Review: The LG Optimus 3D – nice phone but our poor little eyes can't deal with the third dimension

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I’ll say it straight out – I’m not convinced by 3D cameras or 3D screens. I liked watching Avatar and of course 3D cameras were involved there, but outside several select films in the cinema I find the technology to be more hype than performance. More ow than wow. My eyes are naturally squinty and 3D screens just send my optic nerves into spasms as they try to compute what is real, and where those real bits are. Kind of like a rollercoaster, it’s fun for 2 minutes and then you start regretting your lunch and clutching your head.

Enough of me moaning about my eyes. Suffice to say that when I was given the LG Optimus 3D to review, I was coming from a position of prejudice.

But you know what – I kind of liked it. With a few reservations. Read on to get my verdict.

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Good Points
> Pleasant to use. The screen is big, bright and attractive. At 4.3 inches there’s a lot of it, and it’s nice for photos and film. The capacitive touch screen is responsive, and the backlit buttons flush with the screen at the bottom of the phone have a little buzz of haptic feedback when you touch them. I like that.

> Okay – that 3D does have a wow factor. If you get your head in the right place and concentrate, it really does look like there’s depth behind the screen. It is kind of amazing. It’s got a “wow” out of everyone I’ve shown it to. It’s fun for games, but best for your own videos where suddenly your friends pop out of the screen all glossy and 3-dimensional. Maybe there is something in this 3D lark.

> Fast. A racy dual-core 1Ghz chip speeds through any command you give it. Apps open instantly and the 3D film streams very quickly.

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Bad Points

>Battery – of course the battery was going to be bad – powering that big bright screen and processing 2 streams of film footage. But any 3D play takes a serious toll on the power and this blew the battery out in less than a day for me, without me even using much beyond email and some camera work. That’s a pain.

> 3D viewing doesn’t work if your hand is moving. Don’t even think about playing a 3D game in a jolting bus – you will do your head in. This limits how useful the games centre is.
You need to keep your head in an optimal place too, meaning that only one person can view the screen at at time, and that you need to hold your phone up in front of your face.

> 3D filming doesn’t work if your subject moves fast. If someone moves slowly into the picture, this works pretty sweet. Anything fast makes the camera jump and you get doubled-up images.

> Phone is big. Some people don’t mind this, but you’d struggle to fit it into your jeans.

Conclusion
A nice solid Android smartphone with the 3D camera being the blow-out feature. Is it worth it? Umm there’s a serious ooh factor to the 3D. But bear in mind, that while you can watch your videos back on the device you’ll need a 3D TV to view them on anything else (it has a mini HDMI port). The 3D is still a gimmick, but admittedly quite a beautiful one that really brings videos of friends and family to sharp vivid life.
Up to you if you want to pay extra for that.

Key specs:
4.3-inch LCD screen
480 x 800 screen resolution
Capacitive touchscreen
Glasses-free 3D effects

128mm long x 68mm wide x 11.9mm thick
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
Pair of 5 megapixel stereoscopic 3D cameras
Built-in speakers

1GHz dual-core ARM chip
Micro SD card for additional storage
Android 2.2

Sold as the Thrill 4G in the US

£422 on Amazon
Available from £30 a month on contract, see Carphone Warehouse

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About the Author

Anna Leach





Anna LeachReview: The LG Optimus 3D – nice phone but our poor little eyes can't deal with the third dimension
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    The LG Optimus 3D is certainly a powerful and full-featured phone. It’s got a dual-core 1GHz processor, 8GB of internal storage, 1500mAh battery, and, of course, stereoscoping 5MP rear-facing cameras.

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