LG Optimus 3D impresses the crowds at MWC 2011

LG has officially unveiled its latest entry into the premium smartphone market at this year's Mobile World Congress expo: the LG Optimus 3D.

Featuring a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor powered by a pair of ARM-based 1GHz processing cores and powerful 3D graphics capabilities, it's a beast of a device - and comes with Google's latest Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' operating system under the hood.

It's the externals that are of most interest, however: the LG Optimus 3D's main claim to fame is its 4.3-inch WVGA parallax barrier display, which allows glasses-free 3D viewing using the same technology as Nintendo's upcoming 3DS console.

A 3D display isn't much use without something 3D to display on it, of course - which is why the Optimus 3D includes a pair of 5 megapixel cameras on the rear, capable of paring up to allow the recoding of 3D stills and video.

The 8GB of internal storage is generous, if not exactly capacious, and multimedia stored on the device can be shared thanks to built-in support for DLNA networking or the HDMI output.

Thanks to the TI OMAP 4 processor, it's capable of playing back full HD 1080p content - although this does drop down to 720p if you're playing back 3D content, owing to the overheads of having two video streams.

The user interface has had an overhaul, too - and includes neat features that take use of the 3D display to make things look that little bit more impressive. Whether the display will prove anything other than a gimmick, however, remains to be seen.

The LG Optimus 3D is expected to launch in the UK later this year, although there are as-yet unconfirmed rumours that the European model will ship with the earlier Android 2.2 'Froyo' and require an update to take advantages of the features of 'Gingerbread.'