LG announces world's first 3D smartphone

LG announces world's first 3D smartphone

The Optimus 3D marks a milestone in the life of 3D, but we're dubious about whether it's a relevant one.

LG has just marked a new milestone in the world of the third dimension, introducing the world's first 3D smartphone. Called the LG Optimus 3D, the device is based on a 3D lentiucular screen, which generates a 3D effect without the need for glasses.

This method of creating a 3D image is similar to that used by the forthcoming Nintendo 3DS console, and while it can’t make images appear to pop out of the screen, it does add a degree of depth to images.

The phone will also come equipped with a pair of cameras, enabling you to take and view 3D images and video on the phone. However, we’re not sure what would happen if you wanted to share your video with someone unequipped with a similar 3D smartphone.

To power all this 3D finery, the phone comes equipped with a 2GHz dual-core processor. It's also the first phone we've seen that takes advantage of a technology you may be more used to seeing on desktop PCs - dual-channel memory. LG claims that this enables the Optimus 3D to deliver framerates and performance above that of its competitors, even when using its 3D technology.

However, while this all sounds very flash, it's also difficult to get excited by it. We've been fairly outspoken in our distrust of 3D technology here at bit-tech. We've tried the offerings from all the major players in the area and been consistently unimpressed by nearly everything we've seen.

LG appears to be aiming the Optimus 3D squarely at early adopters and mobile gaming enthusiasts, but is 3D gaming on the move too big a leap? Is there even any need for a 3D mobile phone? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Mattmc91 15th February 2011, 13:29 Quote
I'd estimate around 25 minutes battery life unless you have to lug around a car battery with you :P
GravitySmacked 15th February 2011, 13:30 Quote
I'll be honest and say I just don't see the need for a 3D smartphone. Saying that I'm not particularly interested in 3D TV, gaming or cinema.
Mraedis 15th February 2011, 13:31 Quote
Don't be ridiculous, I'm sure you'll have a full hour of 3D recording fun. :o

That being said, I do wonder whether it will be blurry 3D videos like the ones you shoot with all the cameraphones right now.
mi1ez 15th February 2011, 13:41 Quote
What OS? Will they be doing a 2D version? This looks like a load of balls to me!
mclean007 15th February 2011, 13:48 Quote
the device is based on a 3D lentiucular screen, which generates a 3D effect without the need for glasses..., and while it can’t make images appear to pop out of the screen, it does add a degree of depth to images.
Care to elaborate on that statement? A lenticular screen produces a stereoscopic image by presenting a different image depending on viewing angle. It's very sensitive to viewing angle (hence why it's much better suited to a personal device like a phone - which is most likely to be viewed by one person, straight on, from a limited range of distance - than a TV which is likely to be viewed from a much wider range of positions), but provided you're in the "sweet spot" (or one of several sweet spots) your left and right eyes should see different images and you should get a true stereoscopic image, so why can't it make images appear to pop out of the screen?
niro 15th February 2011, 14:03 Quote
I really don't see the need for a 3D smartphone at the moment, maybe when the technology has improved and truly is amazing 3d then might be an interesting gimmick to have.
For people who do everything, and i mean everything on their phone, it might be a worthwhile 'feature', but for most it would be practically useless.

They are just trying to cash in on the 3D craze at the moment, and being the first phone with it, people's interest is peeked thus making it easier to take their cash monies
leveller 15th February 2011, 14:35 Quote
I'm a supporter of all things 3D ...

But this just makes me frown and say 'Why?'
proxess 15th February 2011, 14:39 Quote
Come on bit, you're publishing the wrong news. What you should be publishing is PORTAL 2 ON PRE-ORDER!!!111
Snips 15th February 2011, 16:24 Quote
Watching the BBC footage earlier, it looks like Android but I'm not certain. You couldn't see anything outstanding but the presenter did say it looked ok but the question everyone seems to be asking is "Why?"

The normal Optimus is a Windows Phone 7 or a version of the Optimus using Windows, which is pretty good I hear.

The real question should be "With a name like Optimus, will it turn into a truck?"
Stelph 15th February 2011, 17:27 Quote
I think its running Android, I dunno this is actually the first 3D device that Ive found quite interesting mostly because (as mclean007 pointed out) your face is close to the screen so it is easier to be in the "sweet spot" for viewing the 3D, also with the camera being able to film in 3D and apparently an app that links straight to youtube 3D for viewing videos/uploading your own videos, I can see this picking up a good following of creative people having fun with it.

Just as long as the battery life doesnt suck and they don't end up charging a fortune for it!
Floyd 15th February 2011, 17:55 Quote
Meh, im not buying into this whole 3D hype. NEXT!
Andy Mc 15th February 2011, 18:11 Quote
This has been doing the rounds for a few weeks now. It's only recently that LG made it 'official'.
The OS is indeed Android (there are other phone OSes? ;P ).

While I'm not too fussed about the 3d, unless of course it can play 3d Films. But the rest of the Specs are pretty good however I was under the impression it was a duelcore 1gig OMAP not a 2gig chip?? It's a toss up between this and the LG Optimus 2X which has a tegra 1gig duel core in it.
l3v1ck 15th February 2011, 20:19 Quote
And the point of a 3D phone is?
Boscoe 15th February 2011, 20:22 Quote
Not really bothered about the 3D but the phone looks great.
cgthomas 15th February 2011, 20:42 Quote
but can it play Crysis .......2 ?
mpe91 15th February 2011, 20:42 Quote
Unless LG has come up with some innovative battery technology that provides vastly superior life, this thing is gonna die pretty quickly. And while the whole novelty of 3D on your phone would be exciting for a bit, it's not often that you would be able to take advantage of it. If you were to watch a film in 3D, you would surely want it on a large scale, because 3D is all about the "immersion into the content" and that, for me atleast, is going to be difficult on a small phone screen. And how will it look when you inevitably get a scratch on the screen? A scratch on screen looks terrible when trying to view one image on it....
FelixTech 15th February 2011, 20:56 Quote
While I commend you for making less of a fuss than the BBC, I still don't get why this is even making the news. Stop the press! Toshiba has taken some technology that has already been used elsewhere and put it in a phone!!!

Seriously, this isn't an innovation, it's just applying a relevant technology. I mean USB3 is a good idea, but if I decided to use it for the first time in closely related area (eg printers) I wouldn't expect to make the news...
_Metal_Guitar_ 15th February 2011, 21:29 Quote
This may not be brand new, but it is new for a smartphone. So is the dual channel memory. You can switch between 2D and 3D on the fly, when in 2D you have the fastest phone on the planet (check the benchmarks) and when in 3D you have something that will be good to show off to your mates and potentially something quite fun to just mess around with. I can't understand all the negativity torwards things like this, no one is forcing you to buy it. If they'd released another bog-standard 4" phone with a tegra 2 CPU who would have cared at all then? But no, they've actually added something to make this product fairly unique. Not a bad thing in my opinion.
docodine 15th February 2011, 22:36 Quote
The CPU is 1GHz, not 2.

A dual core 2GHz CPU plus a 3D screen on a phone with a 1500 mAh battery would mean something like 10 minutes of battery life!
ztep86 16th February 2011, 00:21 Quote
I'm not quite sure how this product qualifies as the world's first 3D smartphone. The naked-eye 3D Sharp Galapagos 003SH has been available in Japan for over 3 months. Perhaps they meant to say that the Optimus would be the first 3D smartphone available in the US.
Skiddywinks 16th February 2011, 02:21 Quote
I was just about to post about the 2GHz.
Parge 17th February 2011, 15:48 Quote
Ok, At the moment I´m at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and I´ve been playing around with the Optimus 3D.

Gaming - played some driving games, which apart from being horrible to control also looked horrible. There was a lot of ghosting and when you moved your head the image flickered. Not good at all. Interestingly there was slider so you could adjust the level of 3D you wanted, and if you went all the way down it would snap down to 2D again. Thank god.

Apps - flicked through a couple of the 3D optimised apps provided by LG for demo use, and to be honest, the 3D feature doesn´t add a lot in terms of functionality or usabilty. They do look cool, but that will soon wear off.

Photos/videos - I have to admit these did look cool. When your taking pictures with your cellphone they are usually just casual fun, I don´t know anyone actually into photography that uses their mobile as their primary means of taking pictures. For this then, the 3D effect works well and definitely adds something to the pictures. I think it helps that there is no movement and so the quality reduction usually associated with 3D wasn´t there.

All in all, I think it works well for certain things and I´d pay more for the functionality but 3D needs to be a feature rather than a keystone.
leveller 17th February 2011, 15:57 Quote
Cheers Parge. I think I'll be sticking to the 3DS and my iPhone! :)
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