LG Optimus L7 review
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LG Optimus L7
By Jonathan Cheah
At A Glance:
Local Distributor: LG Malaysia
+ FM Radio
+ HSDPA capable
+ Android 4.0
- Headset loose in the jack
- Poor camera
03 August 2012 - The LG Optimus L7 is a 2012 smartphone, launched in February 2012 at MWC and the pick of the first batch of L-Series which also included the L5 and L3.
The L7 resembles the LG Prada a little. They are both square in shape and have a shiny reflective strip running around the edge. The L7 does have a physical button in the centre of the phone below the screen, something that the Prada does not have.
The LG Optimus L7 has a single-core 1GHz processor with an Adreno 200 Graphics processor. It has the latest Android 4.0 (ICS) operating system.
In the box
1 standard battery
Exterior, Controls and Screen
The LG Optimus L7 is pretty large with a 4.3-inch screen. This is a TFT-LCD NOVA, a little different from the 4.0-inch IPS NOVA on the Optimus Black. It has a volume toggle on the left side of the phone and the charger jack on the bottom. The power is on the top right and a headphone jack is on the top left.
The battery cover can be pull off easily if you flex and bend the phone a little, but there is no telling how this will screw up the screen in due course. The area around the camera lens gets a bit scuffed after you place it on tables and move it around a little.
It takes a while to get used to the vanishing buttons on the left and right of the home button. The left side soft key is the back button and the right side soft key is the settings button by default.
Looks like LG is still at their vanishing buttons, something introduced in the Chocolate range of phones way before Android showed up. Again, it is game of “Surprise, you have got the wrong button!”
Software, Applications and Games
As we mentioned earlier, the LG Optimus L7 runs the latest Android 4.0, but uses a single-core processor. Although decent enough a year ago, a single-core is no longer satisfying once you have played with the latest dual-core and quad-core toys. Nevertheless, single-cores drain less power so this might be good if you are planning to use the L7 as a back-up device.
The display is a floating mass display, which is barely noticeable until you mention it. The display seems to be on the surface of the screen instead of a few mm below the screen as is usually is on other devices.
The usual PIM services of Clock, Notes, Calculator and Calendar support a Polaris Office Suite. Being a Google phone, the Youtube, Google+ and Gmail shortcuts were all there. So is a maps application.
The phone has 4GB of storage in total, about 2.4 GB is available to the user. It supports microSD cards of up to 32GB in size. The L7 takes regular SIM-cards instead of the micro ones.
Camera, Video and Audio
The main camera on the LG Optimus L7 is a 5-megapixel one, just like with the LG Optimus Black and the Optimus 3D.
However, most reviews have slammed the camera as being lifeless and inaccurate with colours. After shooting a couple of test pictures I would have to agree. The response of the viewfinder is slow enough that it reminded me the early days of camera phones where it would take a half second or more for the screen to catch up with whatever you were pointing the phone at.
The video records in 640 x 480 pixels which is a VGA specification. Ditto the front-facing camera, which is a 0.3-megapixel VGA camera. It was a little disappointing here.
There is a radio application which is rare enough for an Android phone. On the plus side, it does an auto scan for all available stations up to 24 slots. However, the headphone jack is keeps losing its connection with the headset and then the phone complains bitterly about not having an FM antenna (the headset). The handset then does not reconnect back automatically.
This is a HSDPA 21 Mbps device. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, tri-band HSDPA / 3G and quad-band GSM. Bluetooth 3.0 is supported and the microUSB plugs into a computer and auto-syncs your data if you want it to, just like any other Google Android device.
This phone also supports NFC and DLNA.
The LG Optimus L7 is a pretty good device – for last year. Much of the specifications are last year’s and it made me wonder if LG was simply trying to clear their stock of components. Anyway, the RM 999 is a reasonable asking price if as we said earlier, you intend to use this phone as a backup device.
The large screen and HSDPA data support would make this a good browsing device, plus the long battery lifespan would probably outlast whatever your main device was. It would do well as a talk-and-text device, but using a single-core to drive Android 4.0 is rather like driving a sports car in first gear – not exactly how you want t roll.
Conclusion: A very good entry-level device.