LG Optimus 3D (Thrill 4G) Review
The LG Optimus 3D runs Android 2.2.2 Froyo with a couple of tweaks mostly on the visual side to improve the experience. We're impressed with the speed of Froyo on the Optimus 3D – virtually everywhere in the menus navigation is fluid, everything moves with instant response, without the slightest hint of lag. With most other high-end handsets running Gingerbread, though, having only Froyo looks like a downside, but LG promises to fix this with an update coming soon.
To get into the home screen of the Optimus 3D, you pull the curtain-like transparent lock screen updated with latest information on messages, calls and your battery status. By default, everything runs in standard 2D mode, so 3D won't really get in your way. There are seven home screens, which you can flick through, but they also support pinch to zoom for an overview and you can pull down from top for the typical Android drop down, garnished with five additional icons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, volume control and screen rotation. Pre-installed comes a beautiful weather widget getting information from AccuWeather and the Social+ social network aggregator bringing you the latest updates from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. A long tap on some of those widgets like Weather and Calendar allows you to resize them which sounds neat, but you actually only get to pick between pre-defined sizes.
Except for those peculiarities, you have the standard Froyo UI, looking much like the interface of the LG Optimus 2X, so feel free to check out our detailed look at Froyo and the Optimus UI.
The contacts application is the standard Froyo address book, but LG had stepped up the game with a contacts widget granting you quick access to your best buddies. A single tap on their icon shows a pop-up menu through which you can call, text or locate the person.
Messaging on the 4.3-inch screen is a breeze with plenty of space for the buttons, so your fingers can type essays worth of text free of errors. That won't protect you from misspelled words, though, as by default the spell checker is turned off. Threaded conversations are also supported, while for emails you get LG's own simplistic interface.
Long hold the 3D button on the right and you fly into 3D Space, the three-dimensional menu of the handset. Bells and whistles or a core feature? It's up to the user to decide, but a carousel of 6 huge icons swirls around with each of the icons unfolding your way giving you a clear sense of the 3D effect. The first thing that you'd want to tap in the 3D Space view is the 3D guide icon showing you the ropes of 3D viewing and recording. Then there is the YouTube icon taking you directly to all 3D videos in YouTube.
3D gallery application opens the world of self-made 3D content. It all works smoothly and offers impressive visuals in two different views – one with diagonally arranged content and the other with a horizontally oriented tiles. Alas, you can't really sort the content as it's displayed in a continuous row of icons arranged by date, but while not extremely functional, the app does deliver the visuals.
3D Games and Apps section, you might wonder. And rightly so – the phone comes with only four 3D-optimized titles. There are three games with slight modifications to fit the 3D concept – Asphalt 6, NOVA and Let's Golf 2. While all those apps claim to be optimized for 3D we saw only a very minor effect there, mostly noticeable in the menus and titles but not so much within the game, making us often wonder whether that's really the 3D we were looking for. Finally, there's also a weird version of Gulliver's Travels, allowing you to scroll through something like a very short animated 3D storybook without any text of the actual story.
Overall, while there are some additional 3D trailers, the Optimus 3D sorely lacks the appealing content that would justify its three dimensionality. You'll have to rely on your own photographic skills using the handset's cameras.