Until last year LG hasn’t really thought of putting up fight for the mid-range segment, but this year the South Korean brand is gunning to find a good number of userbase in this segment in India. And that’s why the company has unveiled not one but two new smartphones under K Series, the K10 LTE and K7 LTE. Not exactly the ideal pricing when you look to the current state of the affordable range of handsets in the country, but company thinks their offering would attract a certain set of consumers.
Lucky for those users who still thinks to give LG mid-range handsets a shot, then we bring you the reviews of the K Series handsets. The K10 LTE review is posted and here you’re reading the review of K7 LTE, the little sibling in the new series launched by the company today in India.
With a similar design language like its bigger sibling, the K7 sports volume rocker keys and power buttons on the back side. If I was ever the fan of this design language then I would have appreciated company sticking with it. But unfortunate for company, I’m not, and if you’re then I suggest you should move on because it’s not cool any more. Though, still there are few things about the design that I like. Such as the sturdy built quality, the fact that its back panel is removable, I miss peaking inside the devices as these days companies are more focused in offering unibody construction. Well, it’s the future, can’t argue with that. The camera sensor on rear and buttons for adjusting volume and the power button are aligned in same module. Alongside you’ll find a LED Flash. On the bottom, there is an incredible clear loudspeaker; I was quite surprised to see such quality on a sub 10K phone. Overall, the device felt pretty sturdy.
With specs war going on in the affordable smartphone category in the country, there are some countries who try not to indulge in it. Such is the latest offering from LG, the K7 LTE, which comes with 854 x 480 pixel resolutions. I would stop you right here, if you’re looking for a good display on your next handset, because this isn’t a good display. At such pricing one can easily get a 720p resolution screens. Now if low pixel resolutions don’t scare you, then you may consider it.
The 5-inch real estate is covered up with 2.5D curve glass giving it an attractive look and a protection as well. It was obvious that content would be pixelated because of the low resolution used, but the color output seemed fine. Moreover, it’s not a fingerprint magnet unlike many displays out there in this segment. Note that sunlight legibility is not good, even with the highest brightness levels you can’t hardly see any content when the device is placed in direct sunlight.
The K7 LTE runs on the Android Lollipop 5.1 based custom launcher from LG, which is quite familiar to what we saw on the last year’s LG handsets. The brand isn’t known for packing in best Android interface on their handsets, and it isn’t much different. Lollipop visuals can’t be seen on this UI, which can be a good thing for non-stock UI lovers. There are tons of customizations you’ll see on this software setup, while talking about the pre-installed apps, the device is not filled with bloatware, but there are default apps set by LG that you would have to be familiar if you aren’t. Gallery, Music, File Manager, Dialer, Contacts, QuickMemo+ and few more apps that you’ll see as default. Other apps like Google Apps; Gmail, Drive, Search, Maps and many more Google apps you’ll see installed on this device.
Now with an internal storage of about 8GB, which makes only 2.47GB user available to the user, 3.73GB used by the system and around 1.7GB used by pre-installed apps. This means there is not much left for users to store, although, you can always expand storage via microSD card slot as it’s supported on this handset. Not the one for multitasking, this custom launcher on the LG handset isn’t swiftest UI out there, but looks clean and organized its functions correctly, which makes it easy to find them.
Hardware & Performance
The device is powered by a Qualcomm quad-core chipset, it clocks at 1.1GHz and has the support of Adreno 304 GPU for graphics processing. The company hasn’t specified which Qualcomm chipset it is, but all things point to Snapdragon 210. It has a 1.5GB of RAM, and when no apps are running in the background, it seems to have at least 800MB of RAM free. I’m not saying that is a good performer when comes to multitasking, but it can handle a handful of tasks swiftly. While coming to gaming, well, it’s not anymore considered a decent experience on a 480p display, as the display standards have drastically changed since last year.
Talking about the benchmarking tests, the device scored 20,617 in Antutu app, while the Vellamo app measures score in three different aspects; metal, multicore and Chrome browser, the respective scores were 704, 1004 and 1653. We tried browsing on this device and with small real estate and low-resolution display, it wasn’t quite appealing. Overall, we felt the device could have sported more powerful specs at the pricing it comes because the market is getting fierce every day as new phones are being launched in this category.
The camera package on this handset includes 5-megapixel module on front as well as on the back side. We would have liked to see at least 8-megapixel on the rear as it has became standard since quite a time now. But well, LG hasn’t learned anything from the market standards. The rear module is accompanied by a LED Flash, which can be used when the lighting conditions are dark. The camera app isn’t quite feature rich, but one thing can be said about it; it’s quite clean. The company has kept the interface of the camera app very neat and clean. You can even hide all the control and just tap and capture photos to get clear look at the whole picture before tapping on shutter.
It has the option to access gallery, use flash, switch between photo & video modes, as well as between rear and front camera modules. There are some interesting features like gesture shot, which lets you take selfies by making a fist and the countdown timer of 3 seconds will start. Interval shots, burst shots, and you can use your voice to trigger the shutter. These features make up for the lack of modes. The video recording on the rear module can be done at 720p, but it won’t be of good quality as we have tried and tested it.
Battery & Connectivity
Packing only 2125mAh capacity battery, the K7 LTE offers decent battery life considering the display and processor it comes with. Though, don’t expect much out of it. With average usage the device was able to give a day’s charge, while it doesn’t sports hardcore specs that one would enjoy for intense gaming or watching movies. So, to test the battery life for heavy usage, we played many YouTube videos and did gaming as much as possible on low-resolution. No we didn’t enjoy the gaming, if you were wondering. And the result was it can’t last much after all those heavy usage.
Moving on to the connectivity options, as the name suggests it has a 4G LTE support, on top of that you can make voice calls over LTE as well as unlike many other handsets in this range. I guess, this was the only unique thing on this handset then. Well, it won’t be much of a use right now, though. As there are no mobile operators yet that has started to offer those services, Indians would have to wait to get the taste of high quality voice calls, HD calls if you will. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Dual SIM, GPS and microUSB port 2.0.
The market is flooded with handsets priced below Rs 10k and they’re not bad at all, most of them these days offering fingerprint as a standard feature, which was once considered as the luxury feature. Now if a company marketing their latest handset ready to adopt 4G VoLTE technology and not offering anything else worthwhile. Would I buy that smartphone? No of course not. There are ton of devices like Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le 1s and Coolpad Note 3 that offer far better specification in this price range.