The LG G7+ ThinQ runs on Qualcomm's latest processor, the Snapdragon 845.
It comes with a dedicated Hi-Fi Quad DAC along with DTS:X 3D Surround effect for impressive audio.
It is part of the LG ThinQ products where the company has added Artificial Intelligence technology.
LG launched its latest flagship smartphone, the LG G7+ ThinQ about two weeks back in the market. The G7+ ThinQ is the successor to the LG G6 that the company launched last year for Rs 51,990 while later dropping the price to Rs 37,990. The company has priced G7+ ThinQ for Rs 39,990 at launch shifting from its habit of being on the expensive side to an extremely competitive pricing right out of the gate.
This pricing indicates that the company is planning to take on its competition in the Indian market by moving from the premium or the upper-premium price segment to the something that is on the lower side of the premium segment. The device is available on Flipkart at the time of writing but before you head off to buy the smartphone, let’s check it out if the device is worth your hard-earned money. I have been using the LG G7 Plus ThinQ for some time and here is my review.
Updated internals and design
Similar to most successors, the G7+ ThinQ comes with upgraded internals that includes the latest and greatest from the market. It is no longer the case that the device packs an older SoC, a problem that the LG G6 faced when it was launched in the Indian market. For the pure specifications enthusiasts out there, the LG G7+ ThinQ comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC with an octa-core CPU clocked at up to 2.8GHz along with 6 GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.
The device comes with a 6.1-inch Full Vision IPS LCD panel with QHD+ (3120×1440 pixels) resolution, complete with a notch and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Despite being an LCD panel, the display on the G7+ ThinQ is really impressive while producing great colors, healthy contrast, and good brightness levels. The software gives six color profiles to choose from while allowing the user to change the color temperature as well as the RGB levels of the screen.
Watch: LG G7+ ThinQ First Look
LG has done a good job in terms of offering customizations when it comes to the software ranging from allowing users to change the screen resolution, the display size of contents on the screen, app scaling, the always on display, and even the option to hide the notch along with a number of themes. Keeping pace with the trend in 2018, the device comes with a glass back and LG has added Corning Gorilla Glass 5 both on the front as well as the back of the device.
Talking about the design of the device, there is nothing extraordinary about the device except a dedicated key for Google Assistant. You can disable the key from the “Shortcut keys” menu in the Settings app but you can’t really remap it to perform any custom function beyond that. A single tap will invoke Google Assistant and double-tap on the button will open Google Lens.
It would have been great if the company would have given us an option to customize the button to our heart’s desire. The device feels good in the hand and I somewhat appreciate the fact that the 3.5mm audio jack is at the bottom of the device so that you can slip the device inside your pocket with the top facing down while not having to worry about the earphone wires.
The back of the device is a fingerprint magnet and I had hoped for some sort of oleophobic coating so that the fingerprints are not as visible. Looking at the sides of the device, we can notice a metal rim that seamlessly fuses with the front and back glass panels giving the G7+ ThinQ a premium finish. The company claims that it comes with a “MIL-STD 810G” rating that was designed by US Military for use in harsh environments.
However, during the course of the review, I noticed that the metal sides of the devices are prone to scratches from keys and other things that you may put in your pocket with the phone. I also ended up slightly denting the device a bit when it fell from the taxi seat on the road as I was setting out. To counter these problems, it is advisable to use a case with the LG G7+ ThinQ.
The waterproofing and dust resistance on the device are highly rated but I have not been able to test it beyond using the device in light rain to make some calls. The device did not give me any issues in these conditions, and is likely to be able to take a bit more in terms of water and dust resistance. But of course, don’t go doing something you wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Performance and that LG Skin
The device performs admirably with no stuttering or lag in any situations. It zipped through my daily usage without any problems where I would constantly use multiple apps at once while switching between them. The device held up admirably while playing heavy games such as the recently released Asphalt 9: Legends and the good old Modern Combat 5.
The device did get hot when pushed to the maximum through a constant load such as long gaming sessions. Though, it never got to a level of discomfort in terms of heat or even thermal throttling despite the load. The device did take some time to cool down but it was relatively faster than some of its competition with glass backs.
Talking about the software, the LG G7+ ThinQ comes with an Android 8.0 Oreo-based OS with a heavily customized skin and the June 2018 Android security patch. The skinned interface does come with a lot of options when it comes to customizing the operating system giving users plenty of options to choose from. There are some skins which take a toll on the performance of the device but it was refreshing to note that the LG UX does not tax the system heavily.
I may have personally preferred the stock Android interface instead along with a simplified settings app instead of a tabular interface. But that is my personal take and regardless of that, I could not find any problem with the LG UX. The call reception and voice quality was spot on with the device.
The device comes with a dual-camera setup on the back but there is no 2x optical zoom. Instead, similar to other LG devices, the G7+ ThinQ comes with a normal lens and a second super-wide camera lens on the back. The super-wide angle lens comes with a 16-megapixel resolution and f/1.9 aperture while providing a 107 degrees field-of-view. The other standard lens also comes with a 16-megapixel sensor and a f/1.6 aperture while LG has added an 8-megapixel camera sensor on the front along with wide-angle lens for selfies.
Moving to the software side of the camera, the device comes with some AI-powered features which relate to scene detection technology so that the software can optimize the camera settings to take better images. The company claims that the software in “AI CAM” mode can detect the subjects in the frame and then change the camera settings accordingly. The company has also added a “Super Bright Camera” mode to take images in extremely dark conditions.
I went about capturing images in a variety of lighting conditions to check the capability of the cameras on the G7+ ThinQ. Before jumping in to discuss the quality of images that the smartphone can shoot along with features such as the “AI CAM”, I want to mention that the there are two aspects to this camera. The first one is the inclusion of the super wide angle lens, and the second is the AI-powered features in the software. Both these factors are not mutually exclusive or dependent on each other to give any certain kind of effect.
Now, I love the super-wide angle lens that LG has added on the smartphone. This is not the first time that the company has added such a wide angle lens as the company opted for such a lens with the LG G5 for the first time back in 2016. The width and field of view covered by this lens are great and I can’t get enough of it because it is different from what other smartphone makers are doing in the market.
Moving to the second aspect of the camera, the “AI CAM” Mode, it does work most of the time with a respectable accuracy with some changes in the image quality in terms of the colors including the white balance, saturation, and vibrancy of the image. However, I believe that it will be based on personal preference, the use of “AI CAM” mode.
The camera manages to capture good images with some amount of noise when it comes to shooting images in ample lighting, However, the company needs to do some improvement when it comes to performance in low-light conditions. The images are not that bad but the amount of noise, lack of details and aggressive noise reduction are visible.
One thing that I noticed was that the camera in super wide angle mode did not capture a sufficient amount of details in ideal lighting conditions. I hope that LG can fix this in the future with the help of a software update.
That sweet, sweet sound
If there is one thing that the LG G7+ ThinQ is great at, that has to be the audio quality on the device. I can confidently state that I have not heard this impressive an audio in any other competing smartphone in recent years. Similar to its previous offerings, LG has added a dedicated Hi-Fi Quad DAC in the smartphone and the software supports DTS:X 3D Surround effect. The software also provides the option for sound presents, equalizer, digital filter and the setting to adjust the balance to the left or the right side of the speaker, earphone or a headphone.
Another impressive thing that I noticed in the device is the boombox speaker that using the body of the G7+ ThinQ to amplify sound. This makes the entire back of the device shake in the rhythm of the song and you can feel it if you are holding the device in your hand. It almost feels like the device is pushing air to vibrate the molecules in the air. This speaker ensures that the device is considerably louder than the competition. The bundled earphones are also impressive offering a great experience when paired with the dedicated DAC.
I loved listening to music on this device and I am no audiophile by my admission. However, regardless of my experience with dedicated audio equipment, I can state that the experience offered by the G7+ ThinQ is unparalleled when it comes to the audio department.
The device comes with a 3,000mAh non-removable lithium-polymer battery. It manages to give me about 8.5-9 hours of battery backup in my daily usages that range from moderate to heavy. For perspective, a typical work day for me includes using of the device for 1-1.5 hours of gaming, about 2-2.5 hours of music, shooting about 15-20 photos, continuously syncing of 3 email accounts and a constant chatter on WhatsApp and Telegram throughout the day.
Verdict: Is LG G7+ ThinkQ worth the price?
LG has done a good job with the G7+ by fixing almost all the problems that were there in its last offering, the LG G6. The new device comes with the latest and greatest that the smartphone industry has to offer and at the price of Rs 39,990, the company has ensured a considerably competitive offering in the market. This price point is essential for a price sensitive market such as India.
If you want great audio, a different perspective with that super wide angle lens and don’t mind not having the stock Android interface then I would recommend the G7+ ThinQ because the device does not have any glaring problems. In particular, the LG G7+ ThinQ will appeal to users who are looking for better audio on their smartphones, particularly if they’re used to listening to a lot of high-resolution music, and might have high-end headphones to use with the device.
However, if you want to explore your options then you can look at the recently announced Poco F1 by Poco, OnePlus 6, or the Asus Zenfone 5Z that cost less and offer almost similar, or arguably even better hardware. All of these smartphones run the same chipset as the LG G7+ ThinQ, along with similar RAM and storage options.