The "1-Minute" Review
VerdictWhile the LG G8 ThinQ has an impressive list of specs, it failed to stand out to reviewers for any one feature apart from audio. There might be a lot for audiophiles to love, but otherwise, the value is questionable.
- Clean but basic design
- Great display
- Plenty of storage
- microSD support
- Great audio options
- Excellent performance
- Motion controls can be frustrating
Known for pushing the innovation envelope, LG is in an odd place. They create interesting phones with great displays -- but they’re not always a hit with consumers. With the LG G8 ThinQ, they again introduce several firsts or near-firsts to the mobile market. But does the full package justify the price? Let’s see what reviewers are saying...
The phone features the now-common metal and glass design used for many of this year's top releases. While it’s simple, reviewers found the phone comfortable to hold and very compact for the larger screen size. It’s also IP68-rated, allowing for full submersion in up to 1.5 meters for less than 30 minutes.
But there were also many complaints of slippery phones and scuffed finishes. You’ll want to look into a phone case to keep it looking great.
The phone’s rear-mounted fingerprint scanner was also a hit thanks to its rapid response time and convenient placement.
Android Pit struck a nice balance between the various reviews out there, saying, “... The G8 is a well-made, compact, solid device that focuses on a design that can be appreciated for its simplicity and minimalism (but that for some may be a bit boring).”
LG makes a big deal about the new screen tech in the LG G8 ThinQ, calling it “6.1-inch Crystal Sound FullVision P-OLED display.” Specs include HDR10 and Dolby Vision and a resolution of 1440-by-3120 pixels.
Reviewers found the display bright enough for outdoor use, detailed enough to make images pop, and they loved the HDR support for streaming movies and TV shows. They also found the colors accurate and loved the inky blacks of the P-OLED panel.
But the display’s real trick has nothing to do with visuals. It also doubles as a speaker. There’s no earpiece at the top of the display. If you’re worried about how it all works, don’t be. Reviewers found it worked great.
Loaded up with a 2.84Ghz Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM, the phone tops the benchmark charts for 2019 releases. Reviewers had zero issues with lag or overheating. Whether they were playing games, editing photos, or scrolling through Instagram, things just worked.
The phone ships with Android 9.0 Pie with LG’s UX 8.0 skin. While there is some bloat, reviewers liked LG’s approach to Android. However, many questioned how well LG will keep updates flowing as they have been slow to update previous phones.
The biggest question surrounds LG’s new Air Motions. These use a special sensor to track your hand and allow you to unlock your phone, adjust volume, launch apps, and more. However, most reviewers found the gestures more complicated than performing the action the traditional way. Some also had trouble getting the sensor to track their hand.
PC World summed up opinions well, saying, “... UX 8.0 leaves much to be desired.”
If you love to install lots of apps and games or want to keep a large media collection downloaded for offline playback, the 128GB of internal storage is sure to please. There’s also support for microSD cards up to 2TB for easy, affordable expansion should you need it.
LG was one of the dual-camera pioneers. The LG G8 ThinQ continues their history of camera design, pairing a 12MP main rear camera with a secondary 16MP ultrawide camera. While low-light photography didn’t receive the best marks, most reviewers found the cameras very capable in decent lighting and enjoyed the list of effects and settings available within the app.
Ubergizmo notes, “... The LG G8 has the best ultrawide camera we’ve tested to date...”
The front-facing 8MP camera includes a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor. This allows the camera to judge distance and volume for better portrait effects and focus.
Ubergizmo also liked the selfie camera with ToF sensor, saying, “If you prefer a more natural skin tone and texture, then LG G8 is a good choice.”
While the 3500mAh battery in the phone might seem small compared to recent flagship releases. Reviewers found it was good for a full day without too much trouble Should you need to top-off your charge before heading out USB Type-C charging and Quick Charge 3.0 support offers as much as 50% in half an hour. You can also use wireless charging but it will be slower.
Trusted Reviews put the battery through its paces and said, “I ended most days (usually running from 8 am to midnight) at 50% charge or thereabouts, with a day and a half confidently possible – and two days if you’re checking Twitter and Instagram infrequently.”
Audio is where LG really breaks out the features. If you’re looking for a phone to listen to music or watch movies, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack with 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and DTS:X 3D surround sound if you prefer wired headphones. Then Bluetooth 5.0 and AptX support cover most wireless options. Finally, the stereo speakers (the Crystal Sound display and a traditional speaker on the bottom of the phone) provide clear, full audio for listening without headphones.
Trusted Reviews notes, “The ‘Crystal Sound OLED Speaker’, as LG calls it, handles the higher frequencies, while the bass tones come from the grille set into the phone’s frame. Cover the latter and audio does break down, but in general use, it’s surprisingly clear and loud... If your phone is your primary media player, especially if you mainly use it for music playback, the LG G8 would make an excellent choice for your next device.”
With the strong praise for the phone, a recommendation might seem obvious.
However, most reviews stopped short of a full endorsement. This is mainly because of the price.
While the phone offers some interesting innovations, it costs as much -- if not more -- than many of this year’s most popular releases. And while they might not offer some of the cooler features, they do many of the standard ones better.
Android Pit says, “... it isn’t a bad device. However, to turn heads and make sales in the current market it’s unclear if the G8 ThinQ offers enough appeal to tear people away from what else is out there.”
Trusted Reviews says, “In a vacuum, the LG G8 ThinQ is a well-rounded flagship phone with reliable top-tier performance, capable cameras, a great screen and decent battery life. However, slot it in among the competition and, as suspected, it melts into the crowd of similarly ‘fine’ high-end phones.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Marie Georgescu de Hillerin, DxOMark
The Crystal Sound OLED technology, while certainly making it very hard for the speakers to be occluded by the user’s hand, produces a canny overall timbre with almost absent bass, lack of impact, and numerous artifacts. The noise-cancelling algorithm, albeit extremely efficient, also comes with its...
- Lauren Barack, Gearbrain
LG's models are certainly on the higher end and for good reasons — they have solid batteries, nice cameras and they are very well-designed. One of the big feature upgrades for the G8, the Air Motion tool, however just didn't perform for us. That's a feature we likely wouldn't use a lot – it's a bit...
- Lars Rehm, DxOMark
The LG G8 ThinQ’s camera is a competent rather than a stellar performer. It does most things reasonably well without really excelling or failing dramatically in any area. It produces colors that are attractive, if not always accurate, and its stills AF system is fast and effective. It also usually h...
- Matt Adams, Android Guys
A lot of people don’t know whether to trust OnePlus or not since its a relatively new name. LG is safe. LG makes a really good phone with some compelling features that won’t frustrate you for the next couple of years. Unless you want fast software updates.
- Michael Simon, PCWorld
There are plenty of reasons to buy the G8: top-of-the-line processor, excellent battery life, great screen, solid camera. But great specs and nice hardware aren’t enough when you’re competing with the Galaxies and Pixels of the world. The unique features that should make the G8 worthy of its $829 pr...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the LG G8 ThinQ user manual here.
LG backs up the G8 ThinQ with a 2 Years parts & labour warranty.
If your G8 ThinQ has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact LG support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find LG's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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Manuals / User Guides
- LG G8 ThinQ Manual (PDF)
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