LG just announced the LG G8 ThinQ here at MWC in Barcelona and it has some interesting features actually. But, we’ll get to that in a sec.
Firstly, I was given a little time with the LG G8 and so I tried to do a complete walkthrough for you guys. If you aren’t familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is where I try and go through as many features on a device as I can so you guys are better informed should you be thinking about buying one.
With that said, there’s a lot to go through, so let’s get started with the styling.
The LG G8 is similar to the G7 with its glass front and back (Gorilla Glass 6 on the back and Gorilla Glass 5 on the front). Because of the glass back, we do also have Qi charging which LG says is fast wireless charging capabilities.
The device is also going to come in black, silver, and even a red which I’m excited to see.
On the front, we have a 6.1″ OLED QHD+ display with a 3120×1440 pixel resolution capable of playing back HDR10 content.
Something unique about the screen though? You’ll notice there is no earpiece above it. That’s because the screen itself is the speaker. LG calls this Crystal Sound OLED technology and it uses tiny vibrations of the glass itself to produce sound (a tech we’ve seen in some TV’s before that I think is pretty clever).
When you put it to your ear, it apparently works like those bone conduction earpieces and when playing audio from it it has two different configurations. In portrait mode, the screen will give you the high and mids while the Boombox speaker at the bottom of the device (similar to last year’s model) gives you the low end.
If you turn it to landscape though, the screen and boombox work as left and right stereo speakers.
Above that screen, we have what LG is calling their Z Camera (Z for the Z-Axis which I’ll explain in a sec). This camera system is comprised of an 8MP f1.7 1.22-micron 80-degree FOV front facing camera along with a time of flight system that uses IR cameras etc. to do 3D facial recognition (so you can use it for face unlock) and LG took this a step further by enabling what they call Hand ID.
Apparently, the cameras can detect and map the vein patterns in your hand (which are unique to each person like a fingerprint is) and then you can use your palm to unlock the phone. The way it works is that the hemoglobin in your blood absorbs the infrared light so it shows up as a shadow on the camera system, enabling it to be seen, mapped, etc. through your skin.
Also, because of this system, LG has added some interesting hand gestures to control the device.
It works by you putting your hand over the front camera system and making a claw sort of shape. When it recognizes that, you can then do things like move to the left to open an app from the home screen, move to the right to open a different one, or use those same gestures in the music player to pause and play, silence timers, etc.
Possibly more impressive though, you can turn your hand as if turning a knob to control the volume of the device, as well.
Now, I’m not exactly sure how useful these gestures are compared to just touching the screen or volume button, and have to admit while watching all the other writers in the room testing out the feature, we all looked ridiculous, but I do commend LG for trying something new, I guess.
Moving around the device, we have the power button and SIM card/MicroSD card slot on the right.
We have our volume buttons and a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left.
Nothing on the top.
And on the bottom, we have the aforementioned BoomBox speaker, a USB-C port for charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
That headphone jack does feature a HiFi Quad DAC like we’re now happily used to seeing on LG flagships and that charging port is capable of Qualcomm’s quick charge 3.0 to get the 3500mah battery from 0-80% in 35 mins (according to Qualcomm).
On the back, we have a dual camera system with one being a 12MP f1.5 1.4-micron 79-degree field of view camera with PDAF and optical stabilization. The other is a 16MP ultra-wide camera with a f1.9 aperture, 1-micron sized pixels, and a 107-degree field of view.
In addition to that, the device is capable of shooting video in up to 4K at 60fps.
Speaking of it shooting video, it’s the only device I’ve seen so far at least to utilize the video bokeh effect that Qualcomm showed us the Snapdragon 855 was capable of at their tech summit in Dec. This allows bokeh or portrait mode we’re used to seeing in photos, in videos. It’ll automatically recognize and focus on humans but you can tap anywhere to have it focus elsewhere if you want.
Now, while testing it on the preproduction unit it didn’t look great, but I’ll test it more when a proper review unit shows up.
Speaking of, that Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset inside is paired with 6GBs of RAM and we have 128GBs of storage.
As for software, we have Android 9.0 with LG’s UI on top and the following extras pre-installed.
We have some bloatware on the pre-production unit I was using that includes a few games, and some carrier bloat in the form of Verizon’s normal added junk, but LG also added some things like their own Memo app, messaging app, calendar, music app, health tracker, game launcher, etc.
And, we also have the Google Suite pre-installed, as well.
Going through the camera UI, we have the following modes:
- Auto: Our regular camera mode. It also includes stickers and filters you can choose from.
- AI Cam: This enables LG’s scene optimization that can detect what it thinks you are taking a photo of and automatically adjust color settings, etc. to what it thinks is best (I never use this feature on any phone, but maybe that’s just me).
- Portrait Mode: Adds a blur effect behind a subject.
- Manual camera: Allows you to manually adjust camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, etc.
- Studio mode: Allows you to take portrait modes but adjust the lighting effects on the subject (similar to the iPhone).
Beyond that, if you go to more, we have some of the usuals we see on LG devices like slow-mo, Cine Video (see more info on that here), manual video, panorama, time-lapse, etc.
We also have a night mode, which is a long exposure mode that helps get more light into the photo during low-light scenarios.
And there you go! Let me know what you guys think of the new device below and soon as I get pricing and availability info you can find it over on Twitter. Thumbs up the video if you liked it and subscribe for more and don’t forget to check out my newly relaunched blog at the link below where I do tech news, tips and tricks, etc. that just don’t make it to video and you can subscribe to the weekly newsletter there to stay up to date on that. As always though, thanks for watching.