LG has officially presented the LG G7 ThinQ, and we had the chance to take a first look at the phone and test it for a few days in Korea. We got our hands on a pre-production unit there, which we tested in detail. Find out what our first impressions below.
Details on price and market launch
The phone will be available in the brand's home in South Korea as soon as tomorrow, May 18, and in the US you will be able to preorder the G7 ThinQ on May 24 from Verizon. We have no news as of yet regarding other carriers, but we do know that the device will be released to market on June 1. The G7 ThinQ also has a plus version, but we're not certain whether this will land stateside as of yet.
But now onto pricing. You'll be pleased to know that the G7 ThinQ shouldn't cost more than the G6: if we're to see similar pricing, we can expect the device to cost around $700.
However, while we don't yet know the official price or release from LG, several US carriers have already declared their dates for pre-order and purchase. Find out the full details from each major carrier here.
The first look at the LG G7
Since the release of the LG G6, LG has focused on an appealing design and high-quality workmanship, at least in the G and V series. Now, the brand has carried this on in the LG G7.
The LG G7 definitely has the wow effect. The front and back are made of glass, and on the back the glass is rounded towards the sides, with no noticeable edge between the rounded edges and metal frame. Some design elements have been taken from the LG V30, but the G7 is slightly thicker, but this makes it easier to hold. The device is a lot smoother and rounded compared to its predecessor, but it is much larger. Depending what type of phone you like, this could be a good or a bad thing.
From Notch to New Secondary Screen
LG has opted for a notch in the display. As mentioned, the G7 is on the large side, with a diagonal measurement of 6.1 inches and a resolution of 3,120 x 1440 pixels. LG has also used an IPS panel, which requires more components than an OLED panel, so the design cannot be completely bezel-less, a small area has to be left below the display. If you want to, you can hide the notch, but this only changes the background color to black, as this almost totally hides it, and it is only visible if your brightness is set high.
The notch divides the notification bar into two parts and is called the New Secondary Screen. The name does make sense, but there is only really one secondary screen feature, and that is the colored background design. Four icons fit on the left side of the free area, which will not be enough for app junkies.
All in all, the display scores well: it represents 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color space and has an impressive color display. Especially in daylight, smartphone displays usually struggle with natural light often outshining the display. To solve this problem, the brand developed Bright Boost, which increases the maximum brightness to around 1000 nits. This helps, but it compromises the color quality, and it's only active for a maximum of three minutes. Therefore, it's both useful, but not so useful at the same time.
The AI functions of the camera
If you're wondering what the name ThinQ means, LG has implemented several features that fall under the name AI, but keep in mind that the use of this term isn't always correct.
In the LG G7, the main AI function is in the dual camera. The AI Cam is a mode that we've already seen with the LG V30S. The camera detects objects in the scene and sets a suitable picture mode if possible. For example, this is important for taking photos of food by making the colors a bit more saturated, which should make your Instagram followers hungry!
But the AI Cam still has to fight with some mistakes in practice. This does not mean general quality problems, but rather, the recognition isn't always accurate and the filters are often too strong. For example, a cow was correctly identified as an animal, but the corresponding filter altered the hay, but there was no noticeable difference to the cow.
In the photo gallery, LG sorts the photos taken with the AI cam with keywords, which is very useful.The phone works very well at organizing the photo chaos that can usually happen. But, there is no way to add normal photos into the tagged categories.
Keep in mind that during our tests, LG emphasized that the camera software is not yet final. In this respect, we should take the example images included here with a pinch of salt. The camera setup is well known from the V30, but the G7 now features a second 16MP camera. However, it's noticeable that this wide-angle camera now only covers 107 degrees, whereas before it was some degrees more. This is supposed to get rid of distortions, but this doesn't work in the corners of the picture. When comparing the photos taken with the wide-angle camera of the LG V30, it shows that the G7 may be falling behind.
But the AI Cam is not the only AI feature related to the name. An app named QLink will be available in Korea first, and then later in the US. It connects to various LG household appliances and allows them to be controlled via Google Assistant. This feature can be started using an extra button, and LG mentioned that it was developed together with Google.The G7 uses a far-field microphone, so it will still be able to hear you say 'OK Google' from a few meters away.
For a long time now, smartphones have been the main way to listen to music over separate audio devices. The G7 has a headphone jack with quad DAC for high-quality audio output.
The special feature here is the mono speaker, and a boombox speaker is also installed.There is a large resonance chamber that has been created between the watertight seal of the technology and the rear side. In practice, this is how it works: if you place the G7 on a flat surface, for example a table, you hear a much louder and richer sound. This is because the rear side vibrates during music playback and transmits the vibrations to the surface, which serves as an additional resonance body. The Boombox Speaker is particularly effective on hollow objects, for example a guitar or a cardboard box.
The difference can be heard immediately: On a specially designed boombox the G7 could easily be heard in a large room, and saw this for ourselves in a live demo. The LG G6 and the V30 failed to do this because the loudspeakers are not designed for resonance transmission. Because the Boombox Speaker requires the waterproof sealing of the components of the LG G7, it is not possible to install a replaceable battery, and LG has said goodbye to the latter anyway.
LG G7 ThinQ technical specifications
|Dimensions:||153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm|
|Battery size:||3000 mAh|
|Screen size:||6.1 in|
|Screen:||3120 x 1440 pixels (563 ppi)|
|Front camera:||8 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||16 megapixels|
|Android version:||8.0 - Oreo|
|User interface:||LG UX|
|Internal storage:||64 GB
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|Number of cores:||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.8 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0|
Our first verdict after 48 hours
With the LG G7 ThinQ, LG continues its focus: a more attractive design and high-quality workmanship are now standard. The ThinQ branding is definitely marketing term, and doesn't bring any real added value.
Overall though, the LG G7 has made a good impression in the first 48 hours. It's light, beautifully designed and does everything right. But some strange product decisions make think twice, especially with the camera. Why does the small image sensor, which provided mediocre images for the V30, remain the same? Why was the wide-angle camera clipped? These are the questions we can answer during the final software review, and this also applies to the battery life.
What do you think about this device so far? Do you have questions about the G7? Let's discuss it in the comments.