The Obox W3D looks a little but like a PSP at first glance, but inside it’s a completely different beast. Running Android 4.4, the W30 isn’t just a gaming device, it’s also an actual phone. It’s best tricks have nothing to do with that though, and the leading one is a glasses free 3D screen.
With a front-facing, eye-tracking camera, the W3D is able to tell exactly how you’re looking at it, and the effect is pretty convincing. From straight on, 3D images pop right out nicely, and thanks to that tracking, you don’t have to hold the phone completely still to make sure they don’t disappear. You have to turn it something fierce before the illusion breaks.
On the inside, the W3D sports an 8-core processor and 2GB of RAM to power the the glasses-free 3D on its 5.5-inch 1080p screen. I only saw it playing a 3D version of the movie Turbo — which looked pretty great! — so I’m not sure how the no-name processor could hold up to more intense demands of 3D games, but the screen works, the buttons feel fine, and the little disc-like analogue “sticks” are about as nice as little disc-like analogue “sticks” can be. The rest of the build, including some wobbly little shoulder buttons, aren’t quite up to snuff though. It’s a fun little device, but not a great one.
The W3D comes from Snail, a company that’s been building a mobile gaming platform in China for a while now, and accordingly, that’s where this strange hybrid beast will launch early this year. So far there are no plans to bring the crazy little gaming monster device over to the States, and who knows if it will even hit here. Even if it did, the W3D is very much a novelty phone. But when it comes to gimmicks, glasses-free 3D is still a fun one, and it’s fun to see a phone with new, weird tricks up its sleeve. Shine on you crazy diamond.