LG Optimus Black review

Super thin, feather-light - but can it rival the new dual-core brigade?

TODO alt text

LG optimus black p970

The LG Optimus Black has some great things going for it – namely its sleek, lightweight chassis and lush 4-inch NOVA display in all its colourful glory. Outside of this there are no particularly outstanding features, but it's a slick, capable handset that does well in the core smartphone media categories.

Of course, if you want a more powerful machine you'd opt for the LG Optimus 2X, but if you're looking for a dependable all-rounder, we'd say this matches up to the likes of the Apple iPhone 4 and the display qualities of the Samsung Galaxy S2 with its AMOLED screen.

If you like gimmicks, you'll probably love the Gesture UI, though we thought many of the options – such as tapping to skip music tracks – were a little pointless when you really got down to it.

Overall though, and despite running Android 2.2, we'd say the LG Optimus Black's worth the money if you're looking for an efficient, easy to use device that's easy on the eye and light on the pocket.

We liked:

The LG Optimus Black's screen – all four inches of it – is bright and clear. And despite the occasional rough edge, the lightness of the phone meant it was comfortable in the hand, even when watching video for decently long periods of time.

The ease with which we could scroll through home screens, menus and apps without juddering or pauses was much appreciated, plus we always seemed to be able to get a decent enough signal to browse the internet, which is excellent.

We disliked:

The fact that the LG Optimus Black runs Android 2.2 seems a shame when there are more recent Android updates available, although it coped with most processes perfectly fine.

The Gesture UI should have seemed a snappy addition, but we were left rather unimpressed by the G Key, with the only truly useful gesture being the ability to snap into camera mode from the lockscreen. The rest seemed merely exercises in vanity.


If you're both a fan of the black bar aesthetic that seems to be the current go-to design of smartphones, and a fan of lightweight machinery that does exactly what it ought to, then the LG Optimus Black will suit you great.

While its only truly outstanding feature is the NOVA display screen, it performs well enough in other areas to stand as a competitor to the Apple iPhone 4 for those who prefer Android phones.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory2 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.27 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time6 Hour
Product ModelOptimus black
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)109 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerTexas Instruments
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.2 Froyo
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging, EMS
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height122 mm
Width64 mm
Depth9.2 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time375 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameOptimus black Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberLG-OPTIMUSBKP970
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

One of the world's thinnest and lightest Android smartphones, the LG Optimus Black has a dramatically brighter 4-inch LCD screen, creating a one-of-a-kind user experience unlike anything before. By using LG's very own NOVA display technology, the screen is designed to be the brightest, clearest and most readable among mobile screens. The crystal-clear display not only lets users see the screen in direct sunlight but also provides a more natural web browsing experience by displaying truer colours. In addition, the LG Optimus Black comes with the latest technology, such as Wi-Fi Direct, a 2MP front-facing camera, lower battery consumption and launches on Android 2.2 to access over 150,000 apps.