The new Optimus L7 smartphone impresses with its combination of function and style, writes Ana Korg
WITH phones that offer innovative features, LG is now one of the forerunners in the telecommunications scene. Its latest in the Optimus line is L7, a looker for those who treat their gadgets as an extension of their style.
I was surprised to find it doesn’t weigh as much as I thought it would, given its sturdy look, but do not be fooled by this lightweight phone — it can fulfil all your communications, multimedia and personal management needs.
As is the trend, design is kept minimal with only the volume adjuster and power button slightly raised from the otherwise smooth surface. The finely jagged surface is good incorporation to the design, sparing the much used back panel from unsightly scratches.
The Optimus L7 feels like a mini tablet with its almost rectangular design and slim body. The lower edges are rounded and curvy while the upper edges are right-angled or, for lack of a better description, pointy. You can comfortably hold the phone in one hand, but handling it with both hands — while playing a game for instance — feels odd since the other two edges are sharper.
The 4.3 inch touchscreen delivers crisp, colourful visuals and at maximum brightness, details and colours are well preserved under the sun. A double lock applies when the phone is idle, you need to press the power button and do a simple swipe gesture on the screen to unlock.
All five pages can be filled with widgets, apps, downloads and your favourite contacts with a simple step. Simply use the pinch in gesture to view all pages. Editing, rearranging and choosing the home screen can be done in this mode too. An integrated wallpaper gives continuity for all the pages and you can also view the wallpaper minus the widgets by a pinch-out gesture.
Its typing option is interesting enough, with the Google voice typing as an alternate choice, along with the normal Qwerty keyboard. However, to utilise the Google voice typing, a data plan is required and it won’t work in a noisy surrounding. As there is no Auto-rotate, expect to type in portrait mode with one hand or two but you will find both easy enough to do, especially if you have slim fingers.
The 5.0 mega-pixel camera takes some time to kickstart. The model also has front camera for video calls and taking self portraits. One thing bugs me: It is almost impossible to take my picture using the main camera as there is no physical shutter button on the phone that enables me to snap — there is only the button on the touchscreen, and you have to try a few times to make sure you’re tapping at the right spot.
In any case the camera offerings keep things fun. I love the Panorama option which I find a nice substitute for a wide angle lens. The camera also fares well in low light conditions.
Sharing media files is easy with the SmartShare feature. You can use this feature to send pictures via Gmail, Google+, Instagram or Picasa. SmartShare also enables setting a source and an appointed device to share files instantly, provided you have a WiFi connection.
Equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication), connecting to a compatible NFC gadget would be easier and faster. I only wish there are more things to tap the L7 to, to enjoy this quick connectivity method.
Meanwhile, a simple tap to write on the designated gadget is all you need and that beats the hassle of pairing with devices via Bluetooth. With a full data plan, you can enjoy Navigation and Map feature that comes with the pre-installed apps, which would save you from buying a GPS device.
Its affordable price tag makes it the perfect choice for those on a budget. And with the latest Android 4.0 operating the phone, it is a good buy indeed.
LG Optimus L7
Dimensions: 126 x 67 x 9mm
Display: 4.3 inch TFT LCD Capacitive Touchscreen
Camera: 5.0 mega-pixel, front panel camera
Band: HSDPA 7.2 mps
Internal Memory: Up to 4GB
External memory: MicroSD up to 32GB
Other Features : A-GPS navigation, NFC, Voice Recorder
Our verdict: HHHH
Physical design: HHHH
Value for money: HHHH