Overview & Design
A Transformed Experience
LG and Microsoft aren't exactly the oldest friends, but friends, they are. Microsoft's Windows Mobile has seen some limited action with LG devices, and during the interim period between Windows Mobile 6.5 to the current Windows Phone 7, both companies have been doing their best to keep their heads low. The truth is, these partners have been working very closely to bring the Windows Phone 7 platform towards its final stages. In the last few months, we've seen bits and pieces of info about the LG phone being shown on Engadget to leaked images of it appearing on the web.
What is Windows Phone 7? In a few short sentences, the new Microsoft mobile OS is an absolute revamp of its Windows Mobile platform. Building the new Windows Phone 7 from scratch, Microsoft implemented a whole series of changes, mostly seen on its Metro user interface. Within the interface, you'll be greeted by a streamlined design, which will be strictly followed by developers for its apps interface. Live tiles, hubs and apps are the main features that will bring the Windows Phone 7 platform into the limelight. As we have seen from our first sighting at MWC 2010, followed by a preview session at Microsoft's office, Windows Phone 7 has the potential to regain its dominance in the smartphone realm.
The cloak of mystery was unveiled just over a week ago, when Microsoft made its global announcement of the availability of its Windows Phone 7. And with it, a slew of devices that will be loaded with the new mobile OS. The LG Optimus 7 made its official appearance at the event, and by now, we have a better idea of how this Windows Phone 7 device performs. Hence, we present our full review of the LG Optimus 7. Hit the specs tab above for the tech details, else. read on for our diagnosis.
Also known as the LG E900, the Optimus 7 looks unassuming and modest from the front. Adhering to Microsoft's design guidelines, you have a 3.8-inch screen having a 800 x 480 pixels display resolution on top of the three mandatory buttons, namely Back, Start and Search. An appropriate distance is given between the screen and the buttons, thus preventing any unintended tapping of the screen or buttons in any situation. LG did put some thought into its button design, which is slightly raised with embossed icons for easy access. For us, having that physical touch is a definite direction towards ease of use.
The same can't be said for its other buttons. Adjusting the volume can get frustrating, with a flat design that made it hard to locate and press the volume buttons. This is also true for its power button, located at the top right corner of the Optimus 7. Without looking, our fingers had to mull around the top before we managed to find the power button. Even then, it takes some effort to push the button to put the Optimus 7 to sleep or fire it up. Fortunately, the camera button doesn't have the flatness of the volume and power button. However, it did feel a bit stiffer than we're used to.
On its right profile, you'll find the camera button and the microUSB port, shielded by a plastic cover. As usual, the latter made us wonder if it is necessary to add that extra layer, creating one more step to plug our microUSB cable into the port. Plus, we had to dig in with our nails to yank the cover off, which might not be easy for some.
The overall handling of the Optimus 7 is well-balanced, with good weight distribution across the device. Predominantly plastic, fortunately, the front navigation panel and rear battery cover are metallic, thus giving the Optimus 7 a solid feel to its profile. Removing the battery cover is easily done by pressing a button to release the catch holding the cover in place. What you'll find underneath is the SIM card holder, which can only be accessed by removing the battery. You'll also notice the absence of a microSD card slot, thus you'll be solely dependent on its 16GB internal storage.