Over the past couple of years, LG has made some very impressive Android phones. However, they have flown completely under the radar of users. One of the reasons has been a perceived comparative lack of a marketing push by LG, at a time when its rivals such as Samsung, OnePlus and Huawei have made all efforts to get the top-of-the-mind recall among consumers. That has in many ways forced LG to change its approach to the Android smartphone space, particularly the high-end flagship devices. The G7+ ThinQ is one of the first devices. Spoiler alert: We are impressed. The G7+ ThinQ is priced at Rs39,990 and that is one of the many reasons.
In terms of the design, the G7+ ThinQ reminds us a lot of the LG V30. And we liked the V30. Which means, the G7+ ThinQ also has a similarly likeable design to go. The mix of glass and metal works well, and despite a fairly large 6.1-inch display to boot, the footprint remains well in check. All in all, this is a great phone to hold and use. The glass at the back does mean the G7+ ThinQ will be slightly slippery to hold at times, but the larger problem is the fact that it attracts smudges and fingerprints with absolute ease—this can really annoy someone who likes a clean looking phone.
LG has finally relocated the power button from the back panel to the side spine—the former was a fixture in a lot of their phones thus far. The new addition is the key below the volume rocker on the left side spine. This can be pressed to invoke the artificial intelligence of Google Assistant. Quite like Samsung’s Galaxy S9 or the Galaxy Note 9 phones for instance, except they give you access to Samsung’s own Bixby smart assistant.
The screen in the LG G7+ ThinQ is a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio real estate and is a 6.1-inch IPS display (3,120 x 1,440 resolution). That means colours are rich but subdued enough to not pop out unnaturally. This display is very bright too—LG rates this at 1000 nits. That is quite evident because the automatic brightness mode tends to err on the side of keeping the display a tad brighter on most occasions. If this hurts your eyes, you’ll be better suited to manually control how bright the screen remains. Not to forget, but this is a phone that has a notch as well—the touch of modernity that is now demanded from all new Android phones, as an unwritten rule.
Performance is extremely good. Running under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor paired with 6GB RAM. What you experience with apps and games is smooth performance and slick switching between apps. This runs flagship level hardware, and that shows in the performance too. LG is selling the G7+ ThinQ in India with 128GB storage. Battery life is impressive too, and this easily lasts a day on a single charge, including when used for a spot of Asphalt 9: Legends and Alto’s Odyssey games during the day. LG has added the Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 support, which speeds up the battery charge time.
The future proofing has been ticked off with the support for DTS-X Virtual Surround Sound via the 32-Bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC. While the content in this audio standard isn’t yet available easily, the LG G7+ ThinQ should hold music buffs in good stead in the coming years too.
The dual 16-megapixel cameras at the back, have a whole bunch of supposed AI enhancements. The primary camera has a brighter f/1.6 aperture while the secondary camera has an f/1.9 aperture. There are a whole lot of camera modes on offer, including the AI led mode which identifies the objects in the frame and alters the colour, dynamic range, exposure etc. for the best possible photo. Nothing very new, since many phones have had this feature for a while now. However, the truly new feature is this can be turned off—something not many other phones allow. In terms of the picture quality that this camera combination can output, you’ll get impressive photos for the most part. The AI Cam isn’t always able to take the best photos, and we would recommend keeping it off. However, with harsh or uneven lighting around, the detailing tends to get lost at times and the sharpness is also a tad compromised—zoom in on pictures, and these things become very visible. Colours are pleasant without unnecessary boosting. Low light photos are disappointing.
It is a tad underwhelming that LG has retained pretty much the same interface wrapping around Android, as some of its recent phones. Not that there is anything wrong and nothing is missing, but it doesn’t look as polished as perhaps the Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 6 for instance. Maybe lesser could be more as the theme for whenever LG decides to give its customizations a bit of a refresh for future phones.
The fact remains that the LG G7+ ThinQ is a very attractively priced Android smartphone, with flagship level performance and a great design. It doesn’t attempt to set a new benchmark in anything that it does, but the very experience of using it is one of consistency. This is a phone that might make OnePlus and Huawe sit up and take notice.