With the onset of the 3D craze comes the LG Optimus 3D. As the name implies, this handset is all about enjoying 3D technology at its best.
Parallax barrier display means you won’t need any embarrassing glasses - but you will have to appreciate the display from a specific angle. Enjoy 3D movies on the 4.3 inch LCD screen, and browse the web via 3G and Wi-Fi. If you’re fanatical about 3D, you’ll be amazed by the Optimus; if 3D makes you dizzy however, the Optimus will make you dizzier.
The Optimus 3D is the first of what will most likely be many 3D smartphones. Although only a small number of 3D smartphones have made an appearance worldwide so far, the only other in the UK being the HTC Evo 3D, this could develop into a full blown niche market just as music phones and camera phones did almost a decade ago. People questioned the need to have a camera or music support on a phone back then, but they are now features that are almost taken for granted on virtually all mobile phones.
It is unlikely that 3D screens will become quite so ubiquitous, as it is not quite to everyone´s taste. But as the popularity of the Nintendo 3DS has shown there is a very real demand for 3D technology. The Optimus 3D operates on a similar technology to the handheld Nintendo console, and if you have used the latter device you may have some understanding of what the Optimus has in store. The Optimus 3D does not require glasses as you would be expected to wear when visiting the cinema, as it uses a technology known as parallax barrier display.
This has its ups and downs. The most obvious up has already been mentioned: you don´t need to wear silly glasses when using your phone. The downside is that the 3D effect requires you to look at the screen from certain angles in order for it to be achieved. In other words, the screen will not appear truly 3 dimensional from every angle. Because of this, extended 3D usage, with the likes of lengthy 3D movies, may prove a little frustrating if you are prone to fidgeting about in your seat.
However, the 3D effect can be turned on and off as you see fit, so there is no need to endure an unnecessary extra dimension where you do not require one. It is hard to capture the full 3D effect in images and videos, and so to truly appreciate what´s on offer you would probably need to play around with an Optimus yourself. However, if having a 3D screen on your mobile phone is something you have dreamt about since you were 5 years old you are not going to find anything better than the Optimus 3D (the HTC Evo 3D employs the same technology, albeit with a slightly higher resolution).
3D technology has been around for a few decades but it has only recently been possible to put into smaller devices such as smartphones. The technology certainly has limitations at present, but it also has a certain wow factor that differentiates the Optimus 3D from the plethora of identikit touchscreen phones currently flooding the market.
Even leaving aside the 3D aspect the Optimus 3D is a pretty impressive smartphone. It has a lot of power under its wing: a dual core 1GHz processor, graphics acceleration, 512MB RAM and a customised interface placed on top of Android Froyo. Froyo will be updated to Gingerbread in the near future.
The 4.3 inch 3D LCD screen is similar in size to the screen found on the Samsung Galaxy S2, and like the latter device the Optimus 3D is not a petite phone. Although it can come across as quite large on first appearance you will quickly adjust to the size and forever onwards be wondering how you ever used to use smaller devices. The benefit of a larger screen is that the Optimus 3D is an ideal phone for web browsing, as well as watching video content (in 2D as well as 3D).
As for web browsing, the Optimus includes excellent 3G and Wi-Fi support, with the latter including DLNA. With DLNA you can connect the phone to other wireless devices to share music, videos and photos – either to or from your phone. As well as this, the Optimus 3D comes with an HDMI port so that it can be connected to a TV, and if you own a 3D television you can watch 3D movies stored on your phone through the comfortable viewing of a larger screen.
The Optimus features the usual set of excellent Android features including great media support, YouTube, social networking and of course plenty of games and apps from Android Market. The only other thing left to mention is the Optimus´ dual 5 megapixel cameras. These can record full HD 1080p videos in 2 dimensions but can also record 720p in 3D. The only other phone that can do this is HTC´s 3D offering. Along with this the cameras can capture stereoscopic images (3D images).
While the 3D technology may still be in its infancy when it comes to handheld devices such as the Optimus, it is certainly something of great interest. The Optimus is one of just two smartphones available in the UK to come with such a feature and is equally matched with its only other rival. 3D is surely going to be the next big craze in the coming year and the Optimus is the phone that kicked the whole thing off. Even ignoring the 3D prowess of the Optimus 3D the phone remains an excellent smartphone in its own right, offering all of the best Android features and a high amount of hardware power.