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The LG Optimus 3D and Optimus Pad: are they a match for Apple?

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 LG Optimus 3D 19th May 2011

Announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, LG's 3D smartphone, the LG Optimus 3D and the LG Optimus Pad tablet both take advantage of the current shift towards 3D entertainment, having arguably given the Korean manufacturer an edge over its Android-supporting competitors.

With a punchy 1GHz OMAP4 dual-core processor, two 5-megapixel CMOS cameras on the reverse and four more video decoders than its competitors, LG's 3D smartphone is capable of capturing those special moments in 3D video. What's more, users can watch their magical new 3D footage straight away on the phone's 4.3-inch WVGA display, or even a 3D-ready TV – without the aid of 3D specs.

An even more impressive feature, the phone's HDMI and DLNA connections mean that users can also immediately transfer their newly-recorded content to other devices, or even share directly to the web with YouTube 3D.

Looks-wise, the LG Optimus 3D is a bit chunky, and hasn't matched up to the sleek design of the iPhone 4 (and most likely won't match that of the iPhone 5, either), but other than looks, this phone is a very strong contender.

 LG Optimus 3D While the Optimus 3D has been launched on Android 2.2 (Froyo), it'll also be upgradeable to 2.3 (Gingerbread), and will be available here in Europe from May, though prices have yet to be announced.

With regards to the iPhone 4, it just doesn't meet the flexibility of Android smartphones. Android phones have better notification systems and Apple doesn't allow users to customise and display live widgets on the menu screen. The iPhone's characteristically user-friendly interface and overall experience, however, is more refined than that of any Android phone to date and, although it doesn't have the 3D capabilities or HDMI connectivity of LG's offering, its camera is still one of the best on the smartphone market.

Now, over to the LG Optimus Pad tablet. It has been blessed with the same 3D photographic, camcording and sharing facilities as its smartphone counterpart, and users will also be rewarded with Google's most recent operating system, Honeycomb, a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, a 2 megapixel resolution (1.2 megapixel recorded resolution) camera for video calling, and dynamic stereo speakers.

This tablet will also come equipped with an 8.9-inch, 1280 x 768 WXGA resolution screen with a 15:9 aspect ratio and Full HD 1080p decoding – a reduction in screen size being an effort by LG to make this tablet perfect for single-handed use.

 LG Optimus Pad While the iPad 2's iOS 4.3 still provides very much the same, user-friendly level of software that is characteristic of Apple products, it also comes with a whole host of improvements and new features such as a new and improved soft keyboard support, AirPlay privileges for third-party developers and personal hotspot functionality. The LG Optimus Pad's Android 3.0 OS has been adapted to make it fully tablet-friendly, featuring a new holographic-look user interface, as well as a persistent system bar which aims to keep users up-to-date with all the latest notifications.

While both platforms have their merits, Google's efforts with their new Honeycomb OS, and the open-door policy around their operating system as part of the Open Handset Alliance means that there's a lot more room for continual improvement, so the LG now holds a position as a strong contender in both the smartphone and tablet market.



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