T-Mobile G2x hands-on: Vanilla Android with dual-core processor

T-Mobile G2x hands-on: Vanilla Android with dual-core processor

Summary: The T-Mobile G2x is a solid Android 2.2 device with a dual-core processor and gaming focus. It comes without any custom skins and offers a pure Android experience.

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T-Mobile was the first US carrier to launch an Android smartphone and they have always had an excellent collection to choose from. They just launched the new T-Mobile G2x from LG this past weekend and you can still order it online before it starts appearing in stores tomorrow, 19 April. I have spent a few days with the G2x and while I find it to be one of my favorite Android devices at this time it is not going to knock the HTC ThunderBolt or HTC HD7 out of my hands for a couple of reasons I will discuss below in my first impressions article. You can check out several images of the new device in my image gallery.

The G2x is the first LG Android device I have ever checked out and I am very impressed with the build quality and performance so far. The major feature that sets this device above the others at T-Mobile is the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. The T-Mobile G2x is the US model of the LG Optimus 2X.


Image Gallery: Check out product images of the LG G2x from T-Mobile. Image Gallery: G2x retail box Image Gallery: G2x in hand

In the box and first impressions

The G2x comes in another one of those great solid, slim boxes from T-Mobile with a glossy image of the device on the front and vibrant colors around the edges. There isn't much inside the box as you will find the G2x, battery, USB cable, A/C charger (the USB cable plugs into it), and some pamphlets and guides.

When I pulled the G2x from the box I was immediately impressed by the narrow width and the way the glass seems to curve around the edges. The back has soft touch brown on it with a metal band up the center and it really feels excellent in your hand. The display is standard TFT, but it is 4 inches and looks fantastic.

Specifications

Specifications for the T-Mobile G2x include the following:

  • Android 2.2 Froyo software
  • Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 1 GHz processor
  • Quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and dual band UMTS/HSPA+ (1700/2100)
  • 4 inch WVGA (480x800) capacitive touch TFT display
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB integrated memory (just over 5GB available)
  • microSD card slot with no included card
  • 8 megapixel camera with flash and 1080p HD video capture capability
  • 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • HDMI port and DLNA capable
  • Integrated A-GPS receiver
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 4.88 x 2.48 x 0.43 inches and 5.0 ounces

The G2x has some impressive specifications and is a solid device in this category. It's a bit of a shame that not even an 8GB or 16GB microSD card is included though since devices like the HTC ThunderBolt come with a whopping 32GB card.

Walk around the hardware

The G2x has a large 4 inch display that dominates the front of the device, but it seems to me that the device is taller than it needs to be with lots of room on the bottom for the capacitive buttons below the display. The glass curves around the edges and shows some care went into the design. There is a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera in the upper right and four touch sensitive buttons on the bottom for Menu, Home, Back, and Search.

There is nothing on the left side and only two small volume buttons on the right side. Speakers, a mic, and the microUSB port are on the bottom while you will find the 3.5mm headset jack, HDMI port, and power button on the top.

The 8 megapixel camera and single LED flash are centered on the top of the back in a protrusion that comes out from the back casing. The entire back comes off to reveal the battery, microSD card slot (battery does not have to be removed), and SIM card slot.

There are no indicator lights so you won't be able to see if you finished charging or received any kind of notification without turning the device on, which is a bit of a pain IMHO.

Walk through the software

The G2x is a plain vanilla Android device so if you are looking for something like the Nexus S with 4G support then you may want to consider the G2x. There are no custom UI skins from LG or T-Mobile on the device (aka no HTC Sense, MotoBLUR, or Samsung TouchWIZ) and only a couple T-Mobile apps, including T-Mobile My Account, T-Mobile TV, Qik Video Chat, TeleNav GPS Navigator, and T-Mobile WiFi Calling. Yes, you can make calls via WiFi and just consume you minutes with the G2x. One of the reasons I personally don't plan to buy a G2x is that I find HTC Sense essential for my needs due to the fantastic Exchange support, home screen widgets, smart dialer, and more.

The basic Android 2.2 Exchange client is provided and I personally hate the basic feel and operation of it when in sync with my work account. It also limits how I create appointments and people who are heavy Exchange users will likely prefer a device with HTC Sense loaded on it.

Gaming is a focus of the G2x because of the dual-core processor and you will find Need For Speed and NOVA loaded on the G2x. I showed Need For Speed in my video above and it is very impressive. However, I prefer the awesome Xbox LIVE games on my HD7.

Pricing and availability

The G2x is available now for $199.99 with a 2-year contract or $499.99 with no contract.

Final first thoughts on the T-Mobile G2x

The G2x is an excellent Android device with a focus on HD gaming. I took a couple of photos and the camera seems to take great shots. I haven't used it enough to judge the battery life or fully test out what HSPA+ network it supports. The HSPA+ support is dual-band and it supports the 14.4 Mbps network so it is not the fastest device on the T-Mobile network. If network speed is your desire then check out the Samsung Galaxy S 4G with support for the 21 Mbps network. It seems the G2x is built more for the gamer than the smartphone enthusiast and it is a bit of a shame it couldn't have had the faster network support.

It is a very nice device, but it wasn't something that blew me away and made me think I had to go run out and buy it right away. It is good to have choices in the Android line and now you can choose a Samsung device, HTC device, or LG device from T-Mobile for your high end Android smartphone.

Online reviews

It looks like only a few people have had the chance to check out the G2x, so make sure to see what these other reviewers had to say about this new device:

Boy Genius Report Android Community Mobile Tech Review

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, HTC, Processors

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2 comments
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  • RE: T-Mobile G2x hands-on: Vanilla Android with dual-core processor

    They should have gone with Gingerbread instead of Froyo. Ok, there will be an update and T-Mo normally releases updates faster than the 3 other major carriers here in US, but still Froyo is more than a year old and they should have come with Gingerbread. Period.
    Ram U
  • AT&T hitting it big.

    Although I'm not too into the T-Mobile acquisition, I must say that I'm very excited that AT&T will soon have a very extensive line of devices. :)
    CellPig.com