LG Optimus 4X HD vs. Samsung Galaxy S3

By now we have looked at two quad-core smartphones: the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3. Speed and power are not issues for these phones and we have both benchmark tests and personal experience to prove it. As expected, they will not be the only two for long and LG is the first one to break the ice. LG’s Optimus 4X HD was introduced on this year’s Mobile World Congress and will be launched first in the UK. Is this phone good enough to be sold to the rest of the world? We pit the Optimus 4X HD and the Samsung Galaxy S3 to find the answer.

 

Performance

 

One reason why we choose the Galaxy S3 as the Optimus 4X HD’s comparison partner is that the HTC One X has the same SoC (system on chip) as the latter. While the Galaxy S3′s Exynos 4412 is not as “abundant” as the Tegra 3 (I know at least ten devices powered by this), it has become very popular since its release. 32nm fabrication technology was used for it versus the 40nm used in the Tegra 3. That translates to the 4412 being more power efficient than the NVIDIA’s quad-core processor. Power efficiency here refers to how the processor uses the power and not how little it consumes. In this case, the 4412 and consequently the Galaxy S3 do more with the same power given to it as the Tegra 3. One feature of Tegra 3 though is that it has an extra core outside the four cores. The extra core is the one used when only minor computations are needed – a thing that affects the overall power consumption of the device.

The S3 also has an advantage on graphics handling. The MALI-400 on Samsung’s flagship phone is technically superior to the GeForce chip on the Optimus 4X HD. The powerful chip is needed to handle the Galaxy S3′s 720 by 1280 pixels Super AMOLED display. But this does not mean that the Optimus has a crappy display. As its name suggests, the Optimus 4X HD features a True HD-IPS screen with resolution that is the same on the S3. The True HD-IPS display is somehow more vibrant than the Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy S3, although only a few good eyes may be able to spot it. Still, the graphical prowess of the Galaxy S3 is unmatched. Android And Me did some benchmarks featuring the S3, a Tegra 3 device (not the Optimus 4X HD) and other older CPUs and Samsung’s phone really stood out. The Optimus 4X HD’s screen, according to LG officials, has lower power consumption than the Super AMOLED of the Galaxy S3. We haven’t tested how long the Optimus really last but we hope it can go beyond the 22-hour talk-time of the Galaxy S3.

 

Design

 

Not everyone liked how the S3 looked and the same could be said with the Optimus 4X HD. The S3 is slightly longer and wider and is also thinner. The Optimus 4X HD is very “edgy” – an opposite of the Galaxy S3′s rounded corners. In truth, the Optimus does not stand-out in terms of physical feature. If you are that kind of person who’s conscious about your phone’s look, you might not fall in love with the Optimus at first sight.

 

 

 

Software and Camera

 

No Jellybeans here, only Ice Cream Sandwich. For two phones having the same operating system, what differentiate them really are the skin and the built-in apps. LG put their own touch on the Optimus 4X HD but not that much. The Galaxy S3 has more features including S-voice, Smart Stay eye tracking app, free 50 GB storage at Dropbox and more. LG may add some more if their phone goes beyond Europe but it would be doubtful that it would beat the S3 in terms of extras.

Both have the same 8 MP rear camera capable of recording 1080p HD videos. The S3′s front camera is slightly better at 1.9 MP to the Optimus 4X HD’s 1.3 MP. We have yet to try out the camera app of the Optimus but we will update this post as soon as that is done.

 

Prices

 

LG Optimus 4X HD Price

The Optimus 4X HD is priced at 499 Euro at Amazon Germany. While 499 Euro is not equivalent to $499, the phone could be priced with that amount when it hits the US.

 

Samsung Galaxy S3 Price

MerchantProductPriceBuy Now
AmazonSamsung Galaxy S III GT-i9300 16GB Unlocked Android Smartphone - International Version, No Warranty (Marble White)

$299.99

used from: $695.00

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of Apr 19 0:59:49 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

Summary of Specs

 

LG Optimus 4X HDSamsung Galaxy S3
Processor, RAMQuad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3, 1 GBQuad-core Samsung Exynos 4412, 1 GB
Operating SystemAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream SandwichAndroid 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
Storage16 GB with microSD slot16/32/64 GB with microSD slot
Display4.7 inch 1280 x 720 True HD IPS 4.8 inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED
Camera8 MP rear, 1.3 MP front, 1080p video8 MP rear, 1.9 MP front, 1080p video
ConnectivityHSDPA, GSM, Wi-Fi (w/ Direct and Hotspot), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB, LTE version unconfirmedLTE, HSDPA, GSM, Wi-Fi (w/ Direct and Hotspot), Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB
Other Features- SNS integration
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
- DivX/Xvid/MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
- MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
- Document editor
- Organizer
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail
- YouTube, Google Talk
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
- MicroSIM card support only
- S-Voice natural language commands and dictation
- Smart Stay eye tracking
- Dropbox (50 GB storage)
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
- SNS integration
- MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
- Organizer
- Image/video editor
- Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa integration
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input (Swype)

 

Verdict

 

The LG Optimus 4X HD is a good phone, but in this matchup the Galaxy S3 clearly wins. Samsung’s latest flagship phone has better internal components and it looks much more like a high-end phone than the Optimus. The Galaxy S3 also provides a lot more options to the user through its apps. With lots of Android phones and the iPhone dominating North America, I doubt if the Optimus 4X HD will have an impact there. Nevertheless it is worth considering as the third smartphone ever to have a quad-core CPU.

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