Review: LG Optimus L7 P705 (P700)

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LG has set its sights on the mid- and low- end market with their L series of phones. We’ve reviewed the budget friendly L3 a few weeks back and now it’s time to set our sights on the biggest and baddest in the line – the Optimus L7 P705 (P700).

When we first laid eyes on the Optimus L7, we couldn’t shake that feeling of déjà vu. The overall design of the device isn’t striking nor ugly. Think of it as the Will Smith of smartphones – dark and acceptable to all palates. The L7 measures in at around 125.5 x 67 x 8.7mm and weighs in at 122 grams. The Optimus L7 uses a large, 4.3-inch IPS LCD screen that has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. There’s not much in the way of manual controls – there’s a volume rocker on the left side and a large home button in the bottom of the screen (which is flanked by two capacitive keys for navigation). The back panel of the Optimus L7 features a textured finish to help you grip the phone better.

There’s a 5-megapixel camera on the back with LED flash, as well as a secondary, VGA camera on the front.

Internally, the Optimus L7 uses a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon processor that’s mated with 512MB of RAM. The Optimus L7 uses Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as its OS with LG’s UI enhancements layered on top. There’s 4GB of internal storage on tap, which is expandable via the microSD slot integrated in the Optimus L7. A large, 1700mAh li-ion battery provides the juice to keep everything running.

We had initial fears that the Optimus L7’s processor wouldn’t be able to keep up with the demands that are expected of a device in its class. While the Optimus L7 performed well most of the time, there was several times where the unit became sluggish and a bit unresponsive, usually when we tried to unlock the device to use it. The L7 struggles somewhat with some apps and games (especially ones with a lot of animations and 3D graphics), which is a direct result of using a slower, single core processor.

AnTuTu paints a pretty bleak picture performance-wise, as the Optimus L7 only scores about 2787 points, which puts it below the Samsung Galaxy S.

Quadrant Standard is a little bit better, and gives the Optimus L7 1996 points, which puts it below the LG Optimus 2X but above the HTC Desire HD.

One upside of the single-core 1GHz Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon processor is that battery life is significantly better than comparable dual-core devices. Combine that with the relatively large 1700mAh battery, and the Optimus L7 is capable of delivering battery endurance that other phones only dream of. We managed to log almost two and a half days of useful battery life with moderate use, and we’re sure some of you out there may be able to log three. In today’s world of perpetually discharged gadgets, battery endurance like the Optimus L7’s is in short supply.

Another thing that we liked with the Optimus L7 is the incredibly bright screen. We’re not sure if the L7 is imbued with the same extremely bright Nova display that was in LG’s previous Optimus Black, but we’re sure that the L7’s display is close to the Optimus Black’s nit rating.

Ultimately, the Optimus L7 is an exercise in compromise. You’re not getting a dual-core processor and you’ll definitely feel the performance hit once you start using the device, but the tradeoffs is that you get much better battery endurance that allows you to use the device longer. The LG Optimus L7 retails for Php 15,990.

What’s Hot:

Bright, clear display
Long battery life
Uses Android 4.0

What’s Not:

Sluggish
Screen is sometimes unresponsive

Bottomline:
While the Optimus L7 suffers from the use of a single-core processor, it’s one of those phones that can last for more than two days on a single charge with moderate use.

Buymeter: 3.5/5

Tech Specs:

  • Operating System: Android 4.0
  • CPU: 1GHz Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon
  • LCD size: 4.3-inch IPS LCD screen, 480 x 800 pixel resolution
  • Physical Dimensions: 125.5 x 67 x 8.7 mm, 122 grams
  • Band: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100