LG Optimus 3D Overview

LG Optimus 3D Review

One of the hottest trends of the year has been 3D technology, and it was merely a matter of time before it transitioned to smartphones. With the Optimus 3D Android phone, LG has introduced the world's first glasses-free handset, enabling users to snap photographs and record videos in full 3D, playing them back on the Optimus' lustrous 4.3 inch qHD display.

The 3D effect is made possible by employing what LG has labelled a tri-dual setup, encompassing a dual-core processor, dual cameras and dual channel memory to form the engine that powers its 3D technology. As a result, the bestial specifications come with an equally imposing price tag, with SIM-free prices starting at approximately £500 and tariffs being charged at £35 per month. Nevertheless, the price for early adoption is bearable given the impressiveness of the technology, as photos and videos are given a depth and clarity never experienced before.

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A Guide To The LG Optimus 3D Android Phone

At first glance the Optimus 3D is fairly unremarkable, with an uninspired design and plain black bezel. A behemoth inside and out, it weighs 6 ounces and measures at a hefty 5 x 2.6 x 0.47 inches. The rubber backing adds support and grip, and the 4.3 inch screen is large enough to take advantage of Android's many touchscreen features.

Below the screen are four capacitive touch buttons, with the curious decision to place the Home and Back buttons place in the middle, as opposed to the more ergonomically sound corners. Furthermore, the buttons only light up when touched, which defeats the point of having backlit buttons. In place of a camera shutter button, the Optimus 3D is fitted with a 3D hot key allowing users to quickly switch between 2D and 3D and access 3D designated menus.

Another interesting decision was the choice of Android 2.2 Froyo over the 2.3 Gingerbread. As a less efficient operating system, Froyo is slower and consumes more battery life. However, LG has indicated an update to the Gingerbread software will be coming soon. Currently, the system is similar to the stock Android 2.2 interface with a few changes overlaid by LG.

A slick looking lock screen and easy to navigate home screens are combined with a deluge of intuitive widgets. Contacts and social networking circles are simple to integrate. There is still a dearth of 3D content, although this too may be expanded upon as the technology becomes more prevalent.

As far as performance, the LG Optimus 3D may be a bit overkill for 2D applications, but is necessary to render high definition video and images in 3D. In fact, the dual-core 1GHz ARM processor is capable of playing video at full 1080p in 2D and 720p in 3D. It comes equipped with a separate 304 MHz GPU and 512 MB of RAM. The two 2.5 megapixel rear cameras are joined by a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calling.

The 3D effect is achieved by using parallax barriers that creates a stereoscopic image, removing the need to wear special glasses. What results is an image that is similar to peeking inside a diorama. Rather than leap out of the screen, the images are given depth. Unfortunately, the limitations of the technology forces users to view the objects from a specific position to maintain the intended effect. The LG Optimus 3D also features a carousel of three dimensional icons that are visually stunning but provide no practical application.

Features and Specifications

  • Android 2.2 Froyo Interface
  • 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor
  • 304 MHz PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 8 GB internal memory with 32 GB microSD removable storage
  • 1500 mAh Lithium-ion battery
  • Dimensions: 5.0 x 2.6 x 0.47 inches
  • Weight: 6 oz
  • Dual 5.0 MP rear-facing cameras, 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 4.3 inch display at 256 ppi qHD Super-LCD and Autostereoscopic 3D
  • 480 x 800 resolution

As the first 3D capable Android phone, the LG Optimus 3D will be attractive to early adopters wishing to sample the new technology. However, its impressive technical specs will also make it one of the more powerful 2D handsets on the market. With competition currently sparse, ultimately the question is not whether the Optimus is a quality handset, but whether this form of 3D itself is enough to warrant the additional cost.

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LG Optimus 3D User Reviews

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