Samsung Galaxy S II vs LG Optimus 3D

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We pitch the Samsung Galaxy S II against LG’s new contender, the Optimus 3D – will 3D capability win the day?

Form

LG Optimus 3D – 128.8 x 68 x 11.9 mm, 168g
Samsung Galaxy S II – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116g

The LG Optimus 3D is a larger, thicker and heavier handset than the Galaxy S II but the extra bulk can probably be forgiven for being a pioneering 3D smartphone and having to cram a little extra tech into it.

Proportions aside it’s a good-looking ‘slab’ overall, though we can’t say we’re exactly fans of the weird 3D-labelled ‘band’ which adorns the back panel of the handset and houses the LG’s dual cameras.

Both phones are large enough to accommodate a decently sized 4.3-inch touchscreen which is a big plus in our book.

The S II remains a far sleeker handset though, with very clean lines and low-profile looks and you’ll have to look pretty hard to find a thinner handset on the market right now.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II

Display

Screen size and resolution for these phones is identical, both being 4.3-inch screens at 480 x 800 resolution.

The LG Optimus 3D has, true to form, a 3D LCD capacitive touchscreen with accelerometer and gyro sensors and features an LG 3D UI (user interface).

The Galaxy S II uses a Samsung Super Amoled Plus capacitive touchscreen which uses toughened Gorilla Glass and features multi-touch, accelerometer, gyro, TouchWiz 4.0 UI and Swype text input.

Both screens are bang up-to-date offerings from their respective manufacturers, the only notable differences are that the Samsung has a few bonus features such as the Gorilla Glass and multi-touch, which are nice things to have, also there are benefits in power consumption, colour and brightness from Samsung’s Super Amoled Plus technology.

They may be minor features but they are things the Samsung has which the LG doesn’t, so on that basis we’re going to vote in favour of the Samsung on this round.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II

Storage

The Galaxy S II is available with either 16 GB or 32 GB internal storage capacity and
It seems odd that a handset based around capturing, viewing and, you would think, storing 3D content would have such low internal storage.

The Galaxy S II excels in its comparably vast storage space so this is a round in which Samsung comes out a clear winner.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S II

Processor

Both handsets are based on the increasingly popular ARM Cortex-A9
The Samsung uses the Orion chipset and a Mali-400MP graphics processing unit while LG has opted for the TI OMAP4430 chipset and a PowerVR SGX540 graphics processor.

As a result they’re going to be fairly equal in terms of pure power but it’s not surprising the LG has been beefed up when you consider all the extra 3D shenanigans it has to deal with.

Neither phone is the shy retiring type when it comes to churning out processor intensive apps, games and multimedia so we’d happily recommend either for this purpose.

Winner – Draw

 

Camera

In previous comparisons the Samsung Galaxy S II has managed to fend off most competitors with its suitably high spec 8-megapixel primary camera but the LG Optimus 3D with its unique glasses-less 3D capabilities may be able to provide a challenge.

The Samsung’s camera captures photos and video at 3264 x 2448 resolution and 1080p.

Other features include geo-tagging, touch focus, autofocus, image stabilisation, LED flash and face and smile detection. The Samsung also has a 2-megapixel secondary camera.

The Optimus 3D has a dual 5-megapixel camera setup specifically for capturing its namesake stereoscopic 3D images and videos at 2560 Ñ… 1920 resolution and 720p, though these can also be used to capture 2D media at 1080p.

The Optimus also has geo-tagging, autofocus and an LED flash. This is probably a make or break area for some people in the sense that 3D seems to be something of a ‘love it or hate it’ feature.

The LG’s cameras may be lower in megapixels and resolution and don’t have a few of the extra shiny add-ons the Samsung’s have such as stabilisation and face and smile detection, but if you’re one of the people who is into 3D devices and are interested in the LG for this reason anyway, the stereoscopic glasses-less 3D more than makes up for this.

If you’ve no interest in 3D, glasses or otherwise, then it becomes a no-brainer and the Samsung’s camera has a lot more going for it.

Consequently we feel this comes down to personal preference on whether or not 3D is a priority for you, so we’re going to call this one a draw.

Winner – Draw

Operating System

These are both Android based smartphones, the LG comes with Android 2.2 Froyo but is upgradeable to 2.3 Gingerbread, which is what the Samsung uses. Gingerbread has many improvements over Froyo so it’s a good thing LG have already provided an upgrade option which brings the Optimus 3D up to spec with the Galaxy S II and means that, on operating systems at least there isn’t anything between these two devices.

As they’re both dual-core handsets hopefully these phones will be able to upgrade to future versions of Android they will supposedly be optimised to take advantage of this kind of processing power.

Winner – Draw

Apps

Both being Android devices, 2.3 Gingerbread capable and dual-core monsters means these handsets are on fairly equal footing when it comes to apps and games.

They should be more than capable of handling anything current from the thousands of apps on Android Marketplace and the spectacular 3D gaming titles available elsewhere.

Both should be able to punch well above their weight on future releases too.

There is one area where the Samsung is a little more capable though and that is in having more storage space – you’ll be able to download more apps and games and store them on the Galaxy S II than you could on the Optimus 3D, but having said that the LG does have another feature in its favour in that it will be able to use any full 3D apps and games when they come onto the market.

The smaller memory of the Optimus 3D may be a stumbling block for some people when it comes to apps, but as with the cameras this is offset by its 3D capabilities, so for the same reasons we’re going to call this round a draw too.

Winner – Draw

Final Thoughts

Most of the rounds have ended with a draw, mainly because these are two very powerful and very capable handsets with not much between them.

We’ve established the Samsung is an excellent smartphone but LG has made something which really gives it a run for its money.

The only areas in which the LG falls behind are the storage capacity and the number of megapixels in the cameras but these are both offset by the unique 3D capabilities of the phone if 3D is something you’re mad about.

Otherwise the Samsung is the better option but it really comes down to where your priorities lie.

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