The "1-Minute" Review
- Limited multi-screen features
- Not seamless dual screen
- Mediocre camera performance
- Cannot use dual-screen when charging phone
The G8X ThinQ marks LG’s entry into the latest mobile market -- dual-screen phones. Unlike other dual-screen phones, the ThinQ provides the second screen as an accessory so you can decide if and when you want a second screen. But dual-screen phones are still having some growing pains, does the G8X ThinQ work well enough to justify its price?
Since the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, folding phones have become all the rage. LG has taken a different approach to the dual-screen design, creating a second screen accessory for their flagship phone.
When you look at the actual phone, it looks very similar to the standard LG G8 ThinQ. It’s just slightly larger. Otherwise, it’s almost a replica. But reviewers did not think this was a bad thing. While some consider the design a bit conservative, Android Authority notes, “... The whole of the phone impresses in its fit and finish.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It’s a bit large, measuring 6.27 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches. While great for people with larger hands, it might be hard to operate single-handedly for people with small hands.
You’ll also want to get a case. The glass front and back means the phone will slip and slide across smooth surfaces, leading to accidental drops.
The phone boasts a 6.4-inch, Full HD+ (2,340 x 1080) OLED display. Reviews note that the screen is sharp, giving crisp whites and pitch dark blacks. Unlike phones of old, you can easily adjust the color and tone of the display to suit your needs between something vibrant or more on the neutral side. While not the brightest phone on the market, reviews indicate that it’s bright enough to read even on bright, sunny days.
The second display is an exact copy of the display you’ll find on the phone. And while LG worked to try and keep the color balance the same on both monitors, some experts noticed a slight difference, most notably when looking at whites.
The G8X ThinQ comes with 6GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 855 processor. Reviews indicate the combination provides enough juice to easily power two screens without any issues -- even if you want to do something like watch a Twitch stream and a Netflix show at the same time.
Out of the box, the G8X ThinQ runs Android 9 Pie under LG’s user interface skin. Reviewers found navigating around the home screen natural and intuitive.
In terms of future Android updates, LG has not committed to updating the G8X. If you want the latest and greatest, you might want to check out another company.
The real question, of course, is how well do the dual screens work together? On that, the reviews are mixed.
In general, both screens perform very well and critics loved that the second screen made multitasking easier. Engadget notes, “There were times using the G8X where I felt vastly more productive than I could be on almost any other phone.”
However, it’s not without its issues.
Reviewers were frustrated by the fact that there was no shared home screen or app organization ability. More importantly, keyboards didn’t span across both screens and instead appears on one screen. Also, the bezels on the two screens lead to an awkward gap between things like web pages and images, which proved distracting.
Perhaps the biggest drawback is the location of the charging port. Critics found it nearly impossible to charge the phone in dual screen mode. If you’re low on battery, you’ll need to go back to single screen mode.
You get 128GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded up to 2TB with a microSD slot, making it a fairly average entry.
The rear/main camera offers 2 lenses -- a 12MP f/1.8 standard lens and a 13MP super-wide f/2.4 lens. You’re not going to get the amazing picture quality you’ll find on 2020's top-end phones, but reviews indicate the cameras are more than capable if you just want to snap something to share on social media.
While image quality didn’t wow critics, they consider it good enough -- especially in well-lit situations. In poor lighting, their pictures were often soft with lots of noise and grain.
The 32MP front-facing camera might boast big numbers, but experts found the images were just as average. Though, as expected, it performed well in good lighting situations.
While it is possible to take pictures in dual-screen mode, most reviewers didn’t recommend doing so. They found trying to position the phone and take the picture very awkward.
The phone comes packed with a 4,000mAh battery. There’s no additional battery in the second screen. As you would expect, running dual-screen mode drains your battery faster than if you just used a single screen. Still, reviewers were able to get around 8-9 hours of battery life with the second screen attached. Without it, they were able to go a full day.
Miss being able to use your favorite headphones because it requires a headphone jack? Then you’re in luck as the G8X ThinQ has a 3.5mm jack. Thanks to having a wired connection, the phone provides what LG considers, “...the best smartphone audio quality…” on the market.
The LG G8X ThinQ tries to capitalize on the folding phone market but reviews show it falls short on execution.
While reviewers find it to be a passable phone, it doesn’t stand out among the crowd. Without the dual-screen, they have a hard time recommending it against other similarly priced phones. Of course, this isn’t a standalone phone and it comes with a second screen attachment, but it isn’t quite enough for critics to recommend.
Wired states, “If you can, and you desperately want to see the benefits of a foldable phone firsthand, this is your only sensible options. But… a wave of next-gen phones [are coming]...”
TechRadar adds, “The LG G8X plus the dual screen... is a great deal for its price... but... its screen is not seamless... and... it’s a hefty package that takes up a ton of pocket space.”