Your Digital Companion

Thursday, June 23

Hands-On with the LG Optimus 3D

Optimus 3D

The availability of 3D content is a big issue at the moment so the justification for purchasing a 3D device is, simply put, a way to future proof yourself. Content is however, on an express train to Delivery-town so the wait is not going to be too long. Thus 3D fans will be happy to know that LG’s Optimus 3D smartphone is on its way and should be here in just a couple of months. However, at a recent press conference showcasing LG’s latest line of Smart 3D TVs, I got an opportunity to check out the handset that also happened to be part of their experience zone. Here are my first impressions.

I’ll be brutally honest here - I’m not too thrilled with the design as it’s quite generic as high-end smartphones go. Not like the Xperia Arc or the Incredible S that do have that certain flair about them. The Optimus 3D’s most unusual feature are the dual camera cameras at the rear with an LED flash in between. Touch sensitive keys are located below the rather impressive looking glassless 3D ready display. The 4.3-inch LCD panel features a 480 x 800 pixel resolution with 16 million colors and is as sharp as it is bright. Even in the psychedelic glare of the colorful lights at the display, the screen was easily visible.
At just 11.9mm in depth it’s slim phone but a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at about 168 grams. On the right hand side is where you’ll find a micro USB port which is almost attached to the HDMI out port. 3D content can easily be viewed on supported TV’s or monitors via this channel but you will of course need the glasses for viewing.

Like I said, it might not have a design that you’d go crazy about but its USP is 3D content support.

Products like the Optimus 3D mobile with its 3D rendering capabilities are going to be big when they’re launched. Since the whole 3D bug is already doing the rounds, the superb 3D UI and functionality of the handset to increase or decrease the level and depth of 3D (from every screen be it videos, images or games) will make this a hard handset to pass up. The fact that you have the option of easily switching to 3D and and so easily makes it quite appealing.A whole 3D menu for your viewing pleasure
Playing games like Asphalt 6 and Nova on this large glass-less 3D display was quite an experience. Since you could reduce the level of 3D rendering, it was much easier on the eyes depending on the external lighting conditions. Games and even LG’s own Optimus 3D’s 3D media gallery and 3D UI are already in place for these products to showcase all kinds of preloaded goodies (hopefully). The YouTube 3D app will direct you to all the 3D content available on the web.
Manage your menu, look at all the 3D content
I found the UI to be quite intuitive and user friendly, especially since LG is using a customized interface on top of Android 2.2 (for now, I was assured that a Gingerbread update would be out later, post launch). The menus are set up so that you can create sections like ‘Media’ – with all media related apps that can be dragged and dropped into this space or ‘Business’ or any other section you care to come up with. Their Optimus One and even the Optimus GT540 both feature similar capabilities. Even this prototype was running smoothly thanks to the onboard 1 GHz processor of the Dual Core variety.
YouTube app takes you straight to 3D content
I have to say, watching videos on the large display in 3D was quite comfortable and although I don’t think I’d be too comfortable watching an entire movie in 3D, short clips were quite entertaining. LG has also thrown in Dolby Stereo audio enhancement to sweeten the deal and the handset also supports 1080p video playback with DivX and XviD codec support, as well. With 8GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards up to 32GB, rest assured you won’t ever run out of space for your media.

LG’s Optimus 3D is loaded up with a pair of cameras, as I mentioned. In Standard Definition as in, not 3D, you can record up to 1080p@24fps or take pictures at a 5 megapixel resolution. If you choose to capture in 3D (stereoscopic) the camera auto scales down to 3 megapixels but can still record video in HD – 720p@30fps. From what we saw, the image quality isn’t too bad in both 2D and 3D, but I was told that LG was still working out a few kinks in the camera module and to expect more out of it. Nice!
Dual cameras for Stereoscopic fun

It’s a handset to hold out for. So it’s a bit heavy, I say, no big deal. For the kind of functionality it brings to the table in the form of 3D media and gaming as well as all else that a high end Android handset can offer, it just might be worth saving up for. Pricing was not revealed of course, but I’m putting it somewhere in the Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 40,000 league. It’s a remarkable piece of hardware but my biggest concern is – what kind of battery life will this offer? 
Android 2.2, just for the time being, Gingerbread is on the way
I’m sure you’re all waiting to find out just when it’s getting launched and to tell you the truth, so am I. All I can say is, we’re expecting to see it in the next couple of months, if not sooner. Stay tuned for the full review right here on teCknoHolik .