LG G7 ThinQ Review: Punchy Display, Big Audio, Smart AI

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LG G7 ThinQ Design And Build Quality

In terms of ergonomics, the LG G7 ThinQ strikes what we'd suggest is a perfect balance of dimensions. Its 6.1-inch display sports a 3120x1440 native resolution with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio that's not too tall and not too wide in the hand. If you want a larger phone, but can't quite step up to that "XL" or Plus size model, the G7 ThinQ may just hit the palm of your hand right in the sweet spot.

LG G7 ThinQ in hand with box

With respect to build quality, the G7 ThinQ is LG's best feeling phone yet and it looks the part as well. Though the LG G6 and V30 are well-built phones in their own right, the G7 ThinQ feels even more solid in the hand with slightly chamfered edges, polished aluminum sides and an all glass back. The backside of the device is definitely a fingerprint magnet but we're not aware of too many phones that don't have that issue these days. However, the G7's backside glass does hold up a little better to abuse versus the previously mentioned LG predecessors as well. 

Volume Up/Down buttons reside on the left side edge, within easy reach of your thumb. Also on the left side edge is a single button for Google Assistant activation, if you'd rather press a button rather than barking "OK Google." Unfortunately, that button currently isn't remappable. On the right side is a single power/screen lock button and from there the rest is pretty standard function location these days for Android smartphones.

LG G7 ThinQ Back bottomLG G7 ThinQ Back Top
On the back of the G7 ThinQ you'll find its dual 16MP rear cameras, one of which sports an f1.6 aperture, OIS, and a standard aspect lens. The other is a f1.9 aperture wide aspect shooter. Both have laser/phase detection combo auto-focus and support Auto HDR shooting; portrait mode bokeh affects are baked in as well. The primary rear camera will also shoot up to 4K 30fps or 1080p60 video with optical image stabilization (OIS). On the bottom of the LG G7 ThinQ you'll find a single down-firing speaker, a mic, a USB-C synch/charge port and yes that's a standard headphone jack (thanks much LG).

LG Boombox Speaker

That single speaker is part of what LG calls its Boombox Speaker system for the G7 ThinQ. The speaker setup employs a large resonance chamber inside the G7 ThinQ's chassis that LG claims delivers another 6db of audio output and deeper bass. In practice, we'd say the Boombox speaker delivers noticeably louder audio but doesn't really deliver on its deeper bass claim unless you put it down on a table or other surface.Then the G7 ThinQ actually makes use of the solid surface its on to amplify bass response even more. All told, the system offers appreciably louder sound and sometimes better bass response, depending on the content you're listening to and if you can put it down on a solid surface to push the system a bit more. 

LG G7 ThinQ

On the top edge of the G7 ThinQ is another mic and a combo microSD/SIM card tray, allowing for expandable storage up to whatever top end capacity you can find these days in microSD cards.

LG G7 ThinQ in hand front
The LG G7 ThinQ's RGBW Display Competes Even With OLED

But let's talk about the LG G7 ThinQ's display, because it really is something special. LG notes this is an RGBW IPS display. LG's RGBW technology employs a white sub-pixel (in addition to red, green and blue pixels) that allows the display to render brighter, more pure white colors and with better contrast. In testing, we found the display to compete very well versus even existing OLED displays on the market, and it significantly outperformed the LG OLED display found in the Google Pixel 2 XL, with better color reproduction and far better brightness overall. The G7 ThinQ's display doesn't quite catch Samsung Super AMOLED technology in viewing angle performance or its deep blacks, but it's close. The G7 ThinQ also has a boosted high-brightness mode that takes it up to 1000 nits luminance and really kicks it into gear for outdoors settings.

All told the G7's display is pretty fantastic and a real standout feature of the device as a whole in any use case scenario, whether you're browsing the web on the beach or watching movies on the plane.

LG G7 Second Screen Notch Control
Yes, there's limited notch control.
LG G7 YouTube
YouTube assumes a non-notched layout.

And yes, we got over the notch somewhat with the added New Second Screen feature that lets you control the notch and replace it with either a bezel with slightly more rounded corners or a thinner, more contiguous bezel. In daily use, we found the notch to be an occasionally efficient, useful optimization to place network signal strength, battery level indication and time when on the Home screen. Switching to one of the App Corner settings you see above also eliminates the notch in some apps like the Chrome web browser and Skype but not all. Gmail, the Calendar and LinkedIn, are examples of apps that maintain the notch, whether or not you have the Second Screen option set to custom like you see above. We should note, however, that apps like YouTube automatically switch to a fatter, non-notched mode but that's more controlled by the YouTube app itself and you do end up losing a fair amount of screen real estate as a result (common among all Android phones to maintain the video's proper aspect ratio). 

In short, the G7 ThinQ's "New Second Screen," as LG refers to it (a reference to previous generation models that literally had a second thin display up top), does feel a little gimmicky sometimes in practice, but other times does add to the experience, making use of the extra display area up around the camera array of the device.

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