A solid but uninspired effort
LG G7+ ThinQ
Done experimenting with modular components and curved designs, the LG G7+ ThinQ takes more of a completionist approach. IT has a 6.1-inch LCD IPS display with a 3,120 x 1,440 pixels resolution (~564 ppi) and a small notch at the top. It doesn’t have the same perfect blacks and contrast you’ll nd on an OLED display, but it still manages vivid colors and is Dolby Vision HDR certified. The phone has an aluminum frame with a glass rear that is slightly curved at the edges for a comfortable and ergonomic feel in hand; a safe and proven design.
On the back, the G7+ has an easy-to-reach fingerprint scanner that sits below the vertically oriented dual rear camera setup. Unlike every other LG device in recent memory, the fingerprint scanner doesn’t click to double up as a sleep/wake/ power button. Instead, LG has returned the power button to the right side of the phone.
There are individual volume up/down buttons on the left side, and a new dedicated Google Assistant button. On the bottom of the phone, there’s a single downward ring speaker, a USB type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone port.
Without any standout unique features, LG has fallen back to promoting features like screen brightness for the G7+, which, let’s be honest, isn’t tremendously exciting. While it can get very bright
- maxing out at 1,000 nits, it’s not the only phone to hit the four-digit mark. In fact, Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ peak at 1,130 nits.
The G7+ features a new ‘Boombox’ speaker, which utilizes the internal space of the phone as a resonance chamber to deliver more bass than conventional smartphones. Additionally, when placed on a solid surface, the G7+ will utilize its resonance chamber as a woofer to amplify the bass effect even more. The G7+ also supports DTS:X 3D surround when you have earphones connected. The separation effect is quite good, although personally I thought the Dolby Atmos surround sound on the Samsung Galaxy S9 was a little better.
The G7+ is powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB RAM. Benchmark performance was excellent, with only Apple’s A11 Bionic-powered iPhone X beating it in a few tests.
The G7+ has a pair of 16-megapixel cameras on its rear, one with a f/1.6 normal focal length and OIS, and one with a f/1.9 wide-angle lens without OIS. Those are impressively wide apertures, which should make the G7+ camera one of the best around - but it’s not. For some reason, LG used a Sony IMX351 sensor in the G7+, which has a smaller 1/3.1-inch surface area with 1μm size pixels. For comparison, the S9’s camera has a 1/2.55-inch sensor with 1.4 μm size pixels. LG says it doesn’t need larger sensors to achieve impressive results, but it’s simple physics: the smaller sensor and pixel size on the G7+ mean that it can’t capture as much light, reducing the bene ts of its larger aperture lens.
Joining the likes of Huawei and ASUS, the G7+ camera also incorporates AI to try to enhance your photography. Launching the AI camera software will trigger a urry of oating words as the camera guesses what it is looking at: person, animal, food, etc. and sometimes it even tries to guess the exact species of plant or animal. Sometimes it gets it right, and sometimes it gets it completely wrong - for some reason it thinks everything is a poodle.
The camera also includes a new Super Bright Camera mode, which automatically detects low-light situations and activates accordingly. Super Bright Camera claims to be able to brighten photos by up to four times. It does this by using pixel binning to combine multiple images into one well-lit photo. However, photos are reduced to just 4-megapixels, so while they’re brighter, you end up losing a lot of detail.
LG doesn’t have a great track record with battery life, and unfortunately the G7+ didn’t do much to change that. The G7+’s 3,000mAh battery lasted just seven and a half hours, shorter than last year’s G6.
The G7+ is a reasonably good, but unexciting and risk-averse smartphone. It feels almost like LG has been burned one too many times trying out-of-the-box, experimental ideas, and now it’s gone completely the other way, playing it as safe as possible. Everything from the typical aluminum and glass design, to the notched display, and even the Boombox speaker and AI camera features are things we’ve seen before in other phones.
A safe but unexciting phone without any standout features to justify its price tag.
There’s now a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left side of the phone.
Like every other 2018 phone, the G7+ has a small notch at the top of the display.