Notebookcheck

LG K7 Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 06/28/2016

Social media with hurdles. With the K7, LG promises outstanding selfie-capability at an affordable price point. The 5-inch Android smartphone does many things right, but unfortunately doesn't quite deliver on LG's main promise.

For the original German review, see here.

The LG K7 is an entry-level smartphone mainly designed for selfies. For that purpose, LG has equipped the smartphone with two 5 MP cameras, an LED flash as well as controls on the back. The K7 is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6580M Soc and an ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU, so the performance looks to be decent as well - at least on paper.

The LG competes with similarly-equipped smartphones. For our comparison, we'll also take a look Acer Liquid Jade Z, the LG Bello II, the Motorola Moto G (3. Gen. 2015), the Samsung Galaxy J5, and the ZTE Blade A452.

LG K7 (K Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 854 x 480 pixel 196 PPI, FWVGA, IPS, Capacitive touchscreen, LCD in-cell touch display, 2,5D glass curve edge, 16.7 million colors, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.3 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm, Card Reader: MicroSD cards up to 32 GB, Sensors: Acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, digital compass, Wi-Fi Direct
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM (850/900/1.800/1.900 MHz), UMTS (850/900/1.900/2.100 MHz), HSDPA up to 21 MBit/s, HSUPA up to 5.76 MBit/s, Nano-SIM, SAR 0.435 W/Kg, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.05 x 143.6 x 72.5 ( = 0.36 x 5.65 x 2.85 in)
Battery
8.1 Wh, 2125 mAh Lithium-Ion, 3.8 V, swappable , Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 330 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 420 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 350 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 350 h
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix 2560 x 1920 pixels, videos with 15 fps
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix 2560 x 1920 pixels, videos with 30 fps
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker on the back, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, Battery, headset, charger, USB data cable, quickstart guide, Google Apps, SIM Toolkit, FM radio, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
159 g ( = 5.61 oz / 0.35 pounds), Power Supply: 25 g ( = 0.88 oz / 0.06 pounds)
Price
200 Euro

 

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From a design standpoint, the LG K7 reminds us a lot of the sibling LG Bello II, which also features a 5-inch display. The case is made from plastic and is available in either black or white. The design feels quite upscale - the slightly rough back cover contributes here as well, since it gives the fingers something to hold on to. The back is home to the power button and the volume rocker switch. Removing the back cover allows access to the swappable Lithium Ion battery and the Nano-SIM and MicroSD card slots. 

Connectivity

The LG K7 is powered by a MediaTek MT6580M processor - an entry-level quad-core SoC with the cores running at 1.3 GHz. An ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU and 1 GB RAM round out the package. The storage capacity is 8 GB, of which only 3.3 GB are available to the user. The MicroSD card slot allows cards of up to 32 GB, but the card storage can't be added to the internal flash storage. The smartphone doesn't support App2SD, either, so the user is forced to content with the meager internal storage.

Left: no ports
Left: no ports
Right: slot to remove the back cover
Right: slot to remove the back cover
Top: audio port
Top: audio port
Bottom: USB port
Bottom: USB port

Software

LG's K7 runs a - at the time of writing not quite current - version of Android (5.1 Lollipop). In addition to standard programs like Google Apps, LG is fairly conservative with their own applications. Included are a file manager, SMS toolkit, a sound recorder, voice search, and a FM radio, which uses the included headphones as antenna.

Communication & GPS

GPS: outdoors
GPS: outdoors
GPS: inside
GPS: inside

The LG K7 utilizes GSM quadband (850/900/1.800/1900 MHz) as well as UMTS quadband (850/900/1900/2100 MHz). According to the manufacturer, HSDPA allows for download speeds of up to 21 MBit/s; HSUPA tops out at 5.76 MBit/s. Local network connectivity is established via WLAN 802.11 b/g/n. For short distances, Bluetooth 4.1 is on board as well. When we connected to WiFi, the LG K7 transmitted data at the speed we expected, although the signal strength had decreased to about 50 % 10 meters from the router. 

The integrated GPS is very precise (within a few meters) both outdoors as well as inside. Our 12 km bicycle test track, which we completed taking both the review smartphone as well as the professional GPS Garmin Edge 500 along, confirmed the results. Even though the smartphone was a literally "of course" at times, the final discrepancy was only 140 meters - definitely precise enough for daily use.

Garmin Edge 500 - route
Garmin Edge 500 - route
Garmin Edge 500 - underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - turnaround
Garmin Edge 500 - turnaround
LG K7 - route
LG K7 - route
LG K7 - underpass
LG K7 - underpass
LG K7 - turnaround
LG K7 - turnaround

Telephone & Voice Quality

Telephone app
Telephone app
Dial pad
Dial pad

The LG K7 sounds quite decent while making phone calls in 2G and 3G networks. No matter if the call partner used a mobile phone or a land line: each user could understand and hear the other clearly. Using the speakerphone does impede the quality at the other end a little, but that's to be expected. The phone app with the contact list and the quick-dial function isn't anything special, but offers solid Android performance.

Cameras

Photo taken with the main camera
Photo taken with the main camera

The LG K7 is equipped with two 5 MP cameras with a resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels. Users who prefer the 16:9 instead of the 4:3 ratio have to use the 4 MP setting (2560 x 1440 pixels). Both cameras can record videos at up to 30 fps - the rear-facing camera at Full-HD resolution, the front-facing camera at a maximum of 640 x 480 pixels.

LG advertises the K7 as a "selfie" smartphone and has included a few extras for that purpose: selfies, for example, can be triggered via a hand motion (clenching a fist). In addition, the backlight function allows the screen to be "framed" by a white border, which helps taking self portraits even in marginal lighting conditions. Both cameras also take a picture when the user taps anywhere on the display.

Subjectively, the main camera takes good pictures which look vivid and life-like. The camera does lack a tiny little bit of detail sharpness though and darker scenes can be affected by some amount of noise and graininess. The rear-facing camera does take much better pictures than the front-facing camera, which isn't capable of sharp photos even in excellent lighting conditions. The resulting photos always look soft. The K7's selfie-qualities are therefore not quite as outstanding as LG would want to make us believe.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

An analysis with the ColorChecker Passport shows that the K7 tends to over-saturates colors and makes them look more vivid than they actually are. The test chart - which we photographed under controlled conditions - is fairly sharp, although noise is visible.

Picture of the ColorChecker chart. The lower half shows the respective reference color.
Picture of the ColorChecker chart. The lower half shows the respective reference color.
Cut-out of the test picture (middle)
Cut-out of the test picture (middle)
Test picture (click for the original)
Test picture (click for the original)

Accessories & Warranty

LG includes a modular power adapter, a Micro-USB cable and a headphone. Dedicated accessories are not offered. In Germany, the K7 is protected against defects for 24 months. The swappable battery and the included accessories are only covered for 6 months.

Input Devices & Operation

The power button and the volume rocker switch are located on the back, directly below the camera and not on the side of the phone, which is more common. Once we got used to the arrangement, we were able to operate the LG K7 as quickly as a "normal" smartphone - in particular, because the physical buttons are easy to locate and errors therefore a rarity.  

The quad-core SoC offers enough performance to navigate through the Android windows and menus in a timely fashion. Rarely did we encounter any lag - if so, it happened during the start of an app or when switching applications. This occurred only a few times during the review period, so it's not really an issue. The virtual keyboard reacts quickly to inputs. The screen content is also visible in landscape mode, as the virtual keyboard only takes up about half of the screen.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Entry-level phones are not always equipped with HD displays. At least the LG K7 manages the "lower" 720p HD resolution, which results in 854 x 480 pixels on its 5-inch display. Because of the decent pixel density of 196 ppi, it's not necessarily noticeable that the smartphone has a lower resolution. The competitors Acer Liquid Jade ZMotorola Moto G (3. Gen. 2015)Samsung Galaxy J5 and ZTE Blade A452 offer 1280 x 720 pixels; only the LG Bello II features the same resolution as the review candidate.

The LG K7 scores with a low black point of 0.26 cd/m², which results in a contrast ratio of 1:1185 and vivid colors. The average brightness of 300 cd/m² is bright enough for indoor use, but outdoors the reserves are marginal. The brightness distribution of 93 % could be a little better as well, but i'ts not really noticeable. 

291
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 312 cd/m² Average: 300.3 cd/m² Minimum: 26.84 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 308 cd/m²
Contrast: 1185:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 12 | 0.8-23.34 Ø6.5
ΔE Greyscale 15.3 | 0.64-98 Ø6.7
Gamma: 2.15
LG K7
IPS, 854x480, 5
Acer Liquid Jade Z
IPS, 1280x720, 5
LG Bello II
IPS, 854x480, 5
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J5
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5
ZTE Blade A452
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Screen
7%
15%
11%
37%
-9%
Brightness
300
340
13%
333
11%
407
36%
353
18%
411
37%
Brightness Distribution
93
93
0%
90
-3%
95
2%
93
0%
83
-11%
Black Level *
0.26
0.39
-50%
0.23
12%
0.49
-88%
0.65
-150%
Contrast
1185
879
-26%
1448
22%
853
-28%
686
-42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
12
5.59
53%
9.41
22%
3.92
67%
5.22
56%
6.29
48%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
15.3
7.25
53%
11.15
27%
3.81
75%
3.96
74%
5.58
64%
Gamma
2.15 112%
2.41 100%
2.17 111%
2.27 106%
2.08 115%
2.04 118%
CCT
22440 29%
7361 88%
12959 50%
7361 88%
7308 89%
7636 85%

* ... smaller is better

Whats quite out of the ordinary, however, are the parameters of the display. According to our measurements, LG installed a display which is just "off" in more or less every single aspects. The graylevel deviation is downright awful with a DeltaE of 15.3 and the colors aren't much better (DeltaE of 12). In a nutshell: the LG K7 displays the screen contents in a very colorful and not very natural fashion. On a day-to-day basis, that's not really noticeable - with one exception: the color temperature if 22440K is almost four times of what it should be (6500K). The LG K7's display is very "cool", so even summer, sand, and beach movies can look a little chilly. 

Color accuracy (sRGB)
Color accuracy (sRGB)
Color spaces (sRGB)
Color spaces (sRGB)
Graylevels (sRGB)
Graylevels (sRGB)
Saturation (sRGB)
Saturation (sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 9 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 57 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 25 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8582 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

With the brightness turned up to the maximum of 300 cd/m², the K7 is just bright enough to be used outside. As long as the user keeps the phone in portrait orientation and tries to remain in the shade, this doesn't change. In landscape mode, the display darkens significantly when it's turned to the side just slightly - even though LG uses an IPS display, which should offer great viewing angle stability. At very shallow angles, the screen content actually inverts completely.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The K7 comes equipped with a quad-core MediaTek MT6580M SoC, which has Cortex A7 cores running at 1.3 GHz each. If we were trying to find a category for this SoC, the answer would be "entry-level smartphones". The performance is solid, but far from great. The 1 GB of RAM - which is pretty stingy - and the not exactly brand-new GPU ARM Mali-400 MP2 round out the package  

The LG K7 of course doesn't set any performance records. The smartphone does pretty decently, but performs slower than the competition in many benchmarks. The one exception is AnTuTu: here, the smartphone is about as fast as the LG Bello II and the ZTE Blade A452. The K7 also garners one of the top spots when running the 3DMark 2013 and GFXBench, but has no chance whatsoever against the Acer Liquid Jade Z, which scores the best overall. For Geekbench 3, PCMark for Android and BaseMark OS II, the K7 simply doesn't earn enough points to close the gap to the competition.  

The average data transfer rates show rather ambivalent performance. One one hand, 128.1 MB/s for sequential reads and 15.6 MB/s for 4K reads are pretty good - but the opposite is true for write operations: the result of 8.2 MB/s is - together with the LG Bello II and the ZTE Blade A452 - only good enough for the last place. The Motorola Moto G (3. Gen. 2015), the Samsung Galaxy J5 and the Acer Liquid Jade Z are significantly faster. None of the smartphones does that well as far as 4K writes are concerned and the LG K7 (which averaged 5.3 MB/s) isn't even the slowest here.

The performance of the card reader is middling as well. With our MicroSD reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (THN-M401S0640E2: reads up to 95 MB/s, writes up to 80 MB/s), we recorded 37.8 MB/s for sequential reads and 19.3 MB/s for sequential writes, which is way short of what this card is capable of.

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K7
23997 Points ∼11%
LG Bello II
23643 Points ∼10% -1%
ZTE Blade A452
25381 Points ∼11% +6%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K7
1171 Points ∼3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1561 Points ∼4% +33%
Samsung Galaxy J5
1403 Points ∼4% +20%
ZTE Blade A452
1358 Points ∼4% +16%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K7
350 Points ∼7%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
526 Points ∼11% +50%
Samsung Galaxy J5
464 Points ∼9% +33%
ZTE Blade A452
485 Points ∼10% +39%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG K7
8913 Points ∼12%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
11143 Points ∼15% +25%
LG Bello II
8886 Points ∼12% 0%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
10148 Points ∼14% +14%
Samsung Galaxy J5
9079 Points ∼13% +2%
ZTE Blade A452
7568 Points ∼11% -15%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG K7
2473 Points ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
7352 Points ∼2% +197%
LG Bello II
2391 Points ∼1% -3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3789 Points ∼1% +53%
Samsung Galaxy J5
3782 Points ∼1% +53%
ZTE Blade A452
2605 Points ∼1% +5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG K7
2946 Points ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
7954 Points ∼4% +170%
LG Bello II
2855 Points ∼1% -3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
4402 Points ∼2% +49%
Samsung Galaxy J5
4345 Points ∼2% +47%
ZTE Blade A452
3049 Points ∼2% +3%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K7
4.3 fps ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
19.2 fps ∼1% +347%
LG Bello II
9.1 fps ∼1% +112%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
5.3 fps ∼0% +23%
ZTE Blade A452
4.9 fps ∼0% +14%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K7
10 fps ∼2%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
11 fps ∼2% +10%
LG Bello II
4.1 fps ∼1% -59%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
9.5 fps ∼2% -5%
ZTE Blade A452
8.4 fps ∼2% -16%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
LG K7
2553 Points ∼30%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
3268 Points ∼38% +28%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
3701 Points ∼43% +45%
Samsung Galaxy J5
3966 Points ∼46% +55%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG K7
541 Points ∼32%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
833 Points ∼49% +54%
LG Bello II
671 Points ∼40% +24%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
484 Points ∼29% -11%
Samsung Galaxy J5
615 Points ∼36% +14%
ZTE Blade A452
642 Points ∼38% +19%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG K7
145 Points ∼2%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
388 Points ∼4% +168%
LG Bello II
138 Points ∼1% -5%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
315 Points ∼3% +117%
Samsung Galaxy J5
314 Points ∼3% +117%
ZTE Blade A452
174 Points ∼2% +20%
Memory (sort by value)
LG K7
189 Points ∼4%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
536 Points ∼12% +184%
LG Bello II
402 Points ∼9% +113%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
394 Points ∼9% +108%
Samsung Galaxy J5
399 Points ∼9% +111%
ZTE Blade A452
262 Points ∼6% +39%
System (sort by value)
LG K7
1011 Points ∼10%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
1358 Points ∼13% +34%
LG Bello II
976 Points ∼9% -3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
1166 Points ∼11% +15%
Samsung Galaxy J5
1058 Points ∼10% +5%
ZTE Blade A452
916 Points ∼9% -9%
Overall (sort by value)
LG K7
350 Points ∼9%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
696 Points ∼18% +99%
LG Bello II
437 Points ∼12% +25%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
515 Points ∼14% +47%
Samsung Galaxy J5
534 Points ∼14% +53%
ZTE Blade A452
405 Points ∼11% +16%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG K7
5.33 MB/s ∼3%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
6.7 MB/s ∼4% +26%
LG Bello II
5.4 MB/s ∼3% +1%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
5.11 MB/s ∼3% -4%
Samsung Galaxy J5
7.2 MB/s ∼4% +35%
ZTE Blade A452
4.76 MB/s ∼3% -11%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG K7
15.63 MB/s ∼9%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
31 MB/s ∼18% +98%
LG Bello II
17 MB/s ∼10% +9%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
22.79 MB/s ∼13% +46%
Samsung Galaxy J5
19.25 MB/s ∼11% +23%
ZTE Blade A452
16.1 MB/s ∼9% +3%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG K7
8.2 MB/s ∼4%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
39 MB/s ∼19% +376%
LG Bello II
8 MB/s ∼4% -2%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
22.33 MB/s ∼11% +172%
Samsung Galaxy J5
39.4 MB/s ∼19% +380%
ZTE Blade A452
8.53 MB/s ∼4% +4%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG K7
128.21 MB/s ∼16%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
269 MB/s ∼34% +110%
LG Bello II
126 MB/s ∼16% -2%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
131.42 MB/s ∼16% +3%
Samsung Galaxy J5
145.47 MB/s ∼18% +13%
ZTE Blade A452
125.68 MB/s ∼16% -2%

Legend

 
LG K7 Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Liquid Jade Z Mediatek MT6732, ARM Mali-T760 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG Bello II Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade A452 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash

The browser benchmarks show similar results as did the synthetic tests and the date transfer tests: the LG K7 does reasonably well here, but can't quite catch up and certainly not surpass any competitors.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K7
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
2280 Points ∼5%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3579 Points ∼7% +57%
LG Bello II
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
2352 Points ∼5% +3%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
3296 Points ∼7% +45%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
3038 Points ∼6% +33%
ZTE Blade A452
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
2348 Points ∼5% +3%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K7
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
14579.1 ms * ∼25%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
11448 ms * ∼19% +21%
LG Bello II
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
15874 ms * ∼27% -9%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
11843 ms * ∼20% +19%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
14074 ms * ∼24% +3%
ZTE Blade A452
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
17651.6 ms * ∼30% -21%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
LG K7
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
14.369 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
20.832 Points ∼0% +45%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
18.424 Points ∼0% +28%
ZTE Blade A452
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
15.3 Points ∼0% +6%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
LG K7
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
39 Points ∼5%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
52 Points ∼6% +33%
Samsung Galaxy J5
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
52 Points ∼6% +33%

* ... smaller is better

Gaming

The dual-core ARM Mali-400 MP2 certainly isn't one of the fastest smartphone GPUs out there, but it still offers enough performance for current Android titles. Even more demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2 don't stutter at high details. The responsive acceleration sensor does what's needed and doesn't curtail the gaming experience in any way. Without an additional MicroSD card, not a lot of games can be installed, however. For our review, we had to uninstall a few benchmark apps to make room for Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high60 fps

Emissions

Temperature

During idle as well as at load the LG K7 remains cool to the touch. Even at maximum load, the temperatures are well-controlled with 36.5 and 34.7 degrees C on the front and the back, respectively. The hottest areas are around 39 degrees C. During idle our instrument recorded a maximum of 33.7 degrees C, but for the most part, temperatures remain around 31 degrees C.  

To keep the temperatures in check, LG fortunately doesn't have to resort to any tricks: the SoC isn't subjected to throttling - even during longer periods of stress. During the battery test of the GFXBench benchmark we didn't observer throttling even after 30 subsequent loops. The processor performance fluctuates minimally, but remains consistently high.

Battery test: Performance
Battery test: Performance
Battery test: battery status
Battery test: battery status
Battery test: frame rates
Battery test: frame rates
Max. Load
 38.2 °C38.3 °C33.6 °C 
 38 °C38.1 °C34.6 °C 
 36.4 °C36.5 °C34.5 °C 
Maximum: 38.3 °C
Average: 36.5 °C
32.3 °C32.6 °C39 °C
32.3 °C33.1 °C39.1 °C
32.2 °C33.6 °C38.2 °C
Maximum: 39.1 °C
Average: 34.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  32.7 °C | Room Temperature 21.9 °C | Voltcraft IR-260
The hotspots ...
The hotspots ...
... on the front and on the back.
... on the front and on the back.

Speaker

Speaker response
Speaker response

Like most smartphones, the LG K7 doesn't impress with its sound quality. The mono speaker is located on the back and - thanks to the rounded case design - doesn't sound muffled even when the smartphone is placed on a table. The output reaches 82.9 dB and the sound remains undistorted at maximum volume levels. The pink noise diagram clearly shows that the highs are over-emphasized and mids and especially lows are almost non-existent. The K7 thus sounds pretty anemic and tinny. Once a headphone is connected, the quality improves significantly.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The swappable Lithium Ion battery has a capacity of 2125 mAh and provides 8.1 Wh. According to LG, the battery should allow for up to 420 hours talk time in 3G networks. The smartphone is pretty frugal with a power consumption of 1.38 watts during idle and 3.59 watts under load. The battery life still isn't impressive, however.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.21 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.61 / 1.36 / 1.38 Watt
Load midlight 3.11 / 3.59 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Our practically relevant WLAN test, during which a script opens a new web page every 30 seconds, ended with a recorded run time of 7 hours and 33 minutes, which is not a great result. Comparable devices last longer - sometimes significantly so. The Samsung Galaxy J5 is closest at 8 hours and 25 minutes, which is a full hour longer. Undisputed king is the ZTE Blade A452 which is equipped with a high-capacity 4000 mAh battery and lasted 14 hours before shutting down. The LG Bello II comes close to that with 13 hours and 28 minutes.

HD video playback unfortunately drains the battery very quickly. With 5 hours and 11 minutes, the smartphone didn't even last half as long as the Motorola Moto G (3. Gen. 2015) and the ZTE Blade A452

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 40min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
7h 33min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 59min
LG K7
2125 mAh
Acer Liquid Jade Z
 mAh
LG Bello II
 mAh
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J5
 mAh
ZTE Blade A452
4000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-13%
39%
40%
42%
66%
Reader / Idle
1000
1364
36%
1292
29%
H.264
311
677
118%
657
111%
WiFi v1.3
453
523
15%
797
76%
526
16%
495
9%
816
80%
Load
299
176
-41%
301
1%
264
-12%
350
17%
450
51%

Pros

+ inexpensive
+ swappable battery
+ sturdy case design
+ display with lots of contrast
+ quite fast
+ doesn't get very hot
+ no throttling

Cons

- only 3.3 GB of available storage
- no LTE
- Android 5.1
- mono speaker
- low resolution
- selfie camera isn't that great
- viewing angle stability is lacking
- display not adjusted right

Verdict

In review: LG K7. Test model courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de
In review: LG K7. Test model courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de

The LG K7 is a good entry-level smartphone which impresses with decent build quality, a fast quad-core SoC, responsive operation and a decent communication feature set. Users looking for an inexpensive smartphone can't really go wrong with the 5-inch K7, although a few compromises are necessary. Some examples - like the lack of LTE, the meager usable storage of 3.3 GB, and the older Android 5.1 OS - can be attributed to the low purchase price. One of the disadvantages was rather unexpected, however.

Although LG advertises the K7 as a "selfie"-smartphone, it falters exactly in that discipline.

What we are talking about here is the camera quality. It's not the rear-facing main camera that's the problem, but the webcam, which ought to produce good selfies, but simply doesn't deliver. The gesture control might be very practical, but the picture quality is just not up to par. Another drawback is the display, which features 854 x 480 pixels, but subpar viewing angle stability despite the IPS technology. As shipped, the color balance is also extremely cool. Battery life is also not exciting and the K7 needs to be plugged in sooner than comparably-equipped smartphones. 

LG K7 - 06/17/2016 v5.1
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
70%
Keyboard
70 / 75 → 93%
Pointing Device
85%
Connectivity
29 / 60 → 49%
Weight
92%
Battery
85%
Display
76%
Games Performance
5 / 63 → 7%
Application Performance
20 / 70 → 29%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
68 / 91 → 75%
Camera
56%
Average
65%
77%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG K7 Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2016-06-28 (Update: 2016-06-28)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).