We finally got to spend a bit of quality time with the LG Optimus 3D here at Mobile World Congress 2011, and we have to report that it really does deliver as advertised.
Like many other commentators and jaded tech hacks we had our doubts about this new auto-stereoscopic (no glasses) display. We figured there was a good chance it had been overhyped by LG, desperate to add a bit of lustre to its relatively pedestrian mobile brand.
We spoke to Alex Windle - head of marketing for LG mobile UK - and his team at the LG stand, to get a bit more insight into the new device and its significance for LG. Firstly, we have to say that it has been close to impossible to even get on the LG stand over the past few days, such has been the interest in its new devices.
To our surprise, the auto-stereoscopic screen really does deliver as promised. On the demo video the 3D experience was pretty close to what you would expect with 3D glasses. Furthermore, the phone can take 3D photos, as we were shown. We haven't bothered embedding a 2D photo of it in this piece as that would defeat the object.
While the UI has some nice 3D touches, Windle conceded that for the 3D aspect of the phone to translate into major sales, the content needs to be there. Therefore LG will be devoting a lot of resources between now and the May/June launch day to ensuring there's as much content as possible.
We also had a look at LG's new tablet - the Optimus Pad. This one doesn't have an auto-stereoscopic 3D display, but it can record and playback 3D video, which you view with glasses. This is yet another example from the show of a device-maker getting creative with the capabilities of NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chip.
Our view, before this show, of LG as a mobile brand was that it was in need of a bit of CPR. It's hard for a company that also makes fridges and TVs to compete for brand awareness with smartphone specialists like HTC. But these two devices, especially the phone, offer something really different and ground-breaking to the mobile market.
This should not only ensure LG sells a fair few units, but also do a huge amount to improve the perception of LG in the mobile device market as an innovator, rather than an also-ran.