LG Optimus L7 Android phone (preview)

LG Optimus L7 preview: The hero of LG's "L-Style" smartphone series

LG has traditionally tried to focus on providing an element of style to its smartphones. The company's attempts haven't always been successful, but it will be hoping 2012 represents a change in fortunes with the Optimus L7. It has a "floating mass display" as its key feature.

LG officially unveiled the Optimus L7 at the 2012 Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona back in February. It's one of three new LG smartphones (the others are the mid-range L5 and the low-end L3) the company is categorising under the term "L-Style". It's basically a fancy marketing name for some strict design rules that these new LG phones will adhere to.

LG's marketing team says that the L-Style design philosophy is based around five aesthetic elements — a modern square-style that aims to provide comfortable grip, a "floating mass" screen for a slimmer look, a more intuitive arrangement of menu keys, metallic accents and a slim shape. In short, LG's L-Style smartphones will attempt to appear attractive by using a square, slim case. The Optimus L7 also has a textured pattern on the back that admittedly hasn't been very well received.

The key feature of the Optimus L7 is its 4.3in "floating mass display". This isn't a new display technology but merely means the display is positioned closer to the surface of the screen, which aims to give the impression that the screen is floating. We've already seen this type of display on the LG Optimus Black, and to be fair to LG, it does look pretty impressive.

The LG Optimus L7 is a pre-paid phone that focuses on style first and foremost, so it's no surprise to see a lack of class leading specifications. The screen has a resolution of 480x800 when many other phones are starting to ship with 1280x720 "HD" panels, while a 1GHz single-core processor, a modest 512MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel camera are all standard features and don't push any boundaries.

The Optimus L7 comes with just 4GB of internal memory, but a microSD card slot does allow extra storage.

Thankfully, the LG Optimus L7 ships with the latest 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" version of Google's Android operating system. This will be skinned with LG's poorly named "3.0 UI" overlay which is yet to be detailed. We can only hope LG keeps things simple and doesn't add too many features to an OS that is relatively pleasant to use on its own.

The LG Optimus L7 is available now for $269 outright or on various contract plans through Optus and Allphones.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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