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Interface and 3D

Unlike many of the newly announced phones we've seen, the Optimus 3D doesn't run the latest version of Android (2.3) but instead uses 2.2, which is down to LG needing/wanting to tweak the interface - as well as LG's usual style tweaks there's the aforementioned 3D interface.

The screen feels nice and responsive, due in part to the speedy dual-core processor sitting at the phone's heart. Some of the extra finesse that was added in the latest version of Android is missed but this is only fairly superficial stuff and the phone generally feels fast and is packed with all the usual Android features that all work as well as you'd expect.

So what of 3D, I hear you cry.

Well, the glasses-free display actually works surprisingly well. We found the optimal position to hold it for the best effect was a little closer (about 25cm away) than we'd normally comfortably hold a phone (about 40cm away) but not so much that it would be a problem.

Tilting the screen back and forth revealed it to have as narrow an ideal viewing angle as you'd expect (5 degrees or so). However, when tilted to about 10 or 15 degrees the picture reformed giving you at least three zones where the effect came through (one centrally and one off to either side) so you could just about watch something as a group and all appreciate it.

As to the effect itself, it was okay. It worked, you could get a sense of depth, it was relatively smooth, and some of the footage looked downright impressive. Once the sweet spot was found we didn't even notice any eye-strain in the ten minutes or so we were watching clips. However, the same old problems with 3D reared their ugly heads and were exacerbated on this display. Anything moving too fast or too closeup destroyed the effect, just as when the image reached the edges of the screen and stopped abruptly in mid-air.

Likewise, the camera did its job reasonably well as far as 3D goes but as both lenses are fairly generic smartphone shooters, the quality certainly didn't blow our minds.

Nonetheless, while it's true that we're never likely to recommend someone buying this phone just because its got 3D, there is definitely a novelty factor and we could imagine there being some genuine enjoyment to be had from true 3D gaming on the move and reliving last night's antics with an added dimension.

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