MWC: LG Optimus 3D Smartphone, Tablet Debut

LG claims the world's first 3D-capable smartphone, the Optimus, and unveils the Optimus tablet with a 3D camera.

BARCELONA, Spain-Handset maker LG moved the smartphone and tablet wars into another dimension with the release of the Optimus 3D handset and Optimus tablet, which sports a 3D camera. The smartphone offers dual-core, dual-channel and dual-memory architecture (which LG termed a tri-dual configuration) as well as the 3D platform, allowing for recording, viewing and sharing of 3D content, which LG says is the world's first.

The company said the Optimus 3D will be rolled out globally starting with Europe early in the second quarter. The phone will initially be released with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and will be upgradable to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

The handset offers a dual-lens 5-megapixel camera, which the Optimus 3D's 4.3-inch WVGA display uses to display 3D content without the use of special glasses. Users can navigate through the device's 3D interface with the click of LG's 3D Hot Key, which presents five 3D-dedicated user interfaces, including Gallery, Camera, Game&Apps, YouTube 3D and 3D Guide. Captured 3D content is shared via an HDMI 1.4 connection to 3D TVs and monitors and also is compatible with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) Certified products. In addition, users can upload and stream 3D content and share each other's creations on YouTube's dedicated 3D channel.

"Backed by a combination of superb performance and full 3D, we're excited about the prospects of the LG Optimus 3D taking the smartphone experience to a much higher level," said Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Mobile Communications. "We've incorporated every feature for the power user, and we think they'll be pleased with what they see."

The Optimus Pad features an 8.9-inch display with 1,280-by-768 WXGA resolution and is powered by Google's Android 3.0 platform and the Nvidia Tegra 2 mobile processor. The tablet's 3D camera boasts full HD 1080p decoding. A built-in video conferencing feature was designed to appeal to business users who might otherwise lean toward a BlackBerry PlayBook or other enterprise-oriented tablet. A company release said the tablet will begin shipping in March.

"With a flood of tablets hitting the market, we felt strongly that the LG Optimus Pad needed to set a new standard for what a tablet should be," said Park. "We think the LG Optimus Pad achieves the right blend of portability and viewability with no performance compromises."

Phil Carmack, senior vice president of Nvidia's mobile business, said the Optimus Pad represents the fruits of a close partnership between the two companies. "The world of computing is shifting under our feet," he said. "Tablets are quickly taking their place as our most personal computer, providing previously unimagined capabilities and full mobility. The new LG Optimus Pad uses Nvidia's Tegra 2 to give consumers outstanding levels of power, speed and performance."

Tablets have become a focus point for attendees at this year's conference, with exhibitors like Motorola, Samsung and Research In Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry line of smartphones, all making announcements concerning their tablet devices. Earlier this year, IT research firm IDC forecast 44.6 million tablets will ship in 2011-with U.S. sales accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total-and grow to 70.8 million units in 2012.