South Korean tech giant, LG, unveiled first-ever smartphone, tagged as E900 Optimus 7 better known as LG Optimus 7, that runs on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. Windows Phone 7 Operating System is aimed directly at the consumers unlike its Windows Mobile predecessor which targeted enterprise users, offering a competition for others including the Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
The Windows Phone 7 OS consist of some strict hardware requirements, for device manufacturers, who wish to implement the Microsoft powered Operating System, due to which only a limited number of handsets have been seen sporting the WP7 logo.
With the LG Optimus 7 fulfilling all minimum requirements including the 1 GHz processor, DirectX 9 GPU, 256MB of RAM with 8GB of Flash Memory, accelerometer with compass, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and assisted GPS, 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, FM radio tuner as well as many other features which makes it a capable Windows Phone.
Showcased in October 2010, the LG Optimus 7 made a landing on the market shelves in November 2010. The handset is priced at $550 without subscription or contract.
Talking about design and specially when it comes to LG, most of us act a little not to interested. However things seem a little different this time with developers working out on delivering a good-looking and solid device. It’s a true smartphone measuring 125 x 59.8 x 11.5mm and weighs 157g. One of the best thing which we enjoy is the large metal battery cover delivering a luxury look for the smartphone.
The LG Optimus 7 uses the traditional TFT technology, sporting a 480 x 800 pixels resolution, covered with matte plastic giving a nice feeling to touch and doesn’t attract fingerprints. Compared to other phones which possess the Super AMOLED display, the contrast and color saturation is not that spectacular but still it has the advantage of the TFT, having higher pixel density. The overall image quality perfectly fits today’s standards as well as the Touch sensitivity is just fine.
Below the screen we spot three mandatory Windows Phone 7 keys, the Back, Home and Search (a mandatory point made by Microsoft in order for the users to find lots of information quickly). The right side of the phone features a microUSB port and a dedicated camera key. On the left side we the volume keys, while on the top of the device there’s a 3.5mm jack port and Power/Lock button.
Furthermore, the WP7 sports a 5-megapixel camera on the back with flash, as well as self-portrait mirror. The loud speaker has been moved on the front part just above the display along with the earphone.
The Optimus 7 feature a 3.8-inch LCD touchscreen display sporting a secondary camera above it with an ambient light sensor and proximity sensor for auto turn-off.
The LG Optimus 7 features a 3.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen with capabilities of 16M colors and WVGA 480 x 800 pixel resolution. The display is surely perfect in size which delivers one of the best results of snaps or videos taken from the 5-megapixel camera.
The camera features an autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging as well as some of the best video recording capabilities. The camera has an individual UI which includes several new features by Microsoft which provides users with the ability to slide to the right to get to the last photo shot. Apart from the standard settings, LG included two new options for the camera such as the Intelligent and Beauty modes.
The camera can be used to record clips in three resolutions, including the QVGA, VGA and 720p@23fps in MP4 format.
LG’s Panorama shot app comes pre-installed with the Optimus 7, which takes a maximum of 5 snapshots and can be aligned to form a larger image.
Menu & Software:
You might be aware of how friendly the Windows Operating System is, if you are Windows user at home or business. Surely Microsoft designs something which makes its OS different and same is what it did with the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. The complete User Interface is based on tabs, something much like the Symbian^3, only this time the tabs are square shaped called Hubs.
The WP7 Os does not offer customization as Microsoft wants to keep the ball in its court and would totally want the control along with taking responsibility of a single UI, which should not be changed by the user or manufacturer. Although adding more Hubs such as adding apps or bookmarks on the home screen, is possible. Microsoft also allows users to be able to change themes but limited to changing the colors of the hubs and background.
Users can slide up/down and left/right to navigate through the phone’s menu. Contextual menus are also loaded which can be accessed by long pressing on the said feature.
Users can use the entire home screen to add whatever they feel to access quickly in form of Live tiles. The Home screen acts like a desktop which consists of two rows and populated with shortcuts, contacts, apps, and more on. Users also have the access to move the tiles around and arrange them as they wish. One thing which users might get messed up with is the number of tiles added on the home screen, making it hard to find a certain contact or app.
Along with the Panorama shot app, LG bundled in two more apps, an augmented reality application and a DLNA connectivity app and top of it all, the Windows Phone 7 includes a full Microsoft Office Suite. You can simple sync a document with Microsoft’s cloud service, the SkyDrive or Windows Live account.
For now you would highly notice two important features including the copy/past and true multitasking missing for now but it would surely be rolled out with the first major update of the operating system, scheduled for early 2011.
One thing which I find really annoying, at least for me, is staying mum when browsing. Users won’t be able to run the music player or any other third party app in the background and use the browser at the same time or write an email. Currently the multitasking feature is surely missing but on the other hand we do have pro-point for the OS. With the back button, users can go back to an app with the app opening from where you left from.
The People’s Hub which is more of the device’s Phonebook, shown on the home screen includes contacts from various accounts such as Windows Live, Gmail, Facebook or SIM card. The phone would allow users to add Windows Live ID contacts the moment you open your Phonebook for the first time.
The Marketplace hub gives users the access to install third-party apps on their smartphones. Marketplace features four categories: music, games, apps and LG App Store. It also comes installed with a special features called the ‘Update all option’, allowing users to update all their installed apps with a single click of a button. Currently, the marketplace features more than 4000 apps which is growing steadily, also allowing users to try an app before buying.
The Xbox Live Hub is where business meets entertainment. Almost all the features present in Xbox such as achievements, avatar, high scores and the likes are included. Users from different regions won’t be able to experience this part of the fun, until it is made available.
The LG Windows Phone 7 is full made compatible with GPRS and EDGE class 10 as well as offering support for HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76 Mbps. As explained earlier, the phone features a Bluetooth 2.1 and microUSB 2.0, which obviously powers the communication feature.
Users won’t be able to transfer files via the Bluetooth as the Windows Phone 7 does not support storage mode, which means you need to gain access of the Zune software in order to complete your process. Users would be able to transfer images, music files and documents through the synching software.
Like most smartphones, the WP7 handset also consists of the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. Messaging features are well integrated with the OS, as all messages are organized by conversations. MMS feature is also present but you can add one photo at a time, when sending. Sending small movies as attachments is currently not supported.
The LG Optimus 7 comes powered with the Microsoft Internet Explorer (obviously). Compared to previous versions of the browser, this browser is very fast and handles rich content pages extremely well. While the handset lacks Flash/Silverlight as well as YouTube client, Microsoft promised that it would roll out the feature in the near future.
The handset comes built-in with a GPS receiver with A-GPS support. GPS works along with Microsoft’s Bing Maps, really well and is pretty fast.
The LG Optimus 7 is being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 1GHz processor, which of course is another minimum requirement for the Windows Phone 7. Browsing through menus does lag sometimes specially when using the camera as well as loading bigger applications while working in the phone’s memory.
The device includes a 16GB internal memory storage, 512 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM. No space for memory expansion or storage as the phone does not features a microSD card.
All multimedia feature reside in the Music & Videos hub. Transferring of music files and clips will need to be done with Zune Synching Tool. The hub is organized in five parts: music and video player, FM radio, podcasts and Marketplace. The handset is no music phone but does offer an enjoyable multimedia experience. Sound quality is pretty good over the headphones. For functioning of the FM radio, you need to keep the headphones inserted which acts as an antenna.
The WP7 handset video player is not compatible with .avi files but Zune can help you convert these files into .MP4 files.