The LG Optimus Black is the little brother to the dual-core Optimus 2X; boasting a slim 9.2 mm design, it’s slimmer than the iPhone 4, but has been ousted for the crown of slimmest phone by the Samsung Galaxy S2.
The Optimus Black’s 4-inch touchscreen is a NOVA display, which promises increased legibility and less battery consumption – apparently half that of an equivalently-sized AMOLED screen.
When we switched on the phone, we were impressed by the display’s crisp colours, while the phone itself is also a looker; with tapered sides on the plain back, while the front of the phone remains flat.
The Optimus Black runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo) out of the box, although an update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is due to be rolled out later in 2011.
Other features here include two cameras; a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera for taking pictures, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video calls.
LG’s Optimus UI 2.0 is also on-board, with several gesture-driven commands, allowing you to receive calls and take pictures without pressing a button, well, actually, there’s a mysterious gesture button.
A whole wealth of ‘gestures’ can be toggled on and off inside the Optimus Black settings, bringing a wealth of customisable options; tilt your phone to switch between photos, tap at the top, bottom and sides of the phone to move a text cursor.
The Optimus Black has so far been announced on T-Mobile and Orange. Here’s what you’ll find in the box, and what the Optimus Black looks like up-close. Hint; it’s all very black.
The box is styled very similar to the recent Optimus 2X, and everything is tightly crammed into the box.
Mais oui, our review model has arrived in a french box, but we were relieved when the phone turned on with an English unlock screen.
And here’s what came inside. From left to right; LG Optimus Black, Headphone set, AC adapter, USB cable, and… french instructions. We’ll crack out the dictionary.
Like the Optimus 2X, there’s only the AC adapter and USB cable, and you’ll need the USB cable to use the power adapter.
These light-up Android buttons behave slightly differently on the Optimus Black; after touching one, it’ll flash dark blue for a brief moment. This one took a lot of shots to capture.
On the left side, there’s your typical volume rocker, and the Optimus Black’s G-button. Stop snickering.
Pressing this, and then tap or shake your phone will mean you can control certain functions of the phone without the touchscreen. Could be good for glove-wearers.
You’ll find all the ports on the top of the phone. The microUSB port also has a slide-over cover, and to the right you’ll see the power-off/screenlock button. On the left, there’s a 3mm headphone slot.
We really like the blank back. The plastic backing comes right up to the screen, giving the illusion of a unibody design. Top right; a 5-megapixel camera, with LED flash.
Taking off the backing reveals a 2GB microSD card, which comes in the box, and the 1500mAh battery- more than enough for an Android smartphone.
The Optimus 2X, right, and the Optimus Black are almost indistinguishable from the front., camera location aside.
Both have the same four-inch NOVA screen and the four Android buttons set below.
Here you can see the difference in thickness. In the hand, the Optimus 2X feels significantly heavier- it could be that meaty dual-core processor weighing it down. The sharply curved backing of the Optimus Black makes it sit well in your hand.
Here’s the iPhone 4 alongside the Optimus Black. We’ve pushed the iPhone to its maximum brightness here, to match the screen on the left.
The Optimus Black wasn’t on max. Pretty impressive.