It's been about a year since we saw any major new hardware sporting the glasses-free lenticular 3D display technology, but LG seems to have been pleased enough with the Optimus 3D to give it another go. The Optimus 3D Max (AKA the Optimus 3D Cube in some markets) keeps the originals' 3D screen and dual cameras, while adding a larger 4.3-inch panel ,1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor and upgrading the cameras to 5 megapixels. Here's out hands-on look from LG's Mobile World Congress event.
Naturally with a bigger body and screen, the 3D Max gives a different feel from its predecessor, but thanks to some good engineering on LG's part, it actually feels lighter and thinner. A lot of the bulk of the original is gone, cramming the 3D capability into something more like a standard high-end Android phone. That said, if you've seen the Optimus 3D (or the Evo 3D, HTC's take on the technology) you know what to expect: the effect goes "in" to the phone's screen, making it look kind of like a diorama behind glass. It's an interesting effect, to be sure, but it's not for everyone. The brighter display (LG calls it "NOVA") helps isolate some of the dim and ghosting problems seen before.
On the back you get the eye-popping stereo cameras, though unfortunately we couldn't do a proper run-down of this feature on the crowded show floor. The flat back curves out on the bottom, Galaxy S-style, though not uncomfortably so. Buyers will have to settle for Gingerbread, unlike some of the more high-end LG offerings like the Optimus 4X HD, but thankfully LG has included all four standard Android buttons instead of their usual three. LG's proprietary UI is along for the ride with some 3D enhancements.
All in all it's a worthy update to the original Optimus 3D, and those who have fallen in love with lenticular 3D (and we know you're out there) will appreciate the Optimus 3D Max - especially since it's currently the leader in a pack of one. There's no word on when or where this phone will be available, but late summer seems like a possibility. Keep your browser's non-existent dials tuned to Android Community's Mobile World Congress portal for more breaking coverage.