LG Optimus 3D – an initial thoughts review

‘Lucky Goldstar’ was established in 1958, then rebranded in 1995 as ‘LG’ where the firm still stands by their original work ethic – ‘to create a ‘happier, better life’. It wasn’t until 2003 that they entered the UK GSM handset market, since then we have seen their handsets evolve rapidly, incorporating chic, stylish and a contemporary look, particularly amongst the ‘Viewty’ series.

This year sees the ‘Optimus 3D’ hit the stores, featuring a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen with an 800×480 resolution and runs from Android ‘Froyo’ 2.2 straight out of the box. LG does promise an imminent upgrade to Gingerbread 2.3, which will help it to measure up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S II. The screen is quite extraordinary, with an ‘autostereoscopic’ parallax barrier to the 3D screen that allows for those third dimensional images to be viewed, without the need for glasses of any kind.

Built-in are dual cameras, set 24mm apart to record at slightly different angles. This allows Optimus users to record 3D video at a 720p resolution, whilst being able to record 2D video in full HD 1080p. The technology used in the LG phone display is quite similar to that of the Nintendo 3DS, in an effort to deliver a 3D experience without the use of glasses.

The ominous and rather obvious question is ‘do we need this in our lives?’, where 3D is far from a new and innovative concept. 3D TV has only recently emerged, whilst still containing a stigma to those antiquated old films with lizards fighting to the death – although it’s shaking that image, with the likes of live 3D televised sports events. Even the most ‘gimmicky’ of products demand a thorough investigation and are often viewed with much scepticism, especially if they don’t immediately impress the potential buyer.

Viewing the 3D effect on the Optimus mobile phone for the first time definitely felt our eyes strain at One Mobile Ring. After a short while we became accustomed to the screen and enjoyed the effect of the icons hovering over the display, as we scrolled through them. This can be viewed by hitting a button on the phone’s edge, prompting a 3D menu carousel to appear before your eyes. It is very impressive at times, especially when the picture you are viewing has some serious depth, although it still feels quite unnatural and fairly migraine-inducing. Thankfully, many of the games and applications have a slider where you can reduce the effect when it becomes a little too intense.

We have always maintained that if you want to take good pictures, you will nearly always be better off with a dedicated camera. There are very good 3D Cameras available on the market today, but understandably some people like the idea of a ‘pocket-rocket’ which will act as a phone, camera and music player and perform all three tasks adequately. As you can imagine, the effect of all this image processing has a devastating effect on the battery life, so expect to charge this phone at least once a day – as we certainly had to.

The Optimus 3D boasts a 3D camera, 3D video and 3D gaming. It’s quite astounding that these features all have suddenly been thrust upon a single device. In the current marketplace, taking risks can be very rewarding, but One Mobile Ring is just not sure if there is quite enough demand for these features at his time, or even in the near future. Having said that, we know that ‘gimmicks’ account for a vast percentage of consumer spending each year, so maybe the Optimus 3D is yet to have its day.

– B

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