At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, LG announces the 3D video-capable Optimus 3D smartphone and Optimus Pad tablet.
Kent GermanFormer senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
BARCELONA, Spain--LG had already promised that they were coming, but the company waited until today--the first morning of Mobile World Congress here--to officially unveil the Optimus 3D and Optimus Pad. Both Android devices run on Gingerbread and offer 3D video recording.
The Optimus 3D smartphone builds on the Optimus 2x and Optimus Black that LG announced last month at CES. You'll find a similar design candy bar design in basic black. The 4.3-inch display takes up the most real estate, but four touch navigation elements sit just below.
LG was quick to point out the Optimus 3D's "tri-dual' configuration, which includes a 1GHz dual-core processor, dual-channel and dual-memory architecture. And just as important, the company said the handset can record, view and share 3D content. We're still not sure what to think of this concept, but we'll get a better demonstration of the technology later today.
To record 3D, the Optimus two 5.0-megapixel cameras on its back side; you won't need glasses to watch recorded video, and a 3D "Hot Key" will deliver five 3D-dedicated user interfaces. Video resolution is up to 1080p for 2D clips and up to 720p for 3D.
Other features include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a personal organizer, USB syncing and mass storage, GPS, a music player, 8GB of internal memory, a 1,500 mAh battery, and support DLNA/HDMI connections. The LG Optimus 3D will start a global roll out in Europe in the second quarter of this year.
The Optimus Pad marks LG's entry into the tablet space. It also features 3D recording and video capability (and the two 5-megapixel cameras), but LG appeared to more concerned with promoting the convenience of the tablet's 8.9-inch display. Calling it the "optimal size" for a tablet, a company exec drove the point home by ripping on competing devices (without mentioning them by name) that are smaller (like the Galaxy Tab) and larger (the iPad, the Motorola Xoom, and the new Galaxy Tab 10.1).
While the smaller tablets are just "blown up smartphones," the exec said, the larger tablets are too bulky to be portable. He even showed photos of frustrated users either madly pecking at a tiny screen or being overwhelmed by a large device. Yes, they oversimplified things a but, but that's marketing for you.
The display has a 1280x768 WXGA resolution in widescreen while a 1GHz dual core Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor the Optimus Pad from the inside. You also get 1080p HD video decoding and HDMI support will let you share your 3D video with TVs. Unlike the Optimus 3D, though, you do need glasses to watch 3D video on the tablet. And as part of the Optimus Pad announcement, LG has a established a partnership with YouTube, which will let Optimus Pad owners quickly upload 3D videos for sharing.
The Optimus Pad will begin shipping this spring to select markets. In the United States, it will come to T-Mobile as the T-Mobile G Slate.