LG E900 Optimus 7 review: Lucky seven

GSMArena team, 09 November 2010.
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Modest retail package

The box of the LG E900 Optimus 7 contains the basics and you don’t get any extras. There’s the microUSB cable, the charger (which works with the USB cable) and a one-piece headset.

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There isn't much stuff in the box

There’s the usual set of user guides and that’s it. The Optimus 7 does have 16GB of built-in memory, which does add to the value.

LG E900 Optimus 7 360-degree spin

The LG E900 Optimus 7 measures 125 x 59.8 x 11.5 mm and weighs 157 grams – it’s not a small phone by any means. Still, it has rock-solid build, which is exactly what many people are looking for.

Design and construction

We always approve of a metal chassis and the LG E900 Optimus 7 really delivers. It has both round corners and right angles – a subtly elegant and neutral look. The Optimus 7 is neither purely a geek’s phone nor a strictly business device.

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The LG E900 Optimus 7 is LG’s first foray into Windows Phone 7

The screen of the LG E900 Optimus 7 spans 3.8” and has WVGA resolution. That puts it at the lower end of WP7 screens (the smallest of the current generation is 3.6” and the biggest is 4.3”). But among all touchscreen sizes, it’s actually above average.

The screen is a TFT LCD unit and suffers from common LCD problems – glowing blacks and poor image quality when viewed at an angle. Still, the high-res screen has pleasing colors and response.

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The 3.8” WVGA capacitive display

Sunlight legibility is about average – the main problem is that the screen reflects too much light, which sometimes subjectively makes the on-screen colors look washed out.

Besides the touchscreen, the front panel of the LG Optimus 7 also features the earpiece, which doubles as the loudspeaker, as well as the proximity sensor.

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The proximity sensor and earpiece on top • The three keys at the bottom

Below the screen, there are the three keys mandated by Windows Phone 7 – Back, Windows and Search. The Windows key protrudes and feels rather cheap, while the other two keys are nicer and made of matte plastic. The three keys are big enough and comfortable to use.

The left side of LG E900 Optimus 7 houses only the volume rocker, which is flush against the side of the phone and not very easy to use. On the right, we find the microUSB port (which is covered with a protective flap) and the camera shutter key. The microUSB port is used both for charging and data transfers.

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Volume rocker on the left side of the Optimus 7 • microUSB and shutter key on the right

The top hosts the 3.5mm standard audio jack (left uncovered) along with the Power/Lock key. The power key is slightly raised though a bit too small. It’s still ok to use and accidental presses are unlikely. Plus, the shutter key can be set to unlock the phone and launch the camera if you need to act fast and not miss the right moment to snap a photo.

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The 3.5mm jack is on top, along with the tiny power key • There is nothing at the bottom

The only thing to note at the bottom of the LG Optimus 7 is the mouthpiece.

Going around back, there’s the 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash and a self portrait mirror. The camera lens is slightly recessed and that’s the only protection against scratches it has. At the bottom end of the back is the battery cover latch.

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The 5 megapixel camera lens, LED flash and self-portrait mirror

Pressing the latch releases the back cover, which has a nice brushed metal feel to it. Underneath is the beefy 1500mAh Li-Ion battery, LG don’t quote any standby and talk times but in our experience, the battery proved reasonably good – we could get a couple of days out of it with medium to heavy usage. Just above the battery compartment is the SIM card bed.

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The 1500mAh battery has plenty of juice

The back cover is made of actual metal – and not just a thin sheet either. The rest of the phone is constructed with durability and comfort in mind too. That adds to the overall weight, but anyway the last thing we need in a phone like the LG E900 Optimus 7 is a cheap plastic feeling.

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LG E900 Optimus 7 in hand

The nice curves of the phone made it very comfortable to hold, though it might prove too big/heavy for your pocket. The matte plastic on the front and the brushed metal at the rear are great at hiding fingerprints. It’s only the finish of the protruding silver-colored Windows key that seems likely to succumb to the daily wear and tear.

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