Following previews at CES 2011 and the Mobile World Congress, and boasting pre-orders from 56 network carriers in 50 different countries, LG is set to debut its Optimus Black smartphone in Europe. Slimmer (just) than an iPhone 4, the Optimus Black features a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen 1GHz processor, front and rear facing cameras and runs on Android 2.2.

LG says its world first "NOVA" 700-nit IPS LCD delivers better outdoor visibility, more natural colors and true blacks and whites. By comparison, the iPhone 4 is 500 nits and the Samsung Galaxy S – with its AMOLED screen – is 300 nits. but the 800 x 480 resolution of the Optimus Black is trumped by the iPhone 4's 960 x 640 display. There's also a built-in environment sensor which automatically adjusts power consumption when indoors.

At 4.8 x 2.51 x 0.23 - 0.36-inch (122 x 64 x 6 - 9.2mm), it's just a tad slimmer than the iPhone 4 but around 20 percent lighter at 3.84 ounces (109 g). The Optimus Black is powered by a 1GHz OMAP 3630 processor from Texas Instruments, has 2GB onboard memory with expansion via microSD and runs on Android 2.2 – with an upgrade to Gingerbread (v2.3) in the works. Gesture control allows users to take calls, activate the camera or start music playing by lifting, shaking or tapping the phone.

The smartphone has built-in 802.11b/g/n connectivity and Wi-Fi Direct technology, which allows wireless file transfer direct to compatible devices. The 2 megapixel camera at the front is joined by a 5 megapixel autofocus snapper at the rear and back covers will be available sporting artwork by Keith Harring.

LG says that after its initial launch in Europe later this month, the Optimus Black will head stateside, and that white and pink versions are to be introduced in June.

    LG Optimus Black key specs:
  • 4-inch NOVA Display (700 nits1 brightness)
  • Dimensions:122 x 64 x 9.2mm
  • Weight: 109g
  • 1GHz processor (Texas Instruments OMAP3)
  • Wi-Fi Direct™
  • 5MP Rear Camera / 2MP Front Facing Camera
  • Gesture UI powered by Gyro-sensor
  • 2GB Internal Memory and Micro SD up to 32GB
  • 1,500 mAh Battery
  • View gallery - 9 images