My first reaction to LG's shipping ICS skin (based on 4.0.3, LG is calling it UI 3.0) was simply “wow, this is a lot better than expected.” As time went on, I realized that it’s actually the best I’ve felt about an Android skin since...well....ever. I’m still a pure Android lifer, but I don’t mind UI 3.0. LG described it as unobtrusive and simple, and though I was skeptical at first, it’s really not very invasive. 


As such, a lot of the good old ICS UI elements are present and accounted for, but LG has made the entire theme much lighter than ICS (good) as well as changing the iconography (not so good). My lone complaint with the stock Android interface is that it’s pretty dark, so the white menus and UI elements do a good job of making ICS that much less gloomy. The iconography is basic and dull, unfortunately, but at least LG lets you change the icons quite easily by holding down on them. It’s still very clean, thankfully - that’s what LG has done a good job with, really keeping the essence of ICS the same while just changing some of the details and adding functionality where they could. Examples being the lock screen shortcuts, a 5x6 icon grid in the launcher, quick setting toggles in the notifications drawer, and things like that.

The animations are all quite slick - you can basically touch anywhere on the lock screen and swipe to unlock the phone, and underneath your finger appears a transparent “window” that shows you your homescreen as you swipe outwards. It’s hard to describe, but hopefully the screenshot above gives you a decent idea of what I’m talking about. It’s also seriously cool to use in practice. 


There are seven homescreens, with a number of different swipe animations to choose from - accordion, carousel, panorama, domino, layer, breeze, and the basic default. All of them are smooth, maybe not as much as Butter, but still quite good. And compared to the LG norm, this is leaps and bounds ahead. 

There’s not much really to report other than that - LG hasn’t done too much to the ICS we know and love. It’s far less intrusive than Sense 4.0 - I tolerated it with the HTC One S, but I think deviates too much from Google’s Android builds and tries to be different simply for the sake of being different. I’ve also never been a huge fan of TouchWiz - I disliked it enough on my SGS2 that I almost immediately switched to CM9. The Nature UX variant on the Galaxy S III, though it has some nice animations, seems to be more cluttered than ever. It’s just inelegant, both in look and feel. I really have to applaud LG for going the opposite direction and not messing with a good thing - they added just enough functionality and fanciness in the UI to differentiate themselves from Google, but didn’t resort to a heavy reskin of ICS to achieve it. 

Hardware Performance
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  • TheJian - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure any of these benchmarks even matter. It's kind of like benchmarking office and how fast it waits on me to type in word. Until they start benchmarking ACTUAL games (which is the only way I know how to judge one vs. the other and my fun on them out to a tv :)), the only other interesting thing is battery life.

    I can't play sunspider (it's not a game last I checked), have no interest in linpak etc. I want to know how they perform when output to TV over hdmi and using my xbox360 controller to have some fun. Consoles days are numbered, but I guess they can breathe easy until we start getting some real benchmarks that actually tell us something. The same can be said about bandwidth memory tests on desktops etc. All pointless accept to prove your stuff is operating correctly. I can't have fun or get any work done running sandra benchmarks ;) So who cares? I can't wait for a GAME mobile phone benchmark (I mean a real game, not some 3dmark crap for phones). Fraps for phones? :) SeeMeGaming? As Vivek already said, pretty much anything runs fine on all the latest phones. So gaming will be the differentiators.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    One thing: I wish manufacturers would stop using Tegra 3 in phones.
    Use Dual core Krait, and increase the size of the battery... and then we're talking.
  • krazyfrog - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Your weather widget is showing Seattle weather but your network ID is Airtel. It seems you are based out of India. :)
  • krazyfrog - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Never mind. Commented before I saw the camera page.
  • rocketbuddha - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    The picture of the temple seems to be the Madurai Meenakshiamman temple.
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Thillai Natraja Kovil in Chidhambaram.
  • Belard - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Ya still get slapped anyway... :)

  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    Screenshots/images taken at different times, so some happened while I was in India, some after I got back to Seattle :)
  • jramskov - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    LG doesn't exactly have the best track record in that regard...
  • cserwin - Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - link

    As a G2X owner, I would say that you will never see an update.

    The G2X has soured me on Android completely. It's pushed me into community supported ROMs just to have some semblance of a functional smart phone. And bless their hearts, but the community support for this phone has been marginal - soured by poor driver support from NVIDIA and LG.

    This stuff is sold in the U.S. on 2 year commitments. But the manufacturers and carriers aren't committed 5 minutes to this hardware.

    Really, how much research should I need to do before I purchase a smartphone with a decent feature set and expect it to work? It is complete bullshit the level of quality and consistency in the Android ecosystem, and LG wears the crown for putting lipstick on a pig.

    This phone will never be updated. And it will fail you weekly.

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