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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!