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LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

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Interface:

Apple's interface is app-centric, and has been so since 2007. Just one row of icons after another on a page after page might seem boring compared to the widgetized flexibility of the Android UI, but the pure simplicity of iOS with consistent fonts, coloring and transitions has won many hearts over the ragtag Android skinning efforts. Luckily for the iPhone 4, LG’s overlay of the stock Android 2.2 UI is not HTC Sense, so we’d call it a draw.

The interface of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The interface of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The interface of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The interface of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

The interface of the Apple iPhone 4 - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The interface of the Apple iPhone 4 - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The interface of the Apple iPhone 4 - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

How’s navigation around those interfaces? Smooth as silk on the iPhone 4, very fluid on the LG Optimus 2X. The iPhone 4 responds to your finger movements seamlessly, like a purring cat to a head massage, while the LG Optimus 2X overcomes the fact that Android is a tad less responsive via the raw power of its dual-core chipset.

We especially liked the scrolling inertia setting of LG’s handset. The iPhone 4 is set to slow down to a stall when scrolling up and down a list, no matter how briskly you swipe your finger, while long lists on the Optimus 2X just go and go when flipped, until you tap and stop the scrolling madness abruptly.


Messaging, Browser and Connectivity:

The keyboard on the LG Optimus 2X is eerily resembling the one in iOS, to the extent where even the popup that enlarges the letter when you touch a key has the same shape. Copycat or a payday for Apple’s patent filings? Either way, the bigger screen makes the keyboard on the LG Optimus 2X more spaced out and comfortable to use.

The on-screen keyboard of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The on-screen keyboard of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The on-screen keyboard of the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

The keyboard of the Apple iPhone 4 - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The keyboard of the Apple iPhone 4 - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

By now most everybody with the slightest interest in smartphones is aware of what the Android and iOS interfaces look like. Thus what we pointed our attention to was the browser performance. We all know how smooth browsing on the iPhone 4 is. After all, Apple popularized inertial scrolling, touch gestures and tap zooming.

The Android 2.2 Froyo browser has never been as fluid as Safari on any handset, but for a few very valid reasons. The main one is that is renders Adobe Flash, which, as popular as it is around the Web, is a real resource hog. The Android browser also renders the page in real time when zooming, while iOS stops rendering and shows fuzzy image until you’ve finished with the gesture, then it resumes. Nevertheless, because of that navigation in Safari is smoother, and you are not really reading while zooming the page anyway.

The huge plus, however, is the ability of Android’s browser to show Adobe Flash content, which Safari lacks, and Flash is not going away from the Internet any time soon. And in the LG Optimus 2X that support is outstanding, because of the dual-core chipset. Not only is it powerful enough to render heavy Flash pages without much stuttering, but it also does it much faster than on single-core handsets, since recent changes in the Webkit code, as found in the Froyo browser, can delegate tasks to more than one core.

The browser of the LG Optimus 2X renders heavy Flash pages without much stuttering  - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The browser of the LG Optimus 2X renders heavy Flash pages without much stuttering  - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The browser of the LG Optimus 2X renders heavy Flash pages without much stuttering  - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The browser of the LG Optimus 2X renders heavy Flash pages without much stuttering  - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

The Safari browser of the Apple iPhone 4 is very fluid - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The Safari browser of the Apple iPhone 4 is very fluid - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The Safari browser of the Apple iPhone 4 is very fluid - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
The Safari browser of the Apple iPhone 4 is very fluid - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

A single-core CPU deals with a script it encounters on a web page until it is executed, whereas with NVIDIA Tegra 2 the tasks are split between the two cores, and they continue fetching the page from the servers while at the same time a script might be executed. But enough with the theory, let’s show you the benchmarks.

First off, the iPhone 4 loaded our home page fully for 31 seconds, while it took the LG Optimus 2X 23 seconds to render it completely, Adobe Flash and all. When we hit refresh, the iPhone 4 was only a second or two late, but not showing the flash ads, of course.

Then we ran BrowserMark and got 48077 on LG’s dual-core phone, while the iPhone 4 scored 30784. On the other popular browsing benchmark Peacekeeper we got 423 for the iPhone 4, whereas the LG Optimus 2X scorched it with 839 points.

We didn’t run any Flash tests for obvious reasons, but Sunspider, which measures JavaScript rendering performance, pegged Safari at 10935ms, whereas the Froyo browser on the Optimus 2X made out like a bandit with just 3948ms when it finished the test - the lower, the better here.

To cut a long story short, Apple popularized the multitouch gestures like pinch-to-zoom, and things like double-tap in the iOS Safari browser, so for various reasons they work best there, the absence of Adobe Flash support notwithstanding.

The dual-core power in the LG Optimus 2X, however, allows for faster websites load times, with all the bells and whistles of the desktop web, like Flash and zippy JavaScript execution. If you couldn't care less about Flash, navigating a webpage with Safari is a joy, thanks to the fluid scrolling and multitouch gesture execution. In case you can't part ways with Flash, however, the Android 2.2 browser as found on the dual-core LG Optimus 2X would be the preferred choice.

The two handsets offer similar connectivity options, in terms of 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS, but the iPhone 4 notably lacks DLNA and HDMI. It compensates for the lack of DLNA with the AirPlay streaming standard for iOS devices, for which you need the “hockey puck” Apple TV, or a certified device.

The LG Optimus 2X has them both out of the box, so you are covered much better if you want to hook up your phone to your TV via a regular HDMI cable without any additional accessory. Have a look at our HDMI-out video demo on the LG Optimus 2X here.

Native DLNA support is another plus, although you’d better be on a Wireless N router if you want the 1080p videos from your phone to stream to your computer or TV wirelessly without hiccups. The other good news is that you can stream video in formats which your phone doesn’t play, and if the device on the receiving end with the bigger screen has these codecs, it will play the video, regardless of the fact that your phone can’t, which is not possible with AirPlay.

HDMI - Connectivity options on the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
Connectivity options on the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
SmartShare app for DLNA - Connectivity options on the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4
Connectivity options on the LG Optimus 2X - LG Optimus 2X vs Apple iPhone 4

HDMI

 

SmartShare app for DLNA

 


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