LG’s Optimus 3D stands out from the crowd

Lg_optimus_3d_frontThese days, it seems as if there is a new high end Android smartphone released every two weeks. This is almost true, as nearly every manufacturer seems to be racing to release the next premiere Android device.

However, it seems that many of the phones released have nothing to differentiate them from other manufacturers' offerings except a logo and a skin. And you know how I feel about manufacturer skins.

The LG Optimus 3D shown at MWC last week breaks the monotony by offering something never seen before in a phone: glasses-free 3D. Not only that, LG brings a couple of internal changes to the device that could prove interesting as well.

The concept of 3D on a phone is certainly interesting, and LG gets some points from me for doing something different. But this is a first-generation project, and with first-generation projects something tends to be broken.  

The majority of the spec sheet matches up with those of the newest Android smartphones. The GSM device sports a dual-core TI processer, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi b/g/n, and a FM radio. Unfortunately, there's no 4G or front camera.

The device's real differentiator is the 3D capable screen. The 4.3" display has a resolution of 800×480 and displays 16 million colors, but the real selling point is the paralax technology included in it that allows for glasses-free 3D viewing. Although I have not seen the display in person, the general reaction from those who have seems to be very good. 

To compliment the display, LG included two 5 MP cameras. These cameras allow users to take 3D pictures and video to be viewed on the 3D display. This certainly makes the display a bit more useful, but LG themselves admitted that the dual cameras were included to avoid disappointment at the lack of 3D content avalible.

Another thing included to take advantage of the screen is a custom UI layer by LG. This UI allows users to utilize the 3D aspect of the phone in day to day use, not just for viewing photos and videos in the customized gallery. 

Although I think the idea of 3D on a phone is a good one, there are a few things about this device that concern me. First, it seems slightly behind the times with regard to hardware. It lacks a front facing camera, 1GB of RAM, 4G, and a qHD display (this one is somewhat excuseable).

Also, the customization to Android concerns me. It was necessary for this device, I will admit, but I still do not think it is a good thing. Due to the amount of effort probably required to port the software, updates will likely be greatly delayed or non existent. Hopefully Google will take the hint and make the next version of Android support 3D, but until then devices like this one will be forced to use workarounds. 

I applaud LG for making this device, which despite these flaws is still a solid piece of hardware. I hope it will introduce the idea of a 3D smartphone to the masses despite its flaws. The Optimus 3D is out of the running for my next smartphone due to the flaws, but I will be anxiously awaiting its successor. 

Do you think 3D is mature enough to purchase this device?

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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