The Good The LG Optimus 3D Max has a speedy dual-core processor and a crisp display, and it’s equipped with an NFC chip and tag stickers.
The Bad The LG Optimus 3D Max display has a narrow viewing angle in 3D mode, and 3D software is still a problem. In addition, you are stuck on Android Gingerbread until the upgrade.
The Bottom Line 3D Max is a reliable dual-core phone with some neat NFC features. But the iconic 3D feature, while cool, is a draw.
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In a world filled with cheap tricks, it seems easy to slap on a 3D cell to compensate for a non-par product. (Remember that Justin Bieber movie “Never Say Never”? Exactly.)
But in the case of the LG Optimus 3D Max, the successor to the LG Optimus 3D in 2011, the 3D feature may actually be the fall of the device instead of saving it. Everything else about the device is quite adequate – it has a decent 5 megapixel camera and a zippy dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and it supports NFC. However, the biggest setback is its 3D feature, which still has a few horses that can be worked out, and turns on the phone when connected to the data network.
Introduced in February by Fr. Mobile World Congress and launched about a month ago in Europe, Optimus 3D Max is about $ 635 unlocked. But you won’t find 3D Max in the States yet, and there is no word on the operator, price, and release date. So, until it breaks through the ocean, we just have to get somewhere else to work.
The LG Optimus 3D Max is 4.99 inches wide and 2.65 inches wide. 0.38 inches thinner than the original 3D Optimus 3D, but at 5.22 ounces it’s still heavy. I got a little grip, so the device felt too wide to handle. I threw the phone down several times, trying to use it with one hand, and its smooth backing didn’t help either. Although I can fit it in my jeans pocket, the slim fit is still good and half an inch is still exposed.
On the left side is a volume switch and a Micro-USB port, which has a small lid that can be switched back and forth. Although I appreciate the artificial metal finish on these features, the volume buttons are hard to press. They are so consistent with the side of the phone that they are hard to find and even harder to press. Above is a 3.5mm headphone jack (mid-range pair comes with 3D Max) and a sleep / power button. On the right is a 3D shortcut key that gives you quick access to 3D games, YouTube 3D videos and 3D cameras (more on that later).
The back is made of black, slightly textured thin piece of plastic. Again, it’s incredibly smooth, so don’t expect any friction to hold it in place, say, on an airplane seat tray or on your car’s dashboard. On the left you will see two 5MP lenses for 2D and 3D cameras, and in the lower right corner there are two slots for the output speaker. Using a small indentation on the bottom edge of the device, you can tear off the backing to gain access to a 1,520 mAh battery, a microSD card slot, and two small NFC gold antennas.
The generous 4.3-inch Gorilla Glass WVGA touchscreen is large enough for comfortable play and has a resolution of 480×800 pixels. In 3D and 2D mode the colors were rich and bright. I was particularly impressed with the display when the brightness was crank-up: the menu icons (in cubes that correspond to the 3D theme) were clear and the graphics were smooth.
For rendering images in 3D without the need for these clear 3D glasses, the display uses what is called the parallax barrier. It makes your left and right look two different sets of pixels or images. Seeing them at the same time gives them an image that you look at in depth.
One of the biggest complaints about this technology is that it requires you to look at the screen at right angles. I had to hold the tube about 12 to 16 inches, and it had to be placed dead center in front of my face. If I tilted or moved the handset only a few degrees, the images would be off and it would be very boring. Especially when playing games that give some physical movement.
The narrow viewing angle is especially appealing when you want to show your phone to your friends. If you consider this 3D feature a party trick, your party will have to line up one by one or shake their heads together to get a good look at the 3D action.
Above the display is a front-facing VGA camera for web chats and snapshots. Below are four common navigation buttons (menu, home, return, and search) that light up when in use.
The LG Optimus 3D Max runs on a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor. Processor speed is one of the most redeeming qualities of this device, as it was extremely impressive. Not only are simple tasks such as moving the handset from landscape to portrait mode, opening and using the camera or scaling up web pages done quickly, but also more complex tasks completed quickly.
However, sometimes several 3D applications will suddenly go out of their way. For example, when connected to a 3D 3D data network, some 3D games would be forced to quit and the 3D camera would exit several times, regardless of the data connection. But when they areweren’trushing in, internal speeds made a lifesaving 3D recording and playback of heavy 3D games.
However, one disappointment is that this phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It will be upgraded to Android Sandwich later, but with all of these new LG products (such as Optimus 4X HD and the Optimus Vu ), learning that they are not shipped with ICS becomes a consistent failure.
Still, 3D Max has all the go-to flavors you expect, such as Mail, Search, Plus, Latitude, Play Store, Messenger, Navigation Maps, Places, Talk and YouTube.
Special 3D applications include four games (Asphalt 6, Let’s Golf 2, NOVA, and Gulliver’s Travels – it’s not really a game, but a useless interactive bookbook filled with grunts of characters), a 3D tutorial for help, 3D- 3D stills and video cameras, 3D image storage gallery, and 3D Converter. If other applications, such as Google Maps, run as part of this feature, they must be converted to 3D.
That sounds like a neat idea, except it didn’t really work when I used it. Nothing happened after I opened my Maps in the 3D converter, and after a few minutes trying to figure it out, I concluded that the app was in beta or had a lousy user interface. Although you can’t really blame LG for not developing applications, I can at least be disappointed with its advertised 3D converter.
Although the Near Field Communication or NFC chip inside the device is very welcome. This chip allows the listener to communicate wirelessly with other NFC-enabled devices over a short distance.
LG has included three Tag + stickers labeled “Office”, “Sleep” and “Car” that allow you to use NFC to activate certain settings on your phone. For example, every time you go to bed, you can turn on your 3D Max to vibrate, dim the screen, and turn off the music after 10 minutes of playback. After adjusting and saving these settings with the LG Tag + application, you can activate them each time you click the Sleep Tag sticker.
When I tried this feature, it worked reliably every time, and the Tag + application made it easy to set up.
There are other pre-loaded programs, such as a backup program; financing app to track your inventory; Flash Player; news and weather app; a set of Polaris Office mobile offices; RemoteCall application that allows LG support services to remotely access your device for troubleshooting an application for distributing content called SmartShare; LG SmartWorld; an app called What’s New for Your Notifications and a video editor.
You also receive email, text messages, a web browser and Bluetooth, as well as basic calendar task management features, an alarm clock, notepad, calculator and voice recorder.
As for the 5MP dual lens camera, 2D shooting offers more options. The 2D Reverse Camera has autofocus, touch focus, flash, face tracking, geotagging, timer and continuous shooting. It also has a digital zoom and exposure meter; five image sizes; five scene modes (normal, portrait, landscape, sunset, night); five white balance modes (auto, incandescent, solar, fluorescent, cloudy); and four color effects (none, black and white, sepia, negative).
Recording options consist of the same digital zoom and exposure, flash, mute, six video sizes (full HD 1080p to QCIF), stabilizer, two recording durations (one for normal recording and one for MMS) and the same white balance effects and colored.
The front-facing camera offers the same exposure, white balance modes, color effects, timer and geotag, but only two shooting modes (normal, night). Recording with a VGA camera does not give you any options to save sound.
Moving the camera to 3D brings less power, but still has plenty of editing features. For photos, there is an exposure meter as well as another metering device that lets you adjust where you want the depth of the 3D image to appear (either behind or behind the display). Again you have a flash; two modes of focusing in 3D (border, center); three different image sizes (1 to 3 megapixels); timer; geotags; same color effects and white balance selection.
3D video captures all of the features mentioned above, except for the addition of a stabilizer and different video sizes (VGA to 720p HD).
I tested the unlocked LG Optimus 3D Max in San Francisco first with a T-Mobile SIM card. Because the Optimus 3D Max is not optimized for T-Mobile’s 3G or HSPA+ networks, I had to test the handset on EDGE. Stay tuned, as I will test this product on AT&T’s network later on.
The signal quality on T-Mobile was absolutely adequate; I did not have any declined calls, third-party buzzes or audio recordings. The sound quality, however, was mediocre. The voices were audible but muffled. Although the volume increase helped a little, my friends still sounded as though they were talking under a thin sheet. I was also told that I sounded a little suffocated.
The quality of the original speaker is much better. The calls still sounded muffled, but music videos and games played loud and clear. When the volume rang out, though the sounds were too sharp or sharp, they were clear regardless.
Listen Now: A Sample of Call Quality LG Optimus 3D Max
The photo quality of the 5MP 2D camera was absolutely decent. Shutter speed was fast and the indoor and outdoor images looked clear and sharp. The photos looked grainy only after magnification. The colors were bright and did not bleed into each other, though they were not as bright as in real life.
Video recording quality was also satisfactory. The audio was well matched and the feedback quickly followed my moving camera. The colors were rich and the images were clearly recorded with little graininess or pixelation.
The front VGA camera is clearly of lower quality. The shades of white were washed and the other colors were muted. Because there is no focus function, the objects are blurred.
With all my hobbies about 3D on this device, I got started recording and taking pictures in 3D. Although you can’t view photos in 3D outside of your phone (they are exported as two separate images and stored at 3MP), the colors are still rich and accurate, although bright lights are erased from time to time. The 3D effect is striking, especially if you take pictures of many objects at different depths.
The video showed similar results. When I was recording the oncoming traffic, the cars looked as if they could drive straight off the screen. The outlines of the images were clearly defined and the colors accurate. The sound also picked up clearly.
Keep in mind that since my first tests were on the EDGE T-Mobile network, the baud rate would not reflect how optimus 3D Max could work on the 3G network. When 3D Max is connected to a weak data network, don’t expect applications like 3D YouTube to run smoothly. Often, a video output as two 2D videos that are played side by side, or as an attachment, as mentioned, will just close. Only when I connected to a powerful Wi-Fi network did the video play smoothly and smoothly.
During our 3D Max Battery Tests, it lasted 9.35 hours. When many 3D features are enabled, it has a poor battery life. After spending several hours playing and recording 3D videos and running 3D games, the battery was significantly drained as expected. When it came to activities such as calls and text messages, I had a good number of hours without much wastage. In accordance with ICNIRP radiation standards, the unit has a digital rate of 0.69 W / kg.
As a standalone product, the LG Optimus 3D Max is a reliable handset. The quality of the camera is satisfactory, the fast dual-core processor makes it easy to process, and the NFC-enabled chip is a new technology on any phone.
But if you’re looking for a great user experience with the 3D feature of the device, it can help to wait until the technology fixes go away. Although the 3D camera works well, the applications are buggy, the viewing angle is too narrow, and if you are on a slow data network, you can forget about accessing 3D features on the Internet altogether.
The idea of a great 3D screen on a handset sounds promising, my most enjoyable experience with 3D Max came when it was not in 3D mode. And if we go for the price of a $ 635 European non-discounted sticker, the price may be too steep for some to consider it just another party trick.