Being the second GSM phone release onto the Australian market by LG (Lifeís Good), with the first being the standard candy-bar design G5300, the G7020 is a clamshell handset, with its beautiful design, from its silver aluminium body all to way to its polyphonic sound quality as well as its 65,536-colour TFT LCD screen.
So what features, additional functions and quality does LG have to offer us consumers this time, in their aim to attack their way into the GSM market? Read on to find out how this phone has performed under my strict reviewal and testing! =)
So whatís new in the LG G7020? Featuring a relatively large 65,536-colour TFT LCD screen at 128x160 pixels, as well as an external display since itís a clamshell handset, the G7020 also includes 40 tone polyphonic sounds; liven up your daily life with this cool fashionable product!
With full messaging support for concatenated SMS, which allows SMS for up to 1024 characters, the G7020 can also send EMS messages, as well as having T9 predictive text input named eZi Text, allowing easy and quick messaging.
Being able to support high speed data transmission via GPRS, with WAP 1.2.1 support, the G7020 could be used as a modem for your handheld or laptop computers. Its infrared port could come in handy while the phone is serving as your modem, which beats carrying extra data cables around.
The G7020 also has a voice memo function, as well as other basic PIM applications. There are 7 colours to choose from when choosing your colour external indicator to identify who is calling. There is also profiles and user group customisation. Additional games could be installed, apart from the ones found on the phone since this is a Java supported handset, as well as the ability to send and receive ringtones and animated pictures.
For those with family or friends overseas, a valuable tool is the World Time application, which gives you the time for over 55 cities across the globe, all displayed on a colourful world map with a crosshair pinpointing the location you have selected.
Even with the sales package, LG deserve a big round of applause! Apart from the standard battery, manual and power adapter, the G7020 also come boxed with a portable handsfree, a data kit, which consisted of a serial data cable for connecting to your computer and a software CD, as well as a neck strap, which allows those who wish to follow the Japanese fashion of wearable electronics style! =)
Feeling light and small in my hand, the LG G7020 with its modern advance fashion design is truly a work of art, especially with its silver finishing of the phone. Measuring only 88 x 44 x 20mm, the handset only weight 99 grams, due to the fact that the silver case and the inside aluminium panel also added a little extra to its overall weight design.
The curves on all edges of the phone leave a very smooth feeling and avoid making the phone feel too blocky. The external sub-LCD display is placed on the top of the clamshell, with its long bar service light located just below the outer LCD screen. This could blink up to 7 different types of colours, which could be preset into the phone.
The infrared port could be found on the light hand side of the phone, below the volume buttons. This allows the conveniences of your handset to be placed next to your other infrared devices for wireless line of sight connectivity.
Its polyphonic loud speaker could also be found on the top of the clamshell in the bottom left hand side, where extra loud ringing tones could hear clearly even in the noisiest environment. LG produces phones that have one of the loudest ringing tones; compared to most other handsets Iíve had the chance to trial.
With its strong sturdy external antenna, finished off with its silver aluminium coating of this magnificent handset, the LG G7020 is surely one of the most prized processions you could ever process, so what more can I say? =)
User Interface & display
Having beautiful appearance, the G7020 sure doesnít lack any inner beauty either. The internal TFT LCD screen @ 128x160 pixels inside the clamshell can display up to 10 lines of information in 65,536 colours. Its display could be viewed clearly even in the sun, unlike those handsets that uses a STN LCD display.
Its user interface is also one of the most user-friendly interfaces we have ever seen. There are eight top level options in the menu, which includes messages, call register, phone tools, profiles, call divert, organiser, fun & tools and Internet. If you have a SIM application tool kit SIM card, then you would also have that menu appear also. These are all represented by small square icons on the right side of the screen and when highlighted, a large icon and text fills the left side of the screen.
The navigation key is very sturdy and easy to use, as well as the keypad. The directional buttons are firm with a smooth, translucent OK button in the middle, which gives you quick access to Internet services based on wireless application protocol (WAP). The G7020 can achieve a faster download speeds with its GPRS capability. Up to five profiles can be stored for Internet settings and allows you to have a different home page, image display, and connection type and security settings for each profile.
On the outside, the G7020 still uses a black-and-white sub-LCD display which provides information including caller ID, missed calls and waiting messages, the current time and date, battery and signal indicators, and other phone-related information.
Iíve found the user interface as well as the navigation of the G7020 is extremely easy to use and even a normal user who never had a mobile phone before could easily pick one of these up and use it without a problem.
Making and receiving calls
Similar to its first GSM model G5300, the G7020 has crystal clear and more than sufficient volume earpiece, and alike most other clamshell models, Iíve found the inside shaping of the G7020 rests comfortably on most faces that it comes in contact with, ultimately providing comforts during short or long phone calls.
The phone offers two traditional methods of taking calls, either via the phoneís earpiece and microphone, or the included portable handsfree. You could also speed dial up to 8 phone numbers.
The G7020 supports up to 255 entries plus SIM card memory in its multi-entry phonebook and up to 4 phone numbers and one email address could be added to one contact. The call register also has an extensive listing detailing the last 20 dialled numbers, received numbers, and missed calls with date and time indication. Up to 7 caller groups is allow, however special ringtones could not be assigned to each group.
Being able to play up to 40-tone polyphonic sound, meaning it could play back 40 musical instruments simultaneously, the sounds were more distinctive and clearer than a typical 16-tone polyphonic tone such as Samsung T100, or 4-tone found on the Panasonic GD55 for that matter. The playback volume of the handset is also extremely loud, even out on the street in a noisy environment. It sure has my approval especially in this area! =)
There is however an issue with this area of the handset. More details could be found later in the ďProblems/IssuesĒ page of this review.
Messaging on the G7020 is simple, and apart from just sending plain traditional SMS and concatenated SMS, which allows you to send longer then one SMS 167 characters limitation as one SMS instead of several, the G7020 also allows you to send extended messaging services (EMS) messages, allowing you to add ring tones and basic (black and white) pictures to messages.
Iíve that typing messages on the G7020 to be very easy and quick, with the usage of its T9 predictive text input eZi Text, which predicts the word you are typing, usually after three characters, and auto-completes the word. You simply press the OK button to select the word you wanted then move on to the next one. Additional words that the dictionary has not been included in the memory could also be added into its custom dictionary by moving through the message menu.
By pressing on the right arrow of its navigation buttons, the message menu would automatically open, allowing you to have quick access to writing new messages and reading them from your Inbox. In conclusion, the G7020 is extremely message friendly and sure have my approval there! =)
There are two ways that you can connect the G7020 to your computer, either via the Infrared port or with the supplied serial data cable that plugs into the base of the phone.
Installation of the bundled LG software CD-ROM was quick and painless, with its helpful and easy to understand installation software. Programs that are included on the CD are PC Sync, Contents Bank and Internet Kit. While your handset is connected to PC Sync, you can read, update your phone book entries through the PC, as well as manage your SMS folders and view your schedule. A great function is the ability to backup a lot of the information from your SIM Card into CSV format on to the computer.
The Internet Kit allows you to use the G7020 as a modem for your computer to get onto the Internet using GPRS Class 10. This enables you to get online virtually anywhere, as long as it is within your network carrierís coverage area.
The Contents Bank is the management software for the polyphonic ring tones and images provided as well as additional one you get elsewhere or created yourself. There is a wide range of both images and tones to choose from. Tones are grouped into voice, sound, melody or music categories. Images are also categorised into folders such as animals, holidays, and celebrations.
As with other LG phones, the LG G7020 are very well-built with basically no quality issues at all. The rigidity of the clamshell hinge, battery and solidity of the overall construction of the handset is virtually perfect. I would say that even if you slam the phone shut hardly it still wonít be much of a problem. The screen did not cause any fading or distortion effects when I pressed hard onto it, which was good. The antenna of the phone is also very well built, and I also doubt that it would snap off that easily, as with older models type of phones. Therefore, donít be afraid that it does have an external antenna! =)
Using a lithium polymer battery at 820mAh, LG lived up to its claim for the G7020, with its standby time of 200 hours and 150 minutes of talk time, during our testing, where the phone lasted around 3 days under a normal workload, which is about average for most current mobile phones.
Of course, the more you use and play with the phone, the more battery you would be draining, as itíll activate the internal 65K TFT LCD screen and the polyphonic tone, which requires a standard amount of battery power when used.
Iíve had no problems or complaints about the G7020 battery life, and Iím sure other users would be happy with it also.