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LG G7 One hands-on: does it offer more than just Android One?

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LG presented the LG G7 One at IFA 2018 in Berlin. We got a first-hand look and had to ask ourselves: is the surprise inclusion of Android One a good way for LG to stabilize its struggling mobile division? We’ll get into that and more in our hands-on!

Handy and waterproof design

The LG G7 One is named after its predecessor that was released in May, although the two devices don’t have that many similarities. LG has decided to opt for a body made of glass for the LG G7 One , and the technology inside has been replaced with last year’s hardware. This choice in material for the frame keeps fingerprints off the classic glass that you’ll find on flagships these days. The G7 One is waterproof thanks to its IP68 certification and complies with the MIL-STD 810G standard.

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LG G7 One: a less elegant shell than the V30, but one that won't accumulate fingerprints. / © NextPit

Despite the 6.1-inch display, the G7 One is still quite handy. This is, of course, due to the fact that LG still relies on a display with a cutout that has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display is still comparatively narrow but has grown in height. It’s a neat display with clean workmanship, so everything you’d expect from LG.

Android One: a failure or success?

The software is particularly interesting since this is the first time that LG relies on Google’s Android One. This means that there is no customized LG interface. It’s Android without adaptation and bloatware. Only the camera app is from LG. It’s a pity that LG doesn’t use the dual camera with a wide-angle lens and instead uses a single camera.

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LG G7 One with Android 8.1. / © NextPit

On the software side, the LG G7 One comes with Android 8.1 in its purest form . All the classic Google apps are on board along with Google Lens. LG also wants to find out whether pure Android can be a sales argument. Another advantage is LG’s fast supply of updates since Google supplies Android One smartphones with updates within three months.

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Android One as we know it. / © NextPit

An old acquaintance: Snapdragon 835

In terms of performance, LG relies on last year’s Snapdragon 835 processor , which is fast enough for everything, so it’s not a bad choice on their part. We didn’t notice any issues with performance in our short hands-on.

LG G7 One: Android One without much else

LG is taking on a bold experiment with Android One. With the G7 One, LG can test out which UI customers like. The smartphone’s manufacturing is high-quality, although the metal back doesn’t radiate the same elegance as the LG V30 of G7.

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Android One: A beacon of hope of a desperate measure? / © NextPit

It does, however, still remain to be seen whether LG will increasingly rely on Android One in the future. For LG to continue along this route, the G7 One needs to inspire its target group, meaning buyers who like to use high-end hardware, but don’t necessarily need the latest iteration of it.

The G7 One stands out from the latest LG smartphones. The G7 One struggles with the problem of many other Android One smartphones: what’s so special about it? LG, unfortunately, puts too little into the pot: there’s no wide-angle camera and no stunning design. Only the price could help, but we’ve learned that LG won’t be cutting prices - we’re talking about a price region of more than $500.

We’re still not sure when the LG G7 One will be released, but we'll keep you updated. So what do you think of LG’s newest device? Let us know!

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Hans-Georg Kluge

Hans-Georg Kluge

Hans-Georg writes about apps, hardware and other stuff that happens in the Android universe. He is a happy owner of the Galaxy S7 but enjoys time with an iPad as well.

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  • Alex Robinson Sep 9, 2018 Link to comment

    I am extremely excited about the LG G7 Android One. I will buy it as soon as it's available as long has it can support T-Mobile's band 71. I am a fan of both LG and Samsung phones. I am not a fan of their respective UIs. On the other hand, I love the Pixels speed and software, but have not been happy with a Google phone since the Nexus 5 (which I still have and still runs fast and smooth.).

    I think for a first run at Android One, LG is playing this pretty smart. Even with the Qualcomm 835 chipset, it should be blazing fast with minimal battery drain. A price around $350 to $375 would be perfect.

    Frankly, I'm tired of all the valueless gimmicks that we're seeing on high end cell phones today. I love Samsung hardware, I will no longer buy their devices with the useless curved and hard to protect screen. Most of the idiot pundits on these websites keep touting "build quality". This is insanity. Any phone is obsolete in 6 months so why should the frame be machined from aluminum with a ridiculous glass back? All it does is make the phone heavier, costlier, and please the Apple loving fan boys that write a lot of reviews. Besides, we all use cases with our cherished little mobile devices anyway. So what if the back of the phone is cheap plastic?

    I would truly welcome the return of the pop off plastic backs that Samsung and LG used which allowed access to the battery, SIM card, and SD card. I despise the little trays that are used that require a small needle like device to remove.

    I absolutely love phones with replaceable batteries. They made so much sense but again, the Apple loving fanboy writers have convinced everyone that sealed batteries are the only way . Now no one offers them. Fast charging and all day life cannot beat a replaceable battery. There are always times when travelling when you just don't have even a few minutes to plug in. It's especially great when you are navigating with Google maps which drains batteries fast.

    How about a light, large plastic device with a big, bright display with latest hardware running pure Google made by LG or Samsung (but without that stupid curved screen)? No gimmicks just raw power and really useful features such as USB C to HDMI via MHL or Slimport, IR Blaster to change your TV Channel, FM Radio, and a stylus (Google would have to make some changes for this.) It needs to be able to be charged while video is being playing over HDMI. I would also like to be able to size the display resolution to work well on large screens so I can use my phone with a keyboard like a desktop.

    The phone I describe above is a $600 phone. Not a $1000 phone. I simply will not buy the Samsung Note 9 with all it's bloatware and sealed battery.

  • Waqar Ghafoor Sep 7, 2018 Link to comment

    Stylish yet Elegant )

  • isaiah dighero Sep 7, 2018 Link to comment

    More than $500?? Im not sure if this phone is worth half that with its outdated specs and cut corners. Over 500 US dollars puts this phone in OnePlus territory when it really needs to be more in Poco territory.

  • David Martrano Sep 6, 2018 Link to comment

    If LG prices this at 500.00 with the 835processer it will be a tough sell. It has no stand out features. Plus the competion in that price range is very crowded. The poco F1, the op6 & honor view10. I would even give the Nokia7plus a look see. LG is definitely like Lenovo their flooring the market to see what sticks. Yikes!

    • David Martrano Sep 8, 2018 Link to comment

      One of the focal points of LG phones are the wide angle camera. Pricing this over 500.00 bucks without the wide angle camera is pure stupidity on their part. You can't get rid of it's best feature and then use last year's processer. It appears they didn't learn a thing with the g6 & the 821processer. This phone will be shooting blanks once again!

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