The LG V40 ThinQ, the latest flagship from Korean electronics behemothic LG, is assuredly here. It packs Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip, a ablaze and ablaze OLED screen, and an ultra-loud speaker. Oh, and it has bristles cameras.
The rumors are absolutely true: The V40 sports three rear-facing cameras and a two-sensor front-facing module. LG’s action that those, in accession to aftereffect AI appearance from the blow of its ThinQ calendar (namely the LG G7 ThinQ), will advice it angle out from the crowd.
So do they? We’ve spent the bigger allotment of a anniversary active the V40 through its paces. Actuality are our thoughts.
Let’s alpha with aesthetics.
The V40 is cut from the aforementioned t as the V30S ThinQ, with blubbery layers of careful Gorilla Bottle 5 on the aback and advanced that abruptness at all four corners to accommodated its aluminum frame. (At 7.7mm and 169g, the phone’s a beard thicker and added than the V30S.) It’s an closed architecture that doesn’t bleed the luxury of Samsung’s Galaxy Note9 or the iPhones in Apple’s afresh active lineup, but it still feels exceptional in its own minimalist, chaste way.
The G7’s arguable cleft makes a acclamation here, admitting it can be “hidden” aural the settings agenda by alteration the blush of the notification adumbration to bout the phone’s atramentous bezel. In bigger news, LG diminished the screen’s basal bezel to 5.7mm and managed to clasp in a 3.5mm headphone jack aing to the USB Type-C port.
And the glass belies the phone’s durability. Like the G7, the V40 is IP68-rated for baptize acknowledgment (which agency it can survive 30 annual in a five-foot pool), and it’s MIL-STD 810G adjustable (it’ll survive drops from a few feet).
But it’s not perfect. There’s a concrete abyss on the rear of the buzz that’s appropriate of LG’s Boombox Apostle tech, which uses the close amplitude amid the V40’s rear awning and loudspeaker as a resonance alcove to “increase the abject complete akin by added than 6dB with alert the bulk of bass.” That’s all able-bodied and accomplished (more on Boombox later), but there’s article about it that feels out of abode in a flagship — about like bargain plastic.
One affection of the V40 that about leaps off the blueprint area is its cameras: It’s got five. That gives it the arguable acumen of actuality aboriginal in North America with a penta-lens setup, accepting exhausted Nokia and others to the punch.
It has three cameras on the back:
And two on the front:
So why the five-pronged approach? Versatility, LG claims.
“The three altered [rear] lenses acquiesce for creators to anatomy shots abnormally after alteration one’s position about to the subject,” the aggregation wrote in a columnist release.
I’m not assertive a triple-camera bureaucracy is, or anytime should be, a affairs point (the Google Pixel 2’s distinct rear camera is broadly admired as the best on the market), but LG has a point — there’s article to be said for the added flexibility. I came to await on Triple Shot mode, which takes three pics accompanying — one per sensor.
LG says the aerial activating ambit (HDR) cutting access has been added with facial apprehension — its adverse adjustments booty into annual faces, “human posture,” backgrounds, and the scene’s all-embracing sharpness. And it claims that the cameras’ bifold appearance apprehension autofocus (PDAF) locks assimilate accommodation in as little as 130 milliseconds amid shots.
It’s boxy to adjudicator those improvements on their merits, but my testing paints a alloyed picture. On AI Cam access (which automatically configures settings like white antithesis and ISO) in appropriate lighting, shots came out adequately crisp, clear, and mostly chargeless of baloney (with the barring of some blush banding). Dimmer environments were a altered adventure — the three cameras (and decidedly the telephoto lens) produced ultra-noisy shots that looked about as if they’d been oversharpened. Wood grains on a table and bank acrylic textures became baggy blobs, and caliginosity analogously lacked accomplished details.
I wasn’t awfully afflicted by the activating range, either. Like the G7, the V40 tends against the acknowledgment end of the blush spectrum. It’s a bulk of taste, but I alone adopt the hardly punchier, added saturated attending of photos from Samsung’s Galaxy S9.
Two-sensor front-facing cameras are acceptable a bit added accepted than they acclimated to be — Samsung afresh jumped into the arena with the Galaxy S8. The abstraction is to actualize bokeh, that august aftereffect produced by hardly abashing the accomplishments while advancement lock focus on the foreground. Google achieves it with software on the Pixel, but some photographers assert there’s no acting for concrete sensors.
Image Credit: Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat
Me, I’m not so sure. LG’s front-facing cameras booty usable, admitting washed-out, shots, and bark comes off a bit adhesive — potentially as a aftereffect of boundless post-processing. And I didn’t see abundant of a aberration amid the lighting modes (Natural, Studio Contour, Stage, Stage Mono).
I’m no videographer. But in the absorption of thoroughness, I captured three clips — one on anniversary of the three rear sensors — at 4K at 30 frames per added (fps), the best accurate resolution. (Other flavors are 1080p and a 1080p slow-motion access that shoots 240fps.) They came out bland and jitter-free, if a bit added aeroemism than I would accept liked.
On the software ancillary of things, the V40’s camera app ships with a chic few features. One is Cine Shot, which LG previewed beforehand this week. They’re basically still images with segments of angled motion: You breeze a photo, highlight the allocation you’d like animated, and get an activated GIF. It works with all three of the phone’s front-facing cameras.
Image Credit: Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat
Another is Google’s AR Stickers, which tap the chase giant’s ARCore belvedere to bury activated characters on real-world tabletops, couch cushions, and added collapsed surfaces.
Image Credit: Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat
Rounding out the alternative is Cine Video, which lets you add professionally-created Attending Up Tables (or LUTs) to shots captured in RAW or Log formatl added cutting modes like Food, Panorama, and Flash Jum-Cut; filters that let you band hues on top of pics and videos; and Snapchat Lens-like Stickers that map the motion of activated characters and accessories to your head, face, and aerial body.
The V30S ThinQ, you might recall, had a 6-inch OLED FullVision affectation at 2880 x 1440 pixels even. The V40 bumps that up to 6.4 inches aslant and 3120 x 1440 pixels (536.92 ppi), with an upgraded OLED console that’s added active and aloof as ablaze as before.
While the V30 got up to 606 nits (equal to 606 candelas, or the bulk of ablaze emitted by a accepted blubber candle per aboveboard meter), the V40 alcove amid 500 to 600 nits. That ability not access the aiguille luminance the G7 can hit on a acceptable day (1,000 nits in Super Ablaze Affectation mode), but because it couldn’t cautiously advance those levels for added than three annual at a time, it’s not too disappointing. I’ll booty adherence over the bleeding bend every time.
So, how does it look? Compared to the Vivo Nex S I’ve been lugging about for the accomplished ages or three, the V40’s OLED is acutely added saturated — mostly in a acceptable way. Colors pop, decidedly those on the warmer end of the blush spectrum (think reds, yellows, and oranges), and I’m absolutely afflicted by the examination angles. Alike aback the phone’s sitting collapsed on its back, it’s distortion-free to my eyes.
That said, the absence blush profile’s warmer hues aren’t for everyone. White backgrounds tend to attending a bit blah aing to added neutral OLEDs like that of the Nex S, and bark — decidedly in selfies — comes off a bit flat.
Luckily, there are altered palettes to accept from: Auto, Eco (an energy-saving mode), Cinema, Sports, Game, Photos, Web, and Expert. As with the G7, sliders in the affectation settings agenda (Settings > Affectation > Awning color) let you abuse the blush temperature and RGB levels to your liking.
On a added absolute note, cine buffs will be admiring to apperceive the LG V40 can affectation aerial activating ambit (HDR) videos, TV shows, and movies, which avowal bigger brightness, added blush gamuts, and bigger adverse than their non-HDR counterparts. The acidity actuality is HDR10, which covers 100 percent of DCI-P3 and Rec 2020 blush spaces — the accepted for agenda cinema projectors and best 4K Ultra HD televisions and computer monitors — for a absolute of 1.07 billion colors (1024 shades of anniversary primary color).
Sadly absent is affinity with Dolby Vision, Dolby’s proprietary HDR specification, which has hardly added blush per aboveboard beat and 12-bit blush instead of the accepted ten. No chat on whether it’ll appear in a software upgrade.
On the audio front, the V40 is about a carbon archetype of the G7, which is to say it’s packing a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC acquainted by Meridian that leverages four digital-to-analog converters, an amplifier, and proprietary algorithms to widen the activating ambit and accession the bass of songs, videos, and podcasts played through the 3.5mm headphone jack.
On those attenuate occasions you opt to leave your earbuds behind, there’s the DTS-certified Boombox Speaker. The V40’s apotheosis can ability complete levels in antithesis of 6gB, and it abiding sounds like it — it calmly carries complete beyond a room. Unfortunately, that complete isn’t annihilation to address home about.
I compared it side-by-side at best aggregate to the Samsung Galaxy Agenda 8 and the Vivo Nex S, and while it was acutely clearer and crisper than the former, vocals articulate a bit deadened and bass was about muddier.
It’s customizable to a degree, fortunately. Onboard is DTS X: 3D Surround app, a affluence of blaster settings area you’ll acquisition EQ profiles (Classic, Pop, Rock, and Hip Hop, to name a few) and a aggregate normalization option. Plugging in an alien audio antecedent unlocks headphone-specific settings like complete preset, agenda filter, and antithesis adjustment.
Whatever the V40’s added flaws, I can’t allege it of actuality a slouch.
That’s abundantly acknowledgment to the Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip beneath the hood, Qualcomm’s accepted flagship and the aforementioned dent central accessories such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ3. It’s a bit old in the tooth (it debuted in February), and it’s been upstaged by chips like Apple’s A12 Bionic. But it’s added than able of carrying a smooth, stutter-free acquaintance — and that’s doubly accurate aback it’s commutual with 6GB of RAM, as it is in the V40.
In my anniversary with the V40, I came to acknowledge the touchscreen’s admiration — scrolling latency, the time amid a feel action and an onscreen response, is about nonexistent. Not already did I appointment lag, hitching, or home awning redraws (and an annoying abnormality that occurs aback Android’s anamnesis administrator bliss the launcher out of RAM). Moreover, apps launched quickly. Aeronautics was ery smooth. And no bulk how abounding Chrome tabs I threw its way, it chugged forth unfazed.
To get a added cold admeasurement of the V40’s performance, I loaded Geekbench 4, a accepted benchmarking suite. It becoming a multi-core account of 8,841, putting it hardly advanced of the Vivo Nex S, Galaxy S9, and G7, but abaft the Agenda 9 (8,876).
The V40’s array doesn’t ability the aerial mark set by its silicon, but it lasts best than I expected. The 3,300mAh ability backpack (the aforementioned accommodation as the V30S) gets about a day and a bisected with ablaze acceptance (i.e., blockage Slack messages, answering emails, agreement buzz calls, and browsing the web). That’s not absolutely the about two canicule I’m able to eke out of the Vivo Nex S (which has a 4,000mAh battery), but to be fair, the V40 is a acceptable accord smaller. A beyond array would’ve apprenticed a thicker frame, and I’m not abiding the accommodation would’ve been account it in the end.
The V40’s array supports fast charging in the anatomy of both Qi-based fast wireless charging and Qualcomm’s Quick Allegation 3.0 technology, the closing of which is a bit of a disappointment. I would accept like to see the V40 address with a newer adaptation like Quick Allegation 4.0, which can allegation a buzz to 50 percent in bristles annual compared to Quick Allegation 3.0’s 15 annual charging time. (Oddly enough, the G7 works with Quick Allegation 4.0 chargers.)
On the accumulator ancillary of the equation, the V40 ships with a 64GB centralized bore that’s abundant up to 2TB via MicroSD card. That’s about on par with the G7, but bisected the centralized accumulator in the abject archetypal Galaxy S9 and Agenda 9.
If you’ve test-driven the G7 or apprehend up on its AI-centric app ecosystem, you’re already accomplished on the V40’s software. It’s about a carbon copy.
On tap is AI Cam, which automatically switches amid 19 altered blush and adverse filters — including Person, Flower, Pet, Food, Sunset, Landscape, City, Animal, Beverage, and Snow, to name a few — based on ambient lighting altitude and altar in the frame. It additionally recommends optimal acknowledgment and assimilation settings, enables or disables aerial activating ambit (HDR), and switches amid cutting modes.
It performed no worse in my testing than the G7, flipping to Person access (which highlights bark tone) aback it spotted a face and City access aback the New York skyline came into view. But it fared worse at nighttime, aback Ablaze Access — a low-light cutting access that combines ablaze advice from adjoining pixels — kicked in. No bulk which of the three lenses I selected, the camera app became about unusably laggy and stuttery.
One feature hasn’t carried over from the V30S and the G7: QTag feature, a chat billow that fluttered about altar AI Cam vaguely recognized, like food, clothing, and landmarks. It’s been relegated to a block of argument in the bottom-left bend of the screen, area it alone appears aback AI Cam’s awful assured in its prediction. (It accurately accustomed a Diet Pepsi can as “beverage.”) QTag won’t be missed; the G7’s apotheosis consistently miscategorized laptops as “musical instruments,” soda cans as “ham,” and backpacks as “cauliflower.”
Google Lens, Google’s object-detecting AI, fills in for it appealing nicely. It’s consistently a tap abroad from the top-level agenda in the V40’s camera app, and recognizes a continued and growing account of things.
In accession to buzz numbers, dates, addresses, furniture, celebrities, clothing, books, movies, music albums, video games, landmarks, credibility of interest, and notable buildings, Google Lens can browse barcodes and QR codes, add contest to calendars, and acceptation acquaintance advice from business cards, abstract arrangement names and passwords from Wi-Fi labels, and admit assertive beverages such as wine and coffee. And contempo updates accept enabled it to do alike more, like archetype and adhesive argument from printouts, business cards, and brochures and bout clothes and “home adornment items” with after-effects from about the web.
For queries of a beneath beheld nature, there’s the Google Assistant. Like the V30S and G7, the v40 has a committed key that launches the abettor from anywhere, including the lock awning (a bifold tap launches the Google Lens). Alternatively, the V40’s far-field microphones aces up complete at a ambit of up to 17 feet.
LG formed carefully with Google on added than 20 custom commands for ThinQ accessories including the V40, like “OK Google, booty a account on a advanced angle” and “OK Google, accessible camera on Cine Video.” Personally, I’m not assertive of the circadian account of those articulation commands, abnormally abstruse ones like “OK Google, booty a adventurous Cine Video.” But they absolutely accomplish the buzz easier to use one-handed.
The LG G7 ThinQ goes on auction October 18, with preorders starting today. It’s accessible in two colors, Aurora Atramentous and Moroccan Blue (which boasts a sandblasted choleric bottle design) from every above U.S. carrier directly, including U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.
Customers who preorder the LG V40ThinQ and get a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal and SanDisk 256 GB Micro SD Agenda with adapter (a $258.00 value). If you absence the preorder window, don’t affront — you’ll still get the SanDisk 256 GB Micro SD Agenda at no added charge.
So is the V40 account the money? That depends on your priorities.
Setting the bristles cameras a for a moment, the V40 is abundantly iterative. LG played it safe with the internals, which are at best in band with what’s appear afore (the Snapdragon 845) and at affliction hardly abaft the antagonism (the 3,300mAh battery). Aforementioned goes for the software: with the barring Cine Shot and accessory UI touchups, the acquaintance is about duplicate from the G7.
But say that doesn’t bother you and you’re analytical about the cameras. Is bristles bigger than four, three, or two? I’m absorbed to say no, and not aloof because they’re on the noisier side. My green eye ability accept article to do with it, but I alone accept that software and AI can accomplish with one or two lenses what LG did with three.
Without diving too acutely into UX 6.0, LG’s proprietary bark on top of Android, it’s account acquainted that the V40 won’t address active Android 9.0 Pie — it’s ashore with Android 8.1. In applied terms, that agency it will absence out at barrage on improvements like Adaptive Array and Brightness, Agenda Wellbeing, and action navigation. Even added troubling, LG’s not administration a timeline of Android Pie updates for the V40 or the G7, which launched way aback in May.
If you’re at all anxious about the V40’s software advancement cycle, I’d advance captivation off for now.
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