The LG Optimus L7 II is an affordable Android mid-ranger that brings a lot to the table with a spacious 4.3-inch display and a huge battery. You can also argue that a 4.3 inch device is around the perfect size for single-handed use and that also comes to its advantage.
Of course, by making this a relatively affordable device, LG had to cut some corners and in this case the cutting happened in silicon as the dual-core processor of the Optimus L7 II seems underpowered and can’t handle the load it’s given perfectly smooth.
The two biggest Korean phone makers, Samsung and LG, are actually very similar in their design approach. Samsung is now a name that is largely associated with plasticky feeling gadgets, and LG is walking in its footsteps. The Optimus L7 II is a representative of this uninspiring trend featuring a white or black patterned plastic back.
The build quality is fairly sturdy, though, with no screaking parts. On the front, there are four capacitive buttons that bring memories of old Androids. In this case, the fourth button is one dedicated to switching between one of the two SIM cards you can use with this device.
On the right side is the lock key, and on the left a volume rocker and the standard for LG customizable Quick button. Finally, on the back there is an 8-megapixel camera with a single LED flash.
The 4.3-inch IPS 480 x 800 pixel (WVGA) display has great viewing angles and rich, saturated colors. In terms of colors, this is one of the better displays we have seen, especially at the not so stellar price of this device. Its resolution works out to a pixel density of around 216ppi which is below the 300ppi quantifier for “retina” displays.
The handset ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, one version short of the most up-to-date Android version. It’s heavily skinned, though, as companies like LG try to differentiate with their own experience on top of Android.
LG has done a good job with its Optimus UI 3.0 skin. It adds a ton of little tweaks and improvements all over Android. We’d say that the skin has this general happy-cartoony look that we for some reason associate with Asia and might feel a bit juvenile to westerners. LG has gone for the easily legible and large-sized LG SmartGothic font that also adds a bit to that. There is no denying the skin is fun and functional, though, and text is easily legible in the menus.
The fun part of it comes from the cartoony icons and rich customization options. LG includes four themes in the Optimus UI (Optimus, Biz, Cozywall and Marshmallow) that transform the visuals with not just different background but also whole new sets of icons. LG is also the only company to allow landscape orientation in the Android home screen.
Like Samsung with its S apps (S Planner, S Health and so on), LG bundles its handsets with a suite of “Q apps.” The Q here stands for quick and those apps include QMemo that allows you to jot on top of what you see on your screen, QTranslator, a real-time translator that scans text using your camera, and QSlide for multitasking. All of those are neat little additions, and we especially liked QTranslator.
The Optimus L7 II features a dual-SIM hot key, a dedicated capacitive button right on the front of the device that allows you to quickly switch between SIM cards, a decision that makes a lot of sense for those who use the function daily.
The dual-SIM functionality itself is extremely well done. There are two different color schemes throughout all of the menus indicating which SIM card is in use. For instance, by default, the primary SIM card is represented in blue, while the secondary one is magenta. This means that in text messages the send button would have the color of the active SIM card, a simple way to show which card you’re using.
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