LG's MWC Booth

Having had a thorough play with LG’s Optimus 3D – the first smartphone to shoot in 3D and with 3D screen – as well as their tablet the Optimus Pad which shoots in 3D I’m definitely feeling a little more agnostic about my technology choices (I’m a staunch iPhone, iPad and Mac user because they make my life easier). So can LG tempt this Apple fanboy away from his beloved iDevices?

LG Optimus 3D

iPhone vs LG Optimus 3D

As we can see it’s a bit wider than my iPhone but of similar dimensions otherwise. When I turned it on the screen was bright and sharp, and the controls responsive. There are a few touch sensitive buttons on the front which I kept pressing accidentally so I fiddled with the phone for a while before working that out but once I cracked up Gameloft’s ‘Alphalt 6’, a racing game much like the many decent 3D racers on iPhone, I was completely taken in by the 3D menus. You can toggle between 3D and 2D any time in case it starts to mess with your head which is handy and in Asphalt 6 there is a slider to alter the strength or I guess you could say depth of the 3D. Having it up full was too much but on a mild setting genuinely added to the game and was impressive.

I played with the camera which seemed as great as any phone cam these days but with the added novelty of stereoscopic vision! You can also record 3D video and upload to YouTube, who began to adopt 3D formats last year, so friends can see your 3D videos at home presumably using current YouTube viewing options like wearing glasses or crossing your eyes like you used to have to do to see Magic Eye pictures.

Pros

  • Sharp, bright screen
  • Big processing power – nothing seemed too much trouble
  • 3D screen requires no glasses and was convincing
  • Shoot in 3D and upload to YouTube
  • Can switch between 2D and 3D with dedicated hard button

Cons

  • Touchscreen not as sensitive as iPhone
  • Touch sensitive buttons on lower front of phone easily to mispress
  • 3D, whilst brilliant, isn’t as easy on the eye as 2D and I personally would switch 3D off unless I was gaming

LG Optimus Pad

My iPad facing off with the LG Optimus Pad 3D #mwc11

This time LG slim down against their Cupertino-born rival with Apple’s iPad looking decidedly hefty against the Optimus Pad.

At the press conference earlier in the day LG made many a veiled comparison between theirs and Apple’s tablets, a key distinction being around the size and weight. The point behind this is that these dimensions make it true widescreen, which is fair enough actually. And having handled the beast, albeit securely leashed to the desk ahead of its April release, I can say that it definitely feels lighter and more portable. Not that I ever get sick of carrying my iPad everywhere, and I do carry it everywhere, but for some people who aren’t so happy to carry a bag (don’t dare call it a ‘manbag’!) I can see the Optimus Pad appealing. Oh, and whilst the LG heads were cagey about price you can be fairly certain it won’t set you back £700 ($1000) like the top-end iPad.

The Pad felt good to use, better even than the Optimus 3D. If you said I had to trade in either my iPhone or iPad for the LG equivalent I’d take this. It, like it’s little brother, has what I can only describe (as I’m not a phone component geek) as a shed-load of computing power and it just feels so snappy to use. Everything happens instantly and nothing feels like it’s straining the inner brain. The camera is a nice touch and the extra screen real estate is used really well for extra camera controls to nail that perfect shot.

Photography with the LG Optimus Pad

There are two lenses on the back and this enables shooting in 3D as well as direct uploading to YouTube like the 3D phone.

This version of Android seems to work particularly well with the Google suite of apps and services including GTalk which allows video chat via the front-facing camera and altogether this feels like the first genuine threat to the iPad’s domination over the tablet market.

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