LG Optimus F7 and F5 hands-on: mid-range devices for first time LTE users (video)

LG Optimus F7 and F5 handson midrange devices for first time LTE users video

After a couple of leaks last week all but completely unveiled the Optimus F7 and F5 to the general public, LG's made the devices official today at MWC 2013. The two handsets are part of the company's mid-range line, devised as a bridge for users crossing over from aging 3G networks to LTE. But that's not all the 4.7-inch F7 and 4.3-inch F5 have in common. Both run Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 (skinned) and pack a dual-core setup, 8GB of internal storage, 1.3-megapixel front facing camera and LG's suite of custom software. Of course, there are bound to be significant differences between the two, so follow along as we dive into our initial impressions.

It must be said that both F series devices are really pleasing to the eye and feel quite substantial in the hand, though the F7 does carry a bit more premium allure. Head-on, you can see the design similarities: a sturdy all-white speckled / patterned body, chrome trim accents and camera layout (an 8-megapixel on the F7 and 5-megapixel on F5). One major area where they differ, aside from the obvious screen size, is button arrangement. Whereas the F5 has diminutive power and volume rocker keys aligned on either edge, the F7 adds a dedicated camera key and home button (much like on the GS III). And due to the plastic used in their construction, both handsets are relatively lightweight, especially given the 2,150mAh cell inside the F5 and the F7's 2,540mAh battery.

As the F7 sports a True IPS display (vs plain IPS on the F5), viewing angles and color reproduction are naturally much nicer, with text on either panel appearing crisp and distinct. But aside from the inclusion of that more advanced panel in the F7, the F5's smaller screen proves more than adequate for the average user it's being marketed to, only showcasing a bit more noticeable washout. Performance on the two devices was appreciably snappy and the F7's slightly higher-clocked CPU (at 1.5GHz) and extra GB RAM yielded a slight improvement in responsiveness.

At the moment, LG's only announced a Q2 launch window for the more accessible Optimus F5 in Europe. The F7's market destiny is not yet known, but LG did offer it'd be available in select markets "soon."