We take a look at LG’s newest flagship!
For a while, it looked like LG had gotten over its penchant for making gimmicky phones. Their previous releases were solid offerings if a little lackluster in execution.
But continuous losses and a declining user base have apparently forced the Korean company back to its old ways, like an alcoholic who fell off the wagon. Instead of modular innards, LG’s latest shtick is an unlock method nobody asked for and a way to control the screen without touching it.
A traditional exterior hiding weird features
You wouldn’t think that the LG G8 ThinQ is anything but your typical smartphone from the outside. The phone still has the same clean lines that the G7 ThinQ had, with a few refinements. The rear of the phone holds two cameras instead of three – certainly a weird choice considering its peers.
Since we’re on the topic of cameras, the phones two cameras are made up of a 16-megapixel wide camera with a 107-degree field of view, and a 12-megapixel camera with a more traditional 78-degree FOV.
The phone also has a traditional fingerprint scanner, and the camera module sits flush on its rear, which we like.
And just like most other flagships announced during the show, the LG G8 ThinQ is equipped with Qualcomm’s top tier processor, the Snapdragon 855. That’s paired with 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage.
Things start getting weird in the front. There’s a notch on the front that holds the selfie camera and an additional time of flight camera dubbed the Z sensor. This additional camera detects objects in front of it by shooting IR beams. Aside from aiding the actual front camera by adding more realistic bokeh to selfies, it’s also advanced enough to be able to detect your hand movements when you wave it in front of it. This theoretically can be used to control the phone using gestures, but the way those gestures are set up and controlled feels silly.
The camera can also use the veins in your palm to unlock the phone, again theoretically. We never really got it to work well, and more importantly, quickly enough that we’d seriously consider using it over the more traditional fingerprint scanner. You’d probably just get annoyed at it and unlock your phone the old fashioned way after trying (and failing) to get it to work.
The 6.1-inch, 19.5:9 FullVision OLED looks great, and doubles as the thing’s speaker. Sounds weird we know, but surprisingly it works better than you’d think.
LG’s new flagship certainty feels like a throwback to when the company wasn’t afraid of doing weird things, though the market hasn’t really responded positively to said weird things. It’s not hard to see LG’s rationale for going back to their old ways – heck, doing things the traditional way didn’t really pay off for them, so why not go wild with new gimmicks.
Whether people will buy those gimmicks is another matter entirely though.
LG G8 ThinQ Specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor
- Adreno 640 GPU
- 6GB of RAM
- 6.1-inch QHD+ FullVision Crystal Sound OLED Display; 3120 x 1440 resolution with HDR10 support
- 128GB of expandable storage
- Dual SIM
- 4G, LTE
- (Korea market) Dual Rear Camera: 12-megapixel f/1.5 main camera with OIS, 1.4um pixels, and dual pixel AF; 16-megapixel f/1.9 wide-angle camera; LED flash, Night View
- (Global market) Triple Rear Camera: 12-megapixel f/1.5 main camera with OIS, 1.4um pixels, and dual pixel AF, 12-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera, and 16-megapixel f/1.9 wide-angle camera; LED flash, Night View
- Dual Front Camera: 8-megapixel f/1.9 primary front camera and ToF Z front camera with Hand ID, Air Motion
- WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Fingerprint Scanner, IP68 Rating, 32-bit QuadDAC, BoomBox speaker
- 3500mAh battery with support for QuickCharge 3.0 and Wireless Quick Charging
- Android 9.0 Pie