LG Optimus Black review: Black and bright
One-off packaging for reviewers, not mortals
We gasped when we saw the box that the LG Optimus Black came in – it was huge. Most phones come in boxes barely wider and taller than the device itself, but not the Black – it came in a massive box that made it feel special.
An email from LG was quick to solve the mystery of the box – it’s for reviewers only and not the actual thing phones will be shipped in.
Still, the contents should be fairly representative of what the (probably smaller) retail box will hold. That’s a compact charger, a microUSB cable (to use with the charger too), a 2GB microSD card (with an SD adapter) and a single-piece headset. Be warned though that LG’s website hasn’t confirmed that.
We know what you’re thinking. They’ve just been treated to an excess of promo items so we’d better take the review with a pinch of salt. Worry not people – the pencil looks pretty cheap.
LG Optimus Black 360-degree spin
The front of the LG Optimus Black spans 122 x 64mm, which is compact for a 4” screen. At just 9.2 mm of thickness and 109 grams of weight, the Black will slip into almost any pocket problem free.
LG NOVA display gets due attention
We’ve already covered the LG Optimus Black display at length in the dedicated display article but we’ll recap the key findings here.
The NOVA display is the brightest we’ve tested and the brightest on a mobile phone in general. Our measurements confirmed the 700 nits of brightness that LG claim, in fact we measured it at almost 750 nits.
Contrast is excellent too, though that’s mostly due to the bright whites – the blacks are not particularly deep. The table follows with our brightness/contrast readings.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|LG Optimus Black P970||0.27||332||1228||0.65||749||1161|
|LG Optimus 2X||0.23||228||982||0.35||347||1001|
|Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc||0.03||34||1078||0.33||394||1207|
|Samsung I9000 Galaxy S||0||263||∞||0||395||∞|
|Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II||0||231||∞||0||362||∞|
|HTC Incredible S||0.18||162||908||0.31||275||880|
|Motorola Atrix 4G||0.48||314||652||0.60||598||991|
|Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo||0.05||68||1324||0.10||134||1295|
|Samsung Galaxy Ace||0.23||160||701||0.34||234||683|
Color rendering and sunlight legibility are very good as is the screen sharpness. The whites are spot on – there’s no tint to them that can be seen on other displays.
Viewing angles are not perfect though – good enough in real use though we’ve seen better. There’s a noticeable lack of contrast at an angle though not much color loss.
Here’s a macro shot of the displays of the Optimus Black, 2X, Samsung Galaxy S and S II and the iPhone 4. You can judge the perceivable sharpness of these displays by looking at their matrices from really close.