2018 has been a relatively quiet year for LG when it comes to smartphones. They unveiled an updated version of the V30 at MWC 2018 in February and released the G7 ThinQ to very little fanfare. Now the LG Q7 has arrived locally in a bid to tempt cost-savvy consumers looking for a great all-round mid-range smartphone.
Does it deliver?
The short answer is yes. While not touting some of the impressive specs or ThinQ moniker of the G7, this device looks like a G7 mini without the branding.
It also carries a recommended price tag of R5 999, which is not the cheapest mid-range phone, but certainly won’t break the bank.
There’s very little flash about the Q7, particularly in the Aurora Black colour option that our review model came in. As such it looks relatively unassuming while sitting atop a table.
Pick it up though, and you’re immediately pleasantly surprised by its lightweight design. Coming in at 145g, it’s one of the lighter mid-range phones out there, so if you’re in the need of svelte smartphone, the Q7 will have you covered.
The lightweight design is something that the larger flagship G7 ThinQ also has, and most of the Q7’s stylings follows suit.
The frame has a matte black aluminium finish, and the back cover is a glossier graphite colour. This all adds up to a rather discrete looking package.
While we’re fans of the Q7’s stealthy design, there are couple of things that irked us.
One is dust, with the back cover attracting quite a bit of it. Each time we pulled the Q7 out our pocket the back cover was littered with fine dust that took several wipe downs to remove.
Add to this a back cover that’s a bit of a magnet for fingerprints, and you’ll soon have to purchase a phone case in order to deal with the problem.
After racking up a few weeks with the Q7, two things about the phone have stuck out – its display and camera.
The former is a 5.5″ IPS LCD offering that yields a 2 160 X 1 080 resolution and 442 ppi pixel density.
By the numbers this shouldn’t be a standout screen, but somehow LG has been able to squeeze out the maximum from it in terms of crispness and detail. Watching videos and playing games on the Q7 then becomes a treat, and you never feel like you’ve been sold short in that department.
Another standout area of the Q7 is its 13MP camera. This aspect of the smartphone performed particularly well outdoors, with the lens capturing plenty of rich detail in well lit conditions with plenty of natural sunlight.
Performance indoors drops slightly, and depending on how you’ve focused, such as tapping on the screen for a specific portion of the camera’s field of view, things can get a little grainy at times. As such, We often allowed the image stabilisation some time to properly adjust and snapped less grainy pics.
When it comes to the internal specifications, LG has opted for an octa-core Mediatek MT6750S chipset and 3GB RAM. This mix results in a device that feels speedy when required, and one that doesn’t fall over or suffer any noticeable lag.
As far as benchmarking goes, the AnTuTu (v7.1.0) test we ran on the Q7 resulted in a total score of 54 604, with the memory category the poorest performing. There’s no real cause for concern though, with the benchmark and actual performance of the Q7 both up to mid-range snuff.
In terms of onboard storage 32GB is available, with only that sized model of the Q7 being manufactured.
If you’re planning on snapping quite a few pictures (between 2.2MB and 2.5MB in size each), you’ll probably going to want to spring for a microSD card eventually, with a slot good for an extra 512GB on the side of the phone.
The battery of the Q7 has a 3 000mAh non-removable unit onboard. Provided you keep the screen brightness at around 50 percent, you should get between eight and nine hours of life from the Q7 under heavy use, which takes care of things during nine to five.
When it comes to the internal specifications then, the LG GQ7 isn’t found wanting by current mid-range phone standards.
Now that we’re in the second half of the year, there have been a number of new mid-range phones that have hit the market in recent months. With Nokia (manufactured by HMD Global) and Samsung leading the way thus far this year, the LG Q7 comes in and shakes things up.
The design, solid specifications, great display, handy camera and all-round performance of this device make it a worthwhile investment.
Add to that a relatively good value for money price tag of R5 999 and the Q7 can certainly see you through the next 24 months, until that upgrade comes up.
To date in 2018 then, there are few other mid-range smartphones that can go toe-to-toe with the LG Q7.