Review Box

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LG’s Glasses-Free 3-D Phone [MWC 2011]

Unlike its underwhelming Optimus Pad tablet, LG’s Optimus 3D cellphone is rather impressive. Its 4.3-inch screen is capable of displaying 3-D without the need for a pair of 3D glasses.
The Optimus runs Android 2.2 (which is user-upgradeable to 2.3), and the screen runs at 480 x 800 resolution. This is, according to the rather hopeful person who wrote the spec-card that accompanies the phone, enough for 1080p video. To be fair, this more likely refers to the HDMI-out capability, which will deliver 3-D video at 720p and regular 2-D at 1080p.
3-D images can be captured via the pair of cameras on the back, just like the Optimus Pad, but you can also view it right there on the phone. The display works a lot like the Nintendo 3DS, using lens-based trickery to send different images to each eye. The effect is surprisingly convincing, although it oddly seems to make the screen seem smaller. While I can become engrossed in a movie on an tablet set a few feet in front of me, to the extent that I forget I’m looking at such a small screen, the 3-D display is looked at, rather than looked into. Still, the 3-D-ness is convincing, and it will surely be great for gaming.
When looking at the screen from anywhere but close up, it looks like one of those novelty lenticular postcards from a museum gift-shop. This worried me for a moment, but it only happens in 3-D mode. When you return to normal phone use, the screen looks no different from any other.


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