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LG Optimus 3D

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Engadget Review

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Engadget

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Critic

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User Reviews

70
DrewT
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
80
dd1234321
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
60
JoeLukas
A forgettable product. It isn't bad, exactly, but also doesn't do anything particularly well. - Engadget
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Score Breakdown

 
77
Average user Score
 
70
DrewT
08.14.13
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget
 
80
dd1234321
10.11.12
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
60
JoeLukas
08.03.12
A forgettable product. It isn't bad, exactly, but also doesn't do anything particularly well. - Engadget
 
80
alex161281
05.20.12
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget
 
70
kojak2091
02.07.12
Battery dies quickly, but can be fixed with either an extended battery or one of multiple apps that help you control what is running in the background. Although it's light, it is a large phone. The ease of use varies depending on if you're used to Android or iOS or Blackberry. 3D is a nice touch to pull it all together. Has frequent problems with data networks.
 
80
DaddyBird
10.04.11
The Optimus 3D looks and feels great. It's a fairly large phone and has some heft to it, but it's not overly heavy or unwieldy; it handles very nicely, which is due in no small part to the excellent texturing covering it's back panel. It's the best balance between smooth and grip-able in a surface that I've yet seen on a phone. It has the standard power button at the top, volume buttons on the side and capitative function buttons at the bottom of the screen. I really wish that the function buttons were physical rather than capitative though. I know that all the cool phones are doing capacitive function buttons these days, but my time with the Optimus One confirmed my suspicion that physical buttons are greatly preferable. Oh well, using the Optimus 3D is delightful and natural otherwise. The dual cameras on the back of the phone give it a different look that is very obvious. Included on-board memory storage is ample at 8GB, and additional MicroSD storage up to 32GB is supported.The 4.3 inch touchscreen looks terrific and performs well, with the formidable engine backing it up: dual-core 1Ghz processor, dual memory and dual data channels, or "Tri-dual" architecture as LG calls it. It's arguably the most powerful phone currently available, and it shows in the snappy all-around performance, even in graphics intensive games. Speaking of which, that gets us to the most obvious feature of the phone, the 3D capabilities.Now, 3D is the hot 'new' technology that absolutely no consumer that I have come into contact with is clamouring for, but that every tech company wants oh-so-dearly to push as the latest got-to-have it feature. Like most people I can take or leave 3D, so it was the feature of the phone that I least concerned about. However, the Optimus 3D actually performs its 3D function quite impressively. This is "glasses free" 3D of the sort exhibited by the Nintendo 3DS and others. In appearance, it resembles old-fashioned 3D picture postcards you might have seen once upon a time, but it generally looks a good deal better. It does, however, include noticeable vertical lines when in use and a slight reduction in quality of image compared to the brilliant 2D mode of the screen. Still the fact alone that this screen can readily switch back and forth between 3D and quality 2D imaging is itself impressive.The 3D functionality comes in to play in several functions. The viewing 3d movies and pictures is the most obvious offering, but in addition the dual cameras allow for capturing one's own 3D content. These can also be shared and viewed on other 3D-capable devices. Also there are several 3D games and apps included on the phone as well. The games included are first person shooter 'Nova', racing game 'Asphalt 6', 'Let's Golf 2' and an interactive popup book of 'Guliver's Travels'. I'm not a big player of shooting and driving games, but 'Nova' and 'Asphalt 6' both are pretty impressive examples of what the Optimus 3D can do, delivering good gaming experience and immersive environments. I've played 'Let's Golf 2' on other platforms quite a bit, and find this version just as enjoyable, although I'm not convinced that it benefits from the 3D aspect very much.Included on the phone is 'LG World', an app store provided by LG, listing apps specifically compatible with the Optimus 3D, including some additional 3D offerings. I downloaded 'Archercraft', a pleasant little game involving firing arrows at various attacking creatures, shooting gallery style. It's pretty fun, though it seems odd that the aiming of the arrows is absolutely linear. In an additional bit of irony- and one that may be very telling about 3D technology- it is the apps that present animated 2D images- 'Guliver's Travels' and 'Archercraft'- that seem to benefit the most from the 3D imaging technology, much more than the 3D rendered games.While the Optimus 3D does a surprisingly good job of serving up 3D content, it's hard to recommend the phone on those merits; two reasons loom large for this, the first being that most people don't look on 3D very favourably, as any asserted entertainment benefit is, in the vast majority of cases, accompanied by some degree in discomfort on the part of the user, with some declaring that they cannot bear it for any length of time at all. Additionally, as with other 3D devices, the Optimus 3D itself serves up warnings against extended viewing of the the 3D features it offers. It's a bit difficult to take seriously a technology that by necessity tells you up front, "For your own comfort, please don't use me very long."So I have to say that I like the LG Optimus 3D very much and expect to be very happy with it in the long run. But really I think it should be looked upon not primarily for its 3D features. It's best to think of it as a really terrific and capable high-end smart phone, possibly the best on the market today, that also offers fun 3D features as an entertaining bonus- when used in moderation.Battery Life:I haven’t done and hard scientific testing of the Optimus 3D’s battery longevity, but my day-to-day experience with it has been very satisfactory. I find that it can easily last for a full day of general usage. I do try to remember to turn of mobile data, GPS and WiFi when I am not actively using them, however, on days when I have forgotten to do this for several hours, it has yet to suddenly reward me with an unexpected shutdown; a very pleasing outcome. But there have certainly been days when the battery was down to it’s last leg by evening time.Of course that is for average use; heavier data usage or a lot of game playing will make the need for a mid-day top-up much more likely. Additionally, using the the 3D features consumes power much more rapidly, and playing one of the 3D games continuously isn’t going to last you more than a couple of hours, at best. (But then you should be giving your eyes a break more than that anyway, shouldn’t you?)Overall, the battery life of the Optimus 3D is quite acceptable, even a bit better than I expected for such a powerful and graphics-capable phone. I’ve certainly experience poorer endurance on more modestly equipped phones.
 
100
Softguard
08.22.11
A gadget unicorn - Engadget

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