LG Optimus 3D Review

LG Optimus 3D

LG Optimus 3D, that word feels huge, right? Well, the device is too. The device unveiled on February at MWC, has its place among smartphones, prides itself to be the first 3D glasses-free smartphone ever released, bet it still is. For those who like viewing 3D and get realer than life view of video and images, you got the device. LG Optimus 3D was launched in Kenya last week and is available in Safaricom shops. This phone promised to deliver a memorable 3D experience, and it delivers. I was at this party last night and fellow bloggers who had a feel of the device were awed. Good graphics.

LG Optimus 3D has a 4.3 inch screen, which to me is the standard size screen, gives you most of the stuff you will need on a smartphone, somebody convince you otherwise send them my way. Add the 3D capacitive touch screen of 16m colours, Corning Gorilla, Gingerbread UI, plus the optional 3D UI and we have a good combination. There are no physical buttons on the front, all the four menu, home, back and search are capacitive touch buttons that become active and light up once the phone is active. A long press on home menu reveals 8 open applications on the task manager, many android devices show 6.

On browsing the applications the list  by default shows three distinct lists of 3D applications, preinstalled apps and downloaded apps. When you reach the end of the list you get a fuzzy glow at the top or bottom, whichever end of the list you are on. I have several games installed on mine, like Lets Golf 2, Gulliver’s Travels and Nova. As I said earlier, I am not discussing my golfing, there is a pretty girl who holds the stick though, and she swings fine, but I refuse to be drawn to this discussion, just yet. Asphalt 6 3D play is just fine, well ofcourse if you have played in in 2D you will get confused before you learn that the accelerometer doesnt work in 3D, you have to use your fingers and touch the direction you want the car to turn, learn that and the experience is fine.

Apart from the Android Market there is the LG Smart world, which has a large number of apps. 3D applications are not many though, infact I only saw one 3D game in LG SmartWorld. Another thing, when you get into the LG Smartworld, there is no option for Kenya in the list of countries, I had to select South Africa as the closest country. There is an icon for 3D games that leads to gameloft wap shop.

LG Optimus 3D music is one amazing bit. The loudspeaker is amazing, and also plugging in the earphones you get a good music experience. There is also a fixed music selector menu in the pull-down notification.

Physically LG Optimus 3D is not really flashy, I mean it looks bulky, is 168 grams and  at 128.8 by 68 by 11.9 mm its slightly larger than any other 4.3 inch device. The back is well designed, but the front isn’t something to write home about, it looks well…er plain. The Optimus Black does better on this front. At the top there is the 3.5 mm jack and the power/standby button. LG Optimus 3D buttons are all flush, well not bad as this would prevent things happening without you knowing in the pocket. On one side there the usb port which also serves as the charger port, next to it is the HDMI out port. That gives you the chance to watch the 3D movies or games on a 3D tv(well, ofcourse that will require special glasses as opposed to watching on the phone).

Right side has the volume rocker which also functions as the zoom facility when taking images and the 3D switch dedicated button. This one takes you to a 3D interface, LG’s own development for this phone, pretty fancy I must say. This 3D button also functions as a camera button when the camera is on.

At the back is where we have the dual camera, one for 2D and another for 3D, operation is switchable during photo taking, you know, on the right where we usually have the touch camera button there is several, the switcher between 2D and 3D, the camera button and switcher between image and video, settings are on the left. Back to the physical. There is a led flash sandwiched between the two cameras. During shoot, by default the 3D mode doesnt have autoflash, you either turn it on consistently from the settings till the image is shot or its off. For touch focus during image/video shoot to work you have to actually press the volume rocker, but when actually viewing the gallery its perfect

Inside the battery cover, you find that you wont require to remove the battery to switch both the memory card and sim card. However, only the memory card is hot-swappable, the sim card will require you to restart the phone. The battery is a 1500 mAh which for this device that requires more power due to the high graphice and 3D  isnt enough. Other smartphones with less requirements have more than this. However on normal use, this phone will last you a day, which rarely happens. You will feel conned of you dont experience all the functionality.

Here are the specs from the data sheet:

  • 3G/2G phone (HSDPA and GSM respectively)
  • Dual 5 megapixel camera with Autofocus and led flash, front camera for video calls
  • Video recording is at 1080p@30fps (2D), 720p@30fps (3D)
  • 3D capacitive touchscreen 16 m colours 480 by 800
  • 4.3 inch screen with 227 pixel per inch density which is quite impressive
  • Corning Gorilla glass (makes me feel safe playing with it)
  • LG 3D UI, touch sensitive controls
  • 8Gb internal, 32GB via microSD
  • 1GHz dual core Cortex-A9 proccessor, dual memory
  • 512 MB ram
  • Accelerometer, proximity sensor and an auto-brightness sensor
  • Data gives HSDPA of upto 14.4 Mbps
  • WiFi 802.11, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • HDMI out
  • OS is Android 2.3.5 (was released with 2.2 froyo, but my piece has 2.3.5, must’a got the upgrade already)
  • HTML and Flash

My judgment is this is a masculine phone, the weight, size and look. It delivers all it says and more. The 3D experience is amazing, though at some point when training your eyes you feel the strain, the gorilla glass makes you at ease when playing with it. As for 5 mp camera, well I have come to get the feeling that 8 mp is fast becoming standard for high end smartphones, but the 5 mp gives quite good shots. Well, I think its worth the Kshs 65000 its priced for.