LG Optimus 7 Review
If you are looking for a smartphone running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system the LG Optimus 7 could be a more affordable option for you.
Measuring 125 x 59.8 x 11.5mm the LG Optimus 7 is quite a tall handset and not particularly slim although it does look quite sleek due to the all-black casing. It is weighty at 157g but feels sturdy and the build quality is good. The back panel is constructed of metal whilst the rest of the case is formed with a rubberised finish minimising the risk of slippage. A feature you will find on all Windows Phone 7 smartphones is the selection of three physical shortcut buttons below the display – Back, Search and one to access the Windows Start Screen.
The 3.8 inch WVGA LCD display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels is bright and vibrant with excellent clarity. It is also very responsive to touch.
As an operating platform Windows Phone 7 is largely untouched by LG on the Optimus 7 and as such provides a user friendly interface. The Microsoft OS is based on tiles rather than icons and unlike Android competitors cannot be greatly customised. Having said that certain features such as Zune Music, The Xbox Live and Office are an asset. The greatest downfall of Windows Phone 7 is the lack of apps available to download from the Marketplace app store.
When it comes to messaging either by email or SMS the LG Optimus 7 performs well. Email accounts are straight forward to set up and by using fewer icons Microsoft have succeeded in keeping the screen easily read, in particular unread emails are highlighted in a different colour. When composing messages the capacitive keyboard is very responsive and comfortable to use whether in portrait or landscape position. The auto-correct feature works well and Microsoft have incorporated the familiar red wavy line as found on your computer software to indicate other words which may need correcting.
The Optimus 7 is powered by a 1GHz processor. As a Windows Phone 7 phone the LG Optimus 7 has no removable storage device in the form of a microSD card slot so the 16GB internal storage is a welcome feature.
Earlier Windows Phone operating systems did fall short when it came to browsing the Internet, but with Windows Phone 7 Microsoft have made significant improvements. The LG Optimus 7 has a responsive pinch to zoom function and multi-pages can load and be viewed successfully and you can pin your favourite web page on the Home Screen giving fast access to it.
The camera on Windows Phone 7 smartphones can be launched from the lock screen with the dedicated camera button on the side of the handset. This is a particularly successful and useful feature of the Microsoft software. The 5 megapixel rear-mounted camera of the LG Optimus 7 reacts quickly and you can directly share your photos with Facebook, or attach it to a message or email from the lock screen.
The Optimus 7 camera has a low-powered flash which proves to be inadequate for good quality stills in low light conditions. In general the photo and video quality (recorded at 720p) struggles in situations where the light is fading or where there is a good deal of contrast. However, where ambient lighting is good the shots are clear and crisp.
There are a number of camera features on offer. With its “intelligent mode” the camera automatically selects the shutter speed and aperture based on the brightness and the subject of the shot. LG have added a panoramic feature to the Optimus 7 so that the camera takes multiple shots and stitches them together to create a panoramic scene.
With most smartphones we have come to expect the battery to last a day before needing to be recharged with general usage. The 1500mAh battery of the LG Optimus 7, however, exceeded that expectation by 50% with a battery life of a day and a half. You may, of course, find you need to plug in and recharge the battery sooner with heavier use.
LG Optimus 7 Price
The LG Optimus 7 is available with a 24 month contract with from around £26 per month. Terms and conditions vary according to the supplier.
Because Microsoft stipulate minimum system requirements for devices running the Windows Phone OS it can be more challenging for companies to make their phone stand out from the crowd. However the generous internal storage, panoramic mode for the camera and sturdy build ensure the LG Optimus 7 is a Windows Phone handset with extra to offer.