South Korean electronics manufacturer LG may not be as big a name in India’s smartphones market as some of its peers. The reasons: Its unusual product launch cycles and lack of devices in different price segments. The company’s recently launched flagship, LG G8s ThinQ, is also making a rather belated India entry — the smartphone was announced in February — but, at Rs 35,990, it is more competitively priced.
Will it stand out in India’s mid-range smartphone market? We reviewed the smartphone to see how it fares on various key parameters.
The LG G8s ThinQ’s glass-and-metal build gives it a somewhat odd look. Even as most smartphone makers are shifting to an all-screen design, LG has decided to continue with a notch-screen design, with thick surrounding bezels. The phone’s back also has little to write home about — covered with glass, it features three horizontally placed cameras on top, an LED flash next to it, and a capacitive fingerprint sensor below the camera module.
Though the phone’s design looks dated, its lightweight build, broad form factor and compact design are easy on your hand.
The LG G8s ThinQ has a rather small 6.2-inch screen. And its prominent notch further reduces the effective usable area. The small screen might seem a deterrent to some, but it is actually a better fit for single-hand use. The screen is vivid and has good contrast. It also has good sunlight legibility, thanks to a bright screen panel that boosts brightness levels close to 1,000 nits outdoors. The display supports HDR, and there is a dedicated option in the display settings to enable it. In settings, you also get the option to custom-set the display color profile.
The LG G8s ThinQ is a penta-camera phone — three cameras on the rear side and two on front. The triple-camera set-up features a combination of wide, ultra-wide and telephoto sensors — each with a 12-megapixel resolution. The front camera has an 8MP sensor, paired with a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor.
The smartphone is an imaging powerhouse in the midrange segment. Though it comes with a set of regular optics that might seem similar to other phones in the same segment, the LG G8s ThinQ excels in terms of output and value-added features. The phone’s rear cameras take decent photographs with ample detail, natural colors and a decent dynamic range in most lighting conditions. If the phone’s auto mode leaves you asking for more, try exploring the manual mode — controls on cameras’ granular settings allow you to capture what you otherwise could not. There is also a manual mode for videography, and it is a great addition to the mix for those in content production.
The phone’s selfie camera is also a decent performer, with impressive value-added features, such as the studio mode for professional-looking portraits.
The LG G8s ThinQ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 system-on-chip, mated with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The phone’s performance is sleek and it handles everyday tasks without stutters. Its gaming performance is decent, but the phone tends to warm up if you use it for extended hours. It boots Android 9 Pie operating system-based LG UI, which looks neat and is easy to use.
Adding to the phone’s performance are value-added features like the ‘air motion’, which allows you to operate it without any physical touch. Using the air motion feature, you can interact with the screen by making gestures. For instance, you could pull up your palm above the screen and make a pinch gesture to take screenshots, or use your palm to unlock the phone. The phone’s ToF sensor on the front doubles up as a biometric tool to recognize your palm for unlocking the device.
Powering the phone is a 3,550 mAh battery, which is good for a single day of medium usage. The charging time is satisfactory: Charging a completely drained out battery to 100 per cent takes around two hours.
Priced at Rs 35,990, the LG G8s ThinQ is a mid-range smartphone that could be considered for comprehensive imaging capabilities and sleek performance. However, its dated design and small screen estate might irksome. If so, you might like to check the OnePlus 7T, Oppo Reno 2 and Asus ROG Phone II before making a decision.