Video plays smoothly too for the most part. There are a couple of options for stretching the ratio to fit the screen, which is handy if you have a low tolerance for distorting the image. There’s also the option of Dolby Mobile surround sound, which unfortunately seems to muffle the sound slightly, even as it opens out the soundstage. You can view subtitles where available, and stream films to a networked TV using LG’s SmartShare DLNA facility.
The music player has a 21-setting equaliser with a fair difference between each, though the bass boost could have done with a bit more oomph. The sound is pretty good through the supplied headphones too, which are small enough to fit deep in the ear and are surrounded by noise-isolating flexible grommets. The Black has an FM radio with RDS, though it seemed quite shockingly bad at auto scanning for available stations – it needed several attempts just to find five.
The 1500mAh battery delivers the standard day or so of fairly heavy use – the intense screen wasn’t an obvious drain, even though I had it cranked to the max the whole time.
The Optimus Black’s single-core processor may not be in the top rank but it’s still plenty fast, all the better to power that terrifically bright and clear screen. But while the screen’s great to look at, it still suffers from the lack of sensitivity that’s common to too many LG handsets. ®
More Android Smartphone Reviews
Galaxy S II
LG Optimus Black
Slightly better than my £100 Orange San Francisco
Got to be worth the extra £300!
Maybe the Orange Monte Carlo (ZTE Skate) would be a better option?
androids in disguise.
I totally agree. What's the point in paying £400 for a handset when a £90 San Francisco does almost exactly the same thing. £300 extra for a better camera? Okay what else? The extra processor power is useless unless I want to play games, which is a bit silly on an Android anyway. The screen on my SanFran is an 800x480 oled, already better than 90% of screens out there. So £300 extra for what?
I was going to ask a genuine question about that very thing ...
I have the £99 San Fran, it was a breeze to root and put gingerbread on it, so (here is the genuine question bit) what am I missing? A brighter screen? A better camera? I'm just not prepared to ever pay £400 for a phone (even £99 was a huge extravagance when there was nothing really wrong with my old Nokia Navigator) especially when my San Fran seems to do exactly the same thing as everyone elses massively expensive phones. I'm not a troll - just genuinely interested!
SIP not taken off?
"SIP VoIP ... still waiting to take off."
Hm, I guess if you don't use SIP (or perhaps more likely, don't realise when you or you place of work are using SIP) it may seem appropriate to describe it as still waiting to take off, in the same way that those who don't use Skype might describe it as still waiting to take off...
And if you want a choice of providers, who can provide free incoming POTS numbers, cheap POTS terminated calls, and the option of treating your mobile as just a regular extension on your (virtual) PBX, all using open standards, with open source clients and exchanges, then SIP would appear to be a *much* better option than Skype. The SIP client in Andriod 2.3. is quite nicely integrated with the dialler, and uses less battery than the Skype client. (My only grumble is that it does not currently play well with ekiga.net due to a difference in expectation about how to do NAT traversal, but sipdroid works fine.)