LG Optimus 3D review

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

LG Optimus 3D
The first 3D mobile phone isn't cheap

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LG optimus 3d

The LG Optimus 3D is a big, powerful phone. LG's additions to Android's interface are mostly to the benefit of the mobile phone operating system, plus the glasses-free 3D screen is seriously impressive when you see it working in the real world. It actually works.

However, as a smartphone, it lacks the whizz of the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the solid feel of the HTC Sensation, while even LG's own Optimus 2X manages to feel like a classier phone in the hand. If you really, really want 3D, it's a good (and currently your only) choice. But in terms of modern smartphone performance, the Optimus 3D is slightly disappointing.

We liked

The glasses-free 3D images are excellent, both on the pre-loaded clips and movies and the photos you take yourself. Sure, it's little more than a novelty, but you'll be the most popular man in the pub for a good five minutes when you start showing it to people.

LG optimus 3d

LG has upped its game in the Android customisations, with some very nice widgets in here. The Social+ Facebook and Twitter aggregator is a fantastic addition to the Home page, combining heaps of functionality with a clean, stylish look, plus many widgets can be resized in-situ. There's also a useful music player control panel on the lock-screen.

Web performance is excellent. The large, high-resolution screen makes text easily readable, while the dual-core processor flings pages around with ease. LG has also made some nice usability tweaks to the browser interface on the Optimus 3D, with some clever tab management options in here.

We disliked

Despite its dual-core processor, the LG Optimus 3D feels a little sluggish in use. It's not glitchy or broken, but it doesn't have the wow factor of the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the reliability of the HTC Sensation. The camera's quite slow to open, the lock screen takes a while to light up when you press the power button. It's all a bit laboured.

Physically, it's a big, fat, lump of a phone. This is one big-screen phone that really feels its size, coming in wider and heavier than the competition. While the Galaxy S2 and Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc combine monster screens with slim style, the Optimus 3D's a bit of a monstrosity.

Battery life is poor. Even without using much in the way of 3D features, we struggled to get through a whole day of casual use. You're going to need USB cables everywhere to keep this one alive.

Android 2.2 on board as well - admittedly, it's not as big of an issue as many make out, but to not bring a £500 smartphone to market with the latest version of Google's mobile OS is sure to irk a fair few users.


LG optimus 3d

If you're happy to take a punt on glasses-free 3D being here to stay, the 3D features of the LG Optimus 3D are certainly enough to warrant its high price. The 3D video's great, with a genuine sense of depth coming across in the footage.

The worry is, if you take a load of 3D photos and videos now, are they going to be viewable five or 10 years down the line? Or will you be left with a big, undocumented gap in your life, where all your photos and videos were taken in a format that no new devices support?

Also, for those looking for a high-quality smartphone as well as a 3D conversation piece, there are many better, faster, longer-lasting options out there – for less money.

The success of the LG Optimus 3D boils down to how willing people are to pay a premium for its nice 3D features – and whether they are happy to sacrifice style and battery life in return.