LG Optimus Black review: Black and bright

GSMArena team, 12 May 2011.
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Tags: LG, Android, Touch UI

Final words

The LG Optimus Black is not the brightest bulb in the LG Android portfolio. Fair enough, it has no problem with authority. It claims to have the brightest screen on a phone to date, and thatís a good enough selling point.

The Nova display is among the best LCD screens on the market. The performance aspects aside, the technology favors extra slim phones and thatís a great advantage for the Optimus Black. Itís a real looker of a phone and impressively well-built too. For solid smartphone feel and subtle but classy look, they donít get much better than the LG Optimus Black P970.

Feature-wise, itís nothing spectacular but we knew all the way the Optimus Black wasnít getting the premium flagship treatment. Itís the same package that Samsung offered a year ago with the original Galaxy S. Users wonít be disappointed though. Thereís solid connectivity, complete with Wi-Fi direct and hotspot capability. 5 megapixel stills and 720p video are good enough, a 2 MP front-facing camera with video-call support a welcome addition too. The LG Home launcher is at times better than TouchWiz. Our main gripe is the OS version Ė the Optimus Black will have to wait for Gingerbread.

LG are having quite a franchise out of the Optimus Ė spreading across Android and Windows Phone 7 ecosystems. The Black makes itself comfortable in the upper midrange but safely away from the dual-core hustle and bustle. Itís not exactly the seasonís high-end smartphone but Android fans would be wrong to ignore it.

As for the potential rivals, the Optimus Black will have to look at its own family first. The Optimus 2X is just too powerful to ignore. As befits a flagship, it outperforms the Optimus Black on all accounts but it will set you back a hefty sum.

LG Optimus 2X
LG Optimus 2X

The Galaxy S II looks like the smartphone to beat currently Ė and the Optimus Blackís well out of depth here. The original Galaxy S is a viable alternative though. It will be SuperAMOLED against Nova Display, and the latest Android tipping the scales slightly in Samsungís favor in an otherwise pretty tight game.

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy S II

HTC will be looking to upset the Optimus Black with the the Desire S and the Incredible S. Itís a very similar spec sheet and comparable performance. The things to note are Gingerbread on the Desire and the 8 megapixel still camera on the Incredible S. Oh, and thereís Sense UI too . And we gotta say, the Incredible S has one of the best screen HTC has come up with lately.

HTC Desire SHTC Incredible S
HTC Desire S ē HTC Incredible S

Sony Ericsson have the XPERIA Arc and the Neo to challenge the Optimus Black. The Arc has the massive Reality Display to show off. Both handsets run the latest Android Gingerbread and have solid imaging credentials.

Sony Ericsson Xperia ArcSony Ericsson Xperia Neo
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc ē Sony Ericsson XPERIA Neo

It would be unfair to compare the Optimus Black to the new generation dual core phones. But itís not a phone to write off either. It gives LG a boost in confidence and thatís more than welcome, considering the highly competitive bracket it falls in. Both HTC and Sony Ericsson have recently updated their droid lineups, and Samsung are busy churning out Galaxy S spinoffs. The Optimus Black has a key feature to market itself on and looks classy without overdoing it.

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