LG G7 ThinQ Review: Beauty With Solid Performance
In recent years, LG has produced some incredible smartphones, but its portfolio of smartphones flew under the radar of most consumers. LG has always been Samsung’s second violin and does not have the marketing power to compete with Apple. This has always meant that the big players in the industry overshadowed LG’s products, resulting in unprofitable sales numbers that forced LG to change its smartphone strategy. The LG G7 ThinQ is the first product of this new strategy. Can it attract the attention that LG deserves or will it suffer the same fate as the previous LG flagships? Let’s find out in our LG G7 ThinQ Review.
LG G7 ThinQ – Design
The obvious way to describe the design of the LG G7 ThinQ is the look and feel of a smaller LG V30. I was a big fan of LG V30 design. It was arguably one of the best smartphonesfor 2021, and it’s great to see LG bring that design to the G series.
The ThinQ G7 is built from a fairly standard smartphone formula. The front and rear body are made of glass and metal rails along the perimeter. The back is slightly curved, and the corners are rounded, giving the phone an elegant shape of a pebble that makes it comfortable to hold. There is no texture to the glass or metal, but LG somehow managed to make the phone look slippery. The rear window, however, is very prone to fingerprints, which is expected.
The quality of construction of the LG G7 ThinQ is fantastic. The phone is solid, sturdy and its smaller size makes it easier to use in one hand than your older brother, the LG V30. The standard ports are all on the bottom, which includes a single speaker, USB Type-C port and the highly appreciated 3.5mm headphone jack.
One of the most crucial design changes is the relocation of the power button. Instead of being integrated with the backward-facing fingerprint sensor, it is now in a more traditional location on the right side. I’m sad to see it. It was one of LG’s most iconic design features.
Another vital change is the addition of a shortcut AI shortcut key. This button is just below the volume buttons on the left side. It is the same as the Samsung Bixby button on the Galaxy devices, but it summons the Google Assistant, much more useful. Pressing the button starts the Google Assistant even if the phone is idle, which is not something you can do with the shortcut on the Google Assistant screen. The button can also be pressed as a walkie-talkie while your voice dictation lasts and released when you finish talking.
LG G7 ThinQ – Display
The LG G7 ThinQ is equipped with a narrow, high aspect ratio of 19.5: 9 with thin frames and a notch. The notch houses the headset, front camera, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor, but it does nothing special. LG calls the notch area of “New Second Screen” – effectively betting its claim as the creator of the notch idea – but it is a confusing choice as it does not add any extra functionality as secondary screens on previous LG phones.
If you are not a fan of the notch, LG’s software allows the areas around it to turn black, effectively camouflaging it like a standard frame. The areas around the notch can also be customized with different colors and gradients. This seemed like a cheap trick to me and made the notch stand out even more. Fortunately, the level does not interfere with content such as videos or games. Instead of overlapping content like iPhone X, the G7 ThinQ slot automatically turns into a black panel, and the content does not extend beyond that area.
Despite the notch, the screen of the LG G7 ThinQ is phenomenal. The display is a 6.1-inch IPS LCD panel with a sharp, sharp resolution of 3,120 x 1,440 (Quad-HD). It is not an OLED, but the screen is vibrant, colorful and a pleasure to use to consume media. The screen colors can be adjusted to your liking through display settings with RGB and color sliders as well as a variety of screen modes. I found the default settings to be entirely satisfactory though.
LG calls this Super Bright display. It is capable of getting up to 1,000 nits of brightness because LG added a white subpixel to the standard RGB subpixel arrangement to increase brightness. This can be activated by tapping the brightness up button next to the brightness slider, allowing the screen to exceed the maximum brightness of the slider.
LG G7 ThinQ – Software
The software experience in the ThinQ G7 will be familiar to anyone who has used an LG smartphone in these years. LG’s software has made significant strides, with less printing software, a cleaner interface, and better application design. It’s relatively comfy on the eyes, with a smooth color scheme across all elements of the user interface, fluid animations, and easy-to-read fonts.
There is a myriad of options for customizing the UI as you want it. By default, the launcher does not have an application drawer, but a traditional application drawer button can be added, or a sliding gesture more similar to Pixel can be used. LG’s theme engine allows additional customization with additional wallpapers, icon packs, UI themes, and display clocks always on.
You also have the floating bar previously introduced in the LG V30 to replace the old hardware-based secondary screen. This gives you quick access to selected apps, music controls, contacts, and other quick actions, such as taking a selfie. Many of LG’s other software features, such as the Smart Bulletin, the KnockON, and the gaming tools, are like on other LG phones, while some of them have received a light facelift. Smart Settings has been renamed to Context Awareness, although its functions for automating tasks when certain conditions are met remain the same.
LG’s software is based on Android 8.0 Oreo, rather than the newer 8.1. Since the 8.1 update is relatively small, it’s not a big deal, but this is a new flagship, so it would have been nice to have the latest version of Android possible. LG does not have the best record when it comes to updates, and if you have a carrier version, it might take a while before LG sees this update.
LG G7 ThinQ – Hardware
With the LG G7 ThinQ, LG continued to emphasize the audio. The LG Quad-Signature DAC is back, delivering higher quality sound, less distortion, less noise and better dynamic range, and is a feature that owners of high impedance headphones will appreciate.
In addition to quad DAC, LG has implemented 3D DTS: X surround sound or virtual surround sound. This is designed to provide a surround sound experience through stereo speakers (or headphones in the case of G7 ThinQ). At this time, it’s more of a future feature of quizzes because the content you watch or listen needs to be compatible with DTS: X, which is not yet available. It can even provide a surround sound experience with non-DTS: X files by changing the sound environment, but this is not so impressive.
The phone also comes with a microSD card slot for extra storage along with IP68 dust and water resistance so that additional peace of mind should your device get wet.
LG G7 ThinQ – Performance
The LG G7 ThinQ comes with the most powerful specifications currently available for a flagship 2018. It packs a Snapdragon 845 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of onboard storage or 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. The device had the expected performance with fast, fluid animations, excellent touch response, and fast performance when launching applications or playing games.
Jumping through multiple apps has no problems and can run any game you find in the Play Store with great graphics and smooth gameplay. Real-world performance certainly caters to reference numbers and the G7 ThinQ had no difficulty with any tasks I’ve done.
LG’s most significant audio enhancement is the unique G7 ThinQ bass speaker. The individual speakers are generally not worth talking about, but this uses the space inside the phone as a resonance camera. You can literally feel vibrations of the sound moving over the phone while listening to music or watching a video and placing the phone inside or in a hollow container or any common hard surface will amplify the sound. It does not compare to the stereo speakers, but it’s a neat trick and I was impressed by the loudspeaker volume by simply placing the phone on my desk.
LG G7 ThinQ – Battery Life
The performance of the battery life is good but not as impressive as the rest of the phone’s specifications. The 3.000mAh battery is not small, but many competing flagships in its class have larger cells. Even last year’s G6 had a bigger battery. Regardless, the G7 ThinQ can last a full day, but only in the early evening. It will not take you late into the night without charging again unless its use is used relatively light.
If you’re a big cell phone player or have a lot of content on your device, expect to charge the G7 ThinQ at least once during the day. Fortunately, charging can be done quickly through Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 or via wireless charging, as the LG G7 supports both wireless charging patterns.
LG G7 ThinQ – Camera
LG has finally upgraded its front camera. The LG G7 ThinQ now has an 8MP front camera, which is an excellent news for selfie lovers. The extra resolution brings a huge difference in detail, sharpness and offers more space to crop your images. The G7 ThinQ selfies are excellent with excellent color reproduction and natural skin tones.
LG has also added portrait mode to the ThinQ G7 – a novelty for LG phones. It’s a great addition if you want an artificial background blur for a more professional look, but it’s not perfect. There were times when I bled in the foreground, obscuring parts of my hair, glasses or my ears. In most situations, however, the blur was compelling. The results of the portrait mode on the rear camera seemed more consistent, as they worked best by separating complex subjects from the background. This is probably due to two cameras being used to achieve the effect rather than relying on software with the front camera.
On the back, the LG G7 ThinQ uses LG’s combination of standard and wide-angle lenses. Both sensors have 16 megapixels, meaning there is no loss of resolution when switching sensors. The primary sensor is still the top lens when it comes to quality. It has a brighter f/1.6 aperture compared to the f/1.9 of the wide-angle and also has OIS. The main benefit to the wide angle is, of course, to fit more into the frame – it is great for landscapes or group selfies. The wide angle was reduced to a 107-degree field of view of previous generations, but this eliminated the distortion of the barrel at the edges of the photos. It’s still a lot of fun to use, and the reduction in the field of view is not very noticeable.
The LG G7 ThinQ is packed into the gills with camera features. DSLR-like manual controls for photo and video remain intact, with Cine-log being the only notable feature missing. It seems to be reserved for the V-series for now, but LG brought the AI camera introduced in the ThinQ V30S.
The AI camera can analyze the scene and subjects within the scene and automatically provide filters resulting in (hopefully) a better-looking image. The camera recognizes what it is looking at most of the time, but never liked the filters provided. I often preferred camera results without the use of AI. It’s an interesting feature if you want the camera to do most of the processing work for your images, but if you like to have full control from start to finish, you probably will not find this very useful.
The main camera photos are very good with pleasing colors that are not overly saturated and sharp details. Dynamic range is above the average, preserving a decent amount of detail in shadows and highlights. In low-light situations, the camera retains many details and colors, keeping noise to a minimum – at least on the main sensor. Wide-angle lens results tend to be more washed with excessive noise. Its narrower aperture and lack of OIS means that it needs to rely on higher ISOs to create a brighter image.
LG G7 ThinQ – Specifications
|LG G7 ThinQ|
|Display||6.1-inch IPS LCD display
1440 x 3120 resolution
19.5:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Micro-SD expansion up to 512 GB
Front: 8 MP, f/1.9, 26mm
|Audio||Single Speaker (at the bottom)
3.5mm audio jack
DTS: X Surround Sound
Fast Battery Charging (Quick Charge 3.0)
USB Type-C 1.0 port, USB On-The-Go
|IP rating||IP68 dust/waterproof (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
|Software||Android 8.0 Oreo, planned upgrade to Android 9.0 (P)|
|Dimensions and weight||153 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm
|Colors||New Platinum Gray, New Aurora Black, New Moroccan Blue, Raspberry Rose|
LG G7 ThinQ Review – Final Words
LG did it again this year. The LG G7 ThinQ is another fantastic smartphone. It does nothing exceptionally innovative, but there’s a lot to like about this phone. It has a super bright screen, a great design, an excellent AI camera, and a dedicated Google Assistant button. The audio experience we knew and loved from LG got even better with DTS: X and the new boombox speaker.
Battery life may be better, and some may not like the inclusion of a notch, but I did not see any of them to break the deal. If the LG G7 ThinQ is able to supplant its biggest rivals, it will certainly have the firepower to battle with the best smartphones available. LG deserves more consumer attention, and if you have not considered an LG device in the past, the LG G7 ThinQ would not be a bad place to start.
The LG G7 ThinQ comes with some very attractive features that include a Super Bright Display, a dedicated Google Assistant button, DTS: X surround and an incredibly loud speaker. It also comes with a notch that may not please everyone, but its powerful specifications and strong feature set make it a worthy competitor.
- Solid metal and glass design
- Bright and vibrant screen
- Wireless charging
- Fast performance
- Great camera experience
- Quad DAC
- Average battery life
- Notch features feel gimmicky