Your average middle of the road phone.
Although Google introduced v4.0 of their mobile OS Android, affectionately known as Ice Cream Sandwich, late last year, we still get phones for review based on older 2.x Gingerbread version. Thankfully the new LG Optimus L7 from LG manages to avoid that and gives us one less reason to start a review on a negative note. Let’s find out if the rest of this phone continues to impress or not.
The LG P705 comes in a no-frills cardboard box with the picture of the unit printed on the box and some specs on one side. Included in the box is your usual assortment of accessories- the charger plug along with a USB cable, a headset and a quick-start manual.
Build Quality and Design
Measuring 125.5 x 67 x 8.7 mm and weighing 122g, the LG Optimus L7 is fairly light weight and extremely thin although a bit boxy in design. The back cover is plastic and a bit on the flimsy side when you remove it. Strangely there is no notch to remove the cover and instead, you just pull it from the space cut out for the USB connection at the bottom. While it comes off easily, it’s not a design that I agree with.
On the top you have a 3.5mm audio jack along with the power button while the left side has volume buttons. Taking a cue from the iPhone, LG adds just one physical button at the bottom and in the center of the phone while two touch buttons for back and menu sit on either side of this button and are backlit. On the front side, a front-facing camera is placed above the screen while another camera with flash on the back side. All in all, LG sticks to the tried and tested full touch-screen phone design.
Specs and Benchmarks
The following table compares the specs of the LF P705 along with the HTC One V, another medium end device and similarly priced Android device that we have reviewed recently.
||LG Optimus L7
||HTC One V
||125.5 x 67 x 8.7 mm
||120.3 x 59.7 x 9.2 mm
||480 x 800 pixels
||480 x 800 pixels
||HSDPA, 21 Mbps
|HSDPA, 21 Mbps
||LG Customized UI
||HTC Sense UI 4.0
As you can see from the table above, the LG P705 is strictly on the medium-end when it comes to specs. The single core 1GHz Cortex A5 CPU proves to be a bit on the slower side when navigating through different applications and screens on the phone. Here is how the P705 compares to the above phones when it comes to speed and benchmarks
||LG Optimus L7
||HTC One V
|GL Benchmark Offscreen
Screen and UI
The LG Optimus L7 has a 4.3” LCD display with an IPS panel with a resolution of 480×800 pixels. The large screen and the smaller resolution don’t exactly make the screen as crisp as some of the other android phones that we have looked at. Also the glossy finish doesn’t work well- especially in the bright UAE sun where even cranking the brightness to full makes anything on the screen barely readable.
The Optimus L7 puts its own custom UI on top of Android skinning most things in white instead of the default black that Android uses. That’s not a bad thing and in certain scenarios adds a bit more flair to ICS with sliding screens and power widgets in the notification area. Even the keyboard is skinned and looks like a cross between the one found on iPhone and HTC’s Sense UI- though it is about as accurate as either of those devices
The Optimus L7 comes equipped with a 5.0 Megapixel camera that, like most medium-end smartphones, takes decent shots when there is good light available so expect good shots during the day and outdoor. However, pictures taken indoors with lower light or during night time resulted in a noticeably grainy picture as you can see from the sample below. Needless to say, the LG P705 will not replace your dedicated camera but, like most phones, is decent enough to post a quick picture on twitter or Facebook.
LG has managed to equip the Optimus L7 with a fairly hefty 1700mAh battery that certainly lasts quite a while. Under light usage, I was able to get almost three days out of this device which is pretty impressive, however even with moderate usage you should have no problems getting almost two days which is better than most android phones I have tested.
Priced at just AED 1299 with which you also get a carrying case, a screen protector and a 32GB Micro SD card, LG puts the Optimus L7 on the lower-end of pricing for medium-end handsets. At that pricing, the Optimus P705 makes good sense. It may not be the fastest phone or have the best screen but LG is not charging you an arm and a leg for it along with providing you with a device that has Android 4.0 and an extremely impressive battery life.