Review: LG Optimus L7
‘Sleek, Sophisticated & Affordable’
For the past week I have been using the LG Optimus L7 P705 as my main handset. When it comes to smartphones, let’s just say LG isn’t a brand that first comes to mind.
To be honest I haven’t used an LG phone since the LG KU990 was released several years ago. That’s why not so long ago I only associated LG with fridges, TV’s and Lady Gaga. However LG’s new sub $300 phone has left me with a surprisingly sweet taste in my mouth.
Price at under $270
Single core processor
512MB of RAM
5 MP camera w. LED flash
No ambient light sensor
1700 mAh battery size
Optus installed apps [if purchased from Optus]
WHAT WE LIKED
When you first pick up the phone you will notice the sleek design, what can only be described as very “LG”. At first I was nervous it was going to feel quite large, but the phone actually fit comfortably in my back pocket.
The 5 MP camera with LED flash, touch to focus and geo-tagging allows for some great quality photos and is supported by its impressive screen. The 4.3inch screen with WVGA resolution is good quality for a phone in this price bracket.
With connectivity such as Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n wireless with Wi-Fi hotspot and HSDPA up to 21Mbps are good for a phone in this class.
Another really cool feature of the phone is Quick Memo. Quick Memo allows you to “hand write” (paint style) on top of screen shots. This is especially useful for explaining phone function and giving directions for example when trying to explain to a friend a shortcut to my house, I took a screenshot of Google Maps and then simply drew the short cut over the top of it. To me, Quick Memo seems like a cool gimmick that I wouldn’t use all too often, but any opportunity to use “paint” style drawing is always fun!
It’s evident that design, camera and connectivity are the three main features of this phone, and it’s only too obvious to see where LG is marketing the L7. I’ll touch on this later. Further to this with the phone running Ice Cream Sandwich, social media is well integrated into the software and allows the above features to be used to its full potential.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
At this price you can’t expect the best of the best. The overall performance of the phone is good, however it did struggle at times. The singe core 1 GHz Cortex-A5 processor with 512MB of RAM does what it needs to do for the phones targeted audience however it would have been nice to have something a little more powerful.
The headphones included are terrible. They feel cheap and they sound cheap. I would strongly recommend doing some research on some decent headphones. You are able to get relatively cheap headphones that are decent quality online. Koss PortaPro, MEElectronics HT-21 and Yamaha EPH-30 are good and relatively cheap.
The above is something of consideration, but LG has clearly done this to keep the cost of the phone low. I believe these flaws will not bother the target market of this phone.
Firstly let’s just say this phone does NOT look like a sub $300 phone. The simple and sleek design is an attractive feature of the phone.
It is easy to hold as it fits nicely in your hand. It has a physical centre button with the standard two touch buttons on either side. It weighs in at 121g and measures in at only 8.7mm in depth. The glass screen takes up majority of the front, with a textured backing for easy grip.
You do get a decent 1700 mAh sized battery for this phone. As the battery isn’t normally marketed it is often overlooked in cheaper handsets. This is something LG has delivered on and provides a decent battery for a phone with a screen of its size.
The phone’s removable backing does let you replace the battery. A good feature that a lot of high-end phones don’t seem to be allowing these days. It is also where you can expand on the 4GB internal memory (~2.7GB usable) with a micro SD up to 32GB.
If you’re getting your phone from Optus be prepared for a mountain of Optus specific apps to come with the phone. You may use 1-2 of these apps however the 10+ are excessive.
The LG user interface is very mediocre. It’s simple which does make it easy to use however it does look like Google’s basic layout. It does have a nice unlock screen feature where you slide your finger outside a bubble.
The somewhat annoying lack of a feature is that no ambient light sensor has been installed to automatically adjust the screens brightness. A widget would be able to combat this.
|Operating System||Ice Cream Sandwich V4.0.3|
|Processor||1 GHz Cortex-A5|
|Screen||480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches, IPS LCD|
|Camera||5MP 2592 x 1944 pixels LED Flash, Autofocus|
|Storage||4 GB internal, supports up to 32gb microSD|
|Dimension||125.5 x 57 x 8.7mm|
|Battery||1700 mAh, 6h talk time|
Obviously, this phone isn’t in the market to compete against Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X. For its price it does provide an overall respectable handset. It’s a great phone for a birthday/Christmas gift for your social media obsessed teenage daughter, someone without a smartphone or if you simply don’t want to fork out $500+ for a phone. For the price bracket that LG is targeting I would give this phone 4 out of 5.
If you’re interested in purchasing this phone you can get it as cheap as $220 delivered and unlocked off eBay, or $269 direct from the Optus store (locked to Optus). Please note that this phone will best work with Optus and Vodafone.