LG Optimus F7 Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

Frequently becoming a common practice, we’re not seeing as many new mid-rage smartphones being announced, mainly because last year’s flagships tend to occupy the segment when successive devices come out. Regardless of that, there are a few batch that somehow come about through the cracks, which is the case with the LG Optimus F7. In the US, it’s being made available through regional carrier US Cellular for $100 with a 2-year contract – sporting a modest specs that seems fluffy enough to tangle with some high-end gear out there. If that’s the case, let’s dive in to find out for ourselves!

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety and Warranty Guide

Design:

At first glance, some people will recognize the Optimus F7’s design similarities with LG’s former flagship device in the Optimus 4X HD, but as a whole, there isn’t anything too profound here. Actually, it’s rather conventional by LG’s standards, as it’s sporting a plastic body that feels decent with its construction and build quality – albeit, seeing that it’s the glossy variety, it tends to easily show finger prints and smudges. Despite that, the handset has a pleasant design and feels balanced in weight to still make it an attractive looker for a mid-range thing.


LG Optimus F7
Dimensions

5.19 x 2.69 x 0.38 inches

131.7 x 68.2 x 9.6 mm

Weight

4.7 oz (133 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III
Dimensions

5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Weight

4.69 oz (133 g)

HTC One VX
Dimensions

5.22 x 2.66 x 0.36 inches

133 x 68 x 9 mm

Weight

4.40 oz (125 g)

BlackBerry Z10
Dimensions

5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 inches

130 x 65.6 x 9 mm

Weight

4.85 oz (138 g)

LG Optimus F7
Dimensions

5.19 x 2.69 x 0.38 inches

131.7 x 68.2 x 9.6 mm

Weight

4.7 oz (133 g)

Samsung Galaxy S III
Dimensions

5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Weight

4.69 oz (133 g)

HTC One VX
Dimensions

5.22 x 2.66 x 0.36 inches

133 x 68 x 9 mm

Weight

4.40 oz (125 g)

BlackBerry Z10
Dimensions

5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 inches

130 x 65.6 x 9 mm

Weight

4.85 oz (138 g)

Compare these and other phones using our Size Comparison tool.


A rarity indeed, the LG Optimus F7 feature a handy multi-colored LED notification light that outlines the border of its physical home button, which is surrounded by the usual back and menu capacitive keys. Depending on the notification, it’ll pulsate in different colors – very cool! Above the display, we have its earpiece, proximity sensor, and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera.


Around its chrome plated bezel, we find all of the usual suspects that include the power button, volume control, dedicated QuickMemo app button, 3.5mm headset jack, noise cancelling mic, microUSB port, and standard mic. With its set of physical buttons, they’re a bit flat, but at least their responses are sufficient.


In the rear, the Optimus F7 is packing along an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, which is on the higher end of the scale with mid-range devices. Naturally, it has the ability to shoot video in 1080p. Lifting off the rear glossy back casing, we gain access to its 2540 mAh battery, microSIM, and microSD card slots.



Display:

Crazy to believe it, we’re getting to a point where mid-range devices have some pretty sweet looking displays on them – and that’s exactly what we see here with the LG Optimus F7! It’s a giant sized 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 (720p) IPS-LCD panel on there. Easily an item that would be fitting for any high-end device of last year, we’re pleased with the overall package here. Specifically, its 312 ppi pixel density is good enough to visualize small details from a normal distance away – while its color production is neutral and produces tones that are more accurate. Outdoor visibility is okay with the help of some shading, seeing that its brightness output isn’t the strongest, plus, there’s just a small fragment of distortion at extreme angles. It’s not cutting edge, but heck, it’s more than adequate for a mid-ranger!



LG Optimus F7 360-Degrees View:





Interface and Functionality:

Not surprisingly, there isn’t anything terribly new with the experience here, since it’s running the same Optimus UI skin that’s used by a handful of other LG smartphones of late – albeit, it’s on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. We won’t get into much detail, since we’ve covered it numerous times, but it’s worth noting that it features some of the latest software tweaks that are found on LG’s more prestigious smartphones. For example, it employs the QuickMemo app that allows us to tinker around with screen shots, QSlide to allow for improved multi-tasking, Smart Screen that keeps tracks our eyes to keep the display on, and gestures to move widgets/icons/folders on the home screen to other areas. Overall, they’re all nice touches, but it still lacks the complexity of Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX and the visual appeal of HTC’s latest Sense UI.


Looking through its core organizer apps, they function as they should, not surprisingly. However, it’s nice that the QuickMemo app provides us some useful note-taking functions at a moment’s notice. In addition, the QSlide feature of the experience allows certain apps, like the calendar, calculator, and browser, to simultaneously run on top of whatever we’re doing – so it adds a level of improved multi-tasking to the experience. Beyond that, everything else is what we’d expect from any other Android smartphone.


With so much real-estate to work with, we don’t have any trouble typing stuff up with its on-screen keyboard. Not only is the layout ample to reduce accidental presses, but it’s super responsive to keep up with our fast rate of input.



Processor and Memory:

Oh dual-cores, you’ve now become the standard gear for mid-range devices – and that’s not a bad thing at all here! In fact, the Optimus F7 features a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM based processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 225 GPU. Certainly, it’s not striking as some quad-cores, but regardless of that, we’re glad to find its performance to be spot-on fast and responsive. Maintaining the same level of performance with all operations, whether they’re elementary or intensive, the Optimus F7 doesn’t stutter for a moment!


Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
LG Optimus F75708109172038 / 18 fps2192 / 614
Samsung Galaxy S III 533515152

HTC One VX5269




Advertised as offering 8GB of on-board storage, the actual figure is actually cut in half – a meager 4.1GB of actual memory out of the box. Fortunately enough, there’s a microSD card slot to help ease things.

Internet and Connectivity:

Everything is in order with the F7’s web browsing experience, seeing that it boasts all of the qualities to make it soundly lovable from all angles. In addition to having fast 4G LTE connectivity, it’s also instantaneous with its page rendering, kinetic scrolling, and pinch zooming. Throw in the fact that its display is super sharp to help us make out miniscule text with our own eyes from a normal viewing distance away, it’s an all-around winner in this particular category.


Here in the US, the Optimus F7 is a CDMA based smartphone that’s meant to work with US Cellular’s network – with 4G LTE connectivity in tow too. However, you’ll need to bring along a spare device when traveling abroad, seeing that it’s not a world phone. LG doesn’t skimp out with the goods on this one, as it features aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC.



Camera:

Compared to other mid-rangers, the Optimus F7 benefits from having a higher-than-normal 8-megapixel camera, however, don’t think for a moment that it can tangle with some of the greats in the space. At best, it produces mediocre photos that are best captured outdoors where there’s plenty of sunlight. In fact, details tend to be a little bit indistinct, which makes images appear like mosaic paintings. On one hand, we absolutely love how low lighting shots come out bright, but the compromise is made with details, seeing that it probably jumps up to higher ISO levels, which tends to soften details tremendously. With its LED flash, it does a decent job with its potent lighting.


Nothing that’s out of the ballpark, its 1080p video recording quality falls into the same category as its still image quality – average at best! Out of everything, it’s just the insignificant details that really jump at us, but as least it records smoothly and has quick continuous auto-focus to keep up. Sure, its exposure is a little jumpy at times, plus, some artifacting might pop up every now and then, but the overall package is enough to swallow.

LG Optimus F7 Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail


Multimedia:

By now, we’re so spoiled with what the Google Play Music app can do, but as an alternative, we can stick with the LG Optimus music player as well. Visually, it’s the usual fanfare with its functionality and presentation, but at least the audio quality from its speaker is deafeningly loud. Pumping out some powerful tones, it sounds just a smidgen sharp to the ear at the loudest setting.


What else is there to say about its video playback quality, aside from saying that it’s exceptional for a mid-ranger. Obviously, it has all of the elements to make it a winner – like its smooth playback and sharp display. Again with the QSlide functionality of the experience, it’s nice that we can have a video play on top of whatever we’re doing.




Call Quality:

Besides the slight crackle with voices heard through the earpiece and speakerphone, we don’t have any other complaints about its call quality. Voices are clear and distinctive for the most part on both ends of the line, plus, when you add in the strong volume output of its speakerphone and near instant muting of wind thanks to its noise cancellation feature, you’re guaranteed to carry on conversations with pals in full fidelity.

Battery:

Stuffed with a 2540 mAh battery, it seems grossly enough on paper to offer us enough juice throughout the day, but it’s not what we find. Instead, a full charge permits us up to 20 hours of juice with our normal usage under 3G EV-DO connectivity, which consists mostly of web browsing, sending text messages, viewing emails, and the occasional phone call.

Conclusion:

Taking into consideration everything we’ve checked out with the LG Optimus F7, we have to admit that it’s a very well rounded contender that’s above most other mid-rangers that are out on the market. And to an extent, it can very well hold its ground against some higher-end devices, especially when it’s priced to attract at $100 with a 2-year contract. It’s not the most cutting edge thing out of LG’s camp, but for US Cellular customers, it’s close as they can get to something grandiose like the Optimus G.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.2.1
Build Number: JZ054K
Kernel Version: 3.4.0


LG Optimus F7 Video Review:

Video Thumbnail




Pros

  • Nice looking display for a mid-ranger
  • Multi-colored LED notification light
  • Super responsive

Cons

  • Underwhelming image/video quality
  • Lackluster battery life

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

User Rating:

8.4
5 Reviews

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