Given the LG G7 ThinQ's near-£600 price tag, we definitely think it's worth paying a little extra for a more expensive flagship range of features at your fingertips.
Bright, large display, lightweight, lovely design.
No revolutionary features, expensive for what it is.
LG MADE its much-teased and awfully-named G7 ThinQ flagship official earlier this year as the first Android smartphone to feature a dedicated Google Assistant button.
While that's not exactly the most innovative thing in the world, it's not all the G7 ThinQ has on offer. Elsewhere, the phone packs a 6.1in QHD+ screen complete with LG's new Super Bright Display LCD tech that equips it with "industry-leading" brightness levels, apparently.
It also boasts a super-light design and a whopping 6GB of RAM, but is it enough to combat the likes of phone behemoths Samsung and Huawei in the lead up to Christmas?
The first thing you'll notice about the G7 ThinQ is how lightweight it is. Tipping the scales at just 162g, we were quite taken aback when we first got our mitts on it; it feels weightless in your pocket and doesn't drag your gym clothes back down to earth. However, it does mean the phone feels a little cheap. In terms of thickness, it's definitely not the thinnest phone around measuring 7.9 mm at its thickest point, but it doesn't necessarily feel all that thick, either, and works well for its size.
As for the phone's construction, LG has clad the G7 ThinQ in a lovely glossy Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back. While this does attract fingerprints like nobody's business, it does look the job, reflecting light in all the right places, well, apart from your eyeballs.
One of the biggest perks to the G7 ThinQ's design, however, is that it's IP68 dust and water-resistance certified and Mil-spec tested. While this is quite a mouthful, it does mean it's a pretty robust unit for anyone prone to being a hot mess and is also resistant to submersion in water up to a maximum depth of 1.5m for up to thirty minutes, so you can take it swimming with you, or drop it down the loo without damage.
As with many other LG handsets, the Korean company has placed a fingerprint reader in the centre of the rear panel of the device, just below a vertically arranged dual camera array. The volume buttons are on the left edge and the power button on the right. All these work well and as expected.
In terms of colourways, the G7 ThinQ is available in Raspberry Rose, New Moroccan Blue, New Aurora Black, and New Platinum Gray.
If there's one thing LG knows how to do well, it's display tech, and that's no exception here on the G7 ThinQ. The device packs a rather satisfying 6.1in QHD+ display with a near-4K resolution of 3,120x1,440. Colours are nice and vibrant also, and appear very accurate, despite only being in the DCI-P3 colour space. It also boasts a 19.5:9 FullVision display ratio, which means there's plenty of screen space without the phone feeling too big to hold in one hand.
LG's new Super Bright Display LCD tech is also worth a mention here. Equipping it with "industry-leading" brightness levels of up to 1,000 nits, the phone proved a delight to use in brightly-lit conditions, especially sunlight. Good news if you live anywhere but the UK...
And the brightness isn't the only area where the LG G7 pushes the boat out. The screen is a 10-bit panel, making it HDR10 compliant and also supposedly 30 per cent more power-efficient than the screen on the LG G6. While we can't say this is instantly evident, it does help us feel better while using it, which we will happily take.
One of the more obvious things you'll notice from the get-go, though, is that LG has copied every other manufacturer out there and given the G7 ThinQ a Notch design. We are neither lovers nor haters of notches, so, erm, yeah - it is what it is.
Overall, while not as deep, vibrant or punchy as the Super AMOLED laden Galaxy S9, the LG G7 ThinQ display still holds its own. It looks great - better than most phones around and proved perfectly reactive to everything we threw at it.
Performance and software
The G7 ThinQ runs Android 8.0 Oreo powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 processor alongside 6GB of RAM, offering a much faster CPU and GPU speed than previous models as well as an upgraded Qualcomm modem that offers download speeds up to 1.2Gbps.
In terms of general performance, we found the device about as fast as the G6 that came before it, with no lag even when we ran power-demanding apps. The operating system has been skinned with a custom user interface in good old LG fashion, but unlike many previous releases, this is light and unnoticeable.
As mentioned earlier, the LG G7 ThinQ is the first Android smartphone to feature a dedicated Google Assistant button. This AI-invoking key, which sits below the volume rocker, fires up Google Assistant when tapped once while holding it down will ready the device to take voice commands. It works fairly well, but not being massive fans of voice commands, we didn't make great use of this feature. If you do, then we can imagine it's a welcome addition.
LG has also been keen to tout its Super Far-Field Voice Recognition feature that apparently helps the G7 ThinQ pick up what you're saying from up to five meters away. We had a little test of this, and it did seem to work. But we can't imagine many other phones not being able to do the same from this distance. It's five metres, not miles.
In a move designed to ape Huawei and Asus' intelligent cameras, the LG G7 ThinQ can recognise objects and different types of scenes on the fly and make adjustments to the camera as necessary. We really love this feature, and ensures just about anyone can take a quality photo with almost zero effort.
The ThinQ's camera performed really well in low light conditions, and we found the still images taken with the rear-facing variant were super impressive, appearing crisp, clear, and full of natural colour. They were also snapped and processed super-fast. Autofocus is swift, and the camera is able to focus on the background and foreground aspects of an image instantly.
However, there's a but. And it's a big but. It's the fact that while the camera on the LG ThinQ is impressive, it's just not on the level as seen on some of the other big contenders in the smartphone market right now. Take the photo-taking capabilities of the Huawei P20 Pro or Pixel 3. They just aren't matched here on the G7 ThinQ. Sorry 'bout it, LG. Images are great, just not quite up there with the big boys, we're afraid to say.
Connectivity and storage
So, making your way around the phone, you'll find a single speaker grille on the bottom alongside a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
The G7 ThinQ's USB-C port supports QuickCharge 3.0, which means the phone is one of the fastest phones out there to recharge. The device was charged to over a third capacity in just 30 minutes and reached a full battery in just over an hour and half. Wireless charging is supported, too, but this will most likely take much longer.
For storage, there's a decent 64GB with the ability to expand up to another 128GB on top with a MicroSD card. On the inside, you'll find the same old 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 wireless connectivity as standard, as well as NFC and GPS support.
The G7 ThinQ has a 3,000mAh battery capacity, which - surprisingly - is smaller than its predecessor, the LG V30's 3,300mAh battery size. LG said this is a compromise to maintain the phone's dimensions, even though, erm, the new phone it's slightly thicker than the V30.
Using the phone to send messages from time to time and check social media notifications, we found that the battery lasted on average about a full day before running out of juice.
Obviously, battery life depends on how you use the phone over the course of a day, but you'll not want to have to charge it again before the end of the day. With the G7 ThinQ, using it almost constantly on full brightness, watching videos, browsing the web and listening to music, for example, its battery lasted until the late eve, as expected, before needing a re-juice, after being unplugged early morning, around 8am.
The LG ThinQ has a brilliantly bright and vibrant display which makes it a pleasure to stare at for hours on end. It's also got some rather nifty software features, especially if you're into voice commands.
However, other than that, there isn't all that much there when you compare it to some of the other big device makers on the market right now. And priced at £600, we definitely think it's worth paying a little extra for a more expensive flagship from a competitor and having a wider range of features at your fingertips. µ
Bright, large display, lightweight, lovely design
No revolutionary features
Expensive for what it is
Bartender's Score: 7/10