LG's latest smartphone, the G8 ThinQ, brings quite a bit of change to the G Series. So don't judge a book by its cover, since the G8 ThinQ does look a whole lot like the G7 ThinQ. It's what is on the inside that matters.
One of the bigger things that LG did this time around with the G8 ThinQ was to get rid of the earpiece. This makes the "forehead" a bit smaller, as well as the notch a bit thinner. LG decided to put the speaker underneath the display. That might sound like it would be terrible right? Well it's not. We did get a chance to listen to some music on the G8 ThinQ, and it sounds really good.
LG is using the under-display speaker along with a bottom-firing speaker, and Boombox is still available on the G8 ThinQ. This gives the G8 ThinQ some rather incredible sounding audio. Unfortunately there's still no Dolby Atmos included, instead there is DTS:X, which LG thinks is better than Atmos. LG also kept the headphone jack and the Quad DAC. So no matter how you listen to music or consume media, the G8 ThinQ has you covered.
Also new on the G8 ThinQ is a Time of Flight sensor on the front of the phone. This sensor is used for a variety of things. Not only does it help LG get even better looking portrait mode selfies. But it also brings a few other features that LG has in the G8 ThinQ. This includes Hand ID. Basically, put your hand over the top of your phone (a few inches from the phone) and you can unlock the phone without touching it. This is a feature that is going to take some getting used to. In our hands on, we did have trouble doing it, however that was because you need to be further away from the phone.
Other features that the ToF sensor give the user include Air Motion. This is similar to the gesture features that Samsung had on its phones many years ago, like Air View, where you could swipe between photos in the gallery. It's the same idea, but from much further away. You can use Air Motion to adjust the volume on whatever music or audio is playing. You can also use it to open the camera, or take a screenshot. And the best part is, swiping away a call when someone calls you (or answering it).
Air Motion was a pretty difficult feature to master while we were using the phone in the limited hands on time, so this may have a slight learning curve. But LG does believe that users are going to love the feature.
On the surface, the G8 ThinQ camera has not improved a whole lot, but it does take even better photos. One of those areas is in the night mode, where it now takes 10 photos and then stitches them all together. This allows LG to get even more noise out of those images, while keeping them nice and bright. This was something we were not able to test out in our hands on, however the samples LG showed us do look promising. It may not beat Google's NightSight though.
Perhaps the biggest feature of the LG G8 ThinQ is the fact that it now has an OLED display. That was previously reserved for the V series, while the G series was stuck with an LCD panel. That's no longer the case. The G8 ThinQ has an OLED panel that also supports HDR (HDR10 to be exact). So it is essentially the same panel as the V40 ThinQ, just a tad smaller.
In the hand, the LG G8 ThinQ looks and feels quite nice. One of the small differences you can see in the hardware is that the camera is now flush on the back. Instead of having a slight bump, it is now completely flush. This allowed LG to add in a larger battery capacity, which is definitely welcome.
The LG G8 ThinQ will be available in the second quarter, from all four major US carriers. That includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile Verizon. The US is only getting three colors: gray, black and red.