There are many great reasons to visit Korea for a week – the picturesque Jeju island, the refreshing taste of matcha ice cream, and the soothing sound of sizzling steak, to name a few. I, however, was brought to this fascinating country by something a bit outside of those lines – the opportunity to preview the LG G7 ThinQ, the company's latest flagship smartphone.
I got to spend around two days with an LG G7 ThinQ (pronounced "thin-cue") in my pocket. Of course, that's hardly enough time to produce a full review, and since the preview unit I was handed wasn't running final software, I cannot draw any conclusions about the phone's performance at this point. But the time I spent with it gave me a solid idea of what's to come. Allow me to share my initial thoughts with you.
Embracing the notch
Firstly, I'd like to get a few things out of the way: yes, the LG G7 ThinQ has a notch and no, the world isn't coming to an end because of this. Sure, some might call it an iPhone X copycat, and while I can't deny the resemblance, I do appreciate the extra screen space the design approach provides. While the small cutout at the top of the display houses the phone's earpiece, front-facing camera, and various sensors, the additional screen area on its sides displays the typical bits of status information: battery level, signal strength, icons for pending notifications, and so on.
Personally, the notch didn't bother me at all, and most people wouldn't be bothered by it either, LG's research suggests. It doesn't get in the way of video, and it blends well with whatever app you have running. Still, those who don't find it particularly appealing can "hide" it by applying a colored or gradient background to the New Second Screen, as LG calls the area on the sides of the notch. I didn't.
All in all, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the way the G7 is built, but perhaps a bit more character would have been welcome – something to make it truly shine in a sea of smartphones that are more alike than ever. That screen, as immersive as it may be, may not be enough.
One button, many possibilitiesOn the left side of the G7 ThinQ, LG has added a dedicated Google Assistant button. This lets you access Google Assistant from most screens, while a double press launches Google Lens for visual recognition. And if you hold the button down – just as if you were using a walkie-talkie – you can speak out your queries directly without the need for the "OK Google" hotword. For the record, the button gets disabled while the camera is in use – a case where an accidental press may be critical.
Keeping up with the trends
Notch aside, the LG G7 ThinQ has all the qualities you'd expect out of a flagship smartphone in 2018. The sleek front and back are made of Gorilla Glass 5, while a metal frame wraps around the handset's perimeter. Water resistance is also present. The phone feels neither too light, nor too heavy. However, it is definitely on the larger side, with dimensions making it a bit narrower, but taller than the LG V30.
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