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LG Optimus Black review

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

The LG Optimus Black runs on Android 2.2 Froyo with the Optimus 2.0 UI overlay.

LG optimus black p970

There are seven home screens on this sweet machine, and the 1GHz single core processor is more than capable of happily sliding through them all with ease, and running any apps you might wish to pull up.

LG optimus black p970

There's little to no juddering and some nice widgets – the weather one especially calls to mind the HTC equivalent.

LG optimus black p970

The pull-down notifications screen looks nice and spiffy, with an update that now includes music player, volume and connectivity setting controls.

LG optimus black p970

A long-tap to the screen brings up the home screen edit mode for customising. And a pinch displays all seven home screens at once.

LG optimus black p970

Apps are easily managed by tapping into 'Manage app' and moving them into desired categories in a list or page view.

So far, so usual. But the most interesting thing about the LG Optimus Black interface has to be the Gesture UI. Fun and useful, the idea is to make it easier to use the phone and flip through functions with one hand. And, if you have big enough hands to make it work, it's great.

LG optimus black p970

The G Key doubles as the camera button in that it opens the app from the lockscreen (although you can't use it to actually take the snap, which is disappointing). Simply press the key, on the side of the phone, and shake. Press and tilt to slide through the seven home screens, press and tap the side of the phone to move the cursor left and right when texting and press and shake to answer or hang up on a phone call.

It's a particularly nice addition if you're not a fan of touchscreens without soft buttons. If you're not a fan of shaking your phone about like a loon in public, these additional features can be tweaked in the settings menu.

LG optimus black p970

There are tiny details that are counter-intuitive on the LG Optimus Black, such as sliding up to unlock but then immediately having to slide down to pull down the notifications tab, and it's not as easy to use one-handed as you might like. Overall, though, there are no grumbles from us – it's mainly swift to respond and easy to pick up.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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.