HTC Evo 3D vs LG Optimus 3D

HTC has already made the Evo 3D official at the CTIA mobile phone show in Florida and it's finally now hitting the shops in the UK as well as those across the Pond. The HTC Evo 3D is set to go head to head with LG's Optimus 3D, with both handsets offering three-dimensional viewing without the need for any glasses. But, which is best? We pitted the two 3D-flavoured smartphones against each other in a spec-off to see which offers more pound-for-pound punch.


Form factor

1st: LG Optimus 3D
128.8 x 68 x 11.9mm, 168g

2nd: HTC Evo 3D
126 x 65 x 12.05mm, 170g


Size is always an important consideration for a smartphone - you don't want it to be so small that you can't read the screen, but you always don't want it to be so large and brick-like that it strains the stiching on your pocket. There isn't much between these two 3D handsets, with just a few mm between them when it comes to dimensions. LG's phone takes the lead with its svelte 11.9mm profile, which is just that little bit thinner than the 12.05mm on the HTC. Not that you'd really notice the difference, but the LG is also 2g lighter than its rival. The Optimus is very slightly longer and wider than the Evo, but it's slimmer profile and and lighter chassis make it the victor in this round by a hare's whisker. Not a reason to choose one over the other.

 

Display

1st: HTC Evo 3D
4.3-inch, 3D, 960x540, 256ppi

2nd: LG Optimus 3D
4.3-inch, 3D, 800x480, 217ppi



Smartphone displays are getting bigger all the time, so it's no surprise that the Evo 3D sports a large 4.3-inch display - a size which is fast becoming the standard for any self-respecting smartphone. LG's Optimus 3D has an identially sized screen, although where the Evo sets itself apart with an impressive resolution of 960x540 which beats the Optimus 3D's 800x480 pixels. As the model names suggest, both handsets have 3D-capable displays, of the capacitive touchscreen variety. The extra resolution offered by the Evo 3D means that HTC takes the win in this round.

 

Engine room

1st: HTC Evo 3D
1.2GHz dual-core MSM8660 Snapdragon, 1GB RAM, Adreno 220

2nd: LG Optimus 3D
1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4430, 512MB RAM, PowerVR SGX540


With 3D capabilities demanding a certain amount of processing power, it's no surprise that these two handsets both have a dual-core chipset on board. The HTC has a MSM8660 Snapdragon with a slightly higher clock speed of 1.2GHz, while the LG is powered by a 1GHz TI OMAP4430. When it comes to graphics, the LG is rocking the PowerVR SGX540, which is widely thought of as being superior to the Adreno 205 GPU found in Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips. However, the MSM8660 chipset found in the Evo 3D has upped its game with the inclusion of the newer Adreno 220 graphics processor.

HTC's handsets manages to win more points with its impressive 1GB of RAM, compared to the LG's 512MB, so for the timebeing, the HTC looks like the winner in this round, on paper at least.

 

Storage

1st: LG Optimus 3D
8GB + microSD

2nd: HTC Evo 3D
4GB + microSD


The LG Optimus has the clear advantage in this round with its 8GB storage space. Both can, of course, get expandable microSD card support but built-in storage is particularly important on Android phones as, although the latest versions of the software mean that you can save apps to SD card, many of the developers haven't yet caught up with this. What's more some of the apps still just seem to run better from the phone memory. That means that lots of apps still need to be saved one device and it could run out quicker than you think if you're packing a lot of apps. 

 

Imaging

1st: LG Optimus 3D
Dual 5MP rear, 0.3MP front, 1080p (2D), 720p (3D)

2nd: HTC Evo 3D
Dual 5MP rear, 1.3MP front, 720p



Cameras on mobile handsets are now so standard that the thought of a smartphone without one seems utterly preposterous. It's no surprise then that both of these phones have pretty comprehensive imaging capabilities. Both sport near-identical rear-facing 5MP cameras, both of which are kitted out with dual lenses so that you can take 3D snaps as well as conventional 2D pictures (although 3D snaps will have a lower 2MP count). This also means that you can capture 3D footage.

The LG offers 720p video capture in 3D while you can take 2D videos at full 1080p. However, HTC only offers 720p and no full HD recording. In the HTC's favour, however, is the superior front facer and the fact that it has a dual LED flash to the LG's one. If you had to weight it up though, it's that 1080p capture that's going to be the most important. Points to the Optimus 3D.

 

Software

Tie: HTC Evo 3D
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Tie: LG Optimus 3D
Android 2.2 (Froyo), upgradable to 2.3



As these are both Android handsets, it goes without saying that there's not going to be a huge amount between them when it comes to software specifications. However, the HTC immediately sets itself apart as it will ship with version 2.3 (Gingerbread). In contrast, the LG handset, will launch with Android 2.2 (Froyo), although it will be upgradable to 2.3. It seems unfair to penalise the LG phone for simply launching earlier, and as both phones will eventually be running on Gingerbread, we're calling this round a tie. That said, there is the small matter of custom UIs on top of the Android experience. LG's touch might be light in this department but HTC Sense has a lot of fans as well; something one might want to consider.

 

Connectivity

1st: HTC Evo 3D
3/4G, Wi-Fi, DLNA, HDMI, BT 3.0

2nd: LG Optimus 3D
3G, Wi-Fi, DLNA, HDMI, BT 3.0



In terms of connections, these two 3D-enabled handsets are pretty evenly matched, with both including the standard 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS credentials that you'd expect from a smartphone. Both phones also include an HDMI port for hooking up to a high-def TV, as well as DLNA for streaming content to compatible devices. The LG and HTC also offer the latest version of Bluetooth (3.0), but the Evo has the edge with its 4G provision - not that that makes much difference in the UK.

 

3D

Tie: HTC Evo 3D
Autostereoscopic 3D

Tie: LG Optimus 3D
Autostereoscopic 3D



Of the companies that have launched 3D devices, most are staying guarded over the precise 3D wizardry that they use, but both handsets probably have some sort of parallax barrier technology, as used on the Nintendo 3DS. This means that you can view in 3D without the need to wear any special glasses, as long as you're in the sweet spot, directly in front of the screen. This means that the screens will have a very narrow viewing angle, so there isn't much scope for others to sit next to you and get the same 3D experience from the screen. From what we've seen so far, the LG seems to have a slightly wider viewing angle than the HTC which could prove to be important when using the phone out and about. However, we'll reserve judgement until we've had both phones in for a proper review and call this round a tie for now.

 

Battery life

1st: HTC Evo 3D
1730mAh

2nd: LG Optimus 3D
1500mAh



Battery life is an important consideration when looking at smartphones, as you don't want to have to keep charging your fancy new phone every five minutes. LG hasn't given any quoted talk times so it's hard to compare the two, although HTC claims that the Evo 3D will offers up to 450 minutes of talk time and up to 355 hours of standby time. It may well turn out that there's very little between the two in practice, but the HTC has a slightly more powerful 1730mAh battery pack, compared to the 1500mAh capacity offered by the LG. Naturally, the Evo 3D has a faster CPU to support, a few more pixels and an added LED flash but one would still expect it to last a little longer than the LG.

 

Price

Tie: HTC Evo 3D
£?

Tie: LG Optimus 3D
£450



While LG confirmed the UK price for the Optimus 3D as £514.99 (SIM free), dig around and you can pick it up for £450. As for the HTC Evo 3D, while we know Vodafone has taken delivery of them, no price tags have yet been announced. We'll keep you posted but our money's on the LG being just under £50 cheaper.

 

Conclusions

What's interesting to see straight off the bat is that these 3D smartphones are actually remarkably similar on paper. In times of screen size, form factor and the majority of operations and functionality, there's not a lot to separate them. What the choice is going to come down to for you is how important the missing 1080p video capture and the halved amount of storage space is on the HTC Evo 3D; compared to the weaker front facing camera, slight dips in screen quality and GPU performance, and inferior UI on the LG Optimus 3D.

For us, the HTC Evo 3D probably shades it. We like those nice big screens to be as good for consuming video content as possible and we could cope with the 4GB storage. That missing 1080p capture would probably grate though.

What do you think of the HTC Evo 3D? Will you be investing in a 3D handset?

This article was first publish 23 March 2011.



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