Following the quiet cancellation of the GSM LG Optimus 2X, Straight Talk has quietly launched the LG Optimus Black for $329.99 on the StraightTalk online portal. The phone is the reference version of the Optimus Black as it was originally announced last year during trade shows, while the phone has been confirmed to run on Sprint’s network as it carries the LG L85C model code, which is reserved for CDMA phones on Tracfone.
The CDMA LG Optimus Black was previously launched on Sprint and Boost Mobile last year as the LG Marquee and the StraightTalk version is identical, with a 4.0 inch NOVA touch display at 800×480 resolution, 1GHz processor, front facing camera, Android Gingerbread, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, accelerometer, GPS/A-GPS support, 5.0 megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus and 720p video capture. The user manual for the phone also makes explicit mention of software updates, which may suggest that the phone will be able to receive updates to its operating system, which is a rarity for phones sold on virtual operators.
While the phone may be StraightTalk’s own variant of the Sprint and Boost Mobile LG Marquee, the pricing for the phone reflects StraightTalk’s lower subsidy rate compared to the aforementioned companies, as the Boost Mobile version is sold for $279.99 outright, while StraightTalk is selling the phone for $329.99 online with the requirement to purchase a $45 Unlimited airtime card, pushing the total to $374.99 before taxes and fees, making the total cost for the phone over $400 after all is said and done.
With StraightTalk refusing to comment on the status of the LG Optimus 2X, it may have decided to release the Optimus Black as a compromise in order to appease those customers that were waiting patiently for the 2X. Will those that want the 2X buy the Optimus Black, or will they continue to wait in vain for a phone that is marginally better and will invariably be much more expensive?