LG V40 ThinQ Review: A Five Camera Android Contender

LG V40 ThinQ: Software, User Experience, And Camera

Google has done an admirable job refining Android over to the years, to the point where clean, unmodified versions of the OS have arguably become preferred by savvy smartphone users. As such, many manufacturers have become less aggressive about modifying and skinning the OS to accommodate unique features or to differentiate their devices. LG in particular seems to have made only minimal tweaks to the stock Android UX on the V40 ThinQ – the things LG have done don’t get in the way of navigating or configuring the device much at all.

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The default home screens and menus on the LG V40 ThinQ are about as straightforward as can be. The main screen has but a handful of icons, a time and weather widget, and the Google search toolbar. Swipe right and a Google news feed slides into view. Swipe left and it’ll bring you to your apps. There’s no traditional app tray on the LG V40 ThinQ; as you install apps, the right home screen starts to fill up and more screens get added as necessary. You do, of course, have the ability to group and arrange apps into folders, however, which behaves just like the app tray on other devices.

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LG’s UX on the V40 ThinQ features a flat, unobtrusive color scheme and adds only specific controls for major call-out features like the triple-camera setup, LG's HiFi Quad DAC, and Second Screen controls. While we’re on the subject, as we’ve mentioned in the past, LG's 32-bit HiFi Quad DAC is the real deal. The feature delivers noticeably more robust audio fidelity, with a wider dynamic range that’s especially evident when using a set of high quality headphones and good source audio.

lg v40 camera

Another area where LG's software functionality shines is its camera setup. You have easy access to multiple shot modes right on the main camera home screen and can access things like Google Lens (AI-assisted image recognition), Portrait mode, and AI Cam, with a single tap. LG also offers an extensive manual shot mode that gives users control over everything from Focus to White Balance, ISO, and just about everything else you’d expect from a camera. The Graphy feature LG introduced a while back, which is essentially an array of filters derived from settings used by professional photographers, is also available here, as is a new feature called Cinema Shot that will easily create Cinemagraphs.

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Google Lens is an assisstive tool to aid with things like product price searches, image identification, and information about your surroundings. LG's AI Cam provides shot optimization suggestions based on the subject detected in the shot. In our tests, we found the Auto mode setting in AI Cam did help to optimize lighting and color balance in some shots, though we doubt some of the more artsy or obscure recommendations are going to get used all that much.

The real stand out feature with the V40 ThinQ’s camera setup is the triple-camera array. If you check out the video on the first page you can see it in action. But the functionality is straightforward and simple. The main, wide-angle, and telephoto shooters can essentially all be activated at once on the main camera screen, so users can see how a shot would be composed on each camera, without having to actually switch the camera modes. It’s an intelligent feature that makes choosing the best composition a simple matter of choosing the one you like best and tapping on it.

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Standard 12MP (F1.5 / 78°)

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12MP Tele (F2.4 / 45°)

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16MP Wide (F1.9 / 107°)

The output from the LG V40 ThinQ’s cameras is quite good. In this first trio of shots above, we show you how the three rear-facing cameras behave. We captured those three shots without moving – and our furry subject’s head only moved slightly. As you can see, the zoom and wide-angle shots are quite different than the standard shot. The images captured from the three cameras are easily differentiated and have very different end results.

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In terms of quality, pictures captured with the LG V40 ThinQ look very good in our opinion. Color accuracy is good, and white balance and sharpness are particularly strong. If anything, images are somewhat muted and could do with a bit more vibrance, but we've been blessed with nothing but overcast days since we got our hands on the V40 ThinQ and shots still looked good in our opinion. The camera setup does a good job capturing subtle details in various lighting conditions and there is minimal noise, even in darker areas.

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Portrait mode also works fairly well on the V40 ThinQ, but as is the case with most phones, the software-assisted bokeh effects are not perfect. In the shot here, you’ll notice the phone did an admirable job picking out our pup even with white fur on a white background, but parts of the bag are sharp where there shouldn’t be and the effect seems uneven though the floor.

All that said, if a comprehensive, high-quality camera setup is high on your list of smartphone must-haves, the LG V40 ThinQ won’t disappoint. Even if you’re not keep on its auto-mode captures, extensive controls are available to tweak images to your heart’s content and you've got the added flexibility of three distinct cameras with different attributes.

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