The LG G7 ThinQ is the next big device coming from South Korea today. The new flagship comes to replace the LG G6 and arrives with a host of improvements which LG hopes will help outshine competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the upcoming OnePlus 6.
While Samsung hasn’t much improved the appearance of the Galaxy S9 over the Galaxy S8, the same can be said for the LG G7 ThinQ, which isn’t distinctly different from its predecessor, save for the notch.
Nevertheless, the new phone brings forth some improvements, most tucked deep underneath the hood. But what has changed since the G6?
In this article we take a look at the differences between the two models and try to answer the question: should you upgrade?
Why the LG G7 ThinQ?
ThinQ is LG’s brand for home appliances, consumer electronics, and services that rely on artificial intelligence. The V30S ThinQ was LG’s first ThinQ mobile device, which was basically a slightly improved V30 with AI camera features.
Now with the LG G7 ThinQ, the Korean tech giant takes the focus on AI to the next level. How? Continue reading to find out.
Design & Display
The LG G6 was among the first smartphones to offer a modern bezel-less display with the new 18:9 aspect ratio. Well, with the new model LG has decided to embrace the new trend Apple’s iPhone X established a few months back.
Unlike the LG G6, the G7 ThinQ comes with a notch. Sure, the display is still flanked by razor-thin bezels, but the presence of the notch on top is the main visual differentiator between the two. LG says the bottom bezel is almost 50% slimmer than the one on the G6.
The G7 boasts a metal frame, a slightly curved glass back and comes in New Platinum Gray, New Aurora Black, New Moroccan Blue or Raspberry colors. And like its predecessor, it’s also IP68 certified. The LG G6 has a similar look, with a slightly curved glass back and metal frame.
Compared with last year’s flagship, the LG G7 ThinQ is a bit taller, but otherwise, it keeps the same width and is just as slim.
- LG G6 – 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm and 163 g.
- LG G7 ThinQ – 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm and 162 g.
The newcomer is a bit longer because it takes advantage of a 6.1-inch FullVision Super Bright Display with 19:5:9 aspect ratio and 3120 x 1440 resolution. In contrast, the LG G6 boasts a 5.7-inch 18:9 display with 1440 x 2880 resolution.
LG’s new LCD technology will enable users to clearly view the phone’s screen in direct sunlight. This is possible thanks to a brightness of up to 1,000 nits and a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut.
The flagship also packs six different viewing modes including Auto, Eco, Cinema, Sports, Game, and Expert. These can be toggled automatically depending on the content displayed.
As for the notch, LG refers to it as the “new second screen”. That’s because it’s easily customizable, so users can choose to expand it to minimize the bezels. Other options including highlighting it by changing the notification bar to a different color or blacking out the notification bar altogether.
While last year the LG G6 launched with an older processor on board, this year the company did not make the same mistake. LG had its reasons to opt for the Snapdragon 821, the most important one being trying to beat the Galaxy S8 to the market. In retrospect, this wasn’t the best decision, as the G6 still ended up being grossly overshadowed by Samsung’s flagship.
But this year, the LG G7 ThinQ arrives with the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 on board. The new arrival also starts off with more storage than the G6’s introductory 32GB. The G7 includes 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage. While an additional variant dubbed the G7+ will ship out with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Both models include a microSD card slot.
The new G7 is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery. Which is a downgrade considering the G6 came equipped with a 3,300 mAh one. However, the Snapdragon 845 chipset powering the new model is said to be up to 30% more energy efficient. The G7’s display also promise up to 30% power savings.
Battery life was never one of the G6’s strong points, but we’ll have to wait and see how the G7 fairs with real-life usage.
The LG G7 ThinQ boasts an upgraded 8-megapixel selfie camera on the front, compared to the G6’s 5-megapixel.
But the biggest improvements are on the back. There’s now two 16-megapixel lenses in standard and Super Wide Angle configurations with f/1.9 and f/1.6 respectively. The G6 offered dual 13-megapixel rear-facing cameras.
Naturally, LG has imported some of the AI camera features that made a debut on the V30S ThinQ and improved them a bit.
AI CAM comes equipped with 19 different shooting modes, instead of eight. LG also gives G7 ThinQ users more effect options. The algorithm behind the Bright Mode has been improved too, in order to deliver up to 4 times brighter photos.
LG also bundled the phone with a Live Photo mode which records one second before and after the shutter has been released. A Portrait Mode is available, as well as a feature that uses facial recognition to create your 3D avatar.
Music lovers might take a keen interest in the new G7 because the flagship comes with a single mono loudspeaker. Yeah, the company choose this route, as opposed to implementing stereo speakers. But the key word here is “loud”.
LG calls it the G7’s Boombox speaker, and as the name suggests it’s bigger and louder than the G6’s. It’s also clever enough to use the inner space inside the device as an echo chamber to amplify the bass. The company says the speaker should be 39% louder than its predecessor.
LG also cares about the new device’s audio quality, so it has included the 32-bit quad-DAC from the G6. The company says the quad-DAC should provide a clearer sound over wired headphones (yes, 3.5mm jack still on board).
The phone also offers DTS:X virtual surround sound, which creates a 7.1-channel audio. This is the first time this technology has been incorporated into a phone.
Another attention-grabbing feature on board of the G7 is the Google Assistant button. Like in the case of Samsung’s Bixby button, you press it once to bring up the virtual assistant.
Should you upgrade?
Notch aside, the LG G7 ThinQ is an incremental update rather than a whole new take on LG’s smartphone offering. Yet, the changes are positive and represent a step in the right direction.
On top of the general performance improvements, you get an improved dual camera on the back and selfie camera. The bright screen is also a nice to have. The Boombox speaker should also be a hit for people who like to use their phone for media consumption or to play music.
Last year, the LG G6 launched in the US for $650 and up. The Korean phone maker has yet to share pricing details for the G7 ThinQ.