LG Optimus 7 review

24 Dec 2010

A reasonable deal as Windows phones go but it's still dear, and the OS still has much to prove

Price when reviewed: 
470(£480 inc VAT) SIM freemore
4

Windows Phone 7 made its debut a couple of months ago, and it made quite an impression on the PC Pro team. For a mobile OS designed from the ground up in little more than 18 months, it looked slick, was easy to use, and has proven extremely responsive on all the phones we've tested so far.

The LG Optimus 7 is no exception. It's snappy in everyday use and easy to get to grips with, and the hardware is lovely too.

A brushed-aluminium panel conceals the battery compartment on the rear, a glossy glass 3.8in screen tops the phone, and below it are the three standard Windows Phone 7 buttons: back, start and search. It all feels very well put together.

LG Optimus 7

It isn't quite as arresting as the Samsung Omnia 7 with its 4in OLED display - this one has only a TFT screen - but aside from that, you'd be hard-pushed to tell the difference.

The screen has the same number of pixels at 480 x 800, the camera is the same resolution at five megapixels, and both shoot 720p video.

The battery is also of identical capacity at 1,500mAh, and it lasted just as long; we recorded 60% remaining after our 24-hour test - perfectly acceptable for a large-screen smartphone.

As for performance, although responsiveness is excellent, page rendering speeds are middling, with the BBC homepage appearing in 21 seconds. We couldn't persuade it to complete the SunSpider benchmark, however.

So the LG Optimus 7 shares the advantages of the other Windows Phone 7 handsets, such as Microsoft Office and Windows Live integration, but it also has all the same foibles.

This phone has no support for Flash Player 10.1, no memory expansion option, no free turn-by-turn satnav, no cut and paste and the number of apps and games available to download for the Windows Phone 7 platform is as yet slim.

LG Optimus 7

The prices are similar, but look hard enough and you'll find there are some differences between this phone and the Samsung Omnia.

The key one - and the principle reason to buy the Optimus over the Samsung - is that it has double the storage at 16GB. But the Samsung has the better camera.

However, this is all just point scoring. Windows Phone 7 can't yet hold a candle to iOS or Android for polish or content. And until the Windows Phone 7 contingent can match phones such as the Desire for price, we can't recommend any of them.

Details

Price ex VAT £400
Price inc VAT £470
Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £29.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider www.vodafone.co.uk
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 3

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 8hrs
Standby, quoted 17 days 8hrs

Physical

Dimensions 60 x 11.5 x 125mm (WDH)
Weight 157g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 512MB
ROM size 512MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? no
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 3.8in
Resolution 480 x 800
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Other