It's officially the 3rd day of CES, and I finally made it over to the giant Sharp booth pavilion, where I was able to get a hands-on demo of the first and only 3D Android handset, which is currently only sold in Japan. Don't worry though - it's coming to the U.S. and possibly other locations this year. Perhaps you've heard of it - meet Sharp Galapagos 003SH, which is capable of not only showing 3D menus, pictures, and videos, but allows you to snap some as well. In addition, it supports 3D-enabled games, one of which I was able to demo.

Galapagos 003SH is one of two Galapagos offerings - the other being 005SH which sports a QWERTY keyboard. It has Sharp's own Parallax Barrier 3D 3.8" WVGA screen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a whopping 9.6 MP camera capable of recording in 720P, and currently runs Android 2.2 "Froyo."

After playing with the phone, I was pleasantly surprised to find out the glasses-free 3D actually really works, and the whole "you need to be at a certain angle to view it" claim is not nearly as bad as I thought. It's no wonder - after all, Nintendo is using the same technology in its upcoming 3DS portable. It was kind of weird to see 3D wallpapers, videos, and photos because, well, I wasn't expecting them to be  more than just a gimmick.

On the sour side of things, taking 3D pictures turned out to be not ideal, however, because this Galapagos only has 1 lens. Therefore, to take a photo, you have to take 1, then move the device sideways until it decides to take the next one, and hope the subject hasn't moved. Even in that case, chances are your photo is going to suck.

Have a look at our hands-on video and pictures below:

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Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • TareX

    Been waiting for this since the beginning of CES. It works a whole lot better than I had expected!

    Before watching the video, I thought 3D would only be available in landscape (I thought the Parallax Barrier screen only worked in one plane), but this was a delightful surprise :)

    HTC is rumored to be unveiling a 3D Android of its own at MWC next month (hopefully a Tegra 2), so I can't wait for that....

    • dj

      Wow this HTC phone u talk about possibly the evo 4g2 cuz Sprint was quiet at ces on android and it almost time for successor of evo there flag ship ?

      • TareX

        Sprint was quiet and so was HTC... which leads me to believe HTC has chosen Sprint to be the carrier of the their 3D phone.

        If it were At&t, they would have announced it before Verizon makes the iPhone announcement. Or maybe they're just waiting to reveal it before iPhone 5 goes on sales... you never know.

        Here's where the HTC 3D phone leak came from:

        • dj

          Wow I don't like how HTC hardware for 3d phone look ,but if it goes to Sprint I bet Sprint will change hardware like they always do to make it like evo

        • TareX

          Note that this hardware in the photo is the Galapagos, not the HTC 3D phone which hasn't been unveiled or even confirmed yet.

  • Kane

    Wonder how many videos and games that support 3D we'll be able to see and get. What about 3D movies that can play on 3D TVs - are those compatible with this screen?

    • TareX

      That would be the main reason to get the phone, so I'd think yes, they would be compatible with the screen...

    • Someone

      All games should automatically get 3D support, provided they used OpenGL to drive their graphics.

      This is the same reason why nVidia's 3D glasses works with any PC game -- it simply reads the DirectX coordinates / geometry and shifts the viewpoint slight for each eye.

  • cocaice

    not impressed,no interest to buy , guess good 3d techs wont be available in 5 yrs

  • http://nihondroid.blogspot.com Chokkan

    Actually, the SH-03C came out on the Docomo network before this one which is on rival Softbank. I think the Softbank version is a much better design, though.

    My wife has the one on Docomo. It's a perfectly good phone and also includes support for NFC payment systems, infra-red, and TV.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      This was the SoftBank version actually :)

  • Milad

    the girl doesnt know anything about the phone lol

    • Kane

      Nope, but she was hot, so who cares, right? :D

    • TareX

      Not only that, in every demo, she seems to start by showing off the phone's least impressive 3D qualities: The camera...

  • TareX

    In parallax barrier 3D, is the resolution cut in half, or just the fps?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Based on what I have seen, resolution is. The screen is considerably darker when 3D is on.

  • Maxx134

    This is the future of all operating systems..
    Think about it, we navigate and interact with everything in a 3D environment.
    When you organize and place things, whether your office or at home,
    you don't think of what color or what it looks like..
    You think of "where you put it" (the actual placement in a 3d envirement).
    like where you put your keys or glasses.
    The first company that can envision a user interface like this,
    and make it a reality,
    will change the landscape of how we interact with computers, namely:
    mulltitadsking; sorting; task switching, and finnaly the whole user interface.
    Hopefully, that is the future.. :p

  • Paul

    Interesting. Not sure I'd get it, but I wouldn't rule it out either. I think I'd play w/ a demo first and decide then, but it's definitely peaked my curiosity.

  • mrmanuke

    I'm releasing 3d games for this phone. I released two on the launch day (December 18th) and so far I've gotten a total of 1 download. 1. I don't know if this phone just hasn't been selling or what. There are no 3d games for this phone except the ones that were packaged with the phone.

  • Maxx134

    Looks like LG has better screen technology and so,
    their bigger phone will look clearer:
    Lets hope they come out similar time, but also HTC has been working on this as well, but no leaks..

  • Paulie07

    Been using the Galapogos 003SH for a month now (was released in Japan in December last) and it is awesome. Far better than my previous i-phone! 3-D works well on videos and games. Can be used on photos too, but that's not so good on the eyes.
    It is the best android available at the moment in my opinion...in Japan anyway.