Announced at MWC 2019, the LG G8S ThinQ is the latest high-end smartphone from the South Korean manufacturer. Available in some European markets, the smartphone offers premium technical specs and design that should enable LG to attract the general public once again. After more than two weeks with it, here is our full review!
- Nice screen
- IP68 certification
- Large notch
- Thick bezels
- Practicality of Hand ID and Air Motion
LG G8s ThinQ release date and price
Unveiled at MWC 2019, the G8S ThinQ is available in select European markets at a price of €769 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory. Fingers crossed for a US and UK launch still, but it's available in Australia.
Proof that everything is not all that rosy at LG and that the manufacturer is aware of its weaknesses in the smartphone market, it offers special offers for the launch of the device (depending on the country in which it is sold, naturally). In Australia, for example, the device will set you back $1200 AUD but it comes with an LG 43-inch UHD Smart TV.
A dated design
Aesthetically, the LG G8S ThinQ is a G8 ThinQ that would have become a little overweight. The device is thus wider than many of its competitors (155.3 x 76.6 x 8 mm) and has quite large bezels that could be similar to those of the iPhone XR. Its large notch used to house the various sensors (brightness, Air Motion, loudspeaker...) is quite unsightly and closer to a 2017 or 2018 flagship than a 2019 one. Finally, on the symmetry side, we've already seen better.
Fortunately, however, the smartphone retains a premium look thanks to its combination of metal and glass. The manufacturing quality is also there, and all the adjustments are serious. The smartphone also has a headphone jack, which is a plus. It has IP68 certification for water and dust resistance.
In the end, the LG G8S ThinQ is not an ugly or unattractive smartphone but, given its price, one would have expected more from the South Korean manufacturer.
Nothing to envy on Samsung's AMOLED displays
While LG would have much to gain by drawing inspiration from competitors in terms of design (and in particular in terms of the notch), the manufacturer has nothing to envy in terms of the display. The LG G8S ThinQ's 6.21-inch (Full-HD+) P-OLED panel is a complete success, with a very bright display , realistic colors and deep blacks. Whites have a slight tendency to turn blue, but this is a detail that does not affect the quality of the screen at all. The viewing angles are just as excellent.
The LG G8S ThinQ is a very pleasant smartphone for multimedia use, especially since it is HDR10 compatible. We're missing the Crystal Sound technology of the LG G8, whose screen vibrates to allow the diffusion of sound.
Gesture navigation in the air is useless
Just like the LG G8, this G8S ThinQ offers gesture navigation to unlock your smartphone using the palm of your hand and other features to perform different actions using hand movements. If the idea on paper may seem attractive, in practice it is absolutely not. Hand ID and Air Motion (the official names of these features) are complicated and do not make it any easier to use the smartphone. They're neat additions, but definitely don't offer a true edge over the competition.
If you want to know more, I advise you to read the full review of the LG G8.
Android 9 Pie and LG UX 8.0
The software interface of the LG G8S ThinQ is equivalent to that of the G8 . It is not the best one currently available on Android but still one of the most useful and intuitive in my opinion. The interface is tidy and very colorful. The app drawer is not present by default, but you can enable it in the settings.
On a daily basis, the software interface of the LG G8S ThinQ is pleasant to use. The animations are fast and the smartphone responds without blinking. Good news, know that it is also possible to camouflage the notch, and given its size, that isn't the worst idea.
As for the security patches, LG could do a little better since it was the May patch that was installed, and for updates, LG should offer Android 10 Q but no deployment date has been released. Knowing the brand (and history), it will therefore be necessary to have patience, despite the manufacturer's hopeful words at each launch.
LG G8s ThinQ performance
The technical specs of the LG G8S ThinQ aren't so different to the classic LG G8. There is a Snapdragon 855 processor with 6 GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, the pure performance is good and the smartphone offers perfect fluidity on a daily basis. Multitasking works without problems and of course always fast, no overheating is to be noted either.
As for gaming, no surprise, the GPU follows perfectly, even on the most demanding titles. To keep games running with minimal fluidity, the G8S makes no concessions, while the device offers 64 or 128GB of internal storage (expandable with a microSD card) for storage.
You can get an idea of the performance of the device in the table below:
LG G8S: benchmark comparison
|Test performed||LG G8S ThinQ||Huawei P30 Pro||Samsung Galaxy S10+|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1||5315||3990||4731|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Vulkan||4486||3995||4276|
|3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0||5908||3219||4503|
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0||60754||35981||56128|
|Geekbench 4 - single core||3456||3283||4175|
|Geekbench 4 - multicore||10389||9750||10031|
Let's take a look at what is ultimately the smartphone's greatest asset, its camera. For its G8S ThinQ, LG has opted for a 3-sensor configuration:
- a main sensor of 12 MP (f/1.8 aperture), 27mm (standard) with laser autofocus and optical image stabilizer
- a 12 MP telephoto lens (f/2.6 aperture) with OIS and 2x optical zoom
- a 13 MP wide angle sensor (f/2.4 opening)
In terms of quality, the LG G8S is better than the LG G8. The results are perfectly acceptable, but nothing spectacular about it. The colors are true to life and the contrast is quite good. When the lighting conditions are good, the smartphone delivers good shots, and the image quality in automatic mode is really good. The photos are very sharp and the details are present. The activation of HDR and the use of artificial intelligence contribute to these good results, but even without these activated modes the photos remain very good. The two focal lengths allow you to offer creativity, and the wide angle mode is also very good, although LG can't compete with some of its rivals.
When the lighting is bad, things get a little tricky, but the camera is still convincing. Some shots inside, in a dark environment, remain quite usable thanks to the night mode.
At the front, there is a dual-lens camera with an 8 megapixel lens (f/1.7 aperture) that is more than enough to capture good selfies. As for the options, we find all the possible and imaginable modes (Studio, Portrait, Auto, AI CAM, Manue, Idle, Panorama, YouTube Live, AR Stickers, night...). Nothing to say either about the app, which is intuitive and easy to use.
You can get an idea for yourself by looking at our photos:
For videos, the G8S offers 16:9 UHD (60fps), 16:9 UHD, 18.9: 9 FHD, 16:9 FHD (60fps), 16:9 FHD, 18.9:9 HD, 16:9 HD, 16:9 HD. In Cine Shot mode, you can record videos in HDR10.
A faithful companion
Here too, LG does not disappoint. The South Korean smartphone offers a battery life that will delight most users. Without reaching the same endurance as the Huawei P30 Pro or OnePlus 7 Pro, the G8S ThinQ allows you to spend a day without any problems, even with fairly intensive use (more than 5 hours of screen time) only reaching its limits at the end of the evening. Its 3,550 mAh battery is therefore sufficient.
On the recharge side, the G8S ThinQ is also a good device (18 W rechargeable battery). Charged up to 50% in 30 minutes, and about and hour and 15 minutes for a full charge. This is made possible thanks to compatibility with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology.
LG G8s ThinQ technical specifications
The LG G8S ThinQ is a very good Android smartphone, and it is the best LG smartphone of 2019. Elegant, powerful and long-lasting, the latest flagship of the South Korean manufacturer ticks most of the boxes of what one would expect from a premium smartphone. However, LG's latest lacks a killer feature to create a real wow effect that justifies its price tag.
Launched at a price of 769 euros, it makes no sense to recommend buying it, unless you want to take advantage of LG's special offer of a 43-inch 4K TV with purchase. While waiting for a (likely) price drop of around 500 euros soon, the G8S ThinQ is unlikely to become a commercial success.