The Optimus series of smartphones has to be LG’s crowning glory. The LG Optimus One provided some brilliant performance for a good price while when it came to the dual-core category, the LG Optimus 2X did a fantastic job too. Then there was the LG Optimus Black that came with style and power to go with it. Now we have LG Optimus 3D, will it be another smashing hit?
The LG Optimus 3D isn’t going to win any awards for being thin. Measuring 11.9mm thick, it really dwarfs the Samsung Galaxy S2 which is only 8.5mm thick. Being fat means more weight and true to that, the phone weighs a whopping 168g which is really heavy when it’s compared to the Samsung Galaxy S2 which tips the scales at only 116g. The phone gives you a bulky feeling when held in your palms too. It’s 4.3 inch 480 x 800 resolution screen comes with a large plastic bezel around it that may at times make you feel like you are holding a rubbery brick. Under the screen are the usual four capacitive buttons just in a weird order as the back button is not on the left, but in the middle. On the bottom right is a button specifically meant for toggling the camera between 2D and 3D modes. Flip it and you will see the two camera sensors housed onto one stylish metallic strip. On the top you will find the usual power button and 3.5mm standard audio jack. The right side is where the volume rocker is while the USB and HDMI connectors are on the left.
These days, if there is a smartphone without a dual core processor, it’s bound to raise some eyebrows. To avoid that and at the same time providing all the processing speed the LG Optimus 3D is going to need, LG has opted for the dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 processor. The phone also comes with 512MB of RAM which should do the job just fine.
LG’s decision to run the LG Optimus 3D on Android v.2.2 Froyo might be such welcome news for many. However, LG expects to provide an upgrade sometime in the future, so let’s hope that happens. Running on the standard Android v.2.2 means you get the seven Home screens which can be filled with your own selection of widgets and apps. Pressing on a widget for long enables you to remove it and on the LG Optimus 3D you can also resize your widgets with the preset sizes. Speaking of customization options, the phone lets you decide what four icons you want on your floating deck too. With the phone comes the ever so cool LG widget, the Social+ aggregator. It’s actually better than the FriendStream tool found on HTC Sensation. You can just click on a tab to switch network feed, or hit some other tabs that provide specific functions for each social stream.
The LG Optimus 3D comes with a 4.3 inch touchscreen which we would say is the standard size these days. The screen comes with a resolution of 480 x 800 thus producing excellent images that are both bright and crisp. Although no smartphone has been able to solve the fading effect under sunlight, this phone doesn’t do too badly under sunlight.
When talking about a 3D phone, the camera performance obviously plays a big role. Since there are two 5MP camera sensors on the back (to provide the 3D images and videos), that is probably the main reason why this phone is thicker and bulkier than the likes of Samsung Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4. Using the Android picture setting is pretty straightforward plus the button on the right helps to switch between 2D and 3D easily. On the screen you will find the zoom options plus the numerous modes that LG has made an effort to include with this phone. The 3D pictures taken on this phone were pretty good. The camera is speedy too as you can take shot after shot in quick succession with minimum wait time. Shooting videos in 2D gives you a Full HD 1080p format while in 3D you only get 720p. However we must say the 3D effect when the video is viewed on the LG Optimus 3D was truly excellent as you can really feel that there is depth in the image.
The LG Optimus 3D’s internet functionalities were amazing. For instance, the addition of a tab on the bottom of the browser which is home to the back and forward shortcuts, and a Tabs button to show all the open windows was one of the interface tweak LG has done to make the browsing experience better. The phone comes with wi-fi 802.11g and data connection support for UMTS, HSDPA and HSUPA signals. There were no issues with the Wi-Fi connectivity as we were logged on for as long as we like without being disconnected.
The LG Optimus 3D didn’t do so well with battery life. The 1540mAh unit, although slightly larger than the a520mAh on the HTC Sensation was a sheer disappointment as it didn’t even make it through a day of 3D use. Even with normal use like updating your Facebook status now and then drained the battery rather quickly. When it came to call quality however, the LG Optimus 3D did well even without a noise cancellation mic on board. The earpiece was louder than normal which is in no way a bad thing plus those on the other end didn’t complain about anything either.
Pros and Cons
The two real highlights on the LG Optimus 3D were the 3D camera functionality plus the new browser that’s a real breeze to use.
However, battery life was a real downer plus the bulky phone wasn’t exactly a plus point. The price of the phone might keep the average Joe away from this phone.
The LG Optimus 3D has definitely taken the 3D without glasses effect to a new level however there are some issues like the battery life that could use some work. Nevertheless, this is a solid phone that you can have if you have some cash lying around.