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LG Optimus 3D - first impressions review

LG's latest spate of Android based mobile phones haven't been able to be defined as flagship, by any stretch of the imagination, as they’ve been mostly budget models and nothing more than that. This was until Las Vegas' Consumer Electronics show in January, where LG brought out the world's first dual-core handset in the LG Optimus 2X. There was also an announcement around the same time that they were working on a 3D mobile phone for the future, although it was nothing more than just something for the future. Two weeks before Mobile World Congress, Lucky Goldstar brought out the news they were unveiling that very handset in Barcelona a fortnight later.

LG, along with the world, saw their very first 3D mobile phone launched at MWC 2011. The handset arrived to much fanfare, although it was slightly over dwarfed by the multitude of mobiles at the event and didn’t have that big of an impact. The Optimus 3D has the ability to capture three-dimensional images and video, which can be displayed on the screen in full 3D without the need for any special glasses whatsoever.

The phone runs from a Texas Instruments OMAP4 1GHz dual-core processor, along with dual-channel and dual-memory that aids in delivering incredible power to the whole phone for the rendering of 3D content. This media is displayed on a 4.3-inch stereoscopic 480x800 WVGA touch screen, with a parallax barrier. This is a device that sits in front of the LCD screen, for delivering the 3D image – by allowing each eye to see a different set of pixels, all in order to create a sense of depth.

There isn’t a great deal of 3D content around at present, let alone for the small screen or a mobile phone. LG has worked around this issue in providing two 5 megapixel cameras for creating 3D media, on the Optimus device. 3D video can be capture on the phone, with no lag experience and the end result has the feel of those magic eye photos, only after all the focussing has taken place.

3D images are captured in 720 HD, where 2D video and pictures are also caught – only in the full 1080 high definition format. The 3D media can be seen on the phone in all its glory, although watching the content on a 3D TV screen will need the appropriate glasses where the delivery is achievable from the built-in microHDMI port.

All aspects of 3D have been catered for on the LG Optimus 3D, with its own 3D user interface for interacting with all the three-dimensional content. 3D space is the name given to this UI, which houses’ access to all of 3D games and apps and 3D YouTube access. There is also a 3D gallery for showing stills and video, which is displayed in an appealing carousel with the same ‘magic eye’ factor.

The preloaded games are Asphalt 6, Lets golf 2, Nova and a Gulliver's travels game – all of which are in 3D. There’s also dedicated 3D button the side of the mobile phone that when pressed transforms the 3D content to 2D immediately, which works the same way with video and pictures too. The phone will be released with Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2, although within time it will be upgraded to Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3.

LG’s Optimus 3D is a very powerful, fast and well put together mobile phone; ignoring the 3D abilities. With the 3D abilities, it does add that extra element and the entire reason the handset will be bought in the first place. One Mobile Ring can’t help feeling the Optimus 3D is a novelty for novelty’s sake, as it both stands alone in the market place alone right now and will been seen as gimmicky device by many. In saying that, we believe it is a good handset that can both create and view 3D media – which no other mobile can today and could very well lead the way forward for similar phones.

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