The LG G8 ThinQ is Spring's fresh reminder that the smartphone industry still has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, despite initial impressions based on outward appearance. It's certainly one of LG's most interesting flagships in a while, but not all is right with LG's latest. In this review, we'll be taking a look at what went wrong and what could mar the experience if you were to pick up a G8 this year. Want to see the other side of the coin?
Head on over to our good review of the G8 and see what's awesome about LG's Spring 2019 flagship there.
There's plenty to love about the LG G8 ThinQ, but LG stumbled a bit with their latest flagship as well. The most confusing decision comes in the form of the models themselves, which are so numerous that it's simply too confusing for its own good. Over half a dozen different models of LG G8 are being sold, and you're unfortunately going to get a better experience on some of these models than others. Most US models ship not only without that clear TPU case to protect the phone out of the box, but they also are missing the third camera on the back.
This telephoto camera enhances zoom levels significantly when compared to using just digital zoom, and it's more than just a shame that this camera isn't included on all models of G8, it feels like a rip-off when comparing them to what the rest of the world gets. Not having protection out of the box seems like a bit of a slap in the face too, and it's tough to tell whether to blame this silly little blunder on LG or the carriers themselves, who often enjoy charging customers for plenty of extras before they walk out the door.
Then there's the unfortunate delivery of many of the new features on the phone. Those new stereo speakers, for instance, sound quite good when compared to previous LG flagships but are lacking when compared to the likes of other flagship smartphones, like the Google Pixel 3 or the Samsung Galaxy S10. They also tend to rattle a bit when playing back certain frequencies at volume levels above 75%, a nuisance that makes them sound surprisingly cheaper than previous generations of single bottom-firing speakers.
That new Hand ID feature, enabled by the Time-of-Flight (TOF) camera up front, is quite finicky and isn't always the easiest thing to use. Subsequently, the new air gestures are just as finicky and end up being more difficult to use than it feels like they should be. The implementation is certainly limited to begin with, but difficulties with using it make this feel like less of a feature and more of a gimmick.
While we covered all the things that are worth loving in our Good Review, it's also important to point out what might drive you crazy, were you to buy an LG G8 ThinQ this year, as well as the decisions LG should have thought twice about. Check out the video below and don't forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to get all the latest tech news and reviews!