LG Optimus Black vs. Optimus Q

LG Optimus Black vs. LG Optimus Q. Which one to choose? With the addition of the new Optimus to the Straight Talk and Net10 lineups, it’s been difficult to decide which is the better value. That’s because although the fact that the new phone is thinner and has a larger screen, Straight Talk originally forgot to mention one of its main attractions, a front-facing second camera! The Q, of course has two things going for it, the Qwerty keyboard and the price. So let’s get down to it.

Update: New Optimus Models

Straight Talk has introduced a lot of smartphones including a slew of additional Optimus models suchas  the Extreme, Dynamic, Logic and Zip. So you now have a few more choices.


When researching my page on smart phones, I asked a supervisor at Straight Talk customer service about the various carriers for their smart phones. According to him, the Optimus Black is on the AT&T network, and the Q is on the Sprint network. So you might want to factor that into your decision as well.

LG Optimus Black: Key Features

The Optimus Black has big 4 inch touchscreen and a 5 MP camera with flash (plus a front-facing camera). The rest of its features are similar to the Optimus Q (we’ll go over the common features later).

4 Inch Touchscreen

4 inches really is a quite a bit bigger than a 3.2 inch screen. On the plus side, this makes many of the things you do with your smart phone more enjoyable such as watching videos, looking at websites, sharing via social sites, checking your messages. On the minus side, even though this is a “thin” phone, the added width and length will make it slightly more unwieldy.


The main camera is a 5 MP camera with flash. This should let it take some pretty good pics even indoors. You may be able to skip the point and shoot camera and just get a DSLR if you’re really into photography.

Front-facing Camera

Yes, this LG phone has a 2 MP front-facing camera which should allow you to finally make video-calls. Though this feature is mentioned elsewhere on the web, it is not, as I mentioned directly on Straight Talk’s main site. I wasn't positive about this until I saw the specs that I was finally persuaded that that round circle on the front of the handset seen in photos of the camera is actually the second camera.

Having the front-facing camera makes it perfect for video calling or for recording yourself on video without accidentally cutting yourself out of the shot.

While these are the two main features that would lead me to consider this camera over the Q, there's actually another feature that seems to be a big improvement, and that's the . . .

Proximity Sensor

The proximity sensor can basically tell when your head is next to the phone while talking so that you don’t accidentally activate something on the touchscreen. Without this feature, the only thing that these phone could do to avoid accidental touches was to lock the touchscreen. This is a pain during because you had to unlock the screen before you can use it again such as when accessing a phone menu. And, of course, by the time you had the screen unlocked the phone menu is already telling you it, “didn’t receive a response. Please try again. Press 1 for . . . .”

If the proximity feature works well so that it automatically locks and unlocks the screen when appropriate, then this is a big improvement in usability.

So now, what about the Q?

LG Optimus Q: Key Features

Main advantage of the Optimus Q is that it has a physical Qwerty Keyboard and is still the only Android phone from Straight Talk or Net10 to offer this (though ST does offer Nokia smart phones with Qwerty keyboards). So if you’re a master texter who dislikes the virtual keyboards on touchscreen phones, then this one's for you.

Camera and Tricks

This still has a 3.2 megapixel camer which is fairly decent, but there’s no flash, so you have to do the best you can with the available light. There’s no front-facing camera, so you’re really reduced to audio calls unless you figure out some cool trick with mirrors.

Common Features

Here's what they have in common:

Processor and OS

Both phones apparently have a 1 GHz processor and run version 2.3 of the Android operating system which is still the most common version (out of many) that are out there. This means you can install all those apps that everyone talks about.

I believe both phones lack the ability to run the mobile version of Adobe Flash, but since that’s being phased out by Adobe themselves it's not that important.


The internal memory capabilities seem similar to me, though the Optimus Black may be slightly better in that department. Both phone package come with a 4GB external memory card, or you can install your own external memory cards up to 32 GB in size.

If you’re considering installing a bigger memory card, you should do it sooner rather than later, as it can be pain once you’ve already got stuff installed and stored on one microsd card.


If you’re a heavy user of your phone, don’t require a physical QWERTY keyboard and don't mind paying a little more, then you should consider the LG Optimus Black for it’s better camera, screen and proximity sensor.

If you’re a heavy texter, then the Optimus Q would be a better fit.

Both phones are available with free Shipping from Straight Talk.

(Disclaimer: This is not a hands-on review, but based on information I've researched. I will update this page if I find that the actual features do not match the reported features.)