While last year's LG G7 represented a big design shift for the series, the phone itself left a bit to be desired. This year's phone looks nearly identical from a glance, but a closer inspection reveals a significant number of enhancements and changes on LG's part, all for the better. In this review, we'll be focusing on the good side of the G8 and everything LG did right in order to make this a must-have smartphone.
Want to see what they messed up instead? Head on over to our bad review for that.
LG is packing the G8 with the expected set of 2019 technologies, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 System-on-a-Chip (SoC), 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and microSD card support up to 512GB. It's a blazing fast phone that ships with LG's latest UX 8.0, which is built upon Android 9 Pie. These are just the rudimentary specs though, the rest of the phone is far more interesting, and that's where LG's brilliance comes into play.
On the front is a brand new "Z Camera" as LG calls it, which is their take on the Time-of-Flight (TOF) camera we've seen debut on several phones over the past month. Unlike other manufacturers though, LG placed the TOF camera on the front instead of the back, bringing along with it advanced 3D facial recognition and 3D tracking. This 3D tracking is used to identify hands in several ways, the first of which is providing a new method for unlocking the phone.
That TOF camera on the front is also used for a new set of hands-free gestures that are designed to allow users to interact with the phone without having to physically touch the screen. This comes in handy when your hands are simply not in a state to be handling a phone, such as when cooking or performing other tasks that might get your hands messy. Seeing the TOF camera in action, tracking your hands in realtime via a digital representation on-screen, is incredible and shows just how impressively accurately this technology can map real-world objects.
Still on the front of the phone is a brand new type of display for mobile devices, one that LG calls a Crystal Sound OLED. This OLED panel, just as the name describes, emits sound like that of a traditional speaker, eliminating the need for any earpiece openings to be cut out of the glass. This also marks the first time that LG is able to provide stereo front-facing speakers on a flagship phone which, in conjunction with the Boombox speaker on the back and bottom of the phone, means that sound emits from the front, back and bottom of the phone at the same time.
To say this is immersive is putting it lightly, especially when DTS:X virtual surround sound is enabled.
LG put a lot of effort into making the G8 ThinQ an innovative and interesting smartphone in 2019, and it shows in the execution. Ready to see everything we loved about it? Watch the video below and don't forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to get the latest in tech news delivered regularly!