and N.O.V.A. are pre-installed for your gaming pleasure.

 G2x Cameras, x2

The LG has a main rear 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera. The front camera produced good looking video in Qik, though outgoing Qik call volume was low. We had to speak loudly and angle the phone with the mic (button edge of the phone) toward our mouth to be easily understood. We hope that a Qik update increases mic gain since this doesn’t seem to be a problem with the phone itself—calls over the cellular and WiFi calling network have perfectly normal outgoing volume.

The main camera can shoot 1080p video in 3gp format. That’s not a very high quality format, and as a result we could see some blockiness in small detail areas like tree leaves. Colors are excellent and exposure is good, and frame rates are solid. Overall the video looks good and is a step up from the iPhone 4 for amount of detail, but falls short of Nokia’s N8 (nothing can compete with the N8’s camera). It’s still rare to find a phone that can shoot 1080p video, so LG gets a thumbs-up on that front.

Still images are sharp, very colorful and well-exposed. There’s some bias towards yellows and a tendency to overexpose indoors shots when the flash is set to auto with close-range subjects, but overall, we like the camera quite well. It takes better shots than HTC’s recent offers such as the T-Mobile G2 and HTC Inspire 4G, and slightly better shots than the Samsung Nexus S (Samsung has some nice cameras in their high end phones).  As an imaging phone, the LG is a solid choice.


The T-Mobile G2x by LG has quickly become one of our favorite smartphones, and I can easily see it replacing my personal Nexus S. While LG phones in the US have been low to mid-tier plastic phones that didn’t inspire gadget lust, the G2x is an over the top smartphone that combines quality materials, great looks, 4G speeds, stability and dual core speed into the competitive $199 with contract space. We’d recommend this phone to anyone looking for a fast and clean Google experience on a high end Android smartphone. The dual core CPU, 4G, excellent IPS display and 1080p camera plus video chat camera offer a reasonable dose of future-proofing as well. Well done, LG. The only trendy feature not found here is 3D, and for our money we haven't seen a 3D handset that really made us wish we had that feature.

Pro: Excellent looks and build materials, fast phone in terms of CPU speed and data speeds, very lovely IPS display, good call quality, has HDMI out, WiFi Calling and solid GPS. Very good battery life for a powerful smartphone.

Con: When we find it we'll tell you.

Price: $199 with contract, $499 without contract


T-Mobile LG G2x


T-Mobile LG G2x


T-Mobile LG G2x


T-Mobile LG G2x


HTC Sensation 4G

The T-Mobile LG G2x and HTC Sensation 4G.

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Display: 4" IPS capacitive multi-touch display. Resolution: 800 x 480, supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer. Has an ambient light sensor and proximity sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1500 mAh.

Performance: Dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU. 512 megs RAM, 8 gigs internal storage (5.5 gigs available) with 1.3 gigs reserved for application installations.

Size: 4.88 x 2.48 x 0.43 inches. Weight: 5 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band world phone with 3G and 4G HSPA+ on T-Mobile's 1700/2100MHz bands. Can act as a mobile WiFi hotspot and supports USB tethering.

Camera: 1.3MP front video chat camera and 8 megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash. Rear camera can shoot 1080p video.

Audio and Video: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Has a micro HDMI port (cable not included).

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR with A2DP.

Software: Android OS 2.2 Froyo (upgradeable to 2.3 Gingerbread). Standard suite of Google apps including Maps, Navigation, Gmail, Market, YouTube and News and Weather. Other software: Adobe Flash Player 10.2, Swype, Polaris Office, T-Mobile TV, TeleNav, Need for Speed Shift, Asphalt 5,N.O.V.A., WiFi Calling, TegraZone Games, Zinio, Twitter and Facebook.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot (no card included).


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