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T-Mobile G2X–Full Review

So, while washing my clothes at the local laundry mat, and no premise internet service, I have little to worry considering that I am able to connect to the Internet while I am far from home. In the meantime, I am able to keep my phone in my pocket, while listening to a music collection so I am not bored. This is all done by one device, and in the event that I should get a phone call at 7AM, this same device will take the phone call as well. This is a mostly good review of the T-Mobile G2X (aka LG Optimus 2), all after having the phone for about 4 days. The T-Mobile G2X at writing is $250 + $50 mail in rebate with a 2 year contract, or $500 without a contract. On a contract, you would be required to have a data plan. Also contract plans are more expensive than non-contract plans. You can not get the non-contract plan online, and should consider going to a store for that service.

Now, it is not all roses, there are some complaints I have about the phone, but I am sure you would see all of the this while reading the review. To give an idea of what you would look forward to if you decide to get this device, you would get the phone which has a 4” screen, a USB cable, and an adapter that plugs in the cable. The cable therefore is used as a charging cable, and a sync cable. Most smart phones are using this method to save on costs.You would of course get the battery, and a T-Mobile “4G” card. If you have an older card, you would need to use this card which of course is no extra cost.

Specs

The phone is one of the few phones with a dual core 1Ghz CPU. It is also the only one on T-Mobile (2011-05-04). The Samsung Galaxy S-2 is expected to come to the US, and therefore eventually to T-Mobile, but as of now, this is it if you want dual core. And while a single core CPU may work just fine for now, if you are like me and want to keep the phone as long as possible, than a dual core would be preferred. The phone has 1GB of memory, and 8GB of in device storage, although some of the capacity is used for the Android 2.2 OS, and apps. It supports up to 32GB micro SD card which can also be used to install apps, and media. The phone also supports wifi-BGN, and HSPA+ which T-Mobile toots their horn as 4G, but still uses the 3G infrastructure and design – so not really 4G. The phone also has Gorilla Glass which is supposed to reduced the chance of scratches, and other mishaps. However, you still should not abuse the phone.

 

Calls/Data

The calls are typically pretty good. The calls are clear even in my area which I seen me drop to as low as 2G connections in some cases. Keep in mind that calls with me are routed through Google Voice as well, but if anything since there are multiple points, you would figure for lower quality. There were a couple of times that I couldn’t complete a call, but this is again assumed to be the connection issues related with the area rather than the phone.

 

In the instances I get HSPA+, I get superior connection, and data even to the point of almost always beating out my Clear Internet connection which is far from impressive. A speed test in a worst case scenario has been 114ms/2.5M/.95M. In a best case scenario, I seen 70ms/4.5M/1.25M. And with the phone supporting as a wireless router/modem, I am actually composing this posting, and will probably submit it through the phone all without having to physically connect. If one was to do this though, be sure to change the SSID, and set a passphrase. You would also want to turn this feature off when not using it as you don’t want to be a moving hotspot, nor drain your battery.

Battery

This is my biggest gripe. The battery is not the best, and I have seen a 1% drop from full about every 6 minutes with average. This could mean that the phone can be depleted in about 10 hours. This time could be reduced if you are doing a lot of activity (such as connecting your PC to send a blog, and email while listening to music). I am guessing this is mostly due to the dual core CPU, however if you demand a phone to go through the day, you would find this to need some adjustments. I personally bought a $15 battery pack which could charge the phone by plugging in a micro USB port and using 2 AA batteries. This of course means that something is sticking out of your phone, so you would want to adjust accordingly. The back cover opens from the bottom and every time I took the back off, I felt I was going to break it.

Email

T-Mobile has done something rather bad in this area. The email client for all email other than Gmail has a promotional signature that is appended to every email you send. You can’t seem to change it, nor even disable it. This is a no no on a $500 phone. Yes, I know you want to advertise that you are America’s largest fake 4G network (HSPA+ is still 3G), but do it on your own email services, and not use the ones that your customers may need for business. This is just bad customer relations. Thankfully, you can get rid of that by using K9 Email.

Video/Media

Video while I hadn’t used it to its full potential is superb. Nova which is a game would play a high end introduction, and that alone can vouch for the video processing. And yes, you can fling birds at pigs, but this is nothing for the phone. There is T-Mobile TV which I hadn’t started since I can’t afford it, but it also supports DivX with a registration. And the 4” screen is larger then my iPod Touch (gen 3) which is most likely going to replace it for anytime I may go out. Keep in mind because of DRM, with the iTunes store, if you have video – you won’t be able to use it on the phone.

Music is very good and clear (as long as you got good ear phones). Don’t expect an iTunes/iPod like experience. You might be able to get WinAmp to sync with your music, although hadn’t tried it. If you are still using an iOS device (such as my iPod Touch for the home), then you would want iSyncr which is available for USB, and Wifi. Both apps are $5.00 total, and the Wifi edition is good for the smaller modifications. I would personally recommend to put the music on the SD card.

The phone has two cameras. One is a back face (normal side for cameras) 8MP camera with an LED flash. This will be able to do a minimum of 720p. There is a front face camera which is good for self portraits, and video chatting. QIK is available and installed for this feature. And for those with a newer TV, there is an HDMI port so you could torture your family with your home made videos on the bigger screen. The phone also has built in DLNA support. With DLNA support, you can play music or videos from DLNA servers which can include PCs. Don’t expect remote control capabilities as you would find on the Galaxy S-2. One serious issue that I noticed, is as of the writing of this email, Barcode Scanner does not work with the cameras. It is a shame as this is a powerful tool, and worked just fine on my 528Mhz phone I had before hand.

Operating System/Operations

As with computers, smart phones have operating systems. In reality all cellular phones have one, but smart phones have a more universal design. In the case of this phone, it is Android 2.2.2 which however, it would have made more sense to have 2.3. T-Mobile seems to promise “soon”, but the last time I heard soon, it was 6 months. This is stock Android which means there are no custom skins, or layouts, therefore should be easy to update.

The top of the phone has a head phone jack (no headphones included). Make sure you get headphones with a microphone so it could be used as hands-free. The mini HDMI port support HDMI 1.2 which should handle most of the requirements. The power button would be press to blank the screen, or hold to initiate power off. The right side includes two buttons for volume control. The bottom has a microphone, speaker, and micro-USB port for charging and synchronizing. You would also remove the back cover from this point, although easier said than done. There is nothing on the left side. The rear has a camera and flash. The front has a proximity sensor, front side camera, 4” capacitive screen, capacitive menu, home, back, and search. There is no indicator light.

What’s missing

As I noted, this phone is not perfect. Considering that AT&T might take over T-Mobile, they should have all of the US bands in here. Even if that wasn’t the case, the bands should have still been installed on $500+ phones. There is no spare battery, and when you have only 10 hours at best in battery life, this becomes something that should be. Even with that in mind, T-Mobile should be selling docking stations that would charge the phone and battery.No headphones, and forget the teeny bopper Skull Candy crap. And no micro SD card. Last, there should have been 2.3 installed on the phone, and there should have been NFC.


I have received no compensation for the review of this device from LG, nor T-Mobile. The purchase was made in full with an in house credit line available to qualified customers with a total of cost to walk out is 5% + tax on 100%. There is an activation fee for new customers, or adding a line, but there is no upgrade fee. Mail-in rebates are not available for full purchase price acquisition.

 

Almost 2 years. Time for an Upgrade?

It has been almost two years, and in about 4 months – it would have been 20 months since I had the first revision of the My Touch as my cellular phone. When I bought it, I wanted it for GPS, and 3G capabilities. At the time, it was the only smart phone that was such an option for me. Now a days, in comparison – it will seem as if my phone is more like a toy rather than a phone. And there are times I am frustrated with the CPU lag it gives to me. Of course with a 528Mhz CPU on an OS that should be using twice the CPU, I guess I can’t blame it. So, I already know I wish to upgrade, but exactly what, and would I settle for less? Well, first I don’t see a reason to settle for less, and if there is no phone I am comfortable with on my carrier, I simply would either consider another carrier, or not get a new phone.

I will go into each and every detail that I will consider as important to me, and would offer my thoughts to such. With that in mind, I would focus on what I would want, and expect for my needs. While I am sure that there are other features some may find as important, that would be on their interests, and not so much of mine. However, I would of course need a smart phone that would support Google Voice, and offer the ability to tether without paying extra.

Continue reading Almost 2 years. Time for an Upgrade?