The first announced 3D phone was the European LG Optimus 3D, but in the US, it’s actually the HTC EVO 3D that’s spreading the word regarding the novel feature into the minds of consumers, as it hit Sprint’s shelves a couple of months ago. Very soon though, AT&T’s variant of the Optimus 3D – the LG Thrill 4G – will follow the same path, but unlike its rival, its allure is found elsewhere outside its 3D capabilities. Instead, it’s aiming to win over the hearts and minds of people by simply tantalizing them with its superior price of $99.99 with a two-year service contract, or $450 without.
Not surprisingly, the LG Thrill 4G is an almost exact facsimile to its European counterpart with the exception of its obvious AT&T branding in the rear. Nowadays, its industrial design is undeniably commonplace at this point, but despite that, it’s still one solidly constructed handset. By today’s standards though, its overall size makes it feel unwieldy at times and doesn’t quite come off as compelling to some of the razor thin designs incorporated by the heavy hitters in the big leagues.
The LG Thrill 4G runs a year-old version of Google’s Android operating system with add-on applications from AT&T and LG. Flicking through the onscreen wheel reveals the various specialized 3-D apps, including games, a separate YouTube section and preloaded video clips. The rest of the apps are displayed in boring old 2-D.
The LG Thrill 4G comes packaged with a racing, a shooting and a golf game, each made by Gameloft, as well as an interactive Gulliver’s Travels e-book. The latter is a visually stunning demo of the phone’s capabilities but light on story. The other games don’t particularly benefit from the 3-D effects.
There doesn’t appear to be a way to download more games or apps that take advantage of the 3-D feature. Developers don’t seem particularly eager to code their graphics in 3-D in order to feed the few Android devices on the market that support the capability.
The LG Thrill 4G has two cameras on the back to capture stereoscopic images, and they look great on the big 4.3-inch hand-held screen. A feature for converting 2-D pictures to 3-D and vice versa doesn’t work very well. Pulling another dimension out of thin air, it turns out, isn’t an easy task, even for mini computers.
The LG Thrill 4G features a glasses-free 4.3″ parallax barrier LCD display with 480×800 pixels, blazing fast 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4 chipset, and two 5MP cameras on the back that allow for stereoscopic stills and video capture. The frame rate is 30fps for 1080p Full HD in 2D mode, and 24fps for the 720p HD 3D video capture.
The LG Thrill 4G has a port for plugging in an HDMI cable to a TV for viewing recordings on the big screen.
Because the LG Thrill 4G runs outdated software, it lacks some of the enhancements of the newer Android phones, such as a better keyboard and copy-paste functions. LG has apparently tried to make up for that with some makeovers of its own, but perhaps the company should enlist the eye of a better interior director.
LG Thrill 4G FEATURES:
OS: Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo), upgradable to v2.3
CPU: Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, TI OMAP4430 chipset
Messaging: SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games: Yes + downloadable
GPS: Yes, with A-GPS support
Java: Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
– SNS integration
– Digital compass
– HDMI port
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail
– Digital compass
– YouTube, Google Talk
– MP4/DivX/XviD/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– 1080p@24fps (2D), 720@30fps (3D) playback
– MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
– Document viewer/editor
– Full Flash 10.1 support
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input