Two of the biggest launches at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona were the LG Optimus 3D and the Samsung Galaxy S II. One is the world’s first 3D-enabled phone. The other is currently the world’s thinnest, rocking a new Super AMOLED Plus display. Time for a big phone fight…
Let’s consider the various wireless options first. The autostereoscopic Optimus 3D boasts 3G/HSDPA/HSPA+ (14Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. Note the 4G connectivity where available. Samsung has packed its phone with 3G/HSDPA/HSPA+ (21Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0+HS. This opening round ends in a tie. (1-1)
Size & Weight:
Few of today’s newest phones are big and beefy. Those days are gone. The Galaxy S II is the thinner of the two, measuring an amazing 8.49mm compared to the Optimus 3D’s 11.9mm. That said, neither the Optimus 3D or the Galaxy S II is unwieldy. The former, however, is significantly heavier at 168g; the latter weighs a mere 116g. Nice. (1-2)
First up, the Optimus 3D doesn’t just feature one 5.0 Megapixel camera, it has two with autofocus, an LED flash and geotagging functionality. This setup is capable of taking stereoscopic photos and videos (720p only); plus 1080p video capture in 2D mode. Each lens has a max resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. For video calls and cheeky self portraits, there’s also a 2.0 MP front-facing camera.
The 8.0 Megapixel camera on the Galaxy S II is superior to the 5.0 MP-rated lens on the Optimus 3D. One of them at any rate. It also includes an array of handy photo-enhancing features including: autofocus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus functionality, face/smile detection, image stabilization and, wait for it, 1080p video capture. A second camera on the front can be used for video calling. (1-2)
The design of LG’s Optimus 3D features a 4.3-inch touch-sensitive 3D LCD screen, with a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. The pixels per inch (PPI) measurement here is 216.977. Sure, on paper that’s a little low. But you’ve got to factor in the autostereoscopic capabilities here, which enable you to view videos and photos in 3D without wearing silly glasses.
Measuring 4.27 inches on the diagonal, the Galaxy S II (32GB)’s touch-sensitive Super AMOLED Plus screen is a shade smaller. But not so you’d notice. Toughened up with protective Gorilla Glass, the screen resolution matches that of the Optimus 3D. Do the math again and the pixels per inch (PPI) rating of this screen is 218.501. Both screens have their pros and cons. (1-2)
Under the hood, the Optimus 3D’s workhorse chip is a 1GHz dual-Core dual-channel processor OMAP4 built by Texas Instruments. LG maintains that the dual-channel memory gives the overall performance a kick up the backside. The Galaxy S II is no slouch either and incorporates one of Samsung’s own dual-core Exynos processors, clocked at 1GHz. (1-2)
The Optimus 3D runs Android 2.2 at launch, customised with a 3D UI. The Galaxy S II, meanwhile runs Google’s Android 2.3 with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI overlay and Swype text input. The Optimus will get an upgrade to 2.3 eventually, but the Galaxy S II just edges the round here. (1-3)
In terms of storage capacity, the Galaxy S II features 32GB of internal storage, while the Optimus 3D features only 8GB. Plug a bigger memory card into the Optimus 3D’s microSD expansion slot and the maximum capacity rises to a much more respectable 40GB. Of course, the 32GB storage capacity on Samsung’s phone can be expanded to 64GB via its own microSD slot. (1-4)
Last round… The Optimus 3D also includes GPS/A-GPS, a gyroscope, digital compass, stereo FM radio with RDS, DLNA connectivity and an HDMI port. There’s also a 3D Hot Key, which activates five 3D-dedicated UIs on the phone, including the Gallery, Camera, Game&Apps, YouTube 3D and a 3D Guide.
In comparison, the Galaxy S II features its own array of handy extras. These include: GPS/A-GPS, DLNA content sharing, Wi-Fi direct, a stereo FM radio (with RDS), optional NFC support, a digital compass, companion gyroscope and an HDMI port. It also features four software ‘hubs’ – the Reader’s Hub, the Social Hub, the Games Hub and the Music Hub (1-4)
The Samsung Galaxy S II (32GB) wins!
While the LG Optimus 3D certainly impresses with its 3D capabilities, it’s easy to see that the Samsung Galaxy S II is the better all-round phone.
You’ll notice that we haven’t covered battery life here. Samsung and LG had yet to release any details. But we can gauge the potential longevity by looking at the battery sizes – LG’s handset includes a 1500mAH battery, while Samsung has squeezed a 1650 mAh cell into the new Galaxy S II. How? We have no idea…
See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…