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LG Optimus 3D review

Is the world's first glasses-free 3D smartphone worth the premium price?

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

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.

Optimus 3d

And look, you can even change the display fonts if you want a Mickey Mouse telephone.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.37 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time13 Hour
Product ModelP920 Optimus 3D
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)168 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.2 Froyo
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), EMS, Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height128 mm
Width68.8 mm
Depth11.9 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time450 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameP920 Optimus 3D Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Gyro Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberAESPML
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The mobile revolution begins...

LG Optimus 3D P920

The LG Optimus 3D is the world's first full 3D smartphone promising to change the way you interact with your phone. This high-performance smartphone lets you record, view and share 3D content without glasses. The 4.3" WVGA display provides bright images allowing users to view 2D (up to 1080p) and 3D (up to 720p) multimedia content. You can share content on YouTube's dedicated 3D channel directly from your smartphone or share via an HDMI 1.4 connection to your TV or DLNA Certified products.

Limited Warranty2 Year