LG G7 Thinq

FOR Good build; sound qual­ity; bright screen AGAINST Lots of bloat­ware; cam­era could be bet­ter

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Thinq is a name you should ex­pect to see on in­creas­ingly more LG prod­ucts. Pro­nounced ‘think’, it’s the um­brella term for the com­pany’s ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence con­sumer elec­tron­ics, in­clud­ing TVS, smart speak­ers and, with the LG G7, smart­phones.

The G7 looks like a stan­dard An­droid smart­phone, but LG has pro­vided a glimpse of the fu­ture by in­clud­ing some of its smarter sys­tems in the G7 Thinq.

Take it on the chin

Like most other An­droid smart­phones, the LG G7 Thinq has a notch at the top and a ‘chin’ – a small bezel that stops the face be­ing en­tirely screen – at the bot­tom.

On the right side is a lock but­ton, while the left has vol­ume con­trol and an AI but­ton for Google As­sis­tant. Also on the bot­tom is a head­phone jack and a USB C con­nec­tion for charg­ing and data trans­fer.

While the G7 Thinq’s glass back col­lects fin­ger­prints once out of the box, it feels com­fort­able in the hand and your fingers move nat­u­rally to the but­tons. There’s not much to fault with LG’S build qual­ity here.

The G7 Thinq works just like an An­droid phone. Ev­ery­thing is as you might ex­pect: its 4GB of RAM and SMD845 CPU keep it run­ning rel­a­tively smoothly; a 3000mah bat­tery – sup­ported by both Qi and PMA wire­less charg­ing – is ad­e­quate; and it comes with lots of bloat­ware.

The cam­era com­prises two 16MP lenses, and fea­tures a built-in ‘Su­per Bright Cam­era’ mode that turns on when the lights are off. That works well, and some quick snaps of flow­ers in a dark room bring a sat­is­fy­ingly colour­ful and de­tailed im­age.

In the light, how­ever, the G7 Thinq tends to make a pic­ture look some­what vivid and un­re­al­is­tic. Grass is a lit­tle too green and skies are the sort of azure blue that you’d ex­pect from an In­sta­gram fil­ter.

The base cam­era app fea­tures a range of AI smarts to im­prove the pic­ture. There are 19 pre­sets that can de­tect whether you’re point­ing the cam­era at food, a per­son or an an­i­mal. It’s the sort of tech we should see even more of in the next few years.

LG ap­pears to be build­ing a Thinq ecosys­tem, where smart­phones com­mu­ni­cate with TVS, fridges and other home equip­ment. The fu­tur­ist might wel­come the prospect, but it isn’t go­ing to be a re­al­ity any time soon – the AI isn’t yet smart enough to make good on the prom­ise.

On pa­per, LG has given the G7 Thinq an im­pres­sive screen. At 6.1in, and 3120 x 1440 res­o­lu­tion, the LCD dis­play can reach a claimed 850 nits of bright­ness. But tap­ping a boost but­ton will push that up to 1000 nits for a max­i­mum of three min­utes.

The G7 Thinq is also HDR10 com­pat­i­ble, which is im­me­di­ately no­tice­able: blacks re­ally do look black. We play the trailer for Padding­ton and, dur­ing the aerial shots of Lon­don, parts of the city are en­gulfed by an im­pres­sive dark­ness. Bright colours re­ally stand out. The red cheeks of Henry Brown (Hugh Bon­neville), as he watches the bear scoff cake, pop against his pink skin, and Padding­ton’s brown fur is punchy and rich.

The only down­side is that the G7 Thinq is a lit­tle over­cooked when it comes to tex­ture. When Padding­ton rides a bath on a tor­rent of wa­ter cas­cad­ing down the Browns' stair­case, the iphone 8 re­veals the nu­anced rip­ples in the wa­ter, while the G7 Thinq drowns them in colour.

The G7 Thinq of­fers a bet­ter sonic ex­pe­ri­ence than its pre­de­ces­sors. LG has given it a 32-bit quad DAC (and 64GB stor­age) along­side an equaliser mode and set­tings for ad­just­ing the dig­i­tal fil­ters. There’s also a DTS:X 3D Sur­round Sound mode that places mu­sic above and around you. It’s a nice fea­ture that's worth try­ing. For Blue­tooth head­phones, there’s aptx HD com­pat­i­bil­ity for 24-bit/48khz au­dio.

Rum­bling bass

We use Tidal to stream Fa­ther John Misty’s Please Don’t Die. The re­sult is a spa­cious, de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion that cap­tures the vul­ner­a­bil­ity and weari­ness of the track well. As cym­bals rip­ple and the zils jin­gle, the G7 Thinq takes the tre­ble in its stride. That’s not to say it lets go of the lower fre­quen­cies, though, as it reaches down deep when the bass needs to rum­ble in. It’s el­e­gant, but we’d like a bit more au­thor­ity, and its sense of tim­ing and co­he­sion could also be stronger.

But this smart­phone does have one trick up its sleeve: a ‘boom­box’ de­sign that uses the in­ter­nal cham­ber of the phone to boost bass power, adding a bit more so­lid­ity, depth and punch to a track. It’s sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than you might ex­pect.

LG’S G7 Thinq is point­ing the way to a fu­tur­ist, con­nected to­mor­row, and while it trumps the com­pe­ti­tion in cer­tain ar­eas, it has yet to truly spark the imag­i­na­tion.

“The G7 Thinq looks like a stan­dard An­droid smart­phone, but LG has pro­vided a glimpse of the fu­ture by in­clud­ing its smarter sys­tems”

The G7's 'chin' stops the face be­ing all screen

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