LG G7 Thinq
FOR Good build; sound quality; bright screen AGAINST Lots of bloatware; camera could be better
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.
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