LG Optimus 3D review
|Review: July 2011|
In a nutshell: The LG Optimus 3D is the world's first 3D phone with a glasses-free 3D display.
If there's one thing you can rely on in the ever-changing technology landscape, it's this: if a new gimmick is available, it'll be LG at the front of the queue offering it to its customers. And the LG Optimus 3D is the world's first glasses-free 3D phone. But one person's gimmick is another's cutting-edge, so let's suspend any scepticism until we've given the phone a fair trial.
Let's get straight to the meat, because the Optimus 3D is all about 3D. We've watched 3D movies at the cinema, we've played 3D games on the Nintendo 3DS, and some lucky people have watched 3D at home on their brand new TV's. Yes, 3D is all the rage, and now that stereoscopic glasses-free displays are available it makes sense to include them in mobiles. 3D imagery needs some hefty processing power, but the Optimus 3D comes with a dual core processor and a new dual memory architecture, so speed is not a problem. The 3D effect is surprisingly good, although viewing angles are narrow so you need to be looking directly at the screen. But what exactly can you view in 3D? Firstly there are games. They're fun and they're 3D - what more do you want? There aren't many at the moment - Nova, Gulliver's Travels, Asphalt 6, Lets Golf 2 - but more will come. Next there are youtube clips. Again, not many yet, but this will certainly grow with time. This is cutting edge, remember? Finally, there's content that you create yourself. That's right - the Optimus 3D has a 3D camera. Now that's starting to get impressive. Two 5 megapixel cameras work together to record images and videos that can be viewed on the 3D screen or uploaded to another device that supports 3D. The wow factor is beginning to appear.
One thing's for sure though - this is LG's most costly phone, even beating the LG Optimus 2X in the expensive stakes. But there's a good reason for that. The Optimus 3D comes with everything. In addition to the 3D stuff, it's a seriously powerful device with its "tri dual" architecture, its huge 4.3 inch display, and Full HD 1080p video recording (720p HD in 3D mode).
It's a hefty phone, although quite slim, but a lot of tech has been packed inside the covers. Style-wise it's a bit of a slab, but you can't call a phone this thin a brick. More like a slate perhaps. At 168g it's a very heavy phone, although there are many smartphones in the "very heavy" category these days, including the best-selling HTC Desire HD, so presumably that's not too much of a problem.
Like the Optimus 2X, the Optimus 3D runs Android 2.2, although an update to 2.3 should become available in due course. In our Optimus 2X review we discussed LG's Android modifications, which include home screen customisations, clock and weather widgets, social media feeds and other tools. These are all well implemented, and of course with such a fast processor, the user interface is very responsive. Android is still our favourite mobile OS and there are now over 150,000 apps available for download.
Web browsing is good on the Optimus 3D. We love the big screen. We love the Flash support. We love the fast HSPA implementation supporting downloads of up to 14.4 Mbps, plus Wi-Fi for even faster data access.
We also love the GPS feature with the latest Google Maps.
Connectivity is outstanding. In addition to 3G HSPA and Wi-Fi, the Optimus has Bluetooth, USB, a 3.5mm headphone connection and a HDMI port. Memory is generous, with 8GB supplied and the potential to add a 32GB microSD card if more is needed.
The battery has a huge 1500mAh capacity, but the onboard tech has an insatiable appetite for power, and even this mammoth battery can't last much longer than a day or so. You'll probably find yourself charging the phone every day. Perhaps more often than once.
We debated for ages about what rating to give the Optimus 3D. In the end we've gone for 4 stars. This device is a seriously impressive smartphone. Features such as 1080p full HD video recording, a 4.3 inch display, and masses of memory and connectivity cannot be ignored. And the icing on the cake is the 3D, which works very well. But we can't ignore the poor battery life, the size and weight, and the fact that it lacks the latest release of Android. It's an excellent phone, but not perfect.
LG Optimus 3D features include:
- 2x5 megapixel stereoscopic camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 1080p Full HD video recording plus secondary VGA megapixel front camera for video calling
- Display: 3D capacitive TFT touchscreen with multi-touch zooming, 480 x 800 pixels (4.3 inches)
- GPS receiver with digital compass, Google Maps and Google Navigation
- Media player
- FM radio
- Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Google Talk (Instant Messaging)
- Ringtones: AAC(+/++), MP3, WMA, polyphonic ringtones
- Internet: Web browser with Flash support and YouTube app
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI, DLNA
- Memory: 8GB plus microSD memory card slot (up to 32GB)
- Vibration alert
- Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), WCDMA (900/1900/2100 MHz), GPRS, EDGE, HSPA 14.4/5.76 Mbps
- Size: 128 x 68 x 11.9 mm
- Weight: 168g
- Battery: 1500 mAh
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LG Optimus 3D user reviews
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Average rating from 12 reviews:
Reviewed by Jon from UK on 2nd Feb 2012
The review needs updating since 2.3.5 GB update, lots of improvements, great device.
Reviewed by LUKE from wales on 14th Jan 2012
very very very good phone if i had to choose from this phone and the samsung galaxy 2 i wouldnt be able too.....thats why i bought BOTH of them, but the LG is a much better 3D phone than the HTC 3D SO BE WARNED
Reviewed by Lam Richard Charley from Southern Sudan on
10th Dec 2011
Its a nice phone with brilliant features.One thing I need to point out is its battery life is too short that it renders the phone of little use.Please improve on the battery.
Reviewed by Donald from Zimbabwe on 7th Nov 2011
I have had this phone for a about a week now and I must say it's functionality is really great and the 3D has rocked my world. My whole family and workmates enjoyed it. I can multi task quite well. It's speed is very even with lots of tabs running on the browser. However, the battery life is just a shock. I see no way that many mobile users can jump at this phone given such a limitation. I think I'll try EVO 3D for a better experince.
Reviewed by graham from england on 19th Sep 2011
Quite pleased with it. The one I got keeps turning itself off. Possibly a bad unit as I'm not seeing other posts about it. See how it goes with another one. 3D rocks. It even adds 3D to 2D movies. Giving it a low score due to reliability issue but I expect it to change when it is replaced.
Reviewed by Ram bhao from india on 17th Sep 2011
Reviewed by lucky from garmaney on 8th Sep 2011
Reviewed by Lace from UK on 1st Sep 2011
I've had this phone for over a month now and in general, I am pleased with its speed and functionality. I never tire of looking at the 3d effects as they really are fantastic! But, after coming off the galaxy s I have to say I am amazed at how poor the battery life really is! Im talking charging twice a day here! I really cant see how anyone can get through the day with only moderate usage and charge less than that. At the moment I am carrying two batterys just to get through the day! Would be the greatest but for the shockingly poor battery life.
Reviewed by C'waz from Bepal on 27th Aug 2011
Waste of money
Reviewed by ian from uk on 27th Jul 2011
what a phone. 3d videos,games and photos are amazing. what a talking piece with your friends.
Reviewed by David from UK on 19th Jul 2011
Fantastic phone. You've knocked a star off for poor battery though? It's a bigger battery than the DHD - is it really that much worse? ... how can it be worse?
Reviewed by scullninio from engalnd on 19th Jul
best phone ive owend, i took out a new contract just to get it. people complain about the 3d viewing, ive had no problems with it, you can also turn it off if ya get headaches. androids far better than ios, sooo much ya can do with it.