LG Optimus Black is world's slimmest smart phone by 0.1 millimetre

The LG Optimus Black is the skinniest smart phone ever, and it's got a new kind of display that's the equivalent of staring into a supernova without sunglasses.

Flora Graham
2 min read

The LG Optimus Black -- formerly known as the LG B -- proves that you can never be too bright or too thin. Not only is it the thinnest smart phone in the world at 9.2mm, just beating out the iPhone 4 by 0.1 millimetre, it's also got bragging rights to a new kind of display.

LG says that the display, which it's named Nova, has 700 nits of brightness. That's right, this phone will give you so many nits, you won't know what hit you. But in this case, it's the American way of measuring brightness in candelas per square meter, rather than the charming human parasite.

How many nits is that? Well, it's the equivalent to 0.07 stilbs, 2.2 million skots, or 204 footlamberts -- or about what you'd find on the bonces of the pupils of an average primary school.

Whatever you call it, it's hella bright, although the Samsung Galaxy S is bright enough to burn our retinas and apparently it clocks in at 300 nits. The Nova screen is also plumped to have purer whites, truer blacks and be visible under the pounding rays of a British sun.

Sounds like a battery-swiller, but LG says it also reduces power consumption by 50 per cent compared to a normal LCD screen. 

The Optimus Black may be wafer-thin, but it packs the hardware, including a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for higher resolution self-portraits, and Wi-Fi Direct for connecting wirelessly to other mobile devices.

The phone will have Android 2.2 Froyo on board when it lands in the first half of this year, but LG assures us that it will get an update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which will allow it to use the 2-megapixel front camera for high-quality video calls. 

But Android won't be untouched on the Optimus Black. LG has made some tweaks which it says will add shortcuts to missed calls, emails and texts to the lock screen, and add gestures so you can lift the phone to take a call, for example. 

We're getting our hands all over the Optimus Black in Vegas right now, and we'll let you know our first impressions, along with more specs such as the processor, RAM, storage and the doubtlessly huge array of colours.

Update: A previous version of this story had the temerity to suggest the LG Optimus Black is an entire millimetre thinner than the iPhone 4. Of course it's only 0.1mm thinner. We regret the error.