LG's latest Android flagship is finally available for purchase as of this week, well after its original announcement, in accordance with the company's product roadmap. Those who haven't forgotten about the G8 ThinQ by today may accidentally find themselves thinking about buying one. Just - don't.
Yeah, LG is (slightly) better at this mobile thing than it was a few years back, its quality-assurance practices improved, the marketing isn't as clueless as it used to be, etc. None of that makes the G8 ThinQ worth buying, though.
Don't believe so? How about this, then: below you'll find five objectively superior alternatives to what's claimed to be the greatest Android phablet LG ever delivered. They might offer better value, features, or a higher-quality design. In reality, they crush or at the very least comfortably beat the LG G8 ThinQ on all three of those fronts. Here's why:
Samsung Galaxy S10 - any model, really
It's hard to think of a time when Samsung wasn't delivering superior devices on a regular basis... maybe circa 2013? Even then, it was a matter of preference. Today, it's a matter of fact that LG's flagships can only be compared to Samsung's offerings in terms of price, which obviously isn't a good thing.
E.g. despite warranting a sizeable sum, the G8 ThinQ is still considerably weaker in terms of raw processing power than both the Galaxy S10 and S10+ (largely due to the RAM difference), has an inferior display, and arguably doesn't "feel" as premium, though build quality is often a matter of opinion. Samsung is much better at keeping its Android flagships updated with monthly security patches, provides its customers with more benefits such as free cloud storage, and has a much more robust after-sales department in pretty much every corner of the world.
Even Samsung's "entry-level" flagship compares favorably to the G8 ThinQ in every aspect bar the camera one while costing about the same or slightly less.
Huawei P30/P30 Pro - what an AI camera can actually do in 2019
Huawei's latest high-end phablets may fall behind the G8 ThinQ when it comes to display fidelity as the Chinese manufacturer is stubbornly insisting on FHD+ screens instead of finally fully embracing QHD+ resolutions but looking at the entire package, LG can hardly compete with the P30 lineup in any other sense.
The world's best mobile camera setup coupled with a higher-capacity battery, more quality-of-life features, more RAM, and a smaller notch are some of the advantages the P30 series has over the G8 ThinQ, and that's regardless of whether one's considering the top-of-the-line P30 Pro or the most affordable variant of the P30.
Then there's EMUI; Android implementations truly come down to preference in this day and age but when it comes to utilizing the very latest of what the technology industry has to offer, Huawei comes out ahead of LG. Naturally, that's in reference to on-device artificial intelligence computing. LG's newest phablet is far from "dumb;" in fact, it embraces Google Assistant unlike most other phones on the market. However, when speaking at actual real-world usage and not gimmicky behaviors, it's hard not to give this win to the P30 range as well, especially due to its intelligent scene recognition which does more to improve your mobile photography than any single hardware upgrade did in recent years by simply making sure you are making the most of what you have available.
You can even compare the two directly in this regard seeing how LG also implemented a similar feature into the G8 ThinQ, except it simply doesn't work as well.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 - hopefully you're not surprised
If you're in any way taken aback by the fact an eight-month-old smartphone that belongs to the previous generation of mobile tech made its way to this list, that can only mean you weren't paying attention when the Galaxy Note 9 launched last summer. It's alright, let's just get you up to speed in 20 seconds:
Samsung's final Android flagship of 2018 is also the pinnacle of what we'll soon start referring to as the smartphones of old, those that existed before foldable displays, under-screen fingerprint sensors, and double-digit-camera setups were a thing. Despite using a slightly less efficient chip than the G8 ThinQ, it's at worst its equal on the multitasking front due to its superior RAM configuration, whereas the variable aperture supported by the primary half of its dual-camera setup does more to improve low-light and portrait photography than the extra lens on its significantly newer rival from LG.
The aforementioned point about vastly superior software and after-sales support in general also applies to the Galaxy Note 9, as does the one about a better-quality screen, though the difference obviously isn't as massive as with the S10 family. Finally, the Galaxy Note 9 opens an entire world of possibilities with its Bluetooth-enabled S Pen stylus and can currently be had for cheaper than the G8 ThinQ. So, unless you're parting with your hard-earned money by buying a new premium device in order to see it score slightly more imaginary points in a synthetic benchmark test with between zero and 0.5 real-world applications, the Galaxy Note 9 is an obvious choice next to the G8 ThinQ.
But otherwise, by all means, go get those Geekbench points and let us know how they make your everyday experience of using a smartphone better. LG would certainly be thrilled if you decide to do so.
Honor View20 - flagship killer? More like bloodthirsty flagship mutilator if this is what it's supposed to beat
Imagine Huawei's P30 with a slightly worse camera, no in-display fingerprint reader, and somewhat better battery life. Oh, and it's also up to $200 cheaper. In other words, the Honor View20 offers such ridiculous value that comparing it to the LG G8 ThinQ is not even fair.
On one hand, it's hard to blame LG for trying to charge a premium due to its logo being present on the phone; after all, its legendary status is undeniable and it's not like the G8 ThinQ is a bad phone. It's just a bad flagship, so if LG swallowed a bit of pride, a slightly larger dose of profit margins, and priced this exact same product in the ballpark of $600, the critics would write about its genius and courage until their hands fell off, and rightfully so.
As that's obviously not what happened, it was important for this list to feature a device like the Honor View20, just to underscore how ridiculous of a margin LG is trying bank with the G8 ThinQ. If the Honor View20 can be had for the equivalent of $580, why is Verizon trying to charge $840 for the G8 ThinQ? Alright, Honor and Huawei devices are a special product category in the United States these days (read: especially screwed), so let's forget about the View20 and think of something like the Xiaomi Mi 9, or its Mi MIX 3, or even last year's OnePlus 6T - comparing the G8 ThinQ to any of those Android handsets is a one-way ticket to the same conclusion.
Just imagine how the OnePlus 7 will look like compared to LG's newest release once it debuts next month. It's not going to be pretty. Save for some truly out-there Chinese brands like Nubia who are prone to experimentation and aren't exactly known for having amazing quality assurance practices, it's hard to imagine any high-end smartphone that offers worse value for money will be released at any point in the year. Well, in the Android segment that is, as Apple is obviously on (lack-of-)value tier of its own, though at least the iPhone range is without a direct rival, a competing iOS handset, so a nice thick bubble continues to shield Cupertino even in 2019 when the mobile industry as a whole lost all of its momenta and is now replacing uninspiring stagnation with a slight decline.
Coincidentally, "uninspiring" and a "slight decline" are some of the first terms that come to mind when looking at the G8 ThinQ, even if it's just next to LG-made phones that preceded it. It's not like the company made massive waves with the G7 and V40 last year, so why deliver a device that's essentially more of the same?
Nokia 9 PureView
When you think about it, the HMD Global's Nokia 9 PureView is essentially the LG G8; it has nearly identical specs, screen size, form factor, its very own camera gimmick (five lenses on the back) that it doesn't come close to utilizing to its full potential, and it took ages to come to the market, lingering in some logistics hell for so long that people forgot it was even announced.
What's different is that it avoids the newer Snapdragon 855 for last year's 845-series silicon from Qualcomm, hence trading some computational efficiency for a significantly lower price point. That doesn't stop it from having an in-display fingerprint reader and a largely bezel-free design that doesn't require an unbecoming notch.
Unlike the Nokia 9 PureView, the physical manifestation of corporate management's insistence on high profit margins called the LG G8 ThinQ manages to feature both a notch and a top bezel, runs a poorly maintained Android implementation that's always a security patch or three behind what Google's pushing out, and somehow manages to be thicker. So, while it may be a worse purchase that's a result of an inferior product strategy whose first issue is failing to define a clear audience... uhmm... something... something... Animoji clones?