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The G series is the LG's mobile product line up that is largely keeping the company alive in the smartphone segment. It is also one of the longest-running flagship mobile series in the world of premium smartphones. Like Samsung and Apple, LG has also maintained the record of adding one high-end product every year to its product base, despite many roadblocks and ups and downs in the course. Moreover, I personally believe that LG G series is the only flagship smartphone line-up that never hesitated to experiment in design and features department.
LG showed the world what a practical modular smartphone could look like and function in today's time. Though the modular approach did not actually work out for the brand, it did give us a good glimpse of the future of mobile devices. LG's current flagship device- the G7+ ThinQ is a non-modular flagship smartphone with top-of-the-line hardware and intelligent software.
It offers an improved Artificial intelligence enabled camera setup, durable design and best-in-class display and audio performance. The other features are also noteworthy but what truly impressed us this time is the pricing of LG G7+ ThinQ. The company has priced the handset at Rs. 39,990 which is an excellent pricing for a device like LG G7+ ThinQ. The aggressive pricing also makes LG G7+ ThinQ a direct competition of the widely popular OnePlus 6 (8GB variant).
I have reviewed the OnePlus 6 and it's time I tell you about the LG G7+ ThinQ, a smartphone which is gradually shaping up as the most interesting and feature packed value flagship smartphone of the year 2018. So let's get started.
Best display in sub Rs. 40k price-point
Without any second thoughts, LG G7+ ThinQ features the best-in-class screen in sub Rs. 40k price-point. Despite a compact build, LG has managed to fit one of the largest displays on the new flagship handset. LG G7+ ThinQ features a 6.1-inch screen with the tallest 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 1,440 x 3,120 pixels and best-in-class pixel density of 564ppi. The display uses RGBW pixel arrangement which helps the screen to touch brightness levels of up to 1000 nits. This is simply brilliant as the IPS LCD screen on LG G7+ ThinQ offers comfortable viewing experience even in direct sunlight.
The Quad HD+ display has an impressive contrast ratio and excellent viewing angles. Importantly, the screen on the new LG G7+ ThinQ comes out as one of the best display for gaming and Netflix and Amazon Prime usage. The IPS LCD display is compliant with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 video formats. If you have the right video content, you will find it really hard to stop streaming videos on this handset. The colors look super vibrant, though not entirely accurate, but the overall output looks crisp and sharp.
Most compact flagship smartphone in the year 2018
Phones are supposed to be mobile. Sadly, most of the flagships smartphones in the market are big, slippery and despite the brands' claims are not very practical to use with one hand. LG G7+ ThinQ begs to differ. It is the most compact smartphone in the flagship price-point despite sporting a large 6.1-inch screen. This is due to the fact that LG G7+ ThinQ is narrower than any other smartphone I have reviewed in the last few months, which makes it possible to use the handset in practically every situation. My thumb was able to reach the extreme corners of the display without much effort. Try it with any other smartphone and you would understand what I am trying to tell you here.
Durable despite the glass body
Another big reason why I feel confident using the new LG G7+ ThinQ is its unmatched durability. LG G7+ ThinQ is not only water-resistant but the smartphone is also MIL-STD 810G compliant for shock resistance. The front and back of the smartphone have Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. LG has used magnesium to design the I-beam frame, which can handle a good degree of shock from drops despite the fact that the handset has a glass back.
It was for this reason that I took LG G7+ ThinQ during a recent trip in hills where the handset was subjected to extreme water and dust treatment. As expected, the smartphone handled everything without any failure. There's no other smartphone in this price-segment that can manage to handle such extreme usage.
Notable changes in design
LG has made some important changes in the design department. The new LG G7+ ThinQ ditches the company's signature rear-mounted power button and adds a new hardware power button on the right side of the handset. The phone also features a dedicated hardware button on the left side for Google Assistant but sadly, it is not customizable. The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is now only used for unlocking the device. The bottom of the device has a Type-C port, 3.5 mm headphone, a speaker and a microphone. The top of the phone has a SIM card slot and a microphone.
Most interesting camera setup in town
I was able to capture some stunning shots with the new LG G7+ ThinQ. The camera setup on LG's new flagship might not come out as the most consistent but it is certainly the most interesting and feature-packed camera in the town. It can capture standard shots, impressive wide-angle shots and also portrait images, a much-awaited feature for LG's flagship handsets. The main camera with 16MP sensor works on a bright f/1.6 aperture and comes equipped with OIS. The secondary camera also uses a 16MP sensor but comes sans OIS and works on an f/1.9 aperture. For selfies, LG G7+ ThinQ uses an upgraded 8MP front-facing camera with f/1.9 aperture.
Primary Camera performance
The images captured in standard non-wide angle mode in daylight are super crisp and show excellent details. The images show an impressive dynamic range and contrast levels are just excellent. The light is handled very well and you also get HDR Auto mode, which is very effective and kicks in at the right time. Some images might look a bit softer as the camera algorithm gets super intense in cutting down the noise. However; the overall image output is impressive. The video output in 4K and 1080p is equally good and you are bound to get crisp and rich video recording results. As far as selfies are concerned, the front-facing camera is pretty average.
Wide-angle mode is brilliant for landscape and street photography
Switch on the wide-angle mode and you will be welcomed with an amazing 107 degree wide field-of-view. As I mentioned in my first impressions of the handset, LG has reduced the field-of-view to improve the lens distortion effect at the extreme corners. As a result, the wide angle shots captured by G7+ look better than the wide-angle images captured by previous generation LG G series devices. The images captured with wide-angle lens enabled also show ample detailing and appreciable contrast and dynamic range. As the secondary wide-angle sensor works on a fixed focus lens, it is mostly good for capturing images with the focus on objects placed at the farthest point. For instance, LG G7+ ThinQ's wide-angle lens comes really handy for landscape and street photography.
Portrait image performance
The camera on LG G7+ ThinQ is also capable to capture portrait shots. It does that by utilizing a wide-angle camera as a depth sensor. You can control the amount of bokeh in real-time and even after taking a shot. The depth of field effect looks very appealing on the QHD+ screen and the amazing results can be clearly seen in the above image. The portrait mode is not always consistent and you have to be a little patient to get the desired results. When it works, it offers some really good-looking and interesting portrait shots. I have to say that LG hasn't completely mastered the art of bokeh but LG G7+ ThinQ still performs a stellar job in the portrait photography department. I am hoping that the next-gen LG handset will deliver outstanding bokeh shots by utlizing the wide-angle lens.
Before we start with the low-light image performance, take a look at the above image which was shot in Pro mode by using a tripod. The camera was set to a focal length of 2.38 mm and ISO level 1200. The f/1.9 aperture value of wide-angle lens did an excellent job here to capture the details at the infinity. I was not able to keep myself still for the longer duration and hence the blurry effect is clearly visible. The fact that LG G7+ ThinQ's 16MP wide-angle lens can capture such kind of shots in extreme low-light is just amazing. A little bit of post-processing on such images can do wonders. Besides the Pro mode, LG has also added a ‘Super Bright Camera' mode that works on pixel binning technology to create bright images in challenging light conditions. The mode auto kicks in and mostly deliver well-exposed shots in low-light scenarios. Summing up all, if you re someone who wants a camera smartphone that can offer a good balance of daylight and low-light photography with industry-leading wide-angle shots, LG G7+ ThinQ is the phone you should go for.
AI Mode performance
Last but not the least; LG has also added AI camera mode in the LG G7+ ThinQ, which is, in fact, one of the most interesting AI camera implementations we have come across in a while. The way AI works on G7+ ThinQ is rather interesting and visually appealing. As soon as you enable the AI mode, you will see texts popping up on the screen as the machine learning algorithms start recognizing the scenes in the frame. The AI mode is pretty intensive and can recognize food, landscape, trees, people, streets, etc. and change the basic camera settings to enhance the image output. It keeps analyzing the scene and sometimes gets super intensive, which oversaturates the colors. But overall, it is quite practical and comes handy while using the camera if you don't mind some sort of edited output in the pictures you shoot with your smartphone.
Snapdragon 845 and 6GB RAM
The driving engine of LG G7+ ThinQ is the flagship Snapdragon 845 CPU. The octa-core CPU is paired with 6GB RAM and has 128GB internal memory for smooth computing and multitasking. I thoroughly enjoyed using this handset as the performance is snappy and lag-free. The smartphone feels super responsive in whatever task you plan to execute, be it photo-editing, web browsing, graphical-intensive games, camera usage or just a simple phone call. I did not experience any performance slowdown during my review duration. The call quality is also quite solid on this handset.
Well-optimized LG UX
The snappy performance on LG G7+ ThinQ is also due to the well-optimized user interface- LG UX based on Android 8.0 Oreo. The LG's take on Android UI is very colorful and feature-rich. There are tones of customizations. You can even choose between a standard app drawer UI or iOS like UI where all the apps will be placed on the home screens. LG has also added a floating bar that allows you to add shortcuts on the screen. You get Samsung Galaxy inspired Always-on screen, an efficient Smart Doctor phone optimizer, Game tools for unhindered gaming performance, smart bulleting, multiple security options and a pretty intensive equalizer for audio. Besides, you can also customize hardware buttons such as power button and volume keys and enable Mini view for even more comfortable one-hand use. Overall, LG's custom UI is very feature-rich and does not responsive.
Excellent audio device
LG G7+ ThinQ is the first smartphone to feature DTS:X, the next-generation surround-sound format designed to compete against Dolby Atmos. The smartphone also comes fitted with LG G series' signature Hi-Fi Quad DAC to deliver a rich and immersive audio output. Combined with the high-impedance earphones in the package and the right audio content, the G7+ ThinQ delivers unmatched and best-in-class audio delivery in this price-point. Sound through the earphones might not come out very loud; however, the clarity is super impressive. The audio is deep, crisp and super pleasing to ears.
Another highlight in the audio department is the new Boombox speaker, which is placed at the bottom and uses the handset's chassis as a resonance chamber. This further amplifies the audio delivery to some extent. The voice recording on this device is also excellent. I have recorded the complete voice-over of LG G7+ ThinQ First Impressions video on Gizbot.com without any external mic support.
If there's anything that seems underpowered here, it is the battery unit. The flagship smartphone is backed by a humble 3,000mAh battery unit that despite the efficient Snapdragon 845 CPU can only last a day. I had to keep a power bank handy as I am pretty harsh on my mobile devices and use them for gaming, continuous camera usage, web browsing, Instagram, etc. LG G7+ ThinQ asked for battery refuel after 9 hours of continuous use in my kind of use case scenarios.
LG G7+ ThinQ is a little late to the value flagship party but it is a clear winner in sub Rs. 40,000 price segment. The smartphone offers the best-in-class display, premium and durable design, feature-rich camera and solid audio performance. It will come as a delight to audiophiles, gamers, and shutterbugs who are looking for a complete package in value flagship category. You will also get expandable storage, 3.5 mm headphone jack and wireless charging. Summing up all, there's no other handset that offers all these features and excellent performance in this particular price-point.
Last but not the least, I must tell you we are very keen to find out what LG has to offer with the upcoming LG V40 and the next year's LG G8 as these two handsets will definitely worth waiting for in the flagship price-point. So stay tuned on Gizbot.com for the upcoming devices from LG and other brands that are due to shape the future of mobility.