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The premium midrange smartphone flagship segment in India has been heating up, thanks to the offerings from companies like OnePlus, Honor & Xiaomi. LG, a South Korean supergiant has recently forayed into this new price segment with the launch of their flagship smartphone the LG G7+ ThinQ. This phone has been aggressively priced to compete against OnePlus’s 2018 flagship, the OnePlus 6. So, does the LG pack in enough features to stay afloat the already crowded premium mid-range segment? Here’s our full review of the LG G7+ ThinQ.

Design, Build

The LG G+ ThinQ’s design isn’t going to win any awards, but it isn’t all that bad either. The glass sandwich design uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 for protection against potential drops and scratches. Although the G7+ has a flat back, the curved edges on the phone ensure that the phone is comfortable enough to hold, for hours. As it has a glass back, the phone does slip from surfaces easily.

On the design front, LG has made a few design changes from last year’s model, the LG G6. The G7+ now has a vertically mounted rear camera, besides which lie a laser autofocus and an LED module. The fingerprint scanner remains at the back, although the power button underneath it has now been relocated to the right. Apart from the usual volume rockers on the left, the G7+ now features a Bixby-like dedicated button for Google Assistant.

Display

The display on the LG G7+ ThinQ is an absolute feast to lay one’s eyes on. The 6.1-inch M+ IPS panel has a Quad HD+ resolution which keeps everything clean and crisp. The company has come up with a notch on the top, which is first for any LG smartphone. LG calls the notched sides the “new second screen,” which can be customized or even hidden through the settings if you hate notches.

LG G7+ ThinQ front

The “Boosted” mode on the phone, lets you crank up the brightness up to a maximum of 1000 nits, which is blindingly bright even under direct sunlight. However, you won’t be using the “Boosted Brightness” mode all that often as the display is bright enough even at the highest brightness.

Even though the panel doesn’t have the eye-popping colors found in the Super AMOLED panels of Samsung’s flagship smartphones or the OLED panels on the LG’s V-series phones, the LG-made IPS panel is vibrant enough to keep you glued to the screen for hours at a time. The screen does seem to have a slightly cooler color temperature on standard setting, which can be calibrated to the user’s liking or can be left untouched. Part of it has to be blamed on my Galaxy S7 Edge, which has a slightly warm color temperature, to which I’m accustomed.

LG G7+ ThinQ front top

Also, the screen is both Dolby Vision and HDR10 complaint – meaning the phone can playback HDR10 video formats, if available. The phone also offers a “Comfort View” mode, which is what LG likes to call the Reading Mode/ Blue Light Filter Mode. Also, the phone has a Black & White mode, under the “Comfort View” mode, which turns the vibrant UI into a subtle Black & White color.

Software and Performance

The Snapdragon 845 which powers the G7+ ThinQ is a chipset to be reckoned with. The beefy processor has powered plenty other smartphones and has always proved its might over Samsung and Huawei‘s silicone counterparts. The chipset offers great and smooth performance in daily tasks, with no hiccups whatsoever. The CPUs need not flex their muscles while churning your daily mail and calls. However, the SOC’s real processing prowess lies within the Adreno 630 GPU.

LG G7+ ThinQ front bottom

The GPU breezes through every graphically intensive task you throw at it. In our testing, the phone easily played PUBG on the HDR & Ultra graphical settings with Realistic gameplay turned on. While the phone did get warm after 20 mins of gaming, it never got uncomfortably hot. On the note of gaming, the LG G7+ ThinQ with the above-mentioned graphics on PUBG, let us game for hours without any hiccups. However, the game did prompt us once to turn down the graphics to keep the frame rate stable, which when ignored, didn’t result in any depreciation of performance.

Despite having a great chipset, the phone is let down by LG’s skinned ThinQ UI. The LG’s custom UI on top of Android Oreo is heavy and needs much polishing. However, the UI offers a ton of customization and tweaks which makes up for the lack of a Vanilla variant of Android. Features such as customizable home-touch buttons, as well as a Comfort view, make the overall experience better.

Cameras

LG G7+ ThinQ cameras

The LG G7+ ThinQ comes with a dual camera setup on the back, a feature that has now become a norm in the 2018 flagships. Both the cameras use a 16 MP sensor, of which the primary unit comes with a large f/1.6 lens, while the secondary camera comes with a slightly narrower f/1.9 aperture. The secondary camera uses a 107° super-wide-angle lens. The cameras are powered by LG’s ThinQ technology, which can easily recognize various scenes and optimize the camera settings accordingly. Assisting the rear cameras are the laser autofocus LED module and an LED flash.

LG G7+ ThinQ camera AI

The camera interface on the LG G7+ is relatively clean and straightforward for the most part. The UI offers modes such as Google Lens, Portrait and AI Cam on the camera’s home screen. To make the best use of the LG G7+, the phone features modes such as manual photo, manual video, food, slow-motion, panorama, AR Stickers. Apart from these, the G7+ camera app also offers a Cine Video mode which offers predefined color modes, as well as a point & zoom feature, wherein users can tap on a subject and move the slider to zoom in or away from the subject.

As for the camera performance, the LG G7+ ThinQ takes great shots in good lighting conditions with ample amount of details in the photos. The photos have a great dynamic range, with the primary camera. The secondary wide-angle camera offers similar performance with the same resolution, unlike its predecessor. However, the wide angle unit is a fixed focus camera, making it unusable for macro shots. As for the videos, the LG G7+ ThinQ captures great videos which are properly stabilized. While the primary camera comes with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), the wide-angle camera doesn’t come with any stabilization.

HDR capture on LG G7+ ThinQ
HDR capture on LG G7+ ThinQ

Background blur shot on LG G7+ ThinQ

Normal capture on LG G7+ ThinQ

Wide angle capture on LG G7+ ThinQ
Wide angle capture on LG G7+ ThinQ

Check all camera samples: Click here.

LG is known to offer some of the best manual camera controls on their devices, and the same is the case with the G7+. LG’s Manual controls let users tweak the settings such as ISO, Shutter speed, White Balance, Focus & Exposure control. The ISO range offered in camera ranges from 50 to 3200, while the shutter speeds can be as fast as 1/4000 of a sec or as long as 32 seconds. While on the manual video mode, apart from the aforementioned manual controls, the phone also offers an audio tweaking setting, using which people can change the direction of the sound source as well increase or decrease gains.

In the front, the 8 MP selfie snapper with a f/1.9 aperture takes excellent selfies. The photos have good detail with pretty accurate colors. The G7+ ThinQ also offers AR stickers in the camera app as well as a portrait mode. Pictures shot using the Portrait mode on the G7+’s front-facing camera, don’t differentiate the subject from the background properly and sometimes blur out parts of the hair. On the video end, the front facing 8 MP camera is limited to 1080p video recording.

Battery

Fueling the LG G7+ ThinQ is a 3000 mAh battery which is Quick Charge 3.0 compatible for quick top-ups. The battery can charge from 0-50% in just 40 mins through the bundled fast charger. While the battery offers great standby times with Always-On-Display turned off, there isn’t a significant drop in battery percentage when it is turned on.

The overall battery life of the phone is good with the battery offering up to a day’s usage with a full charge. However, we had to plug in the charger by the end of the day, to refuel. The G7+ also has wireless charging support for convenience.

Audio

The LG G7+’s review will be incomplete if we do not mention the audio. The phone comes packed with serious audio tech geared towards audiophiles. Just like every other flagship phone that LG has launched in recent times, the G7+ comes with LG’s Signature 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC for an immersive audio experience through a headset.

LG G7+ ThinQ bottom

While the overall audio experience is consistent and clear through the headset, the volume through headphones isn’t loud enough for our liking. In an age when companies have moved past the headphone jack by courageously omitting it from their phones, LG is one of the few big players who refrain from jumping ship.

The LG G7 comes with a single chamber speaker at the bottom which can be muffled while gaming or watching movies in landscape mode. Due to the acoustic chamber design, the LG G7+ produces a significantly louder audio output through the single speaker. The phone lacks stereo speakers which is a bit disappointing, given that flagships from other companies do come with stereo speakers.

Verdict

Hey, this is one such time when LG has got the pricing right. Even though the market has some of those heavy powered phones like the POCO F1 that is priced much lesser, and then the Honor Play and ASUS ZenFone 5z, LG has its own way of telling that their flagship is better. The phone is seriously good, with the performance that is comparable with every flagship, and a set of cameras that impresses, and the body that can be dipped into the waters without any worry.

Also, it is worth mentioning that while for some it might not matter if the phone has it, but having the QHD+ display makes it super sharp.

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