LG G7 review: As by-the-numbers as flagship smartphones come
- Google Assistant button & quad-DAC separate it from the competition
- Great feel-factor
- Too expensive
- Unique features aren't game-changers
- Underwhelming camera
LG's G7 ThinQ is a by-the-numbers hardware play that - while perfectly adequate - utterly fails to be anything more than a raw, arithmetical, sum of its parts.
As with the design of the device, the G7’s camera configuration is more of a neat evolution than anything else. Where the G6 opted for dual 13-megapixel sensors, the G7 ups the ante to 16-megapixels and raises the front-facing sensor from 5-megapixels to 8-megapixels. These hardware gains aren’t insignificant but, within the flagship smartphone space, they inevitably come across as a little underwhelming.
If you’re unfamiliar, LG offer a slightly-different take on the dual-lens smartphone camera configurations you’ll find elsewhere. Rather than pair up a traditional lens with a telephoto one, LG’s smartphone emphasize wide-angle shots.
As with the G6, the results are a little uneven. They’re not bad - but they lack the luster and crisp detail that you can get out of “peak” smartphone photography powerhouses like the Huawei P20 Pro, Mate 10 Pro, Google Pixel 2 or Samsung Galaxy S9+.
The G7 ThinQ features portrait or bokeh photography mode on both the front and rear cameras, which is good - but basically the standard at this point. Still, generally speaking, the G7 ThinQ takes nice photos that are a definite improvement on its predecessor.
Unfortunately, it still lags behind where the rest of the flagship crowd sits - especially when it comes to low-light. The G7 ThinQ does a feature a super bright mode that boosts the brightness of darker images but, frustratingly, this can only be activated in specific circumstances.
Of course, the G7’s camera does come with one major software improvement in the form of the LG’s new AI Cam.
Like similar solutions found in smartphones from Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi, LG use object recognition techniques to train the camera to recognize the kind of photo you’re looking to take and optimize the settings accordingly.
LG say their AI Camera comes good to recognises 19 different scenes, which is pretty comparable to that offered by their biggest rivals. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised with the results I actually got out of the G7 ThinQ once I did enable the AI Camera. The lack of zoom stung but, sometimes, the algorithms came together in a way that can produced some impressive results.
In terms of everyday performance, I found little to fault with the G7 ThinQ. It is, after all, a flagship device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor. App loaded fast, games ran smoothly and I rarely found myself bogged down during heavy multitasking sessions.
I was also really impressed with just how close to stock it feels like LG’s skin for Android has become. It’s super light on bloatware and the experience of using this phone - for a day or a week - was always intuitive and easy-going. On this front , the G7 ThinQ strikes a really compelling balance.
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When it comes to benchmarks, the G7 ThinQ delivered fast-tracked results that lived up to its spec-sheet. Courtesy of its high-end processor, it cleanly outranked pretty much every other flagship smartphone we’ve reviewed in recent months - with the exception of the Galaxy S9+, which held its lead during GeekBench’s mobile CPU benchmarking tests.
Next Page: Battery Life & The Bottom Line
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