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Thread: Our LG G7 ThinQ Review

  1. #1
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    Our LG G7 ThinQ Review

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    LG has always had an interesting place in the Android marketplace. I get this feeling like they’re always trying to offer a slightly different take on the Android flagship. The G3 had rear mounted volume and power buttons and higher resolution display while the G4 retained a removable battery. The G5 also had this feature but also allowed you to expand it with attachable accessories like a larger speaker. It also included a second, super-wide angle camera. The G6 was more about bringing it in line with other flagship phones with a more premium feel.

    So what is LG’s take on the 2018 flagship? Let’s check out the G7 ThinQ.

    Body:

    The G7 is 2 pieces of glass sandwiching a metal body. This makes it a slippery phone which is pretty typical these days.

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    While the build quality is good, it simultaneously has this weird hollow feel to it.

    There’s IP68 dust and water resistance.

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    When the screen was off, I noticed the mesh cover over the earpiece sits flush earpiece and kind of looks out of place.

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    There’s a power button on the right side.

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    The left has volume buttons along with one that activates Google Assistant. Given that Google Assistant is a VOICE assistant which can be triggered by saying “Ok Google”. I don’t understand why they’d include a physical button for this.

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    The fingerprint reader is located on the back below the cameras. It works well.

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    If you’re like me, and prefer to use your phone with one hand, the G7 actually works relatively well. Its bezels are just wide enough and the fact that it doesn’t have a curved display means that you can reach across without accidentally touching the screen.

    That said, the height of the display and the fact that Android uses on-screen menu keys can cause some reachability problems. To be fair this problem affects most smartphones with longer displays.

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    There's a USB-C port at the bottom.

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    Here it is next to the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Apple iPhone XS Max.

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    Screen:

    When I first turned the G7 on I was shocked at how blue the display is, it’s so blue it’s almost purple. As it turns out, the screen has a tendency to look purple when the backlight is dialed all the way down. There are options in the settings to warm the screen up a bit which makes the problem go away.

    Viewing angles are good. There is a bit of brightness shift at angles which is exasperated by the length of the display. It’s a common affliction with newer, longer aspect ratio displays.

    It’s got a large 6.1” 3440x1440 LCD display. It has rounded corners along with a fashionable notch at the top.

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    Notches are a polarizing feature; on one hand, they allow companies to put a larger display on their phone while simultaneously shrinking their bezels. On the other hand, the extra screen space they allow isn’t terribly useful, plus they can be a bit of any eyesore.

    My problem with the G7’s notch is that there’s still quite a bit of bezel at the top and bottom of the screen plus the bottom bezel is taller than the top one. It makes the front look unbalanced. It’s like it has a notch for the sake of having one rather than needing one.

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    If you don’t like notches, there’s a setting where you can tell the G7 to just leave the parts of the screen next to it with a black background.

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    Anyways, my take is that notches are what they are. I’ve talked to a few people who aren’t phone geeks about their notched phones, and many people didn’t even notice. Perhaps it’s an issue that’s being blown out of proportion.

    Sound:

    LG says the G7 has a “boom box” speaker. You know how I said that the G7 feels kind of hollow? The powerful speaker really exaggerates the hollowness because the entire phone shakes when you’re cranking the volume.

    That said, sound quality leaves something to be desired compared to most other flagships. It’s loud but it doesn’t sound like they spent a lot of time tuning it. It’s really great for listening to podcasts but you kind of feel like you’re missing out when listening to music and movies.

    I’m also a little surprised that only the bottom speaker is used for music playback. I turned up the volume and covered the earpiece and it has no effect on volume or sound quality.

    Many flagships use both for a stereo setup - typically the speaker in the earpiece is use more for higher frequencies while the larger speaker at the bottom handles frequencies that aren’t as high.

    While the volume makes it a very usable speaker, it’s not a very great sounding one.

    Camera:

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    On the back you get 2 cameras; one with a regular 28ish mm length along with a super wide angle 16ish mm lens. It’s different from most competitors which include a regular length lens along with a zoomed in one.

    I usually carry a couple of phones around with me so here’s how I see it. A zoomed lens will get used far more frequently, but a super wide angle lens can take pics you simply can’t get with a regular or zoomed lens. You can crop the center of an image to digitally “zoom in”, but you can’t digitally “zoom out”.

    Something else to consider is that some phones actually switch to digital zoom when there isn’t enough light rather than use the optical zoom. So, on some phones you’re actually using the optical zoom less than you realize.

    The main camera’s pictures lack a bit of dynamic range so there isn’t as much details in really dark or light areas. Colours are a tiny bit oversaturated.

    There’s a bit more noise but it’s really well controlled.

    I’m impressed that the wide angle lens has very little distortion.

    The super wide angle lens doesn’t have optical image stabilization like the regular lens. It’s too bad because a super-wide angle camera makes for some interesting videos - just look at all the cool videos taken with a GoPro.

    I was looking forward to taking some wide-angle video with the G7 when I was shocked that it would zoom in whenever I tried this. It turns out the G7 does this if you leave the digital image stabilization on.

    If you’re a foodie, you should know that the wide angle camera’s minimum focusing distance doesn’t allow you to get close enough to take close-up shots of a plate of food.

    Performance:

    The G7 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. Performance is very good. The only time it felt like it should be faster is when you’re switching between the cameras - there’s a “zooming out” animation which feels a few moments too long.

    The LG G7 sold in Canada has 4GB of RAM which right now is sufficient. However, 6GB or more is becoming more common on flagships.

    The default view has no app drawer, so it looks more like EMUI or iOS. There’s an option to unhide it so it looks more like Android.

    You can “hide” the notch by leaving the parts of the screen next to it black.

    While there are a lot of other options, they were brought out on LG’s older phones. It feels like they were included only to provide continuity and not because they’re still really useful.

    There’s an extra bar with shortcuts which you hover in case pulling down the notification area or using the app switcher or pressing the home button isn’t good enough for you.

    You also get LG’s knock to unlock the screen in case picking it up and having the screen turn on automatically isn’t good enough

    You also get some pretty standard, overlay-ish apps like a file manager, performance optimizer, music app that doesn’t support Google Play Music, Health app, contacts, that sort of thing.

    Speaking of music, the G7 headphone jack supports DTS-X 3D surround and has a Quad DAC. You can toggle these features using the pulldown.

    Overall, while the overlay looks okay, aside from the custom camera app there isn’t anything must-have.

    While there are lots of small extras, one of the most obvious features - the ability to remap the Google Assistant shortcut key isn’t one of them.

    The battery has a capacity of 3000mAh which compared to other Android flagships is a bit on the light side.

    As far as being used as an actual phone, while the RF performance is about average, the big problem is that the earpiece maximum volume is extremely low. If you need to make a lot of calls and don’t plan on using a headset you should avoid this one.

    Conclusion:

    What really sets the G7 ThinQ apart is its super wide-angle camera which really allows for some interesting landscape or indoor shots. The bright LCD display really sets itself apart if you’re outdoors a lot. While the display is large, it doesn’t have curved sides which makes it much easier to use.

    The overall size and shape and lack of curved display also make it one easier flagships to hold and use.

    If you enjoy using wired headphones, the quad DAC and DTS-X are also positives.

    While the built-in speaker is loud, its sound quality lags behind other flagship phones.

    With the exception of a custom camera app, the LG overlay feels like it’s more about maintaining continuity for users of previous LG phones.

    4 out of 5 Howies

    Pros:

    • Nice display
    • Easy to hold
    • Super wide angle camera
    • Powerful speakers
    • No curved display


    Cons:

    • Speaker needs tuning
    • Small battery
    • Quiet earpiece

  2. #2
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    I'm curious, did you verify the quiet earpiece and no 'tweeter mode' output weren't a defect with your unit? That might also explain the poor audio quality of music playback.

    Also, does the 'room scale' voice assistant work as advertise?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogeek View Post
    I'm curious, did you verify the quiet earpiece and no 'tweeter mode' output weren't a defect with your unit? That might also explain the poor audio quality of music playback.
    Answered at least part of my own question with a Google - 'boombox' is indeed just the bottom speaker.

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    That's a great phone. I like it.

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    I picked up a LG G7 ThinQ LM-G710ULM from Google to use it on Google Fi. This phone is snappy and works great, I have no issue with its function.
    My daily driver was a Samsung Galaxy Duos S8+ SM-G955FD. I wanted to replaced it with another dual SIM phone but the deal on Google is too good to pass.
    I found this LG G7 is much better than the reviews. I do not have a preference of a curved screen. I have a BB PRIV and the Samsung S8+ which are both curved screens but good luck in finding good glass screen protectors. I had a film protector on the PRIV and gone through 2 glass Protectors on the S8+. I am in the process of installing a full adhesive glass screen protector on the S8+ after the previous two kept popping out as the first two only had adhesive on the edges. After 4 days, I am still struggling on putting on the full adhesive protector on the S8+. The screen protector just would not fit properly. I am constantly fighting to get rid of the bubbles and trying to get the edges glue down. I installed a full adhesive glass screen on the G7 with ease and it fits very well. If I have a choice, I would choose a flat display screen.
    I actually find myself liking the LED screen. I have a Samsung Tab S3, so I would not use my phone to watch video at home anyway. If I am out and about, the LED actually preforms better than the OLED screen due to outside lighting conditions.
    I like the form factor of the G7 and the S8+ due to the phone’s width and it is much easier to hold. This is a tie.
    I have no issue with the battery size because the G7 seems to consume less power and last me a whole day without any issue. The phone is quite light probably due to the smaller battery.
    I actually like the fingerprint sensor to be located at the back instead of in the screen. I do not like to press the screen as it is already difficult to keep the screen clean. While all the reviews said that the fingerprint sensor of the LG G7 is not an on-off switch but they fail to mention that touching the sensor do powers and unlocks the phone. A double tap on the screen or a press on the side button, would turn off the screen. I really do not care if the finger sensor is not an on-off button.
    I got used to the notch and it does not bother me. The cameras are fine except that I did notice that it takes a second to focus.
    The single speaker sounds loud enough and the boombox effect works well when I place the phone on a hard surface to use the speakerphone feature. One bonus is that this G7 could play lossless audio files. That means this phone could double as a Digital Audio Player. I already have a DAP so I probably would not use this feature but when I retired this phone, I could use this as a DAP and leave it in my car.
    The only one thing that I do not like about the phone is the stock LG keyboard which I quickly replaced with a Gboard.
    This LG G7 is $549 at Google with $200 credit toward service when activities with Google Fi service. That means the G7 is only about $400 including tax. This phone flew under the radar and I am glad that the it is not popular. This enables me to pick this up at such a reasonable price.
    Last edited by chompx2; 02-15-2019 at 12:04 PM.
    Retired Aerospace Engineer

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chompx2 View Post
    ..... One bonus is that this G7 could play lossless audio files. That means this phone could double as a Digital Audio Player. I already have a DAP so I probably would not use this feature but when I retired this phone, I could use this as a DAP and leave it in my car....
    Update
    My comment on using the phone as a DAP in the car would be pointless if not for the 3.5mm audio output jack. I am glad that LG keeps this jack when some other phone companies are removing it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chompx2 View Post
    Update
    My comment on using the phone as a DAP in the car would be pointless if not for the 3.5mm audio output jack. I am glad that LG keeps this jack when some other phone companies are removing it.

    Yeah. Thanks to LG

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