• Monday, December 17, 2018

LG Q7 Review - Mid-ranger with great screen!

Introduction

LG Q7 is a new mid-ranger by the Korean company. It tries so hard and fails miserably to emulate the G7, since the Q7 belongs to the Q line-up and most of the flagship features had to be left out. It resembles the last year’s flagship, the G6, design-wise. Surprisingly, we have IP68 water and dust resistance certificate, so at least this performed on the flagship level. The back of the phone is made of plastic that looks nice, but it scratches very easily – just carrying the phone in your pocket or putting it down on a table will leave marks on the plastic. If you choose to buy this phone, make sure to buy a protective case as soon as possible!

This phone is powered by a MediaTek chipset, but there is also the LG Q7+ with a Snapdragon chipset that will most certainly be a more interesting option. A mediocre MediaTek chipset is just not something we’d normally opt for. This phone comes in three color options – Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue and Lavender Violet.

Inside the factory box, next to the phone, we can find user manuals, quick LG charging adapter, USB Type-C cable, SIM tray tool and a screen wiping cloth, probably so that you have somewhere to place the phone so as not to scratch it.

Display

The Q7 has a display that we can say only good things about. This is a compact device with its 5.5” display that we rarely see nowadays, and its resolution is 1080p FullHD. Most manufacturers would choose HD resolution for their 5.5” panels, but LG chose to go a step further. The aspect ratio is 18:9, and all this translates to 442 pixels per inch which means that all views will be crystal clear.

The Q7 also performed excellently in terms of brightness at direct sunlight, which usually isn’t an issue for IPS LCD panels, and it’s once again proven here. When it comes to color options, there’s nothing to say here since – there aren’t any. Always-On display or, as LG likes to call it “screen saver”, is available but it is active only when the display is on the charger.

Hardware and OS

LG has always opted for older chipsets in their smartphones. This they have somewhat changed in their flagship series, but it is still unclear as to why they have chosen a MediaTek chipset that simply can’t compete with other mid-range options. LG Q7 runs on the MediaTek MT6750S chipset which is based on a 28nm process. This chipset is almost 3 years old, and we believe that this is a very bad move for a mainstream manufacturer. The phone comes with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, while the Q7+ version has one GB more of RAM.

As we could expect, the performances are not that good, and there is a lot of lag and stuttering even when just navigating through the menu. Newer games are also not going to work nicely because of the GPU – Mali-T860 MP2 is just too weak for current games. Older and less demanding games such as Subway Surfers or Cliff Diver will maintain a stable framerate, but don’t even try to play PUBG Mobile or Fortnite which might seem to work well at the beginning, but after only a few minutes, the chip will overheat and thermal throttling will be more than obvious. On the AnTuTu benchmark, the phone scored only 58000 points.

This phone only has a mono speaker and it’s located on the bottom portion of the device. It is not particularly loud, and the overall sound quality is not that good either.

The Q7 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 OS with security patches for July of this year. We’re quite skeptical that any new updates will reach this phone. However, the OS here is quite near stock Android with only a few preinstalled applications and with no noticeable bloatware.

Camera

On the back of this phone we can find a single camera sensor with the resolution of 13 megapixels, but once again we must mention that the plus version of this phone brings a better, 16 megapixel camera. Speaking of the selfie camera, we have an 8 megapixel sensor just as in the Q7+. Primary camera is also equipped with phase detection autofocus system which greatly improves focusing – it is therefore very quick and precise.

When it comes to the quality of photos captured by the primary camera, since it’s a 13 megapixel sensor there’s plenty of details. Noise in shadows is not too pronounced, and colors are soft and realistic. HDR mode in the camera interface is also present, but it won’t make a huge difference compared to the auto mode. This is all fine and dandy when the photos are taken under a lot of light, however, as soon as the light is scarce, the photos become very bad. Scenes do get recognized, but the photos are still blurry and with very few details.

Videos here are captured in maximum FullHD resolution at 30 fps, while some other mid-rangers even have 4K support. LG didn’t even try to improve the video mode. On the other hand, videos are quite good with enough details and nice colors, however, there is no stabilization present.

Selfie photos are also nothing special. The front facing sensor is not capable of producing good results due to its low resolution and as a result we can see very blurry photos. On the front there is also the portrait mode but it does a bad job separating subjects since everything is done through software.

Connectivity

The LG Q7 comes in two versions regarding SIM cards – a single nanoSIM card slot or a hybrid nanoSIM and microSD/nanoSIM card slot. Supported storage expansion is up to 512GB which is great information taking into account that this phone has the capacity of maximum 64GB, and if you ever feel you need more storage, the microSD card will be at your disposal. As we’ve said in one of our earlier reviews, we think that every mid-ranger should have a 3.5mm port, and this phone luckily has it. It is located on the bottom edge of the phone and inside the options we can activate DTS:X 3D option that will simulate 7.1 audio. We are more than happy about the sound quality through headphones. The Q7 has NFC support as well.

Supported wireless connection options are:
  • - WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with WiFi Direct, DLNA and hotspot mode
  • - Bluetooth version 4.2 with A2DP and LE support
  • - GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS
  • - NFC
  • - USB OTG
Supported network frequencies are:
  • - 2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • - 3G WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
  • - 4G LTE: 700, 800, 850, 900, 1500, 1700, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz

Battery

This phone supports PumpExpress+ fast charging technology and with the factory charger the phone charges up to 39% in half an hour, and it takes around 1 hour and 55 minutes for a full charge – not phenomenal but still quite good results for a 3000 mAh battery.

When it comes to autonomy, since the battery provides power to a 28nm chipset the phone only performed decently, average results we’d say. The phone is capable of lasting a day, but not more than that, while the screen on time is around 5 and a half hours.

Final words

The Q7 is, in our modest opinion, only an OK mid-range device with a few advantages such as good design and build quality, good display, good connectivity options and awesome sound through headphones, but it is more than overpriced with its $350 price tag. Nokia 6.1, Huawei P20 Lite or Xiaomi Mi A2 will all be much better options if you’re searching for a new phone.

LG Q7 Full Specifications

Do you like the LG Q7? We’d like to hear your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any suggestions or you would like to see some new devices being reviewed, let us know either here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, sit back and relax as we’re working hard on new material for you.

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Great screen
Good sound on headphones
Cool design
NFC
Bad chipset
Terrible selfie camera
High price for mid-range device
Not a good loudspeaker