In 2019, we saw the introduction of foldable smartphone technology. The technology though is very expensive and in its initial stage right now. Despite this, LG took the leap of faith and announced a dual-screen smartphone called LG G8X ThinQ at IFA 2019. However, it is not exactly a dual-screen smartphone. Instead, it is a standard device that comes with a case carrying an additional display. In India, the G8X ThinQ costs Rs 49,999, which is way less than the Samsung Galaxy Fold. So, what exactly is this dual-screen LG G8X ThinQ all about? To know everything, check out our LG G8X ThinQ review.
As we mentioned, the G8X ThinQ is actually an ordinary smartphone with a case carrying an additional display. However, I still stick to what I had said in my initial impressions. The dual displays are not useful enough. Period. During my usage, I wasn’t able to use the smartphone with its second screen as one seamless unit. Very few apps including Chrome support the ‘wide view’ feature that stretches the apps to both screens.
Coming to the feel of it, the G8X ThinQ felt a tad bulky with the case attached. On its own, the handset weighs 193 grams. But with the case, the weight goes up to 331 grams. Overall, I found it a bit too large for my pockets. Yes, you can detach this case and leave the second screen at home. But then why would you if you’ve paid all that money for a dual-screen experience. In terms of durability, the smartphone is well built. The front side of the cover dons a mirror finish and displays time and notifications.
Talking about only the G8X ThinQ, it resembles its predecessor quite a bit. It has perfectly placed power/standby button at right and volume rockers with Google Assistant button placed at the left side. At the bottom, there’s a speaker grill, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB Type-C port. LG has put a separate magnetic charging pin on the case cover and you will get a separate small magnetic to USB Type-C charging dongle with the retail box. Though, I was personally left irritated for being forced to carry this pogo charging dongle with me every time.
At the back, G8X ThinQ sports a dual camera setup, which is under the rear panel glass. No doubt that without case, G8X ThinQ looks premium and with case attached it will surely catch some eyes.
The LG G8X ThinQ and second Screen Case both have a 6.4-inch OLED displays with 2340×1080 pixels resolution. There’s a notch on both displays, but the front facing camera has been placed only on the main screen. Display is quite sharp and has good color reproduction, thanks to the OLED panel. Furthermore, the company has also added many preset options to adjust the color. This allows users to adjust the white balance of the display screen themselves.The G8X ThinQ display also comes with HDR10 support, which improves the video or movie watching experience.
With narrow side bezel and small chin, display looks to almost fill the front panel. To protect the screen from scratches and minor drops, there is Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 6 protection.
The smartphone comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC under the hood. This 7nm octa-core processor comes with Adreno 640 GPU. LG has launched this smartphone in one variant, which comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. You can further increase this storage using a microSD card. The dual-display smartphone essentially comes with the same specs that we have seen in LG’s G8S ThinQ. There is enough power on offer, and because this dual screen concept is for multi-taskers so they will definitely find this smartphone to be smooth. Apps take close to no time to open and close on both displays. You can throw any running app from main screen to secondary screen (and vice versa) with three fingers flick gesture.
The smartphone is good for gaming too, and the secondary display further enhances the overall gaming experience. G8X ThinQ has a Game Center tool with has digital gamepad feature. If you are a gamer then you will definitely like this feature. You can run the game on one screen and use other screen as a gamepad.
The G8X ThinQ comes with an IP68 rating making it resistant to water and dust, which is a must have feature for a flagship grade smartphone and am glad that LG has given this feature in G8X ThinQ. This smartphone has an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is inaccurate and doesn’t feel as instantaneous as the OnePlus 7T. The phone sports a 3.5mm audio jack and the company also offers a pair of LG earphones in the box. The earphones offer decent sound quality, which can be further enhanced by using the DTS: X 3D surround feature.
The device has a dual rear camera setup, which sports a 12-megapixel f/1.8 main shooter and a 13-megapixel f/2.4 ultra wide-angle sensor. This camera setup is similar to G8s ThinQ smartphone which I reviewed some time back. Though the G8s ThinQ has an extra telephoto lens, overall image production is exactly the same. In ideal lighting, the primary camera captures great shots with rich colors and detailing. However, photos shot in bright outdoor conditions come out to be slightly overexposed.
On the other hand, photos shot in low light are under-exposed, pixelated and dull. In my G8s ThinQ review I wrote that, the hardware alone cannot be held responsible for the bad low light photography, the camera software too takes the blame. Same is the case with G8X ThinQ smartphone. The wide-angle lens, on the other hand, does its job well. It captures photos with natural colors and sharpness. Check out some camera samples below.
For Selfies and video calling, you will get a 32-megapixel f/1.9 camera lens. it captures ultra-clear selfies, and can take portrait pictures too. Sometimes bokeh effect looks artificial and unnatural, but mostly you can take good Instagram ready selfies with it.
Battery and Software
The G8X ThinQ runs LG’s custom Android 9 Pie-based UX OS. It comes with some pre-loaded apps and some dual screen supported games. LG’s custom OS has never impressed me. Poor battery optimization, late software updates, and bad RAM optimization is a major step back for this custom skin. Though this OS has a gaming mode, which helps improve the overall gaming experience.
Talking about battery, this device comes with a higher-capacity battery of 4,000mAh. It supports 21W fast charging (Quick Charge 4.0) and 9W wireless charging. Though the smartphone is bundled with only a 10W Wired charger in the box, it gives approximately 9 hours of battery backup when both displays are activated for the whole day. However, I noticed a significant improvement in the battery life with only one screen in use.
LG G8X ThinQ Review: YAY or NAY!
LG G8X ThinQ will definitely be a unique experience for anyone who owns it. The screens, performance, and audio are pretty good. Though both the displays lack the high refresh rate feature and all-screen fashion trend, they’re still sharp, vivid and bright enough to be viewed outdoors. While most premium smartphones these days come without the 3.5mm audio jack and water and dust resistance rating, LG has stuck with them. Even features like a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC for high-quality music playback and HDR10 support for immersive video playback will enhance the user’s experience, and this is where the phone lives up to the brand’s reputation.
With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB RAM, I haven’t faced any issues while multitasking or gaming. However, an under-optimized software, average performing battery, inconsistent in-display fingerprint sensor, and clunky case pull this device a step back.
At Rs 49,999, the G8X ThinQ by itself is an average device, which I will not recommend anyone over its competitors. But once you snap on the case, it instantly turns into an eye catching device. If you desperately want to experience what a foldable device feels like or you are a hardcore multitasker then G8X ThinQ is made for you. Otherwise, you can wait for sometime. Hopefully in 2020 we will see a bunch of affordable, sensible and more practical next-gen phones.