As for those buttons on the side, you get the camera button and volume rocker on the right edge while the left is home to the button that launches the music player. The power button is incorporated into the top along with the headphone jack and finishing off the external features is a 5-megapixel camera on the back that has an LED flash above it.
Turning the BL40 on and those superlatives already flying around from talking about this handset’s design continue unabated when it comes to seeing the screen in action. Obviously its 4in size and 21:9 aspect ratio immediately make an impact but just as important is the quality of the screen. Packing in 800 x 345 pixels, it’s incredibly sharp and, thanks to its AMOLED lighting technology, colours positively leap from the surface. Blacks also look truly black while brightness can be astounding when called for.
It really is a pleasure watching videos on this phone, though we wouldn’t necessarily say it’s any better than watching them on any other decent quality large screen handset. Indeed, ironically, because many non-blockbuster films are actually shot in 16:9 ratio, you actually get black bars either side of the video, which you may prefer to black bars above and below but is ultimately still a waste of space. Things only get worse when watching programmes made in TV-sized 4:3 aspect ratio. Still, for those big budget widescreen films, you have the perfect screen.
The camera is another feature we were distinctly impressed with. Using the ultra wide display to full advantage, LG has flanked the viewing screen with the controls for the camera and thanks to the very sensitive screen they are effortless to manipulate. The camera has plenty of features, too, including manual focus and exposure and continuous and panorama shooting modes. Sadly, manual focussing is controlled by an onscreen slider rather than simply touching on a subject in the scene to bring it into focus. Image quality results aren’t actually that impressive, though they’re above average, and the flash range is limited. However, thanks to the easy control system and good shot to shot time, the overall photo taking experience is a good one. Unfortunately, I managed to accidentally delete the normal outdoor shots I take so don’t have them for comparison.
Video is also available and it can shoot at up to 640 x 480 at 30fps, which is ample for short and silly clips. As you can see from our sample shot, the white balance can be thrown out quite easily though.