Today at the CTIA conference in Orlando, HTC and Sprint announced the new HTC Evo 3D, which will be one of the first 3-D-capable smartphones in the country, just following the LG Thrill 4G on AT&T. These phones are both big, powerful Android phones, with an interesting twist of glasses-free 3-D displays.
The Evo 3D, in some ways the follow-up to the Evo 4G, boasts a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, WiMax (4G) compatibility, and 1GB of memory, as well as Android 2.3 "Gingerbread," the newest and surprisingly rare version of Android. But what we're really interested in is the screen, an impressive 4.3-inch "QHD" screen with a 960 x 540 resolution, a much-needed and substantial bump from HTC's previous phones of the same size. The screen is an auto-stereoscopic display with a parallax barrier--similar to the Nintendo 3DS, it relies on the viewer being at a particular distance from the screen, but does seem to work fairly well at creating a mild illusion of depth. You can read more about how this kind of 3-D works in our explainer.
Both the Evo 3D and the Thrill 4G boast dual cameras so you can shoot photos and videos in 3-D. HTC claims that the Evo will be able to shoot 720p video in 2-D, and 1080p in 3-D, which is pretty impressive, supposing the image quality is good.
The LG Thrill 4G is a rebadged LG Optimus 3D, which I got a chance to play with at CES this past January. It is, we should add, an HSPA+ device and not a true 4G device--HSPA+ is AT&T's boondoggly, theoretically bumped-up 3G network, but in our tests we found it actually slower than 3G. That makes the Evo 3D much more exciting; after all, WiMax legitimately is far faster than traditional 3G. That being said, the Thrill seems like a pretty nice phone, fairly similar to the Evo with its 4.3-inch screen and dual-core processor.
There's a slight typo. The Evo 3D can do 1080p in 2D and 720p in 3D. The way its written right now doesn't even make sense since 3D would take more processing power than 2D.
On the topic of the Evo 3D, its definitely exciting. Makes me want to replace my Evo with it. When I have the money, I most likely will upgrade, since it appears to be an admirable upgrade to the original.
Japan has had glasses free 3D cell phones on the market for over 2 years now. They dont seem to be very popular or a big deal over here. not sure there is much 3D content for a cell phone.
Other than seeing 3D videos, I don't see the point of 3D touch screen phones. Let's say the icons for the apps are 3D (appear off of the screen), when you go to press one, you'll have to keep going until you reach the screen. This will mess with depth perception and give you a headache!
My 2 cents.
i agree with GabCas
@GabCas: Parallax barrier is better at making things look inside the phone rather than outside it and floating in air. It's not that it can't do that, it's just that it is great at imbedded things and not quite so much with floating objects.
Parralax is going to be a gimmick until someone doubles the resolution of the iPhone 4. Right now, it cuts your resolution in half, drastically reducing picture quality. Once resolution hits the point where dual-retina displays can be created, parralax will be more useful. By then, it can be assumed that there will be a sizeable amount of 3D videos.
It will be similar to Youtube. Yes, people had digital files before, but at first, there was no gargantuan library of media. In the case of 3D, developers are pushing both at the same time to promote both.
I tend to personally think of 3D as a bit of a gimmick as is a retina display. Neither is actually needed, but both are nice and combined would make for a phone that would outclass everything else by a longshot. I'll assume that the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 will be the first with this capability due to Apple's nature.
So, in the end, yes, the primary purpose of a 3D screen is to watch 3D videos, but new phones and gaming devices have stereoscopic cameras. Sooner or later, there will be a substantial reserve of 3D video. From there, it will start bleeding over into the main television industry which will already likely have found a way to achieve mass 3D without glasses other than parallax. At that point, you can assume that 3D is going to become the standard for all digital visual media.