LG has announced that its latest Android smartphone — the Optimus Black — will be available in Australia through all three major carriers: Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone.
The LG Optimus Black will be sold through Optus and Vodafone starting in June, followed by Telstra in July. The phone will sell for $599 outright, but will be available on a range of cap plans ranging from $29 to $59, depending on the specific carrier. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are yet to announce specific pricing details for the Optimus Black, though you can bet Telstra will offer the device on its $59 cap, while Vodafone is likely to sell it on a $29 cap. Optus will perhaps sit somewhere in between this price range, though this is purely speculation on our part.
LG is best known for its budget models when it comes to smartphones, but the Optimus Black sits above that level. The standout feature is the phone's 4in capacitive NOVA display, which uses the same IPS technology seen in the iPhone 4. However, according to LG the Optimus Black screen has an outdoor brightness of 700 nits, which is almost twice the brightness of most other smartphone screens.
In addition, LG claims the NOVA display is much more power efficient than IPS or AMOLED screens, resulting in much better battery life. LG says the Optimus Black is expected to last up to two days before it needs recharging; a significant benefit over most other smartphones which usually need to be charged daily.
LG has also emphasised the Optimus Black's design. The phone is just 9.2mm at its thickest point, and the design is tapered towards the sides so it's just 6mm thick towards the edges.
"We are excited to introduce this stylish new Android smartphone and expect the LG Optimus Black to play a key role in the mobile market," said Nathan Dunn, general manager of LG mobile communications. "The Optimus Black reflects our core strengths of advanced technology, in both display and design, offering one of the world's brightest screens and slimmest designs in an attractive and smart package."
The LG Optimus Black is powered by a 1GHz single-core processor, has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, a microSD card slot for extra memory, and will run the 2.2 'Froyo' version of Google's Android platform. LG says the Optimus Black will be upgradeable to the latest 2.3 'Gingerbread' version of Android, with timing "to be communicated at a later date".