MWC 2012 – LG Optimus 3D Max hands on review

LG keeps on banging that 3D drum. And we keep dancing to its irresistable rhythm
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LG Optimus 3D Max – overview

When LG dropped its Optimus bombshell this time last year, we gawped. Surely it was a gimmick? But, no – we liked it. Our Optimus 3D review said it was “a powerful beast with 3D that works wonders.” Now LG has dropped a sequel in the LG Optimus 3D Max (Cube elsewhere). Can it carry the torch?

LG Optimus 3D Max – design and build

Smartphone designers don’t tend to be revolutionaries, but LG’s sketchers have done a fine job of tightening up the design of the Optimus 3D Max. It feels more evolved than the first edition, if not significantly different, and the screen’s the same size, though it’s shaved a couple of millimeters off its girth. It’s now just 9.89mm thin.

LG Optimus 3D Max – cameras

On the Optimus 3D Max’s textured and bechinned rear are a pair of 5MP cams sitting abreast of an LED flash ‘nose’. Results vary, but with the right subject 3D snaps can be scarily effective (video’s harder to master). We can’t say there’s a palpable improvement over the last generation, but the wow factor hasn’t disappeared. In fact, we’d forgotten how much fun you could have with a pocketable 3D snapper.

LG Optimus 3D Max – gaming

The 3D Max is loaded with GameLoft’s third-dimensional wares (as was the Optimus 3D), and – yep – they still look amazing. We’ll reserve judgement for a full test, but we think the extra processing grunt has made graphics smoother. It’s definitely sped up load times by a margin. As before, you can kick off the 3D with the camera shutter button for less dizzying gameplay, or if you prefer the fuller colour gamut 2D offers.

LG Optimus 3D Max – first impressions

It’s hard to get a measure of how much of an improvement the 3D Max really is over the original Optimus 3D. They’re (slightly) differently styled, but the experience is much the same, though accelerated by the processor’s extra power. We’d expect better battery life and it’s annoying that the Max isn’t coming to market with Ice Cream Sandwich (the Optimus 3D Max runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread instead). That said, 3D remains mindblowing fun on a phone, and – at the right price – we’d have trouble recommending the original Optimus 3D over this obvious improvement. Stay tuned for a full review.

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