The big issue with the LG Optimus L7 P700 is its performance. It’s difficult to tell if this is due to it’s modest 1Ghz processor, a lack of RAM, its implementation of ICS or LG’s Optimus UI. Either way, it can be infuriating to use as it often suffers from seemingly random slow downs and pauses.
Here's an example. We start up the Gmail app and tap on the first email in the inbox to open it. From tapping to the email to the message appearing onscreen it took a staggering 6.5 seconds – count 'em! Granted this doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen on a regular basis. In fact, there were times when we though the phone had actually crashed it took so long to respond to our input.
Another symptom is the sluggish feel of touchscreen interactions. Simple tasks, like dragging and dropping shortcuts on the homescreen, become hugely annoying as the phone often registers a long press as a quick dab. The result is that you end up launching the same app multiple times before you get it to recognise that you're actually trying to just move the shortcut to a different place on the homescreen.
Its sluggishness was highlighted in our benchmark tests too. In Sunspider it scored a measly 3793, while in Browsermark it racked up a score of just 53372 – not much better than the budget Optimus L3. 3D gaming isn’t really its forte either, as it managed to produce just 20fps in the GLbenchmark 2.1 Egypt standard test.
Big Screened Fun
The 4.3inch LCD screen may not have the deep black levels of the OLED displays on some other phones, but the combination of its large size and generous resolution of 480 x 800 pixels means that it looks quite impressive, especially compared to the displays on other similarly priced phones.
However, battery life was pretty dire too. It really struggled to get though a whole day of fairly moderate use without needing a recharge in the evening. By modern smartphone standards that's a very poor showing. On the plus side, call quality was fine. I had no problems hearing people through the ear piece and callers reported that voice quality from the mic was good.
The phone also has NFC built-in, and LG includes a number of NFC tags in the box. You can set the phone up so that these tags cause the phone to switch to a specific profile. For example, you could put a tag on your beside so when the phone is sitting on the table it would automatically switch to a profile that turns off all notification sounds, so as not to disturb you while you sleep, which is neat. And you can of course use the technology for much more besides, like contactless payment, or quickly connecting to other wireless devices.
The camera is fairly decent too. There are both front and rear facing cameras and the rear facing one has a 5.0megapixel sensor. Shutter lag is low, so you can take a snap fairly rapidly. However, once the shot is taken the handset does pause for quite a while to process it before you can shoot another. Nevertheless, it does a good job of producing an even exposure across the frame, detail levels are good and colours quite accurate too. Naturally you can use the camera to shoot video, but this is limited to a maximum resolution of 640 x 480, so you can forget about shooting in HD quality.
The LG Optimus L7 has a stylish design and some good features including NFC support and a large 4.3inch screen. However, its 1Ghz processor seems to be overwhelmed by what LG is asking it to do on this handset and the result is that the phone can be quite tedious to use, as it suffers from lots of random slow downs and pauses. Our advice is to look elsewhere to satisfy your Android craving.