By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: LG Electronics has upped the ante in the smartphone game with the release today of the Optimus 3D, which it claims offers “the world’s first 3D experience on a smartphone”.

The 4.3-inch 3D WVGA screen uses Parallax Barrier Technology, a technical way of describing the physical design of the screen that allows for the creation of three-dimensional visuals that can be viewed viewed by the naked eye.

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“For the first time ever, you can view 3D content without glasses,” said Brad Reed, LG’s senior marketing manager, mobile communications. In addition, the 2 rear-mounted 5-megapixel cameras allow for 3D image and video shooting, so users are “able to create and share 3D content, all on the one handset,” Reed said.

The 2 rear-mounted 5MP cameras on the Optimus 3D.

With the touch of one button, the phone switches from 2D to 3D viewing modes for enjoying a variety of content, including 3D images, videos and games. Users can take pictures in 3D mode or convert existing 2D files into 3D images, as well as shooting 3D video that can then be shared via YouTube’s dedicated 3D channel, or streamed to a 3D television via HDMI.

The Optimus 3D also allows for 3D gaming. Thanks to LG’s partnership with Gameloft, three games are preloaded on the device with the option to download an additional seven games via Wi-Fi for free (data charges will apply over 3G).

In order to process 3D gaming and video, navigate quickly through content-heavy websites and allow user multitasking, the Optimus 3D is equipped with a unique “tri-dual configuration” that features “dual-core, dual-channel and dual memory”.

The result is a phone that offers significantly improved performance compared to other smartphones, according to Nathan Dunn, General Manager, LG Mobile Communications.

“Backed by a combination of superb performance and a complete 3D experience, we’re excited about the prospects of the LG Optimus 3D taking the smartphone to a much higher level,” Dunn said. “We’ve incorporated ever feature for the power user and we think they’ll be pleased with what they see.”

Three-dimensional gaming on the Optimus 3D.

The smart phone operates on the older Android 2.2 Froyo OS with an Android 2.3 Gingerbread update in the pipeline. Reed conceded the delay was down to development timetables and timing issues, and noted that while “there is a small niche that will always want the latest and greatest, [LG] will continue to develop and improve.”

For Reed, the benefits of Android were obvious. “You get a range of choices. It’s a very flexible platform so individual vendors can put their own flavour into Android,” he said. “There’s also an ecosystem for apps and there will be a music service too.”

In addition, Reed said the phone’s HDMI and DLNA connectivity was a real bonus. “You can capture in 3D and then watch that 3D on other mediums,” Reed said, “so you get really good integration between different appliances you have in the home.

“It’s a totally new experience on a mobile phone.”

The Optimus 3D will be available in early July (with a pre-sale website expected to be up from 1 July) and will be exclusive to Optus for the first four weeks, although Reed expects this period will be extended. It will be available for $0 upfront on the Optus $59 Cap Plan, or outright for RRP $799.

 The LG Optimus 3D.

UPDATE: Since posting this story, has been contacted by Optus Corporate Affairs advising that the pre-order website will be up and running on 22 June 2011.