LG Optimus L7 review

Can LG's top L-style handset produce substance and style?

TODO alt text

We were a little concerned when we first saw the LG Optimus L7 at MWC 2012, where is was running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, however LG has clearly pulled its socks up as the Optimus L7 review sample we have packs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

LG Optimus L7 review

As is common among most Android manufacturers these days, LG has had a play with the operating system, applying its own overlay known as Optimus UI 3.0 – not quite a slick as Sense or TouchWiz, but at least it's informative.

You notice LG's user interface as soon as you pick up the Optimus L7, with the handset sporting the firms new unlock screen – place your finger on the screen and a circle will appear, drag your finger to the edge of that circle to unlock.

It's a nice touch, giving the lock screen a bit of unique flare; however it wasn't always the smoothest motion, with the 1GHz Cortex A5 processor in the Optimus L7 sometimes struggling to render the animation.

There are also four app shortcuts on the lock screen and you can employ the same unlock technique to open these if you start with your finger over the one you wish to jump to.

The apps which appear on the homescreen can be easily changed in the Settings menu, where you can also choose from three different clock displays.

LG Optimus L7 review

The Optimus L7 offers up to five homescreens for you to play with – matching the One V and San Diego – and LG has employed a pleasing little effect as you skip between the screens, with apps and widgets flowing on and off the display as you flip through.

Pinch the screen by drawing two fingers together and you'll get an overview of all the homescreens – with the option to remove some if five is just too many for you to cope with.

Hold down on a free space on any homescreen and you'll enter edit mode – allowing you to add a variety of apps and widgets to the screens, as well as being able to change the homescreen.

There's the standard select of Android widgets on offer, including contacts, weather, Gmail and so on (no calendar widget though), with the only LG addition being a widget with links to the LG Smart World application.

LG Optimus L7 review

The processor seems to let the Optimus L7 down here as well, with widgets sometimes taking five or so seconds to appear in the list – which can get a bit frustrating if you're trying to add several at a time.

Hold down the physical key below the screen and the multitasking menu will pop up, allowing you to see what apps you currently have running and providing an easy way to close the ones you're not using – just swipe your finger left or right over an open app to close and remove it from the list.

There is a little big of lag each time you swipe an app off the list, and although it doesn't affect usability, it's not as fluid as the system on the One V.

The questionable speed of the Optimus L7 is at large again when it comes to opening apps, with most having a two or three second load time delay – which overall produced a sluggish user experience.

Drag down the notification bar from the top of the screen and you'll find LG has implemented a settings shortcut bar at the top, allowing you to toggle key aspects on and off, including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC and airplane mode.

You can edit the order of these toggles in the bar, plus add/remove some if you only want certain options to appear - it's a handy feature which LG has implemented well.

It's a shame that the LG Optimus L7 regularly suffers from lag and delays, leading to some very frustrating situations, especially when you're trying to quickly find a number or send a text, as its 4.3-inch screen would make Ice Cream Sandwich a joy to use if it worked properly.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOptimus L7 L
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time6 Hour
Product ModelP700
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)121 g
Processor CoreSingle-core (1 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density217 ppi
Height127.5 mm
Width69 mm
Depth8.7 mm
Radio TunerYes
Product SeriesL
Battery Standby Time550 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameOptimus L7 P700 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineOptimus L7
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number556361901
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

L-STYLE, BRING STYLE TO YOUR LIFE

L-Style's genuine beauty lies far deeper than just love at first sight. With each use you'll notice another fine detail you missed the time before. L-Style isn't just another new design, it's a lifestyle statement. A statement crafted to seamlessly blend high-tech and high-fashion for greater pride and prestige.

GREATER READABILITY, PERFECTLY SIZED

The largest-in-class 4.3" wide display allows you to see text in full-size for readability that's always comfortable and efficient. Optimally surf the web and update your favourite SNS sites with the perfect screen size for comfort, readability and usability.