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LG Optimus 7 - Windows Phone 7 Smartphone review

Gordon Kelly



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When a new operating system comes to market the greatest excitement is arguably reserved for the cool kit which follows. Windows Phone 7 is rather different. Microsoft – traditionally liberal with its hardware requirements – has this time imposed strict hardware guidelines and even forbid tinkering with the interface.

The result is an army of clone-like devices with very little to separate them. The good news: LG has done just enough to enjoy the Optimus 7 on its own merits.

So what are we working with? As you might expect, all Windows Phone 7 demands are met. This means the Optimus 7 has a 3.8in 480 x 800 pixel 16:9 display, 16GB of internal memory, a five megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash and 720p video recording and is powered by a 1GHz processor. Minimum requirements in these categories are a 3.5in 480 x 800 display, 8GB of native memory (no user accessible microSD), a five megapixel camera and 1GHz processor.

What hardware requirements don't enforce, however, is build quality and here LG has excelled. The Optimus 7 feels solid in hand without creaks and squeaks, the machined metal back plate adds a touch of class and it is the only Windows Phone 7 handset to launch with physical as opposed to touch sensitive buttons – a real boon to usability in our eyes. The embossed Windows logo on the home key is raised a little too high and can be scratchy while the on/off button on the top is needlessly small, but overall it is a handset you'll be proud to pull from your pocket.

Your pocket won't need to be on a pair of combat pants either since the Optimus 7 is relatively compact for its features measuring 125 x 59.8 x 11.5mm and weighing in at 140g. By contrast the iPhone 4 is 137g, the HTC Desire 135g, the Desire HD 164g.

So the exterior passes all tests, but what about actual usage? This isn't a review of Windows Phone 7 (Ed has covered that with his extensive write-up already), but rather how well has LG managed to implement it and differentiate it from the pack. In terms of the former the answer is extremely well – as have all launch partners to be fair. For all its limitations Windows Phone 7 is the fastest and most responsive mobile operating system on the market. Its detractors would argue this is because the OS is currently so stripped down - lacking the bloatware of endless apps, Flash support or multi-tasking – but regardless the Optimus 7 rockets along with fast, sensitive touchscreen feedback and extremely responsive multi-touch zooming both in photos and more complex web pages. That said there are bumps along the way…

Browsing may be fast, but LG's screen – while bright and crisp – doesn't measure up to the Super AMOLED displays seen in Samsung's latest handsets, the S-LCD on the Desire HD or the Retina display on the iPhone 4. As such text can look a little fuzzy when web pages are zoomed out. This isn't a huge problem given the responsive zooming of the Optimus 7 and it is by no means a bad display, just not a class leader.

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November 20, 2010, 2:52 pm

hmm, while it might be slickly implemented, dlna isn't much of a usp or differentiater - dlna/upnp clients, players and remote control apps are freely available for Android and (perhaps not freely) for iphone. I've tried some and the novelty soon wears off.

Move along, nothing to see here.


November 20, 2010, 3:26 pm

Good review, DLNA is indeed the killer function for me on this.

PS. It's DLNA, not DNLA. :-)


November 20, 2010, 8:22 pm

@Virbo - many thanks, and fixed ;)


November 21, 2010, 12:42 am

No "Wow" factor, nothing new on offer and no real reason to change from my existing phone. Mind you, Microsoft don't really do innovation so no surprise here. Just another case of trying to catch up with the leaders.


November 21, 2010, 2:45 am

@lantics: Because Surface, Courier and the Ribbon interface just aren't innovative are they?


November 21, 2010, 8:52 am

"Microsoft – traditionally liberal with its hardware requirements – has this time imposed strict hardware guidelines and even forbid tinkering with the interface. The result is an army of clone-like devices with very little to separate them."

I find this the right way to make mobile phones. I agree with Microsoft. Endless and completely nonsense craps litter almost all of the mobile phones.

Every single user can format the OS to his needs. Doesn't need every random company's perverted styling and way of living.

Companies should try to be different from the "pack" with serious features, like build quality from LG. There are many ways to be innovative, modern and respectable and attractive to customers. No more beads and mirrors "gentlemen".


November 22, 2010, 12:48 am

@ffrankmccaffery did you honestly say "the Ribbon interface"? Seriously? That is your evidence of Innovation? Next you'll be telling me the Start button in Windows is innovation. Priceless :-)


November 22, 2010, 8:41 pm

(1) I wish that at some point the comments on WP7 handset reviews would stop being about the WP7 software, and instead focus on the hardware at issue.

(2) The cameras on almost all of these WP7 devices have been subpar. Is this a limitation of WP7 itself, or reflective of rushed efforts by the hardware manufacturers? Because, if it's not a WP7 limitation, then my advice for the hardware manufacturers would be to differentiate in this area.


November 23, 2010, 6:13 am

@Lantic: How about actually arguing as to why the Ribbon interface isn't innovative? Details maybe? I'm sure it'll take less than two days for you to reply and than perhaps you could argue why the Surface and Courier aren't innovative either.


November 23, 2010, 6:25 am

@Heelo - it isn't a software problem, so you're right handset makers have been slack in some cases. It often comes down to throwing more megapixels at the consumer, but this is never a real fix. The HDR integration in the iPhone 4 is a major step in the right direction so if Microsoft can help in any way this would be a good start...


November 23, 2010, 2:41 pm

@ffrankmccaffery no need to argue old chap. I'd prefer to discuss. In my opinion, the Ribbon is merely rearranging the old File, Edit menus into new locations. How is that innovation? More like house keeping and refresh of the old drop-down menus.

As for Courier .. where can I buy this Courier from? Is this not a rehash of a single tablet which failed miserably before? And where is it now? Surely this "innovative" product must have been snapped up by all and sundry? No?

Surface may be bordering on Innovation, but you blew all credibility by referring to the Ribbon in the first instance. Still makes me chuckle! Discussion - done!


November 23, 2010, 5:12 pm


The ribbon is merely rearranging the old menus! That's like saying the iPhone just made the icons more finger friendly!


November 23, 2010, 5:57 pm

@rav Uh, no.


November 23, 2010, 6:05 pm

@Lantic: You really should have taken another two days if that's your reply. I'm struggling to respond really to such a shockingly blinkered explanation and instead will leave it to rav's response above.

And how does the Courier's lack of availability deny its innovative design? Microsoft canning it's development dismayed many in the tech industry and no doubt regret from the company itself considering the march the iPad has since stolen in that sector.


November 23, 2010, 6:25 pm

Thanks Frank - I can see why you're struggling!


November 23, 2010, 6:47 pm

@ffrankmccaffery, @rav

The Ribbon Interface is nothing new!!, this is a bit like me saying Apple was innovative when they came out with FaceTime, which I'm sure you'll agree is nothing more than just Video calling most of us have been doing for years with MSN etc. Basically the Ribbon Interfaces is Microsoft's fancy name for a "Tabbed Toolbar".

But I wouldn't go as far as @Lantic and say Microsoft don't do innovation.

There very innovative when it comes to charging top bucks for a hard drive for the Xbox360 :)


November 23, 2010, 8:49 pm


At the minimum, the ribbon is a fresh take on an old idea. Beyond that we could argue all day about the level of innovation. The only innovation FaceTime brings to the table is it's lack of compatability with anything non Apple. Having used it on my iPod I think it actually works quite well but is hampered by it's limited userbase.

In regard to charging for peripherals I don't think anyone is more innovative than Apple. SD card adaptor, mini display port adaptor, USD to ethernet adaptor, magic rechargable batteries. That's not even to mention their upgrade prices for RAM and other components.

That isn't to say that 360 hard drive prices aren't a joke.


November 24, 2010, 2:24 pm

And just when you thought the standard couldn't drop any further up pops regular TR irritant Keith - trademark multiple exclamations and all - to drag further this discussion into further incomprehensible nonsense.


November 24, 2010, 4:12 pm

@Keith things were going so well until ffrankmccaffery added his "innovation" fairy tale to the thread.


November 24, 2010, 8:06 pm


I think you agreeing it's not an innovation, so not sure what's to argue all day about.

And about the 360 HD, my comment was meant to be a little joke. But were the Mac does differ with the 360 is that I have the option of buying my memory from somewhere else, so it's not really the same is it?.

@ffrankmccaffery: discussion into further incomprehensible nonsense.

I thought that was your speciality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, it might be easer for everybody @ffrankyboy if you explain why you believe the Ribbon Interface from M$ was such an innovation. (who am I joking, that's not likely to happen, goal post moving response more likely).


April 12, 2012, 4:40 pm

I bought this phone the other day from Expansys for less than £150. I've updated it to Mango and it's really very good. I had a San Francisco before, which was fine, but I much prefer the slick simplicity of the Windows OS to Android.


May 22, 2014, 12:11 pm

i have windows lg mobile. now touch screen not working. if it is service or not

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