LG Optimus 3D review: This summer, in 3D

GSMArena team, 22 July 2011.
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Tags: LG, Android, Touch UI

Final words

Like it or not, the 3D technology is entering our world more rapidly that the tech evolution is able to handle. Today we have 3D cinemas, home 3DTVs, glasses-free 3D screens at the malls or even street billboards imitating 3D. Wearing glasses is no fun anymore so weíre glad to see that when LG went on to make a 3D phone, they made it right.

And here we are, witnessing a revolution with the first ever 3D smartphone - the Optimus 3D. Thereís hardly another 3D handset to match its 3D capabilities (even the CDMA HTC EVO 3D). Yes, you surely can find a match or even better smartphone, but not a 3D one.

The one thing that was bothering us during the months between the announcement and the release - the 3D viewing quality - turned out quite nice. The 3D display looks and feels better than the EVOS 3D's and playing 3D content could be quite fun. The 3D tech is not so advanced to work in full resolution or to work for more than one person, but itís still an awesome feature even at this stage.

As far as the smartphone part is concerned - there are probably better performers out there, but none of them has the 3D magic, right? Still, the Optimus 3D is an excellent smartphone, although a big one, and if you could give LG a little time to work on the Gingerbread update (not that the Froyo is bad, it just still fails to properly use the dual-core processors), you won't be disappointed.

The Optimus 3D is being threatened by just one contender in its class - the recently announced and still unreleased (GSM) HTC EVO 3D. Both handsets have completely different pros and cons and it won't be easy to pick one of them right away. Instead of going deep into details, here are two easy comparisons:

LG Optimus 3D over HTC EVO 3D

  • 3 megapixel stereoscopic pictures (the EVO 3D does 2 megapixels)
  • LG 3D user interface - 3D space, 3D guide, 3D YouTube and 3D media gallery
  • Comes with five free 3D games and 50% discount on others (the EVO 3D comes with just one)
  • Clever software adds a 3D effect to regular 2D images and video
  • LG is preparing an update to bring 2D to 3D app conversion right within your smartphone
  • The 3D multimedia and games looks better on the Optimus 3D
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microHDMI port
  • Cheaper retail price

HTC EVO 3D over LG Optimus 3D

  • qHD (540 x 960 pixels) display (the Optimus 3D uses WVGA)
  • Android v2.3 Gingerbread out of the box (the Optimus 3D isnít getting it until October 2011)
  • HTC Sense UI v3.0, but it makes no use of the 3D screen
  • Faster 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM (Optimus 3D has 512MB)
  • Better Android performance compared to the Optimus 3D
  • MHL microUSB port
  • Better battery life

As you can see, the LG Optimus 3D is much better for creating and consuming 3D content than the HTC's EVO 3D, while the EVO 3D is better at doing your regular smartphone heavy lifting. If the 3D stuff is the thing of most importance, then you have no choice but the Optimus 3D. On the other side, if you want it just as another cool feature on your phone - then you should go for the EVO 3D. And honestly, the coolness of the 3D effect wears off rather fast once you get used to it. Not to mention there arenít much ways to share your 3D images and videos online.

HTC EVO 3D
HTC EVO 3D

There is one more thing - the EVO 3D pre-orders are currently positioned at Ä700, which at least Ä220 more than the Optimus 3D. But thatís typical of HTC handsets at launch.

Now let's jump on the more regular high-end smartphones and see what's on offer. In the same price segment you can find powerful smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S II, the HTC Sensation and the Motorola Atrix.

The Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II is an excellent piece of kit - it's powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, the 4.3" screen is a SuperAMOLED Plus and the chipset (that is CPU, GPU and RAM) edges the competiton in most benchmarks. It's also amazingly thin and light.

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II

The Motorola Atrix is based on the Tegra 2 chipset with 1GHz dual-core CPU and has a qHD screen. It has a 5MP/720p camera but itís the extra docks that make it unique, especially the laptop one that adds a full size QWERTY keyboard and an 11.6-inch screen. It has a few things that might turn deal-breakers such as the older Android Froyo, but as we said, it has an ace in the hand with that dock.

Motorola ATRIX
Motorola Atrix

HTC Sensation is the 3D-less sibling of the EVO 3D, but it's as impressive as its gets. Featuring the same hardware as the EVO 3D, the Sensation has better performance than the Optimus 3D. Thereís also the HTC Sense v.3.0 UI masking the Android Gingerbread and an 8 megapixel snapper. It's currently one of the best smartphones out there and costs the same as the Optimus 3D.

HTC Sensation
HTC Sensation

LG Optimus 2X should also be mentioned as an alternative,. It's a lot cheaper than the Optimus 3D and is based on the Tegra 2 hardware.

LG Optimus 2X
LG Optimus 2X

3D or not 3D - that's the question. If the answer is yes, then the Optimus 3D has no alternative for now. The best thing is that the device is more than reasonably priced and offers some really awesome features for the money. Technology is entering the third dimension, no two ways about it. LG has front row seats for the most impatient.

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