Print 17 comment(s) - last by edsib1.. on Feb 15 at 3:21 PM

Phone has a decent size battery, but battery life will likely be less than ideal

LG Electronics Inc. (KS:066570) has certainly struggled during the smartphone era, which has led to some high-profile executive attrition.  But things finally appear to be looking up.  The company's smartphone division became profitable in 2011 for the first time in quite a while.  And it's finally producing the kind of sleek superphones Android customers are demanding.

Its latest superphone du jour is the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered X3.  Leaked screengrabs from MoDaCo just aired, and they paint a pretty interesting picture.

The camera packs the expected fare -- an 8 MP rear-facing camera, 1.3 MP front-facing camera, and near field communications for use with Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Wallet app.  But the phone's most impressive features are its large 4.7-inch (720x1280) screen and quad-core Tegra 3 chip from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).  The Tegra 3 is reportedly clocked at 1.5 GHz when motoring in single-core mode, but clocks down to 1.4 GHz when multiple cores are in use.

Depending on when this hits the market, it could be the world's very first quad-core smartphone.  The Tegra 3 has thus far only seen action in ASUSTEK Computer Inc.'s (TPE:2357) popular Eee Pad Transformer Prime.

LG X3 benchmarks

The X3 will pack a relatively heavy-duty 2,000 mAh battery -- which seemingly further tempts fate.  The 4.7-inch diagonal screen (4.10-in x 2.30-in -- or roughly 9.43 sq. in), gives the X3 a power per screen area ratio of approximately 212.1 mAh per sq in. 

To put this perspective, the iPhone 4S -- which generally has pretty decent battery life -- packs a 1,432 mAh battery [source] with a 3.5-inch diagonal screen (2.91-in. x 1.94-in. -- or roughly 5.7 sq. in).  This works out to roughly 251.2 mAh per sq. in.

Now consider that both the iPhone 4S and the X3 use LG's "Retina" displays (so their power per inch would likely be similar) and the iPhone 4S only has a dual-core CPU clocked at 800 MHz (~43% lower).  
To give one more point of comparison, HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) Rezound has a 4.3-inch diagonal screen (3.75-in x 2.11-in -- or roughly 7.9 sq. in) and a 1,620 mAh batter, which works out to 205.1 mAh per sq. in.  But the Rezound only has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor.
A leaked render of the LG X3 [Image Source: Pocket Now]

It's easy to speculate that the battery life will be relatively bad, but given the low mAh per square inch of competitive Android models, it may just be your typical short-lived Android fodder.

So far the handset has not been officially announced, so price, carrier availability, launch date, and finalized specs have not yet been committed to public knowledge.

LG recently drew attention for its launch of the Prada 3.  Some may recall that the Prada beat the iPhone to market in 2007, and was remarkably similar to Apple's handset in the overall GUI experience, and was the first mobile phone to have a capacitive touchscreen.  LG released a follow-up -- the Prada II -- in Dec. 2008, but the model did not see great sales success.  The new Prada 3 ditches the physical keyboard for a sleek form factor, which somewhat resembles Nokia Oyj.'s (HEL:NOK1VLumia 900 Windows Phone.

Source: MoDaCo

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By sprockkets on 2/15/2012 11:33:17 AM , Rating: 5
Haven't we been over this before that running 4 cores at lower frequencies is more efficient than a dual core at higher freq? This Tegra3 also has a very low power 5th core for when it does nothing.

I just hope LG doesn't screw up the baseband like they did with the G2x (or GX2) for T-Mobile.

RE: ?
By nafhan on 2/15/2012 1:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
running 4 cores at lower frequencies is more efficient than a dual core at higher freq
Technically, you and Jason are both wrong. You can pretty easily come up with scenarios where either a fast dual or a slower quad will win in power usage. Which is more efficient boils down to physical implementation of the SoC (i.e. voltage, power saving features, etc.), and the actual workload provided by software (i.e. threading optimizations, etc).

Benchmarks with actual applications are really the only meaningful measure for stuff like this. That said... battery life on the ASUS Transformer Prime is at least in the same ballpark as older Android tablets. So, you can probably assume the quad core isn't going to destroy battery life.

RE: ?
By B3an on 2/15/2012 1:22:15 PM , Rating: 3
If you look at Anands review of the Transformer Prime you can see that the quad core Tegra 3 is actually overall better than dual core SoC's that are also clocked lower .

RE: ?
By invidious on 2/15/2012 2:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
For hardware comparison you have to assume that the manufacturer is doing everything they can to optomize their platform for the hardware they are using. If they aren't it is the optomization/integration that is bad, not the chip.

This isn't to say that the end user shouldn't care about the poor optimization, but they should be blaming the manufacturer now the hardware. There are cases where certain chips are just very hard to optomize/integrade but thats pretty rare and I would argue is still the fault of the manufacturer for picking it without understand it.

RE: ?
By nafhan on 2/15/2012 2:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, of course. I was speaking more in regards to making broad statements about whether a dual or a quad is "more efficient" without taking other variables into account.

RE: ?
By B3an on 2/15/2012 1:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, as the Asus Transformer Prime has shown, the Tegra 3 is often atleast as good as dual core SoC's as the same frequency when it comes to battery life. If anything it's generally better because of the 5th low power core that activates when the device is in standby.

The only thing that might kill battery quicker is the larger screen. Personally i think anything over 4.3" is too big.

If ICS then why the buttons?
By Red Storm on 2/15/2012 12:05:54 PM , Rating: 3
If it comes with ICS, why does it have hardware buttons? That's wasted bezel, and software buttons make a phone's front look much sleeker.

RE: If ICS then why the buttons?
By invidious on 2/15/2012 2:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a good point, I thought Google was taking a hard line on that. Though it makes little difference as long as they have the bottom button bar dissabled. If not, rooting can fix that.

By kenyee on 2/15/2012 11:32:45 AM , Rating: 1
It's gotta have NFC....any high end phone w/ ICS has to have NFC...

And hopefully it's on t-mobile too...they don't have any 720p phones :-)

By dorisfrench on 2/15/2012 11:37:47 AM , Rating: 1
Now I would just need this cover to protect it and make it retro.

Would not own LG for anything
By cknobman on 2/15/2012 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Every single LG phone I have ever owned (android or not) has had major problems with software bugs and received absolutely terrible support.

By MZperX on 2/15/2012 12:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
camera? Jason, did you mean the "phone"?

Battery Life & Screen Size
By edsib1 on 2/15/2012 3:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
I would just like to point out that there is no direct relationship between mAh and screen size.

So theres no point saying that a battery with same 1800mAh and a 4inch screen, will last any longer than an 1800mAh and 4.5 inch screen.

The use of this to give maH/Sq inch is a completely pointless and meaningless comparision.

Typical Android LTE Fair
By Arsynic on 2/15/12, Rating: -1
RE: Typical Android LTE Fair
By retrospooty on 2/15/2012 10:58:49 AM , Rating: 2
Speak for yourself. I would love to get my hands on this phone.

By Tequilasunriser on 2/15/12, Rating: -1
By anactoraaron on 2/15/2012 12:53:12 PM , Rating: 3
This processor has little to do with the battery life since the Tegra 3's have a 5th 'idle' core. The cell radio contributes a bit, but the main cause for battery depletion continues to be the screen/display. 4.7" display? You can just about forget having decent battery life without having a major battery packed in. And when you do the phone will be thicker, and to some, not as desirable. It's something the engineers need to weigh when designing the phone.

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