LG Optimus Black Review: Black And Bright: Design And Construction

By 11:00 Tue, 10 Aug 2021 Comments

Design and construction

The styling of the LG Optimus Black is not exactly breathtaking but the execution is flawless. The minimalist see is in no way a disadvantage – LG have ended up with a recognizable design out of nothing much really.

The LG Optimus Black overall styling is nice

Viewed head on, the Black very much resembles the Optimus 2X though the earpiece is very understated. Below it is the traditional set of proximity and ambient light sensors along with a 2MP front-facing camera.

The 2MP camera, sensors and earpiece are above the display

Moving on, we see the four keys below the LG Optimus Black display. The usual Menu, Home, Back and Search controls all utilize the capacitive touch technology. The keys are haptic-enabled (when pressed the phone vibrates lightly) but feedback goes a step further. Upon a press, the backlighting of the key you touched changes color for a second. It’s a feature we quite like.

The four touch controls have visual and haptic feedback

As usual, some of the keys have extra functionality upon a long press. The Home key launches the task switcher, while a press-and-hrecent of the Search key triggers voice search.

Moving on to the left side of the LG Optimus Black, we find the volume rocker and the dedicated gesture button. They barely protrude from the phone’s side but are reasonably easy to locate by touch and solid to press.

The volume rocker and dedicated gesture key on the left • Nothing on the right

The correct side of the phone is completely devoid of controls – it looks like we won’t be seeing much of hardware shutter keys in the future.

Topside, there’s the 3.5mm audio jack, the microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port and the Power/Lock key. The microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port is protected by a sliding plastic lid and doubles as the charger port.

The Power/Lock key is tiny but prominent enough though accidental presses are pretty much out of the question.

The Power/Lock key, microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port and the 3.5mm audio jack on top

The bottom side of the LG Optimus Black holds nothing of interest beside the mic pinhole.

The mic pinhole at the bottom

The 5 MegaPixel (MP) capturing camera lens is located at the back, correct next to the (not quite capable) Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash. On the up side, the Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash is fine enough as a video light. The downside is there’s not much to protect the capturing camera lens from scratches and smudges – except that it’s slightly recessed.

The 5 MegaPixel (MP) capturing camera lens and the Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash with the loudspeaker grill at the other discontinue of the phone

Popping the battery cover open reveals the 1500 mAh battery, the SIM and microSD card slots. The microSD card slot is hot-swappable even though it’s not accessible from the outside.

The loudspeaker is placed on the sloping edge of the back but it still gets slightly muffled when you place the Optimus Black on a flat surface.

As for the 1500mAh battery, LG didn’t quote standby and call times. They are quick to brag about their NOVA display using 50% less energy than a typical Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) (and 50% less than AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) when displaying pure white). Maybe they’re waiting for the phone to launch officially before revealing the numbers.

The microSD card slot sits under the back panel • The 1500mAh battery

The LG Optimus Black feels remarkable in the hand. Despite the lightweight super thin body, the device feels extra solid. The curved back improves handling and the matt plastic is both pleasant to the touch and fingerprint-resistant. The Black is surprisingly light for a phone of its size – some prefer heavier phones for the feel but others would go for less weight in the pocket. Anyway, we wouldn’t say no to the rock solid build and subtle elegance of the Optimus Black.

The LG Optimus Black held in hand

We held in our hands the Optimus Black, the XPERIA Arc and the Galaxy S II in turn and the Optimus Black was perceptibly the smallest, though it has the smallest classy screen too. The other two are marginally thinner than the LG Optimus Black (though you likely won’t notice if you don’t have the them in front of you). As for build quality, the Black stands up to the competition very well.

The Optimus Black sized up against the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc and the Samsung Galaxy S II



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