One of the very few existing Windows Phone 7 in the country (actually, the 3rd as of this month), the LG Optimus 7 brings with it more than just the staple WP7 features. Check out our full review of the Optimus 7 after the jump.
The Optimus 7 has that genetic make-up of LG’s Optimus smartphone line-up (reminds me of the Optimus One). It’s got a solid body and construction — smooth rubbery plastic all around and brushed-metal finish at the back panel (the battery cover at the back is made of metal). The size is just right on the hands and it’s also got a bit of heft to it.
The power button is found at the top, along with the 3.5mm audio jack; volume rocker is on the left side while the micro-USB port is hidden by a flip cover on the right side, together with the dedicated camera button.
At the bottom end of the front panel, a large physical button holds the usual WP7 controls for Home, Search and Back. At the back is the 5MP camera that can record HD videos.
Display quality is good, not that obvious because of the flat vector UI color scheme, but very noticeable when playing videos or movies (looks better than my HTC HD7 which has that somewhat blueish glare). Sound is decent but not that great with enough volume for raw playback.
If you’re familiar with Windows Phone 7, then using the Optimus 7 would be a walk in the park (and I’ve already written about the WP7 UI here).
There’s also the focus on apps available in the Zune Marketplace:
Apps are very essential to the usefulness of any smartphone and thankfully, the Zune Marketplace on the Optimus 7 has plenty of them. It’s not as extensive as the ones found on the iTunes App Store or the Android Market but it’s got some decent numbers. The more common social apps were actually developed by Microsoft itself (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare) so you will notice the tight design integration of these apps into WP7.
The Windows Live account also has some features to ring, lock or erase the phone remotely. The phone updates itself by sending GPS location on a regular basis. You can login to Live and locate your phone on the Bing map with matching date and time it last recorded its location.
As expected of all WP7 phones, the Optimus 7 packs a bit of power (as required by MS) so the device is very capable — very responsive, smooth navigation with a simple but fancy UI.
“The WP7 user interface is essentially a breathe of fresh air, especially if youâ€™re coming from iOS or Android. Objects such as shortcuts, widgets, contacts and apps are represented by tiles stacked from top to bottom. You add items by pinning it to the home screen (Start) or remove it by un-pinning them. The tiles are big and bold with options to change color schemes that screams of eye-candy.”
LG also added a few more features on top of the basic ones offered by WP7, like content sharing via DLNA so you can stream your photos and videos to your TV (we don’t have a DLNA capable TV to test it with but we’ve seen it done on demo). There’s also that augmented reality (AR) which I haven’t tested.
Here’s the complete specs of the handset:
LG Optimus 7 (E900) specs:
1 GHz Scorpion processor
Adreno 200 GPU
Qualcomm QSD8650 Snapdragon chipset
3.8-inch display @ 480 x 800 pixels
Gorilla glass display
16GB internal storage
512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n w/ DLNA
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
5MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
720p video recording @ 24fps
GPS w/ aGPS
FM Radio tuner
Windows Phone 7
Li-Ion 1500mAh battery
Photos on the Optimus 7 are good but not that crisp or vibrant. I specifically liked the panorama shot on this one (as it automatically stitches a series of photos to create a single panoramic photo up to 360-degrees). The video recording is good and in HD quality (720p).
The internal storage of 16GB is okay but LG should have a microSD card slot to accomodate storage upgrades. I guess that’s a limitation of all WP7 phones at the moment.
Battery life on the Optimus 7 ranges between 1.5 days to 2.5, depending on use. Of course, it gets easily drained when you’re always connected to the net or playing music or videos.
With a suggested retail price of Php29,990, the LG Optimus 7 is definitely on the more expensive end (considering competing WP7 handsets like HTC HD7 and HTC 7 Mozart are priced way lower). Unlike the Optimus 2X, I didn’t particularly liked the design of the Optimus 7. LG Philippines might find it a little hard to sell this handset at that price point even if the selection of WP7 handsets in the country are sparse.