To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Rokit’s IO Pro 3D and IO 3D phones bring 3D screens back from the dead

Williams F1 sponsor Rokit brings glasses-free 3D screens to a pair of reasonably priced smartphones

If you thought 3D screens were a thing of the past, think again. US telecommunications firm Rokit is bringing the tech back to the mainstream with two new reasonably priced phones: the Rokit IO 3D and the Rokit IO Pro 3D.

The two devices, which will be available to preorder in the UK from 21 March, were first announced at the beginning of February, but all we knew were that they would both have glasses-free 3D displays and would cost £140 for the IO 3D and £250 for the IO Pro 3D.

Now that the phones have been officially launched, however, we have a full list of specifications and have had the chance to go hands-on.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the very best smartphones around

Rokit IO Pro 3D and IO 3D: Specifications, price, release date

Rokit IO Pro 3D:

  • 5.99in, 1,080 x 2,160 display with glasses-free 3D tech
  • Octa-core MediaTek MT6763 processor (4 x 2GHz; 4 x 1.5GHz)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage with microSD expansion (up to 256GB)
  • 13MP + 2MP dual rear camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G support
  • 77 x 8.4 x 160mm, 172g
  • Price: £250 SIM-free from Amazon and the Rokit website
  • Availability: Preorder from 21 March 2019

Rokit IO 3D:

  • 5.45in, 720 x 1,440 display with glasses-free 3D tech
  • Quad-core MediaTek MT6739 processor (1.3GHz)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage with microSD expansion (up to 128GB)
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G support
  • 72 x 9.5 x 149mm, 180g
  • Price: SIM-free £140 from Amazon and the Rokit website
  • Availability: Preorder from 21 March 2019

Rokit IO Pro 3D and IO 3D: Key features and specifications

Rokit is a new name to the smartphone scene but the firm is already starting to make waves. The firm is the main sponsor for the Williams F1 team for the 2019 season and its reasonably priced handsets are the first I’ve seen to feature a glasses-free 3D screen since the LG Optimus 3D back in 2011.

The ROKiT phones use similar technology to the LG, albeit refined, allowing users to view 3D content without the need to don 3D glasses. And, from my initial hands-on time with the phones, they both work impressively well. You have to look directly at the screen to get the full effect – anyone sneaking a look from the side will go cross-eyed – but the 3D effect is effective and the onscreen visuals are sharp, clear and colourful.

The big problem with previous glasses-free 3D phones such as the Optimus 3D was that battery life was poor and the screen was a rather low-resolution 480 x 800. I can’t tell you about battery life on the ROKiT phones just yet but the screens are immeasurably superior. On the IO Pro you’re getting a 5.99in display with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 and even on the cheaper IO 3D, it’s a 5.45in display with a resolution of 720 x 1,440.

It’s worth noting that the 3D effect isn’t enabled all the time, so you don’t need to worry about having to view your emails in 3D. It comes into effect only when you launch content from the ROKFLiX 3D app into the 3D video player.

Alas, the availability of 3D content on the big streaming platforms remains an issue on mobile, with no 3D titles available on UK Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Video. With this in mind, Rokit is supplying its own curated collection of content for the phones via the ROKFLiX 3D app. At the launch, it wasn’t clear what specific titles were available but mention was made of a selection of Imax movies; Rokit is also in the process of creating its own library of 3D content.

The rest of the hardware won’t have big boys from Motorola or Honor quaking in their boots, but it looks serviceable for the money. Both the Rokit IO 3D and the Rokit IO 3D Pro feel well built and look nice enough but they’re constructed mostly from plastic so don’t feel quite as luxurious as some rivals in this price bracket. And although the displays have a tall, narrow 18:9 aspect ratio, they’re not edge-to-edge displays and have thick bezels at both the top and bottom edges.

In keeping with the budget theme, both phones are powered by MediaTek processors: the IO Pro 3D by a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek 6763 (with 4GB of RAM); and the IO 3D by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6739 (with 2GB of RAM). The former has 64GB of storage and a 3,850mAh battery; the latter a fairly meagre 16GB and a 2,500mAh battery.

Still, the handsets do have the basics covered. Both have 3.5mm headphone jacks and storage expansion support, allowing you to add up to 256GB via microSD card. Both have dual-SIM slots and fingerprint readers. And the Rokit IO 3D Pro has a dual 13MP+2MP rear camera, although the IO 3D looks very basic at only 8MP.

What’s perhaps most interesting about the Rokit phones, however, isn’t the hardware or even those 3D displays but the bundle of extra services the firm is offering alongside them.

Both phones are SIM-free and unlocked and come with three months of Rokit’s “ROK Life Services Ultimate package”. This comprises AA-style roadside assistance for your car, £50,000 of personal accident insurance, £5,000 worth of funeral expense coverage, £2,500 of “assault coverage” and 12 months’ free international Wi-Fi phone calls. US customers get an even better deal with a selection of health-related bonuses under the umbrella term “ROK Health”. No other phone manufacturer or network, to my knowledge, offers anything like this.

It’s important to note, however, that this isn’t entirely a free lunch. If you want the Ultimate package to continue after the initial free three months, it will cost you £12 per month, with other, less comprehensive packages available for less.

Rokit IO Pro 3D and IO 3D: Early verdict

Rokit’s new handsets are nothing if not bold, and they’re competitively priced, especially considering they’re using such unusual technology.

As long as the phones themselves tick all the right boxes, delivering sound battery life, performance and camera quality, the firm could be onto a good thing, especially with all those extras thrown in.

The harsh reality, though, is that competition is cutthroat at this end of the smartphone market with strong rivals from the likes of Motorola and Honor all vying for customers’ smartphone dollar; it’s going to be far from plain sailing for the new kids on the block.

Read more