48 hours with the LG Q7

lg q7

LG’s second big smartphone launch in South Africa 2018 is its smallest by quite some margin.

The LG Q7, which should really be known as the LG G7 Mini for all intents and purposes, is a smartphone set to challenge the country’s mid range pretenders.

Huawei, Sony, Samsung, and Nokia have all snuggled into this extremely tightly-fought space over the past few years, but LG hasn’t really earned its place here just yet.

The LG Q6 tried, but fell short. But can the updated Q7 be the device that puts an LG into more South African hands?

I’ve spent my first 48 hours with the phone during a two week review. And here are some of my initial impressions.

The oh yeahs!

  • No notch!
  • And a headphone jack is included!
  • Speaking of the latter, LG’s included earphones are excellent.
  • You have to applaud LG for learning from its mistakes: the LG Q7 has a fingerprint reader.
    • Speaking of which, it’s positioned perfectly and far enough away from the camera (take notes, Sony).
  • It’s also IP68 water and dust resistant, which gives it a notable advantage in this segment.
  • The phone fits the hand really well thanks in part to the body’s slightly curved sides.
    • It makes it an extremely comfortable pocket phone too.
  • The buttons too aren’t easy to depress by accident.
  • The shape of the phone is also mirrored through the screen’s corner curves. It’s such a simple but pleasing device LG built here.
  • The Q7’s screen keeps LG’s long tradition of excellent LCD displays alive, although there’s some odd anti-aliasing issues with black text on white backgrounds.
  • Initial snaps suggest the camera’s a massive step up from the Q6.
  • There’s barely any bloatware pre-installed.
  • I forgot how much I missed double-tap-to-lock/unlock.

The umm okays

  • Dare I say the design of the Q7 may be a bit too bland for some (a splash of colour would’ve helped?)
  • I could only deal with LG’s default launcher for three hours before installing Nova.
  • The UI and general response time feels awfully tardy when scrolling or exploring recently opened apps. It could be the animation speed, could be the UI itself.
  • The screen has far too many pixels for its size, so finding the perfect DPI/screen scaling/font size requires some concerted tweaking.
  • LG Smartworld remains a painful way to tweak LG phones’ themes.
  • It also still annoys with tips and help notifications upon initial use. It’s a bit annoying.

The hell nos

  • It’s 2018 and manufacturers are still too embarrassed to tell consumers what chipset the phone’s using. It’s a MediaTek Helio P10 (MT6755), btw.
    • Even worse, this chip was released in 2015.
    • As a result, and compared to its rivals, this phone is slow. Very, very slow.
  • There may be a fingerprint reader, but it may actually be slower than punching in a PIN.
  • The LG Q7’s screen’s backlight is uneven, especially along the lower bezel.
  • It’s up against some seriously touch competition, most notably the Nokia 7 Plus.

Feature image: Andy Walker/Gearburn

Andy Walker, former editor


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