Quick show of hands: Any LG fans still out there?
If you raised your hand, then you might be interested in the company’s latest flagship Android phone, the G7 ThinQ.
It’s no secret LG is struggling to sell phones. Like, really struggling. Both its G5 and G6 flagship phones from the last two years have failed to put a dent in Samsung and Apple’s mobile empire (Samsung moves the most units, and Apple gets the most profits — each by far). All the while Chinese brands like Huawei, Xiaomi, and OnePlus continue their ascent.
Weakening phone sales aside, the Korean electronics giant’s G7 ThinQ (the name’s just as terrible as the V30 ThinQ) appears to be yet another rock-solid phone that might not move the needle. I got a chance to get my hands on LG’s latest flagship, and it definitely has some features that make it stand out.
Got a notch
If there’s any trend in mobile this year, it’s the notch. Everyone’s making phones with notches, and the G7 ThinQ is no different.
The 6.1-inch QHD+ resolution screen is large and bright, but it’s not an OLED. Probably for the better since the quality of LG’s OLED displays for phones are all over the place.
The G7 ThinQ’s notch is smaller than the iPhone X’s, but larger than the Huawei P20 Pro’s. And like the P20 Pro, the “horns” to the left and right of the notch, or “second screen” as LG calls it — they think of it as the evolution of the second screen it began designing into its phones with the V10 in 2015 — can be turned off within the settings. There are even settings to personalize this split status bar with different backgrounds, which are kinda tacky IMO.
Like the V30 ThinQ and, well, every phone really, the G7 ThinQ is another glass-and-metal sandwich. That means it’s slippery and attracts fingerprints really easily. On the plus side, the glass back also means the G7 ThinQ supports wireless charging.
Lots of power
On the inside, the G7 ThinQ is all power. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (expandable via microSD card), and a 3,000 mAh battery.
There’s a fingerprint sensor on the back and a headphone jack on the bottom as well. The phone’s also IP68 water- and dust-resistant.
LG’s also touting “Boombox” speakers, which it claims are vastly superior to the speakers on any other phone (we’ll have to see how it holds up to the Razer Phone, our current fave). LG says the speaker chambers are 39 percent larger than on the G6, allowing for louder and fuller sound.
On the software front, the phone’s running Android Oreo and will be upgraded to Android P once that’s released.
Smarter AI camera
The dual cameras on the back are also improved. Both cameras are 16-megapixel shooters — one 71-degree wide-angle lens with f/1.6 aperture and the other a 107-degree ultra-wide angle lens with f/1.9 aperture. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel camera with f/1.9 aperture.
Keeping up with the competition, both the front and back cameras are capable of shooting photos with a blurred background. On the V30 ThinQ, the camera’s AI recognizes nine different categories to offer the best camera settings, but on the G7 ThinQ, LG’s bumped that up to 18. So when you have the AI turned on, the camera can detect people, food, cities, seas, skies, sunsets, backlit scenes, documents, etc.
And speaking of AI, the G7 ThinQ’s also got a dedicated AI assistant button on the side. Press and hold the button and it’ll launch the Google Assistant. Sadly, the key can’t be disabled and can’t be mapped to launch a different app. You’re stuck with the Google Assistant, but at least it’s a smarter assistant than Samsung’s Bixby.
The G7 ThinQ will be available in the coming weeks. No price yet, but this is a flagship, so don’t expect extreme affordability.
I liked what I saw during my brief time with the G7 ThinQ. How well the phone sells is a different question. If you’re still an LG fan: Bless you, because there aren’t many of y’all left.