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Ready to feast your mince pies on the first 3D smart phone? Good, because we've got our hands on the LG Optimus 3D at the launch in phone fiesta Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and we've captured a plethora of images of the new phone in all three glorious dimensions.

LG says "everything will change this year", with a "generational shift" in smart phones. It reckons there are four ways phones will improve in 2011: multi-core, better displays, tablet war and 3D. It has created the multi-core Optimus 2X, screentastic Optimus Black, tablet warrior Optimus Pad and the Optimus 3D to reflect that.

The Optimus 3D is multi-core too, packing a Texas Instruments Omap 4430 chipset. LG describes the 3D as a dual-core, dual-channel, dual-memory smart phone. 3 Ds, d'y'see?

LG says the dual-core set-up minimises the impact on the battery of watching 3D, but we think two processors and high-definition video must inevitably be heavy on the juice.

The Optimus 3D packs two 5-megapixel cameras, 24mm apart, which record slightly different angles to create the 3D effect. The 3D effect looks cool in the right circumstances: we tested it with a skydiving video that saw foolhardy freefallers seem to hover off the screen, and an animated 3D pop-up book that had layers and layers of depth. There were moments when the animated menus didn't quite do it for us, but you can turn 3D off to play the games in two dimensions if you want. 

You can see the 3D video as it's recorded and adjust it on the screen to get the depth right. The cameras capture 1080p video in 2D, or 720p in 3D.

There's also an HDMI connection to output video to your TV. LG has a vested interest in 3D because it also makes televisions, and 3DTV is all the rage right now. Manufacturers see tri-dee tellies as the next potential cash cow -- we're yet to be convinced it's any cop.

3D handheld devices are pretty cool though. The LG Optimus 3D joins the Nintendo 3DS portable games console and Fujifilm Finepix W3 3D, as well as the 3D Optimus Pad tablet in putting glasses-free 3D in your pocket. The Optimus 3D will arrive in Europe in May.

Update: T-Mobile has announced it too will offer the LG Optimus 3D.

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Twin cameras, shooting 1080p video or 720p 3D video.
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The 3D hotkey.
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The standard Android line-up of physical buttons.
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3D apps are arranged at the top of the Android app screen.
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3D apps are accessed via this gallery, including games.
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The LG Optimus 3D arrives in May
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