LG Optimus 7 - Windows Phone 7 Smartphone - Camera, Video, DLNA & Verdict

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly



Our Score:


Another false step comes with the camera. Whilst it looks fantastic on the rear of the handset, in use the five megapixel shooter is nothing to write home about. Pictures lack detail and multiple light sources really confuse the sensor. As always, perfect conditions lead to excellent photos but anything less and you'll be somewhat disappointed. This is a shame because one LG's breakout features is a 'Panorama Shot', though – as you'll see below – the effect is undermined by the poor quality of the images themselves. 720p video recording is little better with panning jerky and quality grainy.

The good news is from here things improve markedly. Panaroma shot may be a nice idea, but it is likely to be replicated by numerous Windows Phone Marketplace apps in coming months. Instead the real differentiator is LG's wise decision to add DLNA support through its 'Play To' app. This enables handset owners to wirelessly stream pictures, music and video to DLNA compatible TVs, stereos, consoles and PCs of which there are many and the system works flawlessly.

Consequently the ability to walk into a room and fire music at the stereo, video at the TV and pictures at a digital photo frame really do feel like a slice of the future. What slightly sours the experience is Play To comes from LG's own Windows Phone 7 app store, which only stocks 10 apps at the time of this review and does little other than to encourage fragmentation. This is a worrying early trend since Microsoft's strict hardware requirements are likely to encourage desperate handset makers to try and differentiate their handsets any way they can.

This theme continues with LG's 'Voice to Test' feature which can be used to write emails or update Facebook and Twitter while staying clear of the (admittedly rather decent) Windows Phone 7 virtual keyboard. It is fairly accurate, though does still show quirks depending on accent and intonation – sometimes with unintentionally hilarious/dangerous consequences. My advice: always proofread.

As for more mundane, but arguably more important aspects. The LG scores a win with a capacious 1500mAh battery which consistently saw the Optimus 7 last a full day, sometimes two days, depending on usage. This is significantly better than you'll get from HTC's HD7 Windows Phone 7 handset and its 1230mAh battery, all Android handsets and the iPhone 4. As for call quality, it is the usual smartphone story: good in areas of strong reception, more mediocre elsewhere but the subjective nature of cell phone reception from network to network and place to place make this a hard area to rate objectively.

What is worth bearing in mind though is you'll need good Vodafone reception where you live since the Optimus 7 is a UK exclusive. The upside is price plans are good value with the phone being free on deals under £30 per month. Sim free is a more painful £499.99 and should be avoided at this price.


There is no denying the Optimus 7 is an extremely polished handset and its implementation of DLNA is far and away its killer feature. On the flip side the camera is a disappointment and you'll need to buy in the knowledge that however slick Windows Phone 7 is it remains painfully short of core functionality at present. Vodafone price plans do make this easier to swallow, so if you've decided Microsoft's new OS is for you check the DNLA status of your existing gadgets and dive in. The water's great.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 8
  • Design 8
Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


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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