HTC EVO 3D vs. LG Optimus 3D: Battle of the 3D Superphones

Filed under News, Reviews by Coty Spence on March 24, 2011 at 4:58 PM

One of the biggest trends of 2011 is the inclusion of 3D technology in mobile devices. Most people think it’s a gimmick, but 3D is not going anywhere; get used to it. In a few years, 3D will have evolved and been perfected to the point where someone wouldn’t even consider buying a high end smartphone or tablet unless it had 3D technology. 3D is in its infancy right now, but there will be a day when it’s a truly magical phenomena and improves the mobile computing experience tenfold.

Two of the most powerful smartphones announced this year ironically have 3D technology in them: the HTC EVO 3D and the LG Optimus 3D (or the LG Thrill 4G for AT&T). The HTC EVO 3D is the successor to one of the most iconic Android smartphones of all time, the HTC EVO 4G. The LG Optimus 3D, also known as the LG Thill 4G on AT&T, is one of LG’s first high end smartphones on the market. Both smartphones (or should we call them Superphones?) feature some of the most powerful mobile hardware known to man. For consumers, it’s very tough to figure out which smartphone to buy, especially when there are so many options out there. This comparison will help you figure out which phone is more powerful, and which one you should spend your hard earned cash on!

Which Phone is more Powerful?

The mobile computing industry advances so fast that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the new advances. 2010 was the year of efficient single-core processors, but the game has changed drastically in 2011. Everything is based on multi-core processors now, leaving last year’s phones looking like ancient technology. The HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D both feature the latest dual-core processors, so you’re in good hands here. Check out this full spec comparison:

For the non-tech savvy out there, this list may have been pretty daunting. From a sheer power perspective, you can expect the LG Optimus 3D to be a bit more powerful with the OMAP 4330 Processor. The OMAP 4330 is of Cortex A9 design and has a dual-core CPU clocked at 1GHz. Additionally, it sports the extremely powerful PowerVR SGX540 GPU clocked at 300Mhz, as opposed to 200Mhz on the Samsung Galaxy S devices; this gives the GPU a MASSIVE speed increase. The LG Optimus 3D is the first and only phone thus far to feature dual-core processors, dual channels, and dual memory. That’s a lot of duals there. In preliminary benchmark tests using Quadrant, the LG Optimus 3D almost scored 3,000! Most phones need to be heavily modded to reach those kinds of scores, but the Optimus 3D did it like nothing. We are still waiting to see how the HTC EVO 3D fares in benchmark tests, but it’s safe to say it won’t be quite as high as the LG Optimus 3D.

LG Optimus 3D Quadrant Score

The HTC EVO 3D features Qualcomm’s latest Dual-Core 1.2Ghz MSM8660 Snapdragon Processor with the Adreno 220 GPU. One of the biggest downsides to the MSM8660 Snapdragon Processor is that it’s based on Qualcomm’s Scorpion architecture, which is of Cortex A8 design. What does this mean? The processor won’t be quite as powerful as the OMAP 4330, which is based on Cortex A9 architecture. Qualcomm makes good hardware but their GPUs are usually lacking, especially when compared to Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX series. Qualcomm tries to make up for the performance loss by clocking the cores at 1.2GHz, compared to other companies like Nvidia and Texas Instruments who have their cores at 1GHz. The HTC EVO 3D has 1GB of RAM in it, which is double the 512MB found in the LG Optimus 3D, so at least it has that going for it.

Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon

Will this difference in power have a drastic effect on the overall experience? Not all all. Both phones are eye exploding fast and you surely won’t be disappointed with either one here. However, the hardcore gamers out there may find performance a bit more pleasing on the LG Optimus 3D and that OMAP 4 Processor. Qualcomm has a history of having GPUs that aren’t as powerful as the competition’s anyway.

Which phone has the better Software?

A lot of times when it comes down to comparing software, the debate can be pretty subjective and opinionated. Without getting super deep into the discussion, we will try out best to explain which phone has the most user friendly and functional operating system.

LG Optimus 3D Software

The LG Optimus 3D is running on a custom version of Android 2.2 that has a lot of 3D UI elements. In the software you will find a lot of built in widgets, colorful menus, and programs that make use of the 3D display. However, for those who are familiar with Touchwiz on the Galaxy S devices, you may have noticed an eerie similarity between Touchwiz and the software on the LG Optimus 3D. The software will definitely get the job done, but people have reported that it makes the LG Optimus 2X a little sluggish from time to time. The LG Optimus 2X and 3D are running on near identical versions of software. Moreover, this is LG’s first major attempt at an Android UI so things are expected to be a little rough around the edges. Regardless, the software is functional, easy to use, and gets the job done.

HTC EVO 3D Software

The HTC EVO 3D is running one of the best custom versions of Android called HTC Sense. HTC Sense brings a lot of functionality to the table including large widgets, a gorgeous UI, and the ability to swap between multiple different themes. The HTC EVO 3D runs a brand new version of HTC Sense on top of Android 2.3 which has not been seen on any other device so far. This new version of HTC Sense is incredible and greatly enhances an already superb user interface. Some of the enhances include new 3D animations when transitioning between screens, a gorgeous carousel animation that spins all of your screens around, lots of improvements to the GUI (graphical user interface), several lock screen enhancements, and much more. HTC Sense has been around for much longer than the software found on the LG Optimus 3D and is a more solid platform. Overall, we have to hand it to the HTC EVO 3D in this category for having the best software.

Design & Build Quality

As mentioned previously, the HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D are some of the most powerful smar…superphones on the planet. With dual-core processors and autostereoscopic 3D displays (glasses-free), you can’t expect these to be the slimmest phones on the market. The HTC EVO 3D is the same weight as its predecessor, the HTC EVO 4G, at 6.00 oz (170g) and the LG Optimus 3D is slightly lighter at 5.93 oz (168g). Moreover, the HTC EVO 3D is a thick little guy at 12mm whereas the LG Optimus 3D is a hair thinner at 11.9mm. The difference in weight and thickness between these two devices will not be noticeable, just know that these aren’t the thinnest or lightest phones on the market.

Both phones feature unusual designs on the back due to the dual-cameras for 3D pictures and video. The HTC EVO 3D has a textured metal coating while the LG Optimus 3D has a high quality aluminum backing. Which device looks better is purely subjective so we’re not going to answer that question here, but we do like the red outline around the cameras on the HTC EVO 3D.

LG Optimus 3D

On the top left hand side of the LG Optimus 3D you will find the HDMI-Out port alongside the MicroUSB port. Both ports have protective covers on them (ala Galaxy S) which really adds to the overall build quality of the device. On the opposite side you have your volume rocker with a dedicated 3D button which will activate the 3D cameras. Up top you have your standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a power button.

HTC EVO 3D

On the lower right hand side of the HTC EVO 3D you have a circular camera shutter button which is of new design, and a toggle for the 2D and 3D camera modes. Unlike the LG Optimus 3D, you can switch between 2D and 3D instead of just activating the 3D camera, and you also have a dedicated camera button right beside it. On the upper left hand side of the device you have a single USB port, there is not a dedicated HDMI-Out port. However, the HTC EVO 3D features MHL technology which combines HDMI & MicroUSB into the same port! Very effective design work there. Up top you have your 3.5mm headphone jack and the power button just like on the LG Optimus 3D.

Whichever phone has the superior design and overall build quality is up to you, but you definitely won’t be disappointed with either superphone (it’s catching on!) here.

Which phone has the better 3D display?

One of the most important questions of this entire comparison is which phone will be superior for viewing 3D content on. Thankfully, both devices feature large 4.3 inch displays and make use of glasses-free 3D technology. However, there are some key differences we have to point out here.

HTC EVO 3D vs. LG Optimus 3D

When you view anything in 3D, overall quality is always sacrificed. When you watch a 3D movie on your 55 inch LED 3DTV, it doesn’t look quite as sharp or clear as it does in 2D. To help combat this, the HTC EVO 3D has a qHD resolution which is 960×540, or half of your standard 1080p. Moreover, the dimensions of the HTC EVO 3D’s display has been tweaked so it gives you an HD aspect ratio. Sadly, the LG Optimus 3D only has a resolution os 800×480, which isn’t bad by any means, but we’d definitely take the screen with the higher resolution in this particular case. Additionally, the HTC EVO 3D has a SLCD display, whereas the Optimus 3D is of standard TFT affair. SLCD has better color saturation and is sharper than standard TFT displays. The HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D can both view 2D content in 1080p and 3D content in 720p on the display itself. Both phones will do the job when viewing 3D content, but the HTC EVO 3D wins this category.

The Final Verdict

Both the HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D (LG Thrill 4G on AT&T) will be amazing phones and portable multimedia devices when they launch. You can expect both to hit the US market sometime in early Summer. Since these phones are so similar in many different areas (Dual 5MP Cameras, 4.3 inch displays, dual-core processors etc) it ultimately comes down to which carrier your on, and how much the devices cost. A good rule of thumb is to never switch carriers just for a single phone, so if you’re on AT&T and want a 3D powerhouse, wait for that LG Thrill 4G to drop. If you’re on Sprint, you’re in very good hands with the HTC EVO 3D. The HTC EVO 3D won the majority of the categories in this comparison, but you surely won’t be disappointed with either device in your hands. However, since these devices are based on 3D multimedia, we’d have to officially give it to the HTC EVO 3D for being the overall better package.

Let us know which phone you’ll be picking up and why in the comments below!

36 Responses to “HTC EVO 3D vs. LG Optimus 3D: Battle of the 3D Superphones”

  1. Excellent comparison! Given the SOCs used, though, I’d probably end up taking the Optimus and rooting the living daylights out of it.

    • Coty Spence says:

      Yeah, I expect the OMAP 4330 to destroy the Snapdragon

      • I highly doubt that being the 8660 is true dual-core. It doesn’t share the memory bus. Each core is 600mhz a piece. The Adreno 220 GPU is quite impressive and the Texas Instrument OMAP is the first of it’s kind. The 8660 is the newest and latest from the Snapdragon’s impressive line-up. If anything is better then the 8660, it’s the new 2nd generation Hummingbird processors coming in the SGS2

        • Coty Spence says:

          The 8660 is based on Cortex A8 design, it’s not even a true Cortex A9 processor like Tegra 2, OMAP4, and Exynos. It’s also still based on 45nm architecture while the others are all smaller. Basically, it’s a beefed up processor running on last gen design.

          • However it’s true dual-core which makes a huge difference. Tegra2 and OMAP4 still have awhile to go before they match up to Snapdragon’s processors. I used both the Optimus 3D and the EVO 3D and EVO won by far. Optimus was laggy in most 2D part, the 3D was just sad. EVO 3D was flawless in my eyes. The only thing I saw wrong with it was the Youtube and Blockbuster 3D apps on the EVO 3D, but it is because they aren’t finished.

          • Coty Spence says:

            That could be due to unfinished software builds/prototype hardware. The 3D on one phone being better has nothing to do with the processors, that just means that phone has a better screen lol. Since the EVO 3D has a higher resolution that’s expected. Qualcomm CPUs are usually pretty good, but their GPUs are far behind the competition. Also, the OMAP4 is the only processor to have dual-memory and dual-channels which give huge performance boosts. You’ll probably only notice these differences in gaming though.

        • I’m not that impressed by the Exynos processors so far. They don’t seem to be beasting it up as much as I thought they would. They seem equal to Tegra in most benchmarks. Then again… benchmarks smenchmarks.

          • Coty Spence says:

            Yeah Exynos scored really low in those preliminary benchmarks. I was expecting that to be the most powerful processor by far. Hopefully those low scores aren’t anywhere near final.

        • malik10 says:

          It has been said that the HTC EVO 3D’s dual core processors can run separately both clocking at 1.2GHz each but still the OMAP processors are still more powerful. I’m not 100 percent sure but I always come across this. I’ll keep looking.

          • Coty Spence says:

            You’re right, it’s called asynchronous clocking. The cores can run at different speeds depending on what you’re doing.

          • Stephen Raber says:

            I own this thing and work for inderect dealer for sprint, tmobile, att and verizon, let me tell you something out of all the dual core phones out on the market, Atrix, Galaxy S II, EVO 3d, Optimus X2, droid X2, etc, this(3vo3d) blows the rest out of the water, being stock.  I had a customer come in with an unlocked GSII from overseas and imo the screen (SLCD) gives better color representation then the super amoled plus, its snappier, Sense kills Stpock android / TouchWiz and the 3d is not that gimmickie, its actually an incredible technology.  Being that it is an htc phone awesome developers such as netarchy and mik that gave us all kinds of incredible (no pun intended) love to our og evo’s back last year will unlock the bootloader and root this phone, start pumping out custom roms, and destroy the optimus 3d.  Stock quadrant was at 2300 for me, and stock linpack multithread is at 135 avg with bursts up to 220.  Atrix, droid x2, GSII all linpack at 89 mflops, which just goes to show you that processor tests alone, 3vo3D is the most powerfull smartphone to date!  Now c’mon HTC make true to your promise and send us an OTA that allows for custom bootloaders, or I just pray XDA / PPCGEEK dev’s can work some magic for us and get us going into a new era of bangin custom kernal / full3d roms!

            Just my 3 sense!  ha

  2. Station says:

    I will go with the Evo 3D. Im already on Sprint and can do my year upgrade right around the time it comes out. I decided to go with the Samsung Epic 4G and skipped the first Evo, I dont think I will be doing that again.

  3. Richard Yarrell says:

    There’s no question which device is better and as far as processors are concerned we will find that out also.People put stock into these benchmarks way to often all Lg did was make a device with mostly last years spec minus the dualcore and 3d what do you have….LAST YEARS PHONE…The Htc Evo 3d is completely a new device TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE HTC EVO 4G with better cameras,better sense experience, 3d, dualcore 1.2 gig processor,Dnla,MHL, and various other changes This is HANDS DOWN THE BEST HTC DEVICE ON THE MARKET NOTHING WILL BE THIS…NOT LG, NOT MOTOROLA, NOT SAMSUNG, NOT ANYBODY…Bet you anything soon people will try to COPY HTC SENSE watch….Give credit where credit is due..Htc out did themselves on this one

    • Alfredo Galban says:

      THANK YOU, YOU HAVE COMMON SENSE its sad that now all companies want to steal sprint’s/HTC ideas pathetic!!

  4. JDCohen722 says:

    Actually You’ve made 2 mistakes, the LG Optimus 3D’s front facing camera is NOT 1.3MP it is 0.3MP which gives the EVO 3D another advantage, and the MSM8660 has the latest Adreno 220, even though its Cortex A8 technology they say the Adreno 220 is one of the most powerful GPU’s out their and its also known to be more powerful then even the Tegra 2’s GeForce GPU!!! And Im sure the higher 1.2GHz Clock speed and 1GB RAM will help the EVO 3D topple the Optimus 3D in Quadrant Benchmarks!! And HTC is a much better quality company the LG, but I do give the Optimus 3D points for an Aluminium body…

  5. Josh says:

    GREAT COMPARISON!!
    I will decide for the evo 3d as I already have a desire/bravo and I like the Sense UI..
    really looking forward for the phone to be released..:P

  6. Jond2468 says:

    Im already with Sprint,so it will no doubt be the Evo 3d. And even though I believe the Evo will recapture the smartphone throne once again. It would have not mattered if they didn’t,I would still get the Evo. If you haven’t noticed,isn’t all these other company’s trying as we speak to surpass the Evo’s greatness. Aren’t all of them now having there phones look exactly like the Evo? You don’t see Evo running to create a whole new design to market there phone. All Evo is doing is upgrading the specs,but with the same beautiful design. So why would you want to go out and buy a copycat,you wouldn’t. That’s like saying you have a thunderbolt,no you don’t, you have a wanna be Evo.

  7. Nfgfghhhd says:

    The htc evo 3d also does dlna of hd 1080p and it is on 4gvalso it has a gpu of the most powerful of andreno 220 which beat tegra 2 and all othe gpu’s it also is 400mhz faster it has a better screen and it has bigger microphones and it has an additional microphone which is made fo noise cancellation in background it has a light sencer and it gives mobile hotspot up to 19 devices and is in the usa and going to Europe

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  9. remmus2k says:

    The LG phone has 512 GB of RAM!?!   That’s one powerful phone, good thing it isn’t 512 MB of RAM

  10. Damian Ray says:

    Evo 3D all the way!

  11. “To help combat this, the HTC EVO 3D has a qHD resolution which is 960×540, or half of your standard 1080p.”
    qHD is quarter HD not half. 

  12. Shoo says:

    I don’t think the Optimus 3d holds 512GB of ram ;)

  13. matt says:

    The point of these phones is how good the 3D looks then surely if you are buying one you want one with the best 3D effect and all reviews say this is the LG has a better 3D effect the winner its no brainer, i mean the evo doesn’t even record 1080p in 2D.

  14. Lukehu says:

    You did not mention LG’s camera lenses alignment correction.  Isn’t this crucial in 3D viewing, especially at closer ranges? Also, LG has HDMI port while HTC doesn’t (not that everyone needs it).

  15. Girish P says:

    Please don’t equate Scorpion to Cortex A8.
    Read well before posting articles:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4144/lg-optimus-2x-nvidia-tegra-2-review-the-first-dual-core-smartphone/4

  16. Seth M. says:

    Dont people think that those benchmark results for the Optimus is due to the much lower resolution used? If you know anything about gaming then the understanding that resolution is one of the biggest effects…just sayin. =)

  17. Katie Thomas says:

    Has to be the LG Optimus 3D for me, screen quality is good and it is easier to get to the 3D content than on the HTC Evo 3D. http://www.ur-mobile.com/whats-hot/1-latest-news/142-lg-optimus-3d-or-htc-evo-3d-the-verdict-is-in.html

  18. Growlithe says:

    I could be wrong, but doesn’t that chart show the LG Optimus having 512GB of RAM? I’m pretty darn sure that’s a typo, and is suppose to read 512MB right?

  19. jaikool says:

    I have the EVO 3D and I love it!
    I constantly found myself very amazed and impressed by the speed and quality of the phone itself and its capabilities to perform many tasks at the same time, highly recommended. I love Sprint, their service -at least here in my area- is fast (i am in a area that have no 4g yet, but still 3g fast for data I wouldnt change my EVO 3D for any other device.

    just a great device! 

  20. james braselton says:

    hi there i was at a at&t too pay the keyas my iphone on the first day lg thrill on luanch day and i curently useing iphone my contracts up soo i have a 3d lg thrill on my santa list and a sony 32 inch 3d tv as well i realy like 3d over 2d i also have a nintendo 3ds and a aptik i2 3d camcorder