• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

A number of Windows Phone 7 handsets have come onto the market, and because Microsoft has been strict about their software and hardware specification, the phone makers have had to make an extra effort to make their devices stand out from the crowd. LG hasn't managed it on the hardware front with the Optimus 7, but it does have the added benefit of some exclusive apps and access to an app store as well.



One thing that differentiates Windows Phone 7 devices is the way they look. The Optimus 7 feels solid and weighty but a plastic body sporting a metal back that's also coated in glossy plastic makes it feel a bit cheap. Above a plastic strip, which is home to hard buttons for Search, Back and the Windows Start logo (which actually takes you to the home screen) is the 3.8in display.


The slot for the charger is hidden behind one of those little doors, which is a bit fiddly, but there is a dedicated button for the five-megapixel snapper. At the top of the handset you'll find a 3.5mm audio jack, near the power button. You won't find a microSD slot, so no hope of boosting the memory as you do on Android devices, but the Optimus 7 does already boast 16GB of on-board memory - the most allowed by Microsoft.


Turn on the Optimus 7 and you'll see the exact same Windows Phone 7 home screen as you'd see on any other WP7 device. You'll be greeted by lots of ‘live' tiles, which are Microsoft's take on widgets. At the top are the key ones - contacts, email, dialler, messaging - but it is possible to switch them around as you wish. Apps can also be ‘pinned' to the home screen, and there they will appear in standard tile style. Swipe to the left to reveal the other home screen, where you can see all your phone's programs. The design of WP7 - clean and modern - really makes it stand out from its rivals and it's pretty impressive that it is as easy to get to grips with as the iPhone operating system.


Back to basics

As Microsoft has decreed, the Optimus 7 carries a fast 1GHz processor and an 800x480 pixel capacitive touch-screen - and it's by far the most impressive we've seen on an LG handset. We found the virtual keyboard both accurate and responsive, and a light touch is all that's needed to use the phone. Both text and colours are sharp and bright, and in the gallery and while browsing the pinch to zoom facility worked well.


Preloaded is Internet Explorer and at the moment it is not possible to download an alternative. However, bearing in mind some of its desktop glitches, we found the mobile version of IE surprisingly good, speedily rendering pages for us. It is possible to open multiple windows - although there is no tabbed browsing - delete history, passwords and cookies, and save favourites. The only major omission is that there is no copy and paste facility - though we are promised that will appear next year ‘sometime'.


The Optimus 7 makes emailing a breeze too. There are instant notifications for Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Gmail and Microsoft Exchange mail. Each account is allocated its own live tile, where new messages are shown. Rather handily, any missed calls or new texts appear in a small bar at the top of the display for a few seconds, and then show as a number on the appropriate tile.


As we've said before in WP7 reviews, it is the process of making a call that is somewhat lengthy. However, the phonebook is fantastic. It syncs through Hotmail, Gmail and Facebook to treat you to a multi-screen display of your contacts' profile pictures, updates and a screen showing all your recently contacted (by phone or text) friends.


Multimedia entertainment

For games and music fans, the Optimus 7 has the benefit of syncing to Xbox Live and Zune - this is Microsoft's version of iTunes, which has only just launched in the UK. You'll find a very decent selection of mobile versions of console games on Xbox live, which rivals Apple's mobile gaming offering. Zune, while it has no local presence, is easy to use, making it simple to move your collection of tunes onto the handset.


LG has always been a step ahead in the media stakes, and it has done it again with an app called PlayTo. This allows you to stream movies and music from your handset to a DLNA-enabled device - such as a PS3 or LG TV, or indeed a PC running Windows 7. It's a bit of a geeky setup process, but we followed the Help option and had it up and running pretty quickly. Once you have both your devices on the Wi-Fi network, you just open up PlayTo and you can watch the content on the larger device.


There is also an augmented reality app called Scan Search. It's not the first one we've seen, but it does just work. There is a total of 10 preloaded apps LG Apps Store, and more free apps will be added regularly according to LG. You'll find it on the same page as Windows Marketplace, the app store from Microsoft which is rapidly gaining pace. One might wonder why there is a need for two app stores, but as LG's only offers free apps, maybe it has a place after all - especially when you note the price of Windows apps- The Sims 3, for instance, is £5.49 - yet only £3.99 on the iPhone.


Camera, GPS and battery

We've come to expect decent cameras from LG and we were not disappointed with the five-megapixel snapper with flash and auto focus. LG has also included its Panorama Shot, a nifty add-on that glues together photos for a 360-degree image. Just turn round in a circle, holding up the camera, and the device will work out when the images are lined up correctly. Clever


If you need to find your way, then A-GPS will successfully lock on your location - but bear in mind that Bing Maps is not up there with Google Maps. Yes, it offers turn-by-turn directions for anyone on foot, but without voice navigation, it's no replacement for a sat nav. We were more impressed by battery life - lasting more than a day while using Wi-Fi, HSDPA, playing music and some A-GPS.


The verdict

While LG hasn't quite reached the superphone heights as yet, the Optimus 7 shows it is well on its way. Like the other WP7 devices, it's excellent for web browsing and emailing and its touch-screen is truly impressive.


The Xbox Live and Zune facilities will also be a big draw as time goes on. It may not be as stylish as some WP7 phones, but it is also available on cheaper tariffs, so anyone who wants to try out WP7 will find the Optimus 7 an affordable way to jump on board.



Type of phone:



candy bar


125 x 59.8 x 11.5 mm




16 million colours




Five megapixels

Special Camera features:

auto focus, LED flash

Video recording:


Video playback:


Video calling:


Video streaming:


Music formats played:


3.5mm jack port:


Handsfree speakerphone:


Voice Control:


Voice Dialling:


Call records:

Practically unlimited


Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall

Ringtones customization:


Display description:

TFT capacitive touch-screen







Standard color:


Launch Status:






Operating system:

Windows Mobile


MicroUSB, A2DP, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Announced date:

October 2010

What's in the Box:



512 MB RAM

International launch date:

November 2010

Battery life when playing multimedia:



Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 1GHz processor

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM radio

Internal memory:

512 MB ROM

Memory Card Slot:




Internet Browser:


E-mail client:

Push email






Yes and downloadable

Data speed:





300 mins (3G)


330 hours (3G)

Display size:




Audio recording:


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