LG has been showing off its Optimus 3D smartphone on a tour around UK cities. Today, the tour arrived at Canary Wharf in London where members of the public were invited to try out the £35-a-month Android Froyo 2.2 smartphone. Our attempts to get a close-up were somewhat hobbled, however, as LG used this morning’s press event to film footage for its promotion with stars from ‘scripted reality’ TV show The Only Way Is Essex.

The 3G smartphone went onsale at the start of July and is one of several 3D devices set to launch this year. The Optimus 3D can display 3D footage on its 4.3in edge-to-edge touchscreen. It is also capable of capturing still photos in Jpeg Stereo to create 3D shots using its 5Mp camera. This, LG told us, results in photo files that take up approximately twice the amount of storage space as a standard photo shot at the same resolution.

While this may seem obvious, it’s a different scenario when shooting 3D video. This can be done at a resolution of 1920x720p. The 3D video files result in around 30-to-40 percent larger file sizes than standard video captured at the same resolution. As well as shooting 2D footage at 720p, the LG Optimus can take 2D footage at 1920x1080p. The handset has an 8GB internal memory and can take microSD cards up to 32GB capacity.

A dedicated 3D button can be used to switch between 2D and 3D modes, while in the Gallery menu you can invoke the 3D camera or share your footage to YouTube 3D via a dedicated channel. The handset can also upscale content that was originally recorded in 2D to simulate 3D effects. The handset even attempts to make 3D games out of ones that were originally coded in 2D. Any OpenGL content is able to be re-encoded in this way, LG’s spokesman told us. The handset is aslo able to change the depth of field to add greater 3D effects.

The Optimus 3D handset also comes preinstalled with a virtual reality application called Wikitude 3D. This takes photos and other content from your immediate surroundings and that has been geotagged and shows you links to them overlaid on our screen.

The handset launches with Google Android 2.2 Froyo operating system installed. However, LG says an update to the Gingerbread 2.3 version of Android will be delivered at the end of September. HTC recently announced the Evo 3D phone will launch in the UK. This comes with Gingerbread preinstalled. Apple is also rumoured to be working on adding 3D to its next iPhone.

The LG Optimus 3D is onsale via Carphone Warehouse on a £35-a-month tariff for a minimum of two years. Options include either 700 minutes of call time, unlimited text messaging and 500MB of mobile data, or 600 minutes and 750MB of data per month. Alternatively, the handset can be bought on a pay-as-you-go basis for £499.99.