LG Optimus 3D Hands-on

LG Optimus 3D Hands-on
3D has been the “next big thing” in the TV industry in the last years, so an interesting question comes to our minds – has the time come to see it in phones? LG definitely thinks so, and during MWC 2011, it introduced its first cell phone to promote this feature - the LG Optimus 3D.

So, what do we need for 3D? First of all, we need 3D content (whether it is video, picture or game), and then we need a compatible screen or glasses to experience it. The LG Optimus 3D has both - it has a camera setup that captures 3D and a screen that displays it so you can watch it even without glasses. So, let’s check it out...

The LG Optimus 3D is one of the top Android smartphones in terms of processor specs - LG claims that its dual core, dual channel and dual memory platform is way more powerful than other “simply” dual core phones. We ran Quadrant benchmark on one of the prototypes here at MWC and it scored some 2800 points. This is not only higher than the Samsung Galaxy S II’s or Optimus 2X’s scores, but it is actually the highest score we’ve seen to date.

LG Optimus 3D Benchrmark:

The TI OMAP4 chipset inside has some tricks up its sleeve, like a PowerVR SGX540 graphics, which are clocked at 300MHz, 50% higher than what we have in the Samsung Galaxy S, thus delivering 50% more performance, and this is clearly visible in the tests - it is faster than even the GeForce GPU in Tegra 2. The Optimus 3D also has 512MB RAM, and it uses dual-channel LPDDR2 memory controller, which speeds up things quite a bit as well. To top it all off, TI makes some of the most power-efficient mobile chipsets, and LG put a standard 1500mAh battery in, so it is obviously kosher with the battery life on the Optimus 3D.

We shouldn’t count too much on the benchmarks, however, as sometimes they may not reflect the responsiveness of a phone. Still, this device sure has excessive power, which we guess is needed for its 3D capabilities.

Speaking of 3D, let’s get back to the screen. It is auto-stereoscopic, which means that you can watch 3D content without the need of glasses. You just have to play a video and it pops out. The first time we saw it though, we were not really sure how “real” this 3D effect is. It reminds of these old stereo pics, but still, it is definitely better, and we can say that it is indeed true 3D. A few minutes of watching and you will notice these cool 3D effects with some objects “getting out of the screen” and staying in front of the others. It’s cool, but we will keep our final judgment on how great this is, until we get to test a unit for a longer time.

One of the drawbacks of this type of parallax 3D technology however, is that when 3D is on, the resolution of the screen drops significantly, resulting in a not very impressive picture. Otherwise, the display is 4.3” LCD with 480x800 pixels resolution, which are some pretty decent specs, but once again, when viewed in 3D mode and in landscape, the effective resolution seems to be more like 400x480 pixels (half the actual width). Still, we remind you this is a prototype and when we test the final unit, our opinion may change (a bit).

LG is using its own IPS LCD tech for the main display, and the parallax barrier overlay is LG's creation too - it can be turned on or off (the UI is plain 2D, for example), or its intensity changed with a virtual slider, depending on the app or menu you are in. There are optimal viewing angles and distance, out of which the 3D effect fades out, but they mostly cover the way you usually interact with your phone, so no complaints.

3D interface is present with the click of LG’s 3D Hot Key, which fires up a carousel with five 3D-dedicated UIs, like Gallery, Camera, Games&Apps, YouTube 3D, and 3D Guide. The YouTube 3D app is exclusive to the LG Optimus 3D - YouTube marks with a small 3D sign its three-dimensional videos, and when clicked, they play in landscape on the phone, with the parallax barrier enabled. Alternatively, the ones you shoot with the phone, can be uploaded to YouTube's 3D channel via the same app.

The other 3D component is the camera. There are two lens on the back with the flash in the middle. If you shoot 3D it will be able to capture 2MP photos and 720p videos; in 2D, it takes 5MP photos and 1080p videos. The front facing camera is not 3D. :)

Turn off the 3D mode and this is your ordinary bulky high-spec'd smartphone. It is 12mm thick, runs Android 2.2 (no info of 2.3 update, but we hope so!) and has a funny LG personalization to the interface. Don’t get us wrong, it doesn’t ruin the experience, but TouchWiz is still better, leave alone HTC Sense.

In a nutshell, this IS the first 3D smartphone. It is powerful. And bulky. We are not in love with it, but having one more “new” thing coming into the realm of phones makes us very happy. Good work, LG, we are looking forward to testing a final review unit!

Related phones

Optimus 3D
  • Display 4.3" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor TI OMAP 4430, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(4.00h talk time)



1. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

It has 4GB of RAM o_0 (Galaxy S2 has "only" 1GB) It's a beast!!! xD

22. bob unregistered

It has 4Gb of RAM not 4GB. for those who don't know the difference between Gb and GB it is: Gb = Gigabit, GB = Gigabyte. There are 8bits to a Byte. therefore 8Gb is actually 512MB of RAM. Therefore Galaxy S II with "only" 1GB has twice that of Optimus 3D. It's LG's way of marketing to make 512MB sound more than it is to fool people who don't know any better. If Samsung did the same they could claim 8Gb of RAM.

23. Marwan

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 08, 2011

Thank You !

2. Allday28

Posts: 337; Member since: Nov 19, 2010


3. oneilmccord

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

4gb of ram is interesting, if not impressive. However, will it actually be helpful when it comes to improving the android experience? I personally don't think so, not with the current OS and available applications. But, then again, higher specs isn't always about necessity, it's also about impressing the customer and convincing them to buy.

5. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

They didn't give 4GB without a reason, I think that whole 3D experience is the reason.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ya, even if u never use 3d, the specs are a total beast. dual channel ram... ya, this phone will be a contender for a while as long as it has proper XDA support.

17. oneilmccord

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Correction: I just realized that it is actually 4 Gb not 4 GB. That means it only has 512 MB of ram.

15. Pant0s unregistered

The phone actually has 4 giga*bits* of memory - 512 megabytes.

4. chinakidoliver.iab

Posts: 75; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

dang it scored higher than galaxy s2 and optimus 2x and has amazing processors i need that but the ony problem is most samsung smartphones come with a app were u can download movies does this have that?

6. MATOZ unregistered

2011 the year of the real smartphone war!!! I think Apple is hiding something really big for the next generation iPhone/iPad after all this smart phones conventions! But this people (LG/Samsung/HTC/Sony/...) get a step forward...now!

7. aztaxia12295

Posts: 272; Member since: Nov 22, 2009

iphone 4 is still bettter than this phone or any other phone on the market. ahh att and apple, always will be the best.

9. Billy55221 unregistered

what a fail comment you just made iphone4 is not better then this or other phones.. please dont talk apply fan boy!

18. wendy unregistered

He doesn't sound like a fanboy at all... you on the other hand, sound biased against Apple. He said "NEXT GENERATION". And he clearly wants the other companies to all come up with great phones. Because he understands competition is GOOD, and being simply pro-Apple or anti-Apple is stupid as a consumer.

8. LXH unregistered

haha you should call the video-call camera is the 3rd camera instead of 2nd :D

10. osanilevich

Posts: 287; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

even after you turn the 3D option off, you still have a well rounded, high end phone which is worth taking a look at (for me its either this or the galaxy s II)

12. thatdude21 unregistered

BATTERY LIFE BATTERY LIFE BAAAAAATERY.................LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13. thatdude21 unregistered

whats that battery drain on this thing? LG is not known for having good battery life for their phones, but they do make some coo phones!

14. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Impressive specsheet. Ugly design.

16. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I am a to each his own kinda guy, but how much is 3D effect really worth here? Nice high end specs, but if the tech wasn't wasted on a gimmick phone, LG would have a top end contender as opposed to just a phone trying to get people to look at it. More power to ya if you want to spend this kinda money on this kinda phone or marry it for two years, but what if the performance is crap?

19. Thomas Flowerchild unregistered

So much info about this phone in this article but I can't find anything about availability of this phone... Does anyone know the release date for The Netherlands, or just the release date for Europe? I hope somone knows :-) Thank you very much! Greets.

20. bros unregistered

hdmi mirroring?

21. lollllllz unregistered

The dual phone! Dual core, dual ram, dual processor, dual camera it has the most porwfull chpiest IOMP4 I think this phone already kills galaxy s2, atrix with the 3D camera and IPS LCD screen and two camera with 1080p@24fps 720p@30fps it's only 5 m pixel camera.

24. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Somehow I don't think this whole 3D thing is going to catch on. Novel idea though, and a good way to separate yourself from the crowd.

25. the man unregistered

is it just me or do they have a mexican revewing this phone whata heck he said

26. lion unregistered

what carrier is it going to the USA???????

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