Interface and Functionality:

The LG Optimus Black that we have today runs Android 2.2 out of the box with Optimus UI 2.0 added right on top of it. The all-familiar Froyo comes with a revamped homescreen management system, a slightly modified lock screen, and music controls conveniently added to the drop down menu – all Optimus UI 2.0 features common across LG's Optimus series. The Black comes with a gorgeous Flash-animated weather application and widget almost reaching the high threshold set by the ones from HTC. The weather app gets information from AccuWeather and gives you 15-day forecast, which is pretty neat.

Another feature that Optimus UI 2.0 delivers is the implementation of motion gestures. Just like on the LG Optimus 2X, tapping on the sides of the device can move the cursor when typing or browse through the image gallery. More that you can do with motion gestures is to turn off your alarm clock or to mute an incoming call by flipping the phone over. We can argue how useful these motion gestures can be in real life because the idea of physically hitting a pricy device, no matter how lightly you do it, can always cause an accidental drop if you are not being careful enough. Luckily, some or all of the motion gestures can be turned off through the Settings menu.

Although seeing the LG Optimus Black launch with Froyo on board will be somewhat disappointing to some, LG has stated that an upgrade to Gingerbread will be possible in the future, hopefully enabling video chat over that 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The interface on the Optimus Black runs smoothly almost all of the time, though we cannot deny noticing slight lags and delays every once in a while. Perhaps, the software on the smartphone has not been completely optimized for running on the 1GHz single-core TI OMAP 3630 mobile chipset, backed up by 512 MB of RAM. It is worth pointing out that this chipset is known for its energy efficiency rather than showing any outstanding computing power levels.

Being energy efficient does not necessarily mean that the LG Optimus Black cannot play any games. The PowerVR SGX 530 GPU should suffice for running not very demanding 3D games at decent frame rates. Nevertheless, do not expect breaking any benchmark records with this device. Our Quadrant scores rarely exceed 1300 points, which is about as much as the ten month old Motorola DROID X (updated to Froyo) would get. That should not come as a surprise really since both devices have the exact same OMAP 3630 chipset ticking inside them.

The LG Optimus Black offers only 1 gigabyte of internal storage, but the phone's capacity can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 32 gigabytes in size. Although LG has included a basic 2 gigabyte one in the set, you might want to consider upgrading it because it gets pretty crammed once you start shooting HD video and taking photos, not to mention the MP3s that you might want to carry around with you.. 

For those of you who like socializing on the go,  LG has not forgotten to implement clients to three of the most popular social networks – Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. You can simply log in and start sharing photos and videos with your friends straight from the Optimus Black. Tweeting or sending messages to your buddies are easy tasks, especially with the Optimus UI 2.0's on-screen keyboard. It is fast, responsive, easy to get used to, and works well in both landscape and portrait modes.

G button:

The G button on the LG Optimus Black is something that we could probably live without. Its main functions include panning up or down, left or right when viewing photos in the gallery or when surfing the web, as well as switching between home screens – things that are easily done with one hand already. Another thing that it can do is to launch the smartphone's camera straight from the lock screen – that is done by holding down the button and shaking the device. The G button might have been intended for use in those situations when you simply do not want to touch the display and cover it with fingerprints, but believe us, you will have to sooner or later. You see, for some reason, the G button can switch between home screens, but it will not help you browse through the Applications list; it can help you navigate through your gallery, but it would not work when browsing your music library. Overall, the G button is mostly useful for showing off the LG Optimus Black to your friends. Using it on a regular basis is pointless.

More content with (Optimus Black)



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

so it still does more than an iphone4, has a better display, makes phonecalls without antenna issues, yet still recieves 2 points less?? lol.

2. lsortillon unregistered

7.5??? isn't this phone way better than the samsung galaxy ace??? so why does the black receives the same rating???? this website is sooo weird......

3. DroidMePlease

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 08, 2011

For as much as people cry about PA's apple fanboydom, the anti-iphone hate after every phone review is getting ridiculous. The Iphone4 came out about a year ago. The ratings obviously change over time, for example the Droid Incredible was rated 8.5 vs the Incredible 2 rated 7.5. Does that mean the first was better than its sequel? Obviously not. The number ratings are normalized in the context of the newest phones currently out on market. Someone that understands math beyond basic addition should learn to understand that.

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ok droidme, then explain why it got the same score as the recently reviewed galaxy ace that is a marginal device. huh huh huh. teach me to understand that!!!! :) the point is.. there is NO normalized pointing system on the site. there is no "if the phone does/doesnt do this it recieves X" type of system. each review is up to the individual reviewer and their personal take on the phone. look at the absoulutely rediculous things that were "negative" on the galaxyS2 review and how often it tried to sneak in an iphone4 in to the article. What was truely negative on this phone? NOTHING and yet they dropped it into the 7's. WHY? Thats what we want to know. If your going to drop 2 points because its on 2.2 instead of 2.3 why did the LG GX2 score so much higher? They need a STANDARD SYSTEM for pointing.. BADLY.

6. DroidMePlease

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 08, 2011

"ok droidme, then explain why it got the same score as the recently reviewed galaxy ace that is a marginal device. huh huh huh. teach me to understand that!!!! :)" The galaxy ace is a mid-range device, not competing with high level smartphones. If you want to find an analogous device it would probably be the LG optimus one. By your logic, PA should give every mid-range phone a 1.0 because the SGS II blows everything out of the water. When I say "context of the newest phones currently out on market," I obviously mean competitors - in this case for the Optimus Black, that's the high end smartphones - TBolt, Sensation 4G, SGSII, Charge, Bionic, and yes, even Iphone since it satisfies a niche. But I understand your point about normalization. Fair enough. I may have been bold in using the word "normalized" because that assumes such a system exists, I should rather say - account for? All I was trying to say was that it's ridiculous to compare scores of current phones to phones released one year ago. I think we can acknowledge that no review is invulnerable to subjective opinion. That's the very reason why there are so many disagreeable comments. What I don't understand is, why do so many people get caught up and distressed over the number? Firstly, we are only reading his review and are not handling the phone like the reviewer is so there is an intangible aspect to the review that we as readers will just never get. Secondly, it's the reviewer's review, and ultimately, his opinion evaluated on the sum of all the criteria. Phone arena isn't saying it's better than your opinion, or your "number." Nor is it putting out a list of "top rated phones on PA." I don't think that has been the point of these ratings. Right now the "comparisons" on PA seem to be being handled by actual "comparison" posts (e.g. Thunderbolt vs Charge), not by the number ratings themselves. If you were reviewing a phone and based on your overall impression of the feel, design, quality, specs, etc. in the context of the phone environment is being released in is say, an 8.0/10, then hell, that's what you're going to write in your review. (I understand you'll still have issue with that system, but it is what it is)

7. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

actually, if you go by the processor, this would be concidered a "mid range" device i think. At this point, anything shy of a hummingbird is a mid range device for single core phones. Dual cores and the hummingbird would be high end, 1ghz snapdragons and OMAPS would be mid range, and anything else thats less than 1ghz would be low end. Maybe the mistake is trying to compare this to a "high end" device.. which other than the new screen, is midrange all the way.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

and as soon as more dual core phones start piling in, hummingbirds will be midrange as well.

4. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

I love the way the optimus UI looks :)

9. IOS5 unregistered

The most unique and fablous Android phone ever, but agian LG made a mistake with camera?! when you shoot 720p video doesn't show all spect ratio! I think this the reason why PA rated 7.5 out 10? Ps. NOVA display the best Android phone display till date:)


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I think the reason why people get so angry over phonearena's reviews is because they lack any real cons. It seems recently every great android phone has been purposely downrated without giving any real reason. For example, this phone has a lot of pros but only two cons and they are very minor at best. Yet it only gets a 7.5, notice how they stopped providing scores on its features. Like display, battery, etc. Because in the end, the review score does not match up. People believe that phonearena purposely downgrades android phones to make the iphone look better. Despite all of the flaws and issues the iphone 4 had, it got a nearly perfect 10 and you see phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2 get a lower score yet it is far superior in almost every way. If they want to rate phones on today's standards then they should review the iphone 4 again and give it the rating it deserves now. They even did that with the Droid Charge. First they gave it a 9, then they gave it a 8.5. And I'm sure some idiot will say "drrr they arent going to review every phone again" of course not, that would be stupid. No I am talking about the only phones that matter, that people want to buy and are in the spotlight still.

11. arschael unregistered

in indonesia this device will be launch in a price slightly more expensive than galaxy ace,but way cheaper than galaxy S so i don't think the price is too pricey for such spec(one of the weakness above is "Offers weak hardware for its price range")

12. Wanton noodles unregistered

What's happening now ? Many people say touch wiz 3.0 found on the samsung galaxy s is just a rip off from the iPhone's interface , well I disagree . From my opinion the optimus ui is just the rip off of samsung's touchwiz 3.0 , they look exactly the same ! But lg polished it up and make it a little more pretty . The worst ui I think would be the one found on xperias so ugly

13. Yasir unregistered

This phone stands top in the mid-range phones category! The specs in this phones may not be the best(except NOVA display), but it is still a way high than the mid-range phones even than the IPhone 4. I agree with other fellows who rejected its rating of 7.5 out of 10. What I think that the reviewer has always the top specs in their minds like of Galaxy II, Optimus 2x etc. what they might don't know that any new phone released is not to be the top of the topper ! You see, when LG's Optimus 2X was announced(award winning phone), then Samsung released their Galaxy II with higher specs in terms of processor and RAM, although there is no achievement for Samsung. Similarly, these reviewers expect that every big phone should be the successor of previous phone which is wrong. According to my point of view, this phone is for those people who are not always interested in top specifications and for these people, Optimus Big is just perfect! If I were the reviewer, I would give the phone at least 8.5 marks point out of 10.I would recommend the reviewer to re-consider his given ratings to the LG Optimus Big! Thanks, Yasir

16. mokermo unregistered

Hi,interesting review.There's a special offer for this phone at 290$ without contract and and I'd like to ask you if it worths it.In this price can I find a better android phon?Thank you.

18. Rajesh Naik unregistered

Funny.....!!!! Phoneareana says the call quality is very good, GSMareana says the call quality is pathetic. Whom to belive....?

21. prajnyan

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

I too have the same doubts. But found the review from techradar that its not bad.

19. Zaid unregistered

i wanna ask if the optimus black will have android 2.3? i mean is this phone will have OTA software update?

20. prajnyan

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

yes, it does get an OTA update sometime in september or october to android 2.3.

22. Kushalappa unregistered

LG optimus black is good. but very poor in battery backup. battery drains in 2-3 hours while online or in market

23. Sayzerrr unregistered

The clock and weather that comes with the clock, displays the wrong time- half an hour earlier. Does anyone know how to change or update the time? Thanks

24. Nhet unregistered

Its a good fone but the battery drains o quick...need to be charge

26. Knesty unregistered

I myself was also a victim with this reviews and forums. Once I was thinking og the Wave2, Optimus Black, galaxy S2 and HTC mozart. I spend almost 3 days reading reviews and forum with these phones. Then I decided to go in the MALL to make hand-on with these phones. All phones was good. Remember you cannot say it is good in just one time hand-on. You can only say if it is good if you use it straight 5days because that span of days you will encounter many instances that will test the quality of the phone like battery draining, force close application, mistake download, accidentally drop, charging not in right battery level etc. So I take the risk I base my decision to the SPECIFICATION. No offense I bought LG Optimus Black. Because I like its SPECS from the rest. And I was not wrong I am using it now for a week. I even force to shut down my phone by removing the battery because I download an application that is to heavy it takes 50 minutes to download and I can wait that long so I decided to dismount the battery. The LG optimus black still in best function. No slight damage to its softwares or laggy. i once drop it but still in good shape, I open couple of websites while playing youtube and facebook. still I cant feel any laggy. For me its the best for its price it was justified. And lastly you will not worry using it under the heat of the sun because the LCD it very2 clear especially when you max the brightness if your in outdoor 12noon. Thanks!

33. julkite

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

I got this phone 2 months now and was very satisfied with its performance. I highly recommend this phone for those who are looking for mid range budget phone.

27. me unregistered

*** ahfndsajnc

28. me unregistered


29. leggy unregistered

We recently changed phone providers at work and changed to this phone. Well let me tell you, when there are more than 20 of them in the company and you are the person people call with their issues, you realised how glitchy they are. People are constantly needing to restart them because they stop recieving email, or stop transmitting the hotspot, and any other number of problems. The battery life is terrible, with some users needing to charge them 2 times in the middle of the day, and the charge time is so incredibly slow. It might be an ok phone for personal use, but for a high use business customer I would suggest you look for a better option. A number of us in the company have iphones and we have come to the conclusion they are a much better and more stable device - even my old iphone 3gs!!!

30. lasa unregistered

Optimus Black is sleek, light and has a better design. I think LG is the best company for design. The product recognizes touch well, and is very fast. I looked for apps in Android Market and downloaded LG SmartWorld. LG smartphone users can sign up really easily and download apps. Try it!

31. cross

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 22, 2012

pls i love dis phone i need an advice whether to buy it or any other one

32. gifted11

Posts: 3; Member since: May 11, 2012

Optimus Black
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 2 MP front
  • Storage 1 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1500 mAh(6.00h talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.