LG Optimus 2X Is World's First Dual-Core Smartphone

LG Electronics introduced the Android-running Optimus 2X, and its Nvidia Tegra 2 chip makes it the world's first dual-core smartphone. For now, it's Europe- and Asia-bound.

LG Electronics just one-upped its Android smartphone competition with the introduction of the Optimus 2X, the world's first smartphone with a dual-core processor.

Made by Nvidia, the Tegra 2 system-on-system chip runs at a clock speed of 1GHz, which LG boasts enables it to offer "instantaneous touch response," as well as faster Web browsing and smoother game playing than single-core processors running at the same speed.

"Dual-core technology is the next leap forward in mobile technology, so this is not a small achievement to be the first to offer a smartphone utilizing this technology," Jong-seok Park, CEO and president of LG Electronics Mobile Communications, said in a Dec. 16 statement, first posted by the Boy Genius Report.

"With unique features such as HDMI [High Definition Multimedia Interface] mirroring and exceptional graphics performance," Park continued, "the LG Optimus 2X is proof of LG's commitment to high-end smartphones in 2011."

The Optimus 2X will ship running Android 2.2 (or "Froyo"), but be upgradeable to Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread"). It features a 4-inch WVGA (Wide VGA) display, 8GB of memory, a microSD slot for adding 32GB more and a 1,500 mAh battery. There's an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-megapixel model on the front for video calling.

A DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) device, it's compatible with products such as HDTVs for what LG describes as a "console-like gaming experience taking full advantage of the phone's HDMImirroring, accelerometer and gyro sensor." It also offers HD video playback and recording at 1080p.

Earlier this year, LG announced its intentions to overtake Samsung or Nokia for a top-two position in the global mobile phone market by 2012, and with the Optimus 2X , LG may have put itself back on the right road after a few quarters of being lost in the weeds.

During the third quarter, in third position worldwide, it shipped 28.4 million units, down from 31.6 percent a year earlier. This resulted in a 10 percent shipment decrease, putting it far from its growth targets.

"LG has yet to make a significant impact in the smartphone category, unlike its competitors," research firm IDC wrote in an Oct. 28 report. "Although operating margin returned to the same levels as a year ago, sales and profitability both fell significantly."

The report added that smartphones continued to account for an increasing portion of the overall phone market, sparked by the adoption of Google's Android by handset makers such as LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. And, indeed, mobile phone makers delivering popular smartphones were the fastest-growing vendors, IDC confirmed.

Despite the boost that LG and others are receiving by aligning themselves with Android, it was Apple that saw the strongest year-over-year growth, posting a whopping 90.5 percent increase. With record sales of 14.1 million iPhones during the quarter-enough to not only land it among the Top 5 vendors, but to send it past BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion and into the number-four spot-Apple proved that when it comes to smartphones, it's still the brand to beat.

The LG Optimus 2X will debut in South Korea in January, followed by other Asian markets and Europe. The release offered no mention of a release in North America.