The LG Optimus 3D can shoot stills and video in 3D thanks to twin cameras on its back, and it can run some 3D applications. Its only rival, the HTC Evo 3D is limited to just shooting video and stills in 3D with no applications support.
The LG Optimus 3D has some other positive features. The 4.3in screen will be too large for some people to reach across for one handed use, but its size and 480x800-pixel resolution means it renders multimedia and text very well. It isn’t too big for the pocket at 128x68x12mm, though its twin camera lenses affect its 168g of weight.
The dual core 1GHz processor marks this handset out as top end, and the on board 512MB of RAM has been divided so that each processor core can access its own chunk. This, says LG, speeds things up, though actually we found the LG Optimus 3D was a little laggy sometimes particularly when responding to requests to run apps. A generous 8GB of internal storage can be boosted with a microSD card.
The LG Optimus 3D runs in 2D mode most of the time. A button on the right of the chassis and a tappable icon can both launch 3D mode. Choose either and you get a carousel of available options: 3D Gallery, 3D Camera, 3D Games & Apps, YouTube 3D, and a simple user guide. The 3D effect is really very good, so much so that someone we lent the handset to felt queasy after a few minutes. You need to position the screen quite precisely for 3D viewing and only one person at a time can get the optimum viewing angle.
While the main cameras shoot at 5Mp, when you opt for 3D shooting the maximum resolution falls to 3Mp. 3D shooting only works well in landscape mode due to the orientation of the two lenses. The LG Optimus 3D can send 3D output to a 3D TV via HDMI. This is an attractive plus point, but unfortunately LG doesn’t provide a cable.
We aren’t convinced that 3D has a place in the smartphone world, though we do appreciate the way LG offers more than just 3D photo and video capture. 3D aside, this is a capable handset, though an expensive one.
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Review from 17/2/11
By Ginny Mies
The LG Optimus 3D is the first smartphone to use 3D display technology. Here's our first hands on review of the LG Optimus 3D.
Like the Optimus Black and the Optimus 2X, which we saw at Mobile World Congress, the LG Optimus 3D is powered by a dual-core processor and a 4.3-inch display. So how does 3D look on a mobile phone? Well, I'm honestly not all that impressed.
3D is slowly becoming more prevalent in other categories, like TVs and cameras, but it certainly isn't a mainstream technology. Fortunately, you don't have to wear goofy glasses to see up to 720p 3D video on the LG Optimus 3D. The affect, however, is disappointing. Images don't exactly leap out at you from the display and the quality is a bit grainy and odd looking.
I do like the fact that you can create and share 3D content. The LG Optimus 3D has a dual 5-megapixel camera so you can capture 3D video, upload it to YouTube 3D (LG also announced a partnership with Google's video sharing service) and share with other 3D devices. You can also hook up the phone to a 3D TV via the HDMI port. Again, though, how many people have 3D TVs?
Unfortunately LG Optimus 3D phone will not ship with the latest version of Android, otherwise known as Gingerbread. It also is not a 4G phone, which is disappointing.
Another strange - and possibly irregular - thing I experienced in my hands-on is that the phone repeatedly crashed. I'd try and open an app, like the 3D gallery for example, and the phone would completely freeze. I'm not sure if this is due to the fact that this was a demo device and a lot of hands were on it or if it was preproduction and unstable. I tried to use another phone, but that one wouldn't even turn on.
Click here for the best LG Optimus 3D deals.
3D technology arrives on mobile phones with the LG Optimus 3D, but the end result is a bit disappointing - at least going by our first look.