Review: LG Optimus 3D SmartPhone

When it comes to televisions, consumers have been less than enthusiastic in embracing 3D, that hasn’t stopped LG from creating a 3D SmartPhone. The 4.3” device has dual-cameras for...

LG Optimus 3D

When it comes to televisions, consumers have been less than enthusiastic in embracing 3D, that hasn’t stopped LG from creating a 3D SmartPhone. The 4.3” device has dual-cameras for taking 3D photos and video and a glasses-free 3D screen to display them. Powered by dual-core processer and running Android 2.2, the phone is fast and features solid build quality.

3D

Not only can you create 3D content on the phone, but you can also watch 3D videos from online sources like YouTube 3D. Of course if your creating content in 3D, your going to want to share that content to YouTube, you can. The problem here of course is that your friends need a 3D enabled screen to view your creations.

Not everyone’s eyes will react to the 3D display in the same way, so LG has provided an on-screen adjustment. Similar to that of Nintendo’s 3DS hardware slider, it adjusts the distance between the two images. Everyone I showed the device to needed a different setting.

It is impressive how well the 3D works without glasses, but viewing angles are incredibly limited. Some situations work better than others. Longer depth photos with objects at different distances works best. Taking 3D photos of a flat surface like a wall is next to useless, just use the 2D option.

3D Gaming on the LG Optimus works well to become a great option for those consumers looking to avoid carrying both a phone and a 3DS. Only problem here is the number of 3D enabled games available is fairly limited.

Cameras

One of the largest photo sharing sites on the internet, Facebook is yet to support 3D, so sharing there or even Flickr isn’t an option, at least not in 3D. Remember you can turn it off and use the phone as a standard 2D camera. At 5 megapixels, the camera sounds good on paper, however compared to the lower megapixel count of the iPhone 4, it doesn’t bear well for the LG. Light exposure is difficult to get right, particularly when your setting exposure levels manually. It’s hard to ignore the HDR feature of other devices and just how much of a difference that makes.

Operating System

The phone frustratingly still ships with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and while LG have committed to updating it to 2.3 (Gingerbread) there’s no official date. It’s ridiculous that phones are still shipping with 2.2 when Android 2.3 has been available to them for such a long time now. Even worse is the prospect of getting future updates.

Availability

The LG Optimus 3D is exclusive to Optus for $0 upfront on a $59 plan or outright for RRP $799. Why device manufacturers continue to lock devices to a specific carrier I will never understand. Sure, there may be an up-front financial incentive from the carrier to get an exclusive, but this significantly limits potential sales. Telstra is Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network provider and to exclude yourself from that market seems like a seriously short-sighted business decision.

Overall

Overall this phone’s biggest feature is 3D, on a hole I felt it was a unnecessary novelty. LG is by no means, the only smartphone manufacturer integrating 3D into their device. If you can forget about the 3D part of this phone, it’s actually a solid device, however the OS issue is something that needs to be resolved.

LG are currently running a competition to giveaway an LG Optimus 3D, just make sure your quick, as it closes tomorrow.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.