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LG Optimus 3D review

LG Optimus 3D review
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Retail Price: RM 1,610
AP Price: N/A
LG Optimus 3D - The world's first full 3D experience phone will give users the ability to view and create 3D content that can be immediately viewed on the phone's glasses-free 3D display. The phone packs a 1GHz OMAP4 dual-core processor, a dual-lens 8MP camera, and a 4.3″ (800 x 480) touchscreen, HDMI output, and DLNA support for easy sharing of multimedia content.
Review On : LG Optimus 3D

by Jonathan Cheah

At A Glance:
Local Distributor: LG Malaysia
+ 3D record and playback
+ HSDPA capable
+ HDMI capable
+ 5MP main cameras, 3D capable
- Froyo
- Big and heavy

03 September 2011 – The LG Optimus 3D is the first in a new niche segment of 3D phones. Another of which is the HTC Evo 3D, also launched at the same time and directly competing with the LG Optimus 3D.


These two 3D phones are Android devices, and they work just like any other Android device in its class, save for the fact that there is a small subsection which allows you to access 3D content such as photos, videos and games. Of course, with 3D content being a fairly new category, you would have to create much of the 3D content yourself.

The LG Optimus 3D has a dual-core processor, a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 running at 1 GHz. It is using the slightly outdated Android 2.2 (Froyo) in a time when most other devices are announced with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

In the box
Transceiver unit
1 standard battery
Charger set

Exterior, Controls and Screen

The LG Optimus 3D is indeed a humongous device. At least for this day and age, it outweighs and outsizes competing devices. That is what you get to carry around in return for a huge 4.3-inch screen that is great for watching videos and for fitting in lots of widgets on the homescreens.


There are four haptic-response buttons across the bottom of the screen. There is also a 3D button and the volume toggle on the right side of the phone. Everything else must work from with the OS interface itself. However, said haptic-response buttons light up once when the screen is unlocked, and do not light up again until they are pressed. That is to say that you will have to remember where each haptic-response button is located, or else it will be very much a game of “Surprise, you have got the wrong button!”


The 4.3-inch screen is a huge one, the largest yet for an LG phone. The data/charging port is on the left edge of the phone, together with the HDMI port that mirrors the display of your phone on a compatible large-screen display.

The 480 x 800 pixel resolution comes up a little short for a 4.3-inch display. It did not affect the usage of the device very much, but a little more effort was expected from LG for a premium device with a premium price such as this one.

Software, Applications and Games

As we mentioned earlier, the LG Optimus 3D comes with an outdated OS, although not by very much. Android 2.2 (Froyo) is still fairly decent but the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) would have been a great plus point for the LG Optimus 3D.

The upside of this is that the tuning of the Android 2.2 OS to the hardware is done fairly well. Apart from the occasional system freeze, the LG Optimus 3D was fairly reliable for the most part.

Thank goodness that LG decided to take out the large amount of bloatware that we found on the Optimus Black. This one was a lot better. The top half of the menu is for 3D-related applications. Next comes the main menu with the built-in applications. Anything else you install will show up in a separate section at the bottom of the entire menu section.

The usual PIM services of Clock, Notes and Calendar supplement a Polaris Office Suite that tried to go to some website and download something. Being a Google phone, Youtube, Facebook and Gmail shortcuts were all there. So is a GPS application.


There are three 3D games in the phone. Actually, they are all placeholders and require downloading the actual game files from an Internet connection. The games are Let’s Golf, 2, Asphalt 6 and Nova and the first two require something like an additional 700MBs of data before it will work. There is also a Gulliver’s Travels picture book that will have to do for the 3D demonstration until you get that large amount of data downloaded for the games.

We were told to go get our 3D fix on LG world. LG World is a website that supposedly supports a lot of 3D content, primarily for LG phones. At the time of writing, the LG World website was a poor experience. Navigation was difficult and the site was slow. Let’s see some improvement there before I can recommend buying a 3D phone.


The storage is fairly decent. Apparently, 1 GB is allocated to applications. Another 7 GB is for all the 3D junk that you will be filling the phone with. Slot in a 32 GB microSD card and you will have something like 40GBs at your disposal. There was a time not too long ago when laptops only came with 40GB drives.

Camera, Video and Audio


The main camera on the LG Optimus 3D is 5-megapixels, just like with the LG Optimus Black. Unlike the LG Optimus Black, this time around LG does not say how much the front-facing camera is rated. But it does not look like the LG Optimus 3D has outdone the 2-megapixel rating given to the front-facing camera of the LG Optimus Black.



The video playback and recording is something of note, particularly because this is a 3D phone. Supposedly, the 3D video records at 720p. This is also what is claimed by the HTC Evo 3D. However, there were some allegations of over-estimation by both manufacturers. To put it in simple terms, the manufacturers’ method of calculating 720p for the 3D video did not agree with another method of calculation. We can tell you that either method will give you a headache from staring at the screen for too long.

The video playback was fairly good. The device played back a few MP4 files without complaining. The volume was a little too soft but using earphones solved the problem and gave you a much better surround sound effect anyway.

Internet Connectivity

This is a HSDPA 14.4 Mbps device. It also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, tri-band UMTS / 3G and quad-band GSM. Bluetooth 3.0 is supported and the microUSB plugs into a computer and auto-syncs your data if you want it to, just like any other Google Android device.

Editor’s Opinion

The LG Optimus 3D impresses very much. There has been very little change in the world of handsets over the last five years or so. True, the cameras get better, the processors get faster and the storage capability increases. But there has been precious little to excite one who plays with such toys every day for a living.

The innovative 3D section of the phone was a breath of fresh air. It was really long overdue. Although the 3D is only a small part of the phone and its contents come under the 3D category, the end result was still a lot better than what I first thought when reading about a 3D phone.

It is quite a leap when you consider that the next step in video technology for phones might well be the holographic projector used in Star Wars movies.

Conclusion: The wow factor of 3D content justifies giving this one a second, even a third look.

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