Android 'Phones.... the Next Generation?

I rarely do hardware reviews because I know most people have their own personal tastes, and not everyone will agree with what I find appealing in a device, but every now and again something comes along which I feel is a real game changer and worth mentioning, and after a few days with my latest purchase I’m beginning to think it’s a game changer.

I’ve had a few Android ‘phones and they’ve all been an evolution of the earlier devices; slightly higher clock speed, more RAM, more onboard flash, but, in my view, there’s never been anything that compares to going from a single core ‘phone to a dual core phone (in my case the Optimus 2X from LG).

Usually when I upgrade I see a few hundred point increase in Quadrant, but with the 2X the Quadrant score is more than double my Nexus One;

Benchmarks are all well and good, but there’s nothing like playing with the ‘phone to see how quick it is, and it doesn’t disappoint. To give you an idea of how responsive the ‘phone is here’s a short video taken whilst on my relatively slow broadband connection;


When I’ve talked to people about dual core ‘phones the big concern has been battery life, but with the 2X I’m getting similar if not better battery life than my old Nexus One. I’ve had the ‘phone for 4 days and I’m getting a couple of days per charge (light to moderate usage), and when I do charge there’s still around 30% left in the battery so it’d probably go for a good few hours in the third day.

When you consider that the next dual-core ‘phone we’re likely to see in the UK (Motorolas’ Atrix) has a battery which has roughly a 30% larger capacity than the 2X I’m willing to say that, for dual core phones, battery life isn’t going to be any more of an issue than it is with current single core ‘phones.

If I had to pick a down side to the 2X specifically it’d be the customised home screen. I use many Android devices so I tend to avoid vendor specific launchers because it’s easier for me to be familiar with one home screen than switch between many vendor specific ones. The 2X’s cousin, the T-Mobile G2x has a stock launcher, and one of the pre-installed apps is a “Home Selector”, so there is some hope LG will either drop their custom launcher or offer the Android stock home screen as an alternative as part of a future upgrade.

So there you have it; Dual core ‘phones are now out and, after spending a few days with one, I think they really have put the nail in the coffin of single core devices. The benefits aren’t just high scores in benchmarks, they’re large real world performance increases which are delivered without paying a penalty in battery life.

And that, to me, is a game changer.

As an aside I thought it worth mentioning that the 2X made me smile before taking it out of the box, the reason is second feature listed on the side of the box. If anyone knows where the setting is to control “Jet Speedy Internet Browsing”, or what Untrue Visual Gaming is, please let me know :);