After a very quiet 2010, LG really has to pull the stops out to push itself back up the desirability ranks of Android phone users. Having just released the LG Optimus Black; we have to wonder if this will be enough to push the Korean company back to the top of the Android device market?
Well, it must be said that in the usual frame of LG, the Optimus Black is an attractive device. All black, as the name would suggest, it really does a great job of looking monolithic and minimalist.
Its width is minimalist in action, being a mere 9mm thick it’s one of the slimmest smart phones in the world. When you consider it also has a 4in screen, you have to be impressed by what LG have pulled off.
The innards of the Optimus Black are not as amazing. It has a respectable 1GHz single core processor and 512MB of RAM, which is nothing special and leaves it in the wake of many current devices which have dual core processors. It also runs Android 2.2, hard to understand with 2.3 appearing in most new phones – not that there is anything wrong with 2.2.
One of the pluses about the LG is its screen. It has a Nova screen, which LG claim is a third brighter than conventional AMOLEDs and also uses half the power – if this is true then the Nova screen is no mean feat.
The LG also has a respectable 5 megapixel camera at the back with a single LED and a 2 mp camera for face to face calling. The camera is also capable of 720p capturing and the screen is a 400x800display, which to be honest is a pretty good effort on LG’s part.
The new LG also supports Flash, has a micro SD port and a 3.5mm stereo jack. Sadly, it has no HDMI out port – though it has DNLA, allowing you to play films on a larger screen.
Suggestions are that the LG will be sold at a slightly cheaper price than some of the phones it expects to compete with. This perhaps will give it an advantage, though signing up for a two year contract on a phone that does have a whiff of using old technology may not inspire some people.
The conclusion being, that though the LG Optimus Black is a decent offering, pretty and quite good technology wise – it lacks a certain cutting edge to compete with the true high end devices. Still, it’s a good all-rounder and the lower price level should attract interest from the more budget conscious among us.