Anyone who thought 3D smartphones were dead and gone, think again, as Rokit has decided to launch two handsets.
The relatively unknown brand has launched the IO 3D and IO Pro 3D in the UK, despite notable failures of the LG Optimus 3D in 2011 and the Amazon Fire Phone in 2014.
But with an attractive price point, can it lure people to unfamiliar territory?
The IO 3D Pro looks and feels like any other budget smartphone on the market, with an all-plastic body that looks like metal, and reasonable in thickness and weight, at 8.37mm and 172g respectively.
There are no fancy notches, but there is a fingerprint scanner on the back to replace the traditional password entry.
Display and sound
Rokit has taken a risk opting for a 3D-enabled display that doesn’t require glasses, given that attempts by other companies have failed.
If you like 3D, the effects look quite good. Rokit has its own Netflix-esque video platform, Rokflix 3D, with a limited amount of 3D content, although none of it is produced by any recognised names from the TV world.
It’s when you move away from the 3D that the real weakness of the display is evident. At 5.9in wide and running a 1080 FHD+, the display is mediocre, lacking the sharpness, deep colours and decent number of viewing angles that many expect today.
If you dare to play any sound aloud, be sure not to put the volume too high as it will be equally disappointing – but at least they haven’t done away with the headphone jack like everyone else, so you can plug in your own headphones to make up for it.
The IO Pro 3D uses a slightly old version of Android, Oreo, which was released in August 2017, missing the latest Android Pie version.
You can expect the full plethora of Google-made apps as standard, but on top of that you will find Rokit’s own Rokflix app, as well as Rok Launch Control, offering a selection of services, such as breakdown cover and £50,000 accident cover.
These are free for the first three months and will cost £11.99 per month after that if you wish to continue.
The day-to-day running of the IO Pro 3D is blighted by lagging, from a frustratingly unresponsive display right the way through to apps that can take time to load.
The device houses dual 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel rear cameras, which are supposed to allow you to create your own 3D images and videos. The images worked, although they didn’t look great, while it was trickier to shoot your own 3D movie.
Taking an ordinary 2D image proved even less fruitful, delivering blurry photos with even the slightest movement.
There is a microSD slot for additional storage of up to 128GB, which is welcome at a time when few smartphone makers include such a feature.
The 3850Ah battery holds out well over a day with moderate use, but when you start to use more draining features, like watching movies in full brightness, expect the power to drop quite quickly.
The Rokit IO Pro 3D is a basic phone that stumbles over some odd extras to stand out on a pretty busy stage.
Despite there being many better alternatives around, the price makes this smartphone perfect for anyone on a very low budget who wants a bit more than the usual no-thrills devices on the market.
The 3D is a bold but unnecessary nuisance that few people are likely to enjoy – it’s just as well you can switch it off, but that won’t improve the display woes.