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3D on a phone? Why yes

LG's Optimus 3D smartphone had CNET apprehensive, but we were surprised to see that the 3D video effect is pretty cool.

BARCELONA, Spain--Yes, I've been pretty skeptical about the concept of a 3D cell phone. But to my surprise, the LG Optimus 3D actually delivers what it promises. It won't be like watching 3D on the big screen--and frankly, there's no reason that it should--but it offers an experience that you won't see on another smartphone.

I just returned from LG's insanely crowded booth at Mobile World Congress where I was able to play with the phone. Since you don't need glasses to view videos or games on the handset, the 3D effect doesn't have the familiar blue and red contrasting shapes that you'd see on standard 3D. Instead, images appear to float slightly off the screen. The effect is subtle, and difficult to capture with a still camera, but it's definitely there. We had better luck seeing it in our First Look video, which will post shortly.

The Optimus 3D also has "3D" menus, where icons almost appear to fly off the screen as you scroll by. Again, it's not something that you notice right away, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Yet, even after seeing it in action, I have one reservation. It does work, and it works well, but I wonder how often I would use it. Since not all options are accessible in the 3D menu, I could foresee skipping it entirely and defaulting to the standard icon-based menu automatically.

That said, I still give LG props for putting the phone together. Hopefully, it will get some carrier love in the United States.

LG Optimus 3D