Hands on: LG Q7 review

The LG Q7 takes its Qs from the LG Q6

What is a hands on review?
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Early Verdict

The LG Q7 offers some enticing features - such as waterproofing, quick charging and fingerprint scanning - but there's not much more in the package to draw you in.

For

  • Rear fingerprint scanning
  • Waterproof
  • Quick charging

Against

  • Plasticky body
  • Chip is unremarkable
  • Not a huge step up from the LG Q6

LG gunning for the budget-friendly crowd has been fascinating to watch. It's an area that's fast being taken over by lesser knowns and up and comers in the smartphone space that offer up modest specs for a very reasonable price. 

Its latest attempt is the LG Q7, which was announced earlier in 2018, and is the successor to the - you've guessed it - the LG Q6

The Q6 was notable as it was the first budget handset to offer an 18:9 screen. Unfortunately, other features were annoyingly absent - including a rear fingerprint sensor. 

So, can the LG Q7 make amends and fill in some of the specs gaps that the Q6 failed to deliver? We tried it at IFA 2018 to find out.

LG Q7 release date and price

The LG Q7 has been announced for selected markets and should be released imminently. 

Its price is currently unknown but it is expected to come in at a similar price to the LG Q6 which retailed for quite a bit under $300 / £300 / $390 Aus when first released. 

Design and display

The LG Q7 once again has an 18:9 screen; this one is 5.5 inches and is LG’s FullVision display variant, which offers 2160x1080 resolution, 442ppi. Don’t go expecting a non-bezeled display here - there is a bit of letter boxing on the top and the bottom of the device. 

It has a plasticky body with not too much chunk to it, at 143.8 x 69.3 x 8.4mm, and feels like it could be something of a smudge and scratch magnet. 

You’ll be pleased to read that the rear fingerprint scanner missing from the LG Q6 is all present and correct. There’s also a rear 13MP camera on the back, and some Q7 branding. 

On the left of the device is an SD/SIM slot (where you can add an additional 512GB of storage) and a volume rocker. On the right is the power button and at the bottom you have 3.5mm jack and USB-C charging. 

This is another upgrade to the LG Q6 which had to make do with plain-old micro-USB. 

Camera, power and battery

On board, there’s 32GB of memory, 3GB of RAM and it makes use of a Mediatek MT6750S chip. If you wanted something with a bit more bite, then the Q7+ has been given the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chip - a chip we much prefer. 

The OS is Oreo 8.1 and to accompany the rear 13MP camera, there’s an 8MP selfie camera on the front. The front camera has a little bit of AI smarts, beautifying your face if you wish it too, when you take a selfie.

Flicking through the various menus and screens and the LG Q7 felt pretty fluid. The overlay on top of Oreo was a little annoying, just a bit too childlike for our liking. But we got used to it the more we used the handset. 

We mentioned that the phone didn’t feel too chunky in the hand but it did feel a little too light. Couple this with a plasticky chassis and it makes everything feel, well, cheap. 

There are some enticing features, though. Fast charging is on board, so you should be able to juice up your phone to an appropriate level in around 30 minutes. The battery is a decent 3000mAh - it’s non removable, though, so you better hope it doesn’t degrade. 

For those looking for a bit of audio goodness, DTS: X Surround Sound on board. If it is DAC technology you are after - which can be found in the LG G7 Thinq range - the you will have to look elsewhere. 

Another big update to the Q6, however, is the introduction of waterproofing, with IP68-certification. 

To have this on a phone of this (mid)range is a bit of a bonus and should mean that you can run it under a tap and the tears won’t flow.

Early Verdict

If you look at the LG Q7 against the LG G7 Thinq then the specs will disappoint - this is a mid-range phone after all. Pit it against its predecessor and there is quite a bit of change. 

Yes, it’s still got a plasticky, scratch-prone body but improvements have been made with a fingerprint sensor on the back, waterproofing and a better selfie camera. 

It’s not a radical change but does fix some of the issues we had with the LG Q6.

  • IFA 2018 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced. 
  • Best budget smartphone 2018: our top cheap mobiles

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.