After announcing the K-series smartphones in January at the CES 2016, LG has now launched the K10 and K7 in India. The successor to the popular L-series, these smartphones come with dual-SIM, 4G LTE and VoLTE connectivity options. LG is known for its flagship smartphones with premium design, be it the G-Flex or the latest LG G5 with replaceable modular components. With the K-series smartphones, LG is aiming to offer a combination of striking design with decent hardware specifications and affordable price tag. We have the LG K7 smartphone with us, which is priced at Rs 9,500. After briefly spending some time with the smartphone, here is our hands-on experience and first impressions. Also Read - YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps stops working on these phones from today: Check if your phone is in the list
The smartphone has a pebble design with smooth curves all over. The K7 is made from plastic, and features a metal frame with a chrome rim running along the edges. On the front, you have a 2.5D arc glass with curved and glossy finish that offers a stunning look to the smartphone. You’ll also feel the smoothness when you touch the screen. However, the display is a fingerprint magnet and you’d end up cleaning it all the time. Also Read - LG TV 2021 lineup launched in India: Check details here
The back panel is removable and features an intricate woven pattern with rubber finish that looks and feels premium, and also offers a better grip to hold the smartphone. This type of design elements are generally found on upper-mid range and flagship smartphones. But, with the affordable K7 offering the same experience, we must say, LG has done a commendable job.
Similar to the G-Flex series the G2 and G3 among other smartphones, LG has placed the power and volume buttons at the back, just below the camera module. The 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port, both are placed at the bottom.
The phone comes with dual-SIM support with both slots accommodating nano-SIM cards. While the SIM-1 supports 4G LTE, the SIM-2 only supports 3G networks. The smartphone also supports VoLTE. There is a microSD card slot as well. One good part of the port placement is that you don’t need to remove the battery just to swap out the SIM or microSD card.
The LG K7 houses a 5-inch FWVGA display that runs at a resolution of 854×480 pixels. Despite a 5-inch screen, the smartphone feels very compact and is easy to operate single-handedly. The display is pretty bright, has decent viewing angles and color reproduction is also pretty good. However, due to lower resolution than an HD (720p) display, the pixelation is clearly visible, especially when you look at the app icons. It is strange to come across such a low-resolution display in this day and age when we can get smartphones with full HD display for under Rs 10,000 and at least a 720p HD display in Rs 7,000.
The K7 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor clocked at 1.1GHz, paired with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB onboard storage, which is further expandable using a microSD card. For shutterbugs, the K7 is equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
LG has also included selfie flash, where the display lights up bright to capture brighter photos in low-light conditions. The camera app also supports gesture controls such as Gesture Shot to click a photo by raising open hand in front of the camera. Users can also take blur-free selfies with Gesture Interval Shot where closing the hand two times will activate the mode and take four consecutive photos. That’s not all; you can also say voice commands such as Cheese, Smile, LG or Whiskey to capture a photo.
We clicked a few photos and selfies, and they looked decent. However, we will pass on our final judgment after we fully review the smartphone. We also tried the voice and gesture control feature, and that works pretty well too. Armed with a 2,125mAh battery, connectivity options include dual-SIM card slots, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.
Software, UI and performance
The K7 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop OS with LG’s custom UI running atop. The UI is heavily borrowed from the ones found on flagship smartphones such as the G3 and G4. It’s very minimalist, has a simple app drawer and a theme center too. There are a good number of themes available on LG SmartWorld hub, and you can download the one based on your tastes.
For those not comfortable with the power / sleep button at the back, LG has also added gesture controls to lock and unlock the smartphone. There is double tap to wake feature – when the screen locked, double tapping wakes it up. In terms of security, apart from the usual pattern and number lock, LG has also included its Knock Code, which lets you set a specific knock gesture to unlock the smartphone.
In terms of pre-installed apps, you get the Google apps such as Gmail, Maps, Music, Drive, YouTube, Photos, Docs, Sheets and Slides. LG has also included its LG Backup app that lets you backup apps, photos, music, contacts and settings on the external or internal storage. The backup is created in a separate file format, which you can then copy to your PC and restore whenever needed.
During our brief usage, we found the K7 to perform smoothly. We ran a few apps, did multitasking while switching between apps and it was able to handle pretty well. While slight amount of occasional stuttering was noticeable in the UI, it could be due to not-so-well optimized interface. However, we will final judgment when we use the smartphone as our daily driver.
With its current hardware package — a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 1.5GB of RAM and a low-resolution FWVGA display, the LG K7 LTE faces an uphill task when considering the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime, Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus and Samsung Galaxy On5 that offer better value for money. The only thing going for the LG K7 would be its design.
Stay tuned for our detailed review.