The "1-Minute" Review
- Telephoto and wide-angle lenses produce soft images
- Low screen brightness
LG has yet to find a foothold in the high-end smartphone market. However, their latest release hopes to change that. Their unique selling point of the V40 ThinQ -- five camera lenses -- tries to push the phone toward photography enthusiasts.
While the LG V40 doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of design, it isn’t a bad thing. The rounded edges make it comfortable to hold. It’s also light enough to hold for extended periods or slip into your bag unnoticed at 169 grams.
For some critics, the weight almost makes it feel cheap. They worried how well it will handle a drop. The all-glass front and rear panel exacerbated this fear. Even without drops, it is still prone to scratches and smudges.
Still, if you want a phone that won’t weigh down your pockets or bags, the V40 is a great option.
The V40 ThinQ has a 6.4-inch OLED display -- an increase in screen size from the V30. Despite its large size, reviewers found the phone easy to use and comfortable in the hand. This is due to the phone’s thin bezels. With that said, some reviewers had trouble reaching the top of the phone without changing how they were holding it.
Despite the phone’s 3120-by-1440 resolution, critics found the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note9 offer better displays. The display’s mediocre sunlight legibility and limited screen space disappointed some reviewers. And there’s the much-debated notch at the top of the display like other 2018 high-end phones.
As an OLED display, it offers inky blacks and punchy colors -- though, as usual for OLED panels, some found the colors too saturated.
On the performance front, the V40 ThinQ runs on a Snapdragon 845 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage -- standard specs for high-end smartphones in 2018. As expected, experts had no major issues with overall performance though they ran into the occasional hiccups.
Reviewers were not concerned about the phone keeping up with everyday tasks or running graphics-intensive games or apps.
The phone is also IP68 dust and water resistant. This means it will survive a quick dip in a puddle or a splash of water.
Equipped with a 3,300mAh battery, most tests found a full day of average usage is no problem on a single charge. The phone lasted around 9 hours during heavy use. While not horrible, many were hoping LG would include a larger battery that allowed a second day of use without charging.
Luckily, charging is fast thanks to its Quick Charge technology.
And finally, the main event -- the camera.
The V40 ThinQ has five different lenses. There are three lenses on the phone’s rear. The other two are on the front. The rear lenses are as follows:
- A 12MP lens with f/1.5 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS)
- A wide-angle 16MP lens with f/1.9 aperture
- A telephoto 12MP lens with 2x optical zoom and f/2.4 aperture
It might sound like overkill, but reviewers found the system useful.
Most reviewers captured the best images from the standard 12MP lens. They were happy with color accuracy and the sharpness of images. And, thanks to the wider aperture and OIS, they captured low-light images with little noise and motion blur.
For those who want to take wide-angle shots, the 16MP lens provides a 107-degree field of view. This makes it great for architectural or group shots. While it works, many noticed that the images were often soft around the edges. And, without OIS, many of their pictures ended up blurry from camera shake.
Finally, the telephoto lens disappointed experts the most. Images were often very soft and blurry. They also found the focusing system hit-or-miss -- especially in low-light situations.
The two front-facing cameras on the phone generally provided crisp selfies with accurate colors.
While it’s not perfect, the critics describe the LG V40 ThinQ as an excellent option. The Verge states, “... It has great performance, an excellent screen, and reliable battery life… And the V40’s camera is fun… even if it isn’t perfect.” Digital Trends adds, “The LG V40 ThinQ isn’t inspiring, but it has a creatively fun camera, and it nails many of the fundamentals.”
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