Technophile

The LG G7+ ThinQ is power in a pretty package

Mala Bharghava | Updated on October 03, 2018 Published on October 03, 2018

The pricing also seems right as this flagship phone will take on the likes of the OnePlus 6

In all the avalanches of Android phones being launched around us, let’s not forget about LG, which also knows how to make a great device. They’ve recently — but somewhat belatedly — brought in the LG G7+ ThinQ, a flagship that competes with many popular devices including the OnePlus 6 and other phones around with the Snapdragon 845 and equivalents. LG has slipped the phone into the Indian market without a murmur, which begs the question of how serious they are in selling it in the country. But for all that, it’s more than worth a look.

The name may be peculiar and no one knows quite how to pronounce it, but the ThinQ is probably named for the AI it uses and is as pretty as other flagship phones, especially in a beautiful rose pink that I unfortunately couldn’t see. But the blue is nice enough as well and has that silky-looking sheen to it inside the glass — the phone is actually Gorilla Glass 5 both front and back.

The device is very slim, light and nice to hold, though you can’t really use it with one hand if that’s your style. Software fixes for that problem are included. Of course, it’s slippery. I don’t see a case in my box, but you’d certainly need one fast, not just because of the vulnerability but because it instantly begins to look more than ordinary when smudged up, quite ruining the look.

One more button

Other than the usual, this phone has an extra button on the left for you to trigger off the Google Assistant. It does so quite fast, saving you the trouble of saying ‘OK Google’. But the problem is that if you’re using a screen lock, the button is of little use and you can’t configure it to do anything else. There are a number of ways to unlock the phone though, and one of them is by using a key phrase. It’s not secure but it is convenient and once that’s done, you can press the Google button. Overall, it’s obviously a little superfluous and would have been better used to trigger the camera.

Users don’t always like LG’s interface and call it ‘cartoonish’. That, it really isn’t anymore, but it is rather dense and full of intimidating-looking settings and customisations. If you’re comfortable enough with smartphones, you’ll find that a big bonus. You can change things down to the buttons on the bottom of the display. Whatever you think of the software, the phone runs fast and smooth with its 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and the Snapdragon 845 SOC. It gets hot under the collar when pushed a little, however. It also is running on an older version of Android Oreo, which makes one worry over there ever being updates to Android 9 Pie.

The ThinQ has a beautiful IPS screen. Forget the specs, it just looks very pleasing to the eye. It’s also nice and bright and holds up beautifully in the sunlight.

Sound and light

Its adaptive brightness works rather aggressively and you’ll instantly see the dip and rise as you move into differently lit-up zones, so if it bothers you, you’ll need to turn that off. The screen has a notch — and you can turn that off too. Else you can customise the space on the sides of the notch with backgrounds, which tends to look a little crazy. There’s a lot you can do to adjust things on the Home screens to see what you’re comfortable with.

One thing recent LG flagships are known for is their support for high quality music. The phone doesn’t have stereo speakers, but the one it does have is loud and gets louder when you put it down on a hard surface like wood. It also has Quad DAC and DTS:X3D and can let you play high-res music. If you have a high-end pair of headphones, you’re in business. And LG phones, including this one, have some of the best audio recorders ever. In fact, I haven’t experienced better.

The ThinQ has a hybrid Dual SIM tray with both SIMs supporting 4G VoLTE. It retains the 3.5 mm headphone jack. It’s also IP68 dust and water resistant. It supports wireless charging as well.

Wide angle fun

The highlight of the LG G7+ ThinQ’s camera is the wide angle lens, which can be toggled on and off from the screen. The primary 16 MP camera works with an f/1.6 aperture and the companion camera with the wide-angle lens has an f/1.9 aperture. The wide angle lens is rather fun as it brings in so much more of a picture such as a landscape or a tourist site. The camera, working in proper daylight, is very nice, but not perfect and won’t make it to the top five phone cameras in the world. It has some rough edges and the artificial intelligence used is, as usual, saturating images when it recognises the scene. This feature can’t be turned off and can quite annoy photo buffs. But there are many positives too. Images are detailed and pleasant overall and there is optical image stabilisation. You have the now ubiquitous Portrait mode and some passable slow-mo recording on video. There is 4K recording at 30 fps. The camera app is as dense with settings as the rest of the interface, but once you get used to where everything is, you’re fine. The front camera is ‘regular’.

With a price tag that matches the OnePlus 6, one should probably not rule out the LG G7+ ThinQ merely because it’s not making much noise.

Price: ₹39,990

Pros: Thin and light, beautiful colours, smooth and fast, unique quad DAC and support for hi-res music, fantastic audio recording, fun wide angle lens, great price

Cons: Low light images could be better, extra Google Assistant button not very useful, gets a bit heated up, running on older Android Oreo version, voice unlock and face unlock a little non-secure

Published on October 03, 2018

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