The LG Optimus 3D's main interface is the Android 2.2 standard series of seven scrollable Home screens, populated with your own choice of shortcuts and widgets. LG's carried out a few customisations of its own, but they're mostly quite clean and simple visual tweaks.
We;re disappointed with the decision to stick with Froyo for the Optimus 3D, especially with the glut of Gingerbread-enabled handsets on the market. However, LG has promised an upgrade, so if that appears in the near future most users won't be affected by the slower operation and less-impressive battery life.
The lock screen enables you to access the phone by swiping upwards, but there's one slight annoyance here already – there's a pause between pressing the power button and the screen illuminating itself. It doesn't always happen, but it occurs often enough to have you questioning if you actually pressed the power button and to make you press it again – relocking the phone just as it was waking up. You could end up hating it for that.
Unlock the LG Optimus 3D's screen and you see a high-res 480 x 800 display that's bright and sharp, with LG's own weather widget and clock set by default to take up the top half of the screen. And it's all in 2D to begin with.
Long-pressing on any widget gives you the option to remove it, while LG has also added resizing options to most widgets. The four icons in the floating dock are customisable, too, so you can have your Optimus 3D set up exactly how you like it.
Widget resizing is a little bit of a cheat, in that it only enables you to cycle through each particular widget's preset sizes rather than pick your own custom dimensions, but it's still a better solution than having to delete widgets and replace them with different versions as you do on most Android phones.
You also get another impressive LG widget – its huge Social+ aggregator. It's a much more impressive option, both visually and in terms of functionality, than the FriendStream tool found in HTC phones such as the HTC Sensation.
It has tabs to switch network feed, more tabs to access specific functions for each social stream and opens links in its own, simple LG window. It's a great widget.
The apps drawer is, by default, sorted by category on the LG Optimus 3D, with a 3D section up the top to remind you why you paid so much money for the phone. Or you can have a more traditional horizontally scrolling page layout, or one big text list.
Press the Manage Apps option in the Menu and the layout is customisable, if you'd rather sort them by colour or usefulness rather than the alphabetical default.
The 3D features are contained within LG's standalone 3D Space app, which pops up a – 3D! Actual proper 3D! – revolving menu containing all the novelty three-dimensional content. Gameloft has pre-loaded three 3D games on here – NOVA, Asphalt 6 and Let's Golf 2 – plus there's a weird 3D storybook version of Gulliver's Travels to look at... for a bit.
The 3D images look great on the LG Optimus 3D's screen, although – as with all 3D content – you find yourself squinting and wiggling the device around and moving your head to get the viewing angle that works best. Incidentally, our screenshots of the 3D features look poor because we're translating a 3D still to 2D. It all looks very nice on the Optimus 3D itself.
But there's clearly a lack of 3D content. LG has put in a link to a 3D portal on YouTube inside its 3D Space, which contains a few trailers from rubbish children's' films and some brief, slow-moving tech demos. You'll be bored of that lot inside 10 minutes. If you want 3D content for you LG Optimus 3D phone, you'll have to start generating your own.
LG's other big Home screen widget is its take on Google Calendar support, with a huge, full-page widget it calls the Agenda. It's a simple interface for the standard Android Calendar, enabling you to schedule events, set alarms and invite people by entering an email address.
As with all of LG's updated Android widgets, it looks clean and is fast to open and use, and offers much better functionality than the Android defaults. Good work.
And look, you can even change the display fonts if you want a Mickey Mouse telephone.