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LG G7 ThinQ Review – A great phone with some compromise

by Nicole on May 30, 2018
LG G7 ThinQ
Positives
  • We love the Wide Angle Camera
  • Super bright display
  • All day battery life
  • The sound is incredible
Negatives
  • Photo can look over processed
  • Low light photography is good, but falls short of the other flagship devices currently on the market

LG has cornered the market on good-looking smartphones with a wide angle lens. This unique camera feature combined with outstanding audio & high-end specs make the LG G7 ThinQ worthy 2018 flagship contender.

Design

  • looks like an evolution of the LG V30, not the G6
  • Beautiful color choices
  • Nearly 50% thinner than the LG G6
  • Looks like yet another phone with a notch
  • Colors: Moroccan Blue, Aurora Black, Raspberry Rose, Platinum Gray

Design wise the G7 has more in common with the V30 than it does the G6, the G6 had a flat boxy design which made it a tank.

It’s got a solid metal and glass design, One of the biggest design changes is the relocation of the power button from the back to the side and the addition of a quick access AI shortcut key.

Positive

  • Solid metal glass design
  • feels very light yet durable in hand

Negative

  • The glass on the front and back means there is twice as much change to crack a surface

Display

  • 6.1” LCD display with QHD+ resolution
  • Full Vision
  • Super Bright display 1000nits based on DCI-P3 Standard
  • Yet another phone with a notch
  • New Second Screen floating bar

AI is the name of the game in 2018, and the display on the G7 has gotten smarter, depending on the type of content you’re viewing, the display can be set to six different display modes: Auto, Eco, Cinema, Sports, Game and Expert. In Auto mode, your phone automatically analyzes the content – photos, videos, website, game, etc. – to optimize the display and power consumption. The user can also further refine the image by adjusting the color temperature and the individual RGB levels.

The New Second Screen displays notifications without taking up space and can be customized to your taste. The display can be fully expanded for an almost borderless look, or can be set to a more traditional style with notifications on a black background or another color to achieve a more “personal” effect.

The display is perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time outside, The brightness boost is especially useful in direct sunlight where screens can be most troublesome to read. At 1,000 nits, the G7 ThinQ’s screen is very easy to see.

Rather than use the traditional sub-pixel arrangement of red, green and blue, the G7’s MLCD+ display adds a white pixel to boost brightness without using more power. You might argue that a quarter of the pixels don’t add anything for picture quality, and you’d be right, but the resolution is higher than some competitors and most importantly it looks nice and sharp. Yes, the G7 is yet another phone with a notch, if you’re not a fan, LG’s software allows for the areas around it to be turned black, camouflaging it as a normal bezel.

Positive

  • Excellent outdoor visibility with a Super Bright 1000nit display
  • Clear and bright with accurate color representation

Negative

  • If you’re used to IPS display’s this will seem less saturated and punchy
  • Always on display turns on the whole display and not just the pixels that are engaged
  • the notch feels gimmicky

Hardware

  • Snapdragon 845
  • Options for 4/6GB of RAM depending on the market with 64/128GB of storage options
  • 3000mAh battery
  • IP68
  • Dedicated Google Assistant button

The Snapdragon 845 comes sporting a processing unit (SPU) that Qualcomm says offers “vault-like security” with the microprocessor, memory, crypto engine and random number generator all sitting on its own power island.

Performance and battery life will also improve, thanks to an octa-core Kryo 385 CPU with four 2.8GHz high-power cores and four 1.8GHz low power cores; the 845 is meant to be 30 percent more efficient than the 835 for gaming, video and AR/VR.

Qualcomm’s new super-fast X20 LTE modem is built-in, offering CAT 18 speeds of more than 1Gbps, as well as an enhanced Spectra 280 image signal processor. Qualcomm has bumped up video recording potential to Ultra-HD, and added in various AI improvements.

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with great flagship specifications which will remain competitive for a while.

Positive

Some of the highest specs you can currently get on a smartphone

Negative

LG G7 ThinQ Specifications

LG G7 ThinQ Specifications

Display

6.1-inch MLCD+/OLED panel Super Bright
QHD+ resolution (3120 x 1440, 564dpi)
18:9 aspect ratio

Processor

Snapdragon 845 with platform AI

RAM

4/6GB LPDDR4x

Storage

64/128GB UFS 2.1

MicroSD

Yes support up to 2TB

Camera

Dual 16MP super wide-angle camera (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP OIS camera (F1.6 / 71°)

8MP wide angle (F1.9 / 80°)

IP rating

IP68/MIL-STD

Headphone jack

Yes

Battery

3,000mAh with Wireless Charging

Pay

LG Pay

Size (mm) weight (g)

153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 / 162

Audio

Hi-Fi Quad DAC/ Boombox speaker

Connections

Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (compatible with 3.1)

Other

Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Long Range Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Certification for Water and Dust Weight / MIL-STD 810G Compliance (14 tests) / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ Technology 3.0 / FM Radio

Bio recognition

Finger print/Face/Voice

Far field voice recognition

Software

Android 8.0 Oreo

Colors

Moroccan Blue, Aurora Black, Raspberry Rose, Platinum Gray

Quick Spec Comparison LG G6 vs G7 vs V30

LG G7 on the left, LG G6 on the right

LG G7 ThinQLG G6LG V30
Display6.1 inches (LCD)
3.120 x 1440 pixels
5.7 inch (LCD)
2880 x 1440 pixels
6 inch (AMOLED)
2880 x 1440 pixels
ChipsetSnapdragon 845Snapdragon 821Snapdragon 835
Memory4 GB OF RAM
64 GB of memory
4 GB OF RAM
32 GB of memory
4 GB OF RAM
64 GB of memory
Haupkamera16 MP (71° – f/1.6)
16 MP (107° f/1.9)
13 MP (71° – f/1.8)
13 MP (125° – f/2.4)
16 MP (71° – f/1.6)
13 MP (120° f/1.9)
Front camera8 Megapixel (80° – f/1.9)5 Megapixel (100° – f/2.2)5 Megapixel (90° – f/2.2)
Battery3,000 mAh (QI Support)3,300 mAh3,300 mAh (QI Support)
Price (MSRP)~ 800 Euro749 Euro899 Euro

Camera

  • Dual 16MP super wide-angle camera (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP OIS camera (F1.6 / 71°)
  • 8MP wide angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Ai CAM
  • The wide angle has been reduced to a 107-degree field-of-view from previous generations, to completely eliminated barrel distortion on the edges of photos
  • The LG G7 ThinQ has the infamous dual lens set up on the rear that allows for a standard and super wide-angle configurations, both lenses are now 16MP. On the front we have an improved 8MP Selfie Camera.
  • LG launching an improved Ai Cam which first debuted in the LG V30ThinQ. AI CAM now offers 19 shooting modes, compared to the initial 8 and users can still tweak their shots with one of four preset color options after the camera has identified the object or scene.
  • LG has added a few new features to the G7. Live Photo mode records a second before and after pressing the shutter release button, it’s basically live photo from the iPhone. The Stickers feature uses facial recognition to enrich your images in real time with fun 2D and 3D stickers!
  • The G7 also comes with Portrait mode, the bokeh effect can be created using either the standard or super wide-angle lens. You can not zoom in while using Portrait mode, but you can adjust the level of blur after you’ve taken the photo. The wide angle lens is used to give the depth effect.
  • LG is using pixel binning or pixel oversampling on the G7. The camera combines the information from four neighboring pixels into a single large pixel. This helps to produce and image that has less digital noise and can perform better in low-light situations.With this technology in mind, the G7 has a Super Bright Camera, which takes up to four times brighter images. This is thanks to a new image sensor and improved software processing, the AI algorithm automatically adjusts the camera settings for the best balance of brightness, clarity, resolution and color when shooting in low light.

I’m torn about the camera experience. I love the wide angle, it’s become an addiction. I’ll forgive a lot for the wide angle, I just find it so much more convenient when I’m cropping photos for Instagram. And of course not having to keep walking back to get the shot. But the photos on the G7 feel a little too processed and digital, the low light photography leave a lot to be desired. Moving from the Huawei P20 the difference was noticeable. I want to say the camera is good enough, because over the last 2 weeks, I’ve take some great photos, but it’s not there when you look at where the bar has moved for low light photography. LG has added the Super Bright Camera which turns on automatically in low light. It uses a technique called pixel binning which helps to get better results from the camera, but it means that you get 4MP photos rather than 16MP. But even with this it’s still out performed by the competition.

Standard lens HDR off

Wide angle lens HDR on

Low light

Food photos

The AI cam on the on the G7 is a completely separate shooting mode, unlike the P20 series where it works quietly in the background. If you’re in AI cam mode there’s a one-second delay before you can take another photo, with the AI CAM turned off, there are no perceptible delays when shooting in good light.

Portrait mode is another key feature, as people expect their new phone to be able to blur out the background for a nice DLSR-style effect. The G7 keeps the same field of view as when shooting with the main camera, unlike most phones which use the zoom in and have a much narrower view.

Overall, image and video quality is good, you can take phenomenal photos with the G7, but it won’t be taking the title for best camera on a smartphone.

I do have to give it to LG, they did improve the selfie camera significantly, though it wasn’t hard, the selfies on the G6 were unusable most of the time.

Selfies

 

Video Quality

If you’re taking video, having Super Bright enabled in the settings means the same method is used, so you get full HD quality rather than 4K in low light. You can also use the wide-angle camera in Super Bright mode, and the AI CAM mode too.

Getting back to video, the G7 tops out at 30fps in 4K, but you can record video in HDR. There’s also a nifty ‘Cine Video’ mode which applies some Hollywood-style filters to make your footage look more cinematic. Whichever mode you choose, stabilization is available not just at 1080p but also 4K.

Slo-mo is unimpressive for a 2018 flagship as the G7 can record 240fps at 720p. We’d have expected this to be 1080p, and the competition can record in short bursts at 960fps.

OnePlus 6 vs LG G7 Camera comparison

Here is a gallery of photos, the G7 will be first followed by the OnePlus 6, you’ll be able to see that the G7 is a little overexposed, oversharpens the photos, and  it has less dynamics and detail.

Positive

  • The wide angle is an outstanding camera features
  • Good selfies
  • Great overall camera experience

Negative

  • AI Cam slows down the camera performance
  • photos can look over processed
  • low light photography is good but does not keep up with the rest of today’s flagship smartphones

Software

  • Google Lens
  • Google Assistant has a hardware button, means you never have to say “Ok Google Again”
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Facial recognition will work on up to 5 faces

The LG G7 will be one of the first smartphones to offer Google Lens ready to use. Google Lens was developed as an object recognition tool that can identify and provide more information about places of interest, plants, animals and books, as well as recognize text.

The Google Assistant button is versatile, a single press will launch the Google wizard, two presses will activate Google Lens. Users can also press and hold the button to start talking to the Google Assistant right away.

LG has launched long-range voice recognition with the G7, it’s a highly sensitive microphone that will let you talk to Google Assistant’s when you’re up to five meters away. This feature can separate the controls from the background noise, making the LG G7 a great alternative to a home IA speaker even when the TV is on or the vacuum cleaner is running.

Software wise LG has done a good job at reducing the bloatware, offering a cleaner interface, and better app design.

Positive

  • Fast and light
  • Little bloatware installed

Negative

  • Android 8.0 not 8.1 (really not a big deal, this is a very minor update)

Sound

  • Boombox speaker
  • DTS:X gives you 7.1 audio channels
  • 32 bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC

Sound is another strong feature on the G7 ThinkQ, we’ve got Quad DAC and it comes with a physical headphone jack. It’s also the first phone to have a DTS:X 3D system which turns any headphones into a virtual 7.1 sound system. Despite having a mono speaker in the bottom edge rather than stereo speakers, the G7’s sounds better than you’d expect from a phone. That’s because the ‘resonance chamber’ is 17 times larger than previous phones. The empty space inside the phone is sealed with water-resistant tape that makes the whole phone a speaker cabinet. This means the back of the phone vibrates when sounds or music is played. Bass is certainly better than any other current phone.

Positive

  • The sound is A-mazing!
  • High-end audio all around
  • Resonance chamber is very cool and works very well

Negative

—-

Battery life

  • 3000mAh battery
  • Wireless Charging
  • The Snapdragon 845 is 35% more efficient than the 835

 

When it comes to battery life, I was getting through the whole day, even with pixel launcher running which would use up a bit more battery. I also stream a few hours of music a day and of course, my Fitbit is connected as well.

In general use, we found the G7 would just about last a day with normal use including taking lots of photos. If you’re a mobile gamer, prepare to carry a USB power bank around with you as you’ll need to top up before too long.

Using Geekbench 4’s battery rundown test, the G7 managed 5 hours and 54 minutes. That’s not bad considering the capacity, but it is noticeably less time than you’ll see from the OnePlus 6 and its 3300mAh battery.

Postive

  • Does get me through the day most days

Negative

  • Very heavy users will struggle
Rating
Design / 8
Camera / 7.5
Sound / 9.5
Performance / 9
Battery Life / 8
Software / 8
Price / 8.5
Editor's Choice / 7.5
Hardware / 9
Display / 8
LG G7 ThinQ

The LG G7 ThinQ has a lot going for it, a wide angle camera, Super Bright Display, a well placed dedicated Google Assistant button, DTS:X surround and an incredibly loud speaker. It also has a notch which can be hidden and it does have extremely powerful specs which has its appeal.

The LG G7 ThinQ isn’t especially groundbreaking, but it is still a great phone. Whether the LG G7 ThinQ will be able to outshine its biggest rivals is questionable, it depends on what’s most important to you. Good build and strong audio need to be most important and you’d have to be ok with a good but not great camera. Huawei and Google have really moved the benchmark with their low light photography, though Super bright mode is good it’s not as great as the competition. Having said that I’m willing to compromise a lot for the flexibility of the wide angle lens.

The G7 is cheaper than most flagships, but the OnePlus 6 is cheaper still. The G7 has a very bright screen, water-resistance, wireless charging and surprisingly good sound from the mono speaker.

Cameras are solid, but unremarkable, and again there that wide-angle lens for better landscape photography.

The G7 ThinQ is a great phone and could be the phone for you especially if you can’t get past the lack of waterproofing and wireless charging on the OnePlus 6.

8.3
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