3D phones and tablets we have known (but not loved)

3D always sounds like a good idea at the time, but these four stereoscopic devices never managed to catch on.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read

HTC Evo 3D (Sprint)
In addition to the 3D display, the Evo 3D has dual 5-megapixel cameras on back to capture 3D photos and video. Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon's Fire Phone isn't just the e-tailer's first attempt at cracking the rock-hard smartphone market, it's also the first we've seen or heard of 3D on a mobile device in a very long time.

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HTC Evo 3D

Pictured above, the HTC Evo 3D was released in the US in mid-2011, and featured dual 5-megapixel cameras on the back for capturing 3D photos and 720p HD video. Its stereoscopic screen meant that you could play select games in 3D without the need for special glasses.

The theme with all these 3D devices, however, is that photo quality was never quite as satisfying, 3D gameplay didn't blow us away, and general, there just wasn't a compelling enough use for 3D media.

LG Thrill 4G (AT&T)
Similar to the HTC Evo 3D, LG's version featured a pair of 5-megapixel cameras and 3D photo effects. Sarah Tew/CNET

LG Optimus 3D

Known as the LG Thrill 4G in the US and the LG Optimus 3D in the rest of the world, this phone, also released in the summer of 2011, mirrored HTC's. Like the Evo 3D, the Optimus 3D packed in a 5-megapixel camera duo capable of capturing 720p 3D video, and a glasses-free 3D display fit for gaming and viewing other 3D content.

LG's slate brought its 3D experiment to the tablet. Josh Miller/CNET

LG Optimus Pad

Along with its 3D phone, LG also doubled-up on rear cameras and 3D content on a larger device, 2011's LG Optimus Pad (aka T-Mobile G-Slate in the US.) Its 8.9-inch screen and 4G support were bright sides, but the tablet's poor 3D implementation and quick battery drain left us cold.

LG Optimus 3D Max
LG's Optimus 3D Max doubles up on the camera and bumps up the size. Josh Miller/CNET

LG Optimus 3D Max

With its 4.3-inch display and dual-core processor, the LG Optimus 3D Max was a decent Android handset for 2012. Its 3D convenience key, for pulling up apps like YouTube 3D and a handful of gaming titles, was a good idea. Unfortunately, its 3D apps were buggy and bogged down the phone's performance in general.

We'll see what Amazon has in store for its foray into 3D, if anything. At the very least, we know that the company is planning to make a splash with a new device. Join us during our live blog on Wednesday, June 18 at 10:30am PT/6:30pm UK.