The LG Optimus F7 certainly has a fair bit going for it. This handset benefits from a large, sharp display, excellent call quality, a good camera, and 4G LTE support, too. It’s an attractive enough phone, as well, if a little on the plain side.
The Optimus F7 measures 69 x 10 x 131mm (WxDxH) and weighs 135 grams. It's very comfortable to hold and use with one hand, though I did have to do some extreme thumb flexing to drag down the Notifications bar at the top of the screen. The phone is made entirely of slippery dark grey plastic with a faux-brushed aluminium finish on the back. And while the build quality feels solid, I noticed some pretty serious scuffs had appeared on the back of my review unit after just a few days of using it.
The 4.7in, 1,280 x 720-pixel IPS LCD is very bright, and colours look pleasantly saturated. It's even a touch sharper than the screen on the Galaxy S3, which has the same resolution, but measures 4.8in. It's also very comfortable to type on.
Call quality on the Optimus F7 is quite good. Voices sound clear and full in the earpiece, with just a light hint of static in the background. Calls made with the phone sound rich and natural, with very good noise cancellation. The speakerphone gets extremely loud; you can hear it outside at maximum volume, though it sounds a bit harsh. Calls sounded good through a Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset, and the standard Android voice dialling app worked fine.
The phone has a big 2,540mAh battery that lasted for a solid 12 hours and 47 minutes of talk time, and it's removable, so you can carry a spare. The Optimus F7 supports 4G LTE, too, along with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
This handset is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor. It turned in some respectable benchmark scores for web and overall system performance, but stuttered a bit on more graphically intensive tests. Still, you should be able to run nearly all of the 800,000 plus apps in the Google Play store without a problem.
The Optimus F7 runs Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), along with LG's Optimus UI 3.0 customisations. The Optimus UI is a very heavy layer over Android that won't please purists, but will look appealing to newbies.
You get seven customisable home screens to swipe between, and these are dotted with randomly placed apps. LG has added four themes to the phone that change your wallpaper and icons. In addition to Optimus, which is the standard skin you get out of the box, you also get Biz, Cozywall, and Marshmallow, which is a nice way to keep your phone feeling fresh.
You also get all the usual Android perks, like a fast web browser, excellent email support, and voice-enabled, turn-by-turn GPS directions via Google Maps. LG adds QuickMemo, which is a system-wide note taking service that lets you annotate screenshots with handwritten notes and sketches, which you can then share. And SmartShare lets you display music, photos, and video on your HDTV or monitor via DLNA.
The Optimus F7 comes with 3.91GB of free internal storage, and an empty microSD card slot underneath the battery cover. My 32GB and 64GB SanDisk cards worked fine in this. The phone was able to play all of our audio test files except FLAC, and sound quality was good over both wired 3.5mm headphones as well as Altec Lansing BackBeat Bluetooth headphones, though there was a faint hissing sound in the background. All of our test videos played back at resolutions of up to 1080p, but audio was way out of sync over Bluetooth.
The 8-megapixel camera on the back of the phone is pretty good. It snaps shots as soon as the autofocus locks in, which takes less than half a second. And if you hold the shutter button down the camera will shoot continuously every four-tenths of a second.
Photos look good, with adequate colour and detail, though they're not quite up to par with images taken by the Galaxy S4. The camera also records 1080p video at a smooth 30 frames per second, although there was some screen tearing indoors and it had trouble adjusting to different lighting outside. The 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera is fine for self-portraits and video chat.
The LG Optimus F7 packs enough smartphone prowess to satisfy most users. It has a larger, sharper display than the similarly priced HTC One SV, as well as a faster processor. Its battery life is also good, as is the camera.
The Optimus UI is a heavy layer over Android that won’t please purists, however. Also, the phone is a touch pricey on the Boost network over in the US – we’ll just have to see what the final UK price is when the handset is released on this side of the pond (hopefully before too long). On balance, though, this is a good effort from LG.
Manufacturer and Model
LG Optimus F7
1280 x 720 pixels
69 x 10 x 131mm (WxDxH)
Video Camera Resolution
Battery Life (As Tested)
12 hours 47 minutes
Available Integrated Storage
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960 Dual-Core
Total Integrated Storage
Operating System as Tested
Screen Pixels Per Inch