update The wave of high-end Android smartphones hitting Australian shores in mid-2011 has just risen a little higher, with Korean manufacturer LG confirming this morning that its Optimus Black handset will launch locally this month through Optus and Vodafone, and in July through Telstra.
The device is one of the lighter high-end smartphones on the market, weighing 109g — 20 to 30g lighter than many of its contemporaries. It is also relatively thin – 9.2mm – but still features a large 4” touchscreen, utilising LG’s NOVA technology to deliver what the company bills as a “dramatically brighter” display.
Like a number of its competitors, the Optimus Black features a 1GHz CPU, and supports all of Australia’s major mobile networks. However, its software is as up to date as some handsets – it will ship with the Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system, rather than the version 2.3 (Gingerbread) which is increasingly becoming popular with manufacturers.
“All LG Optimus Black features are available on the Android 2.2 (Froyo) platform with Android 2.3 Gingerbread upgrade capability in the future (upgrade timing to be communicated at a later date),” the company said today.
In addition, at five megapixels the Optimus Black’s rear camera does not feature as high a rating as rivals such as HTC’s Incredible S, which boasts eight megapixels. However, the camera is capable of shooting HD video at 1080p at 24 frames per second, which not all high-end Android smartphones are, as well as the more usual 720p at 30fps.
In a statement this morning, LG noted the phone would be sold through Optus, Vodafone and their retail partners from early this month, while Telstra would stock it from early July. Its recommended retail price is $599. While the telcos have not yet released pricing plans for the device, LG noted it would be available on capped plans ranging from $29 to $59 a month.
“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.”
Review house CNET was quite positibe about the Optimus Black when it reviewed the handset earlier this month. “It might not break the mould, but the LG Optimus Black is a decent all-round Android phone,” reviewer Luke Westaway wrote. “It’s speedy, and the bright screen is a definite plus, if not quite the revolution in outside viewing LG promised. It’s let down by a slightly plasticky case, however.”
Other Android smartphones incoming to the Australian market at the moment include the HTC Incredible S and Desire S, the Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc and Motorola’s Atrix, to name a few.
Image credit: LG