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The best LG phones for 2021

LG has developed a solid reputation for developing some very interesting and attractive Android smartphones, even if it isn’t one of the big boys in the space right now. Whether you’re looking for novel dual-screen devices or dependable all-rounders, LG almost certainly has you covered, and its phones are generally priced more competitively than much of the competition. That said, if you’re new to the LG stable, you may not be sure which is the best model for you, not least when LG’s phones sport confusingly similar names (LG V60 ThinQ versus G8X ThinQ, anyone?).

Luckily, this guide offers a rundown of the best LG phones available to buy right now. It features the best LG smartphone overall, and it also covers the best LG phones for particular needs and tastes. This should help you get past all of those confusing code names.

Best LG phones at a glance

Best overall LG smartphone: LG Velvet

LG Velvet Screen
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s a beautifully-designed smartphone with a sharp screen, strong battery life, 5G support, and military-standard durability.

Who it’s for: Anybody looking for the latest and best LG flagship smartphone and who prizes beautiful looks and long-lasting batteries.

Why we picked the LG Velvet

First things first: The LG Velvet looks absolutely stunning, even when compared to beauties from other leading manufacturers like Samsung. It comes in either Aurora Green or Illusion Sunset (a bit like Samsung’s variably bluish Aura Glow color), both of which look exceedingly sleek and alluring. On the front, it boasts an edge-to-edge display with a tidy punch-hole selfie camera at the top, while the rear benefits from a striking teardrop array for its triple-lens camera. It’s also invitingly thin, and its curved edges make the 7.9mm profile seem even thinner in your hands.

Its display is also very nice, featuring a big 6.8-inch P-OLED screen with a resolution of 2460 x 1080 pixels. It’s not quite as sharp as the screen you can find in other leading flagships, but it does the job nicely, with its larger dimensions feeling satisfyingly impressive.

Its two other big draws are its 4,300mAh battery and durability. The battery will see you into a second day under most usage regimes, while its IP68 and MIL-STD 810G ratings suggest that it can withstand a fair amount of punishment. There’s also the option to buy a separate dual-screen case, so you can operate two touchscreens at once (great for multitasking).

In other departments, the LG Velvet is more or less average at best. Its camera takes great ultrawide shots, although the quality of its main lens is occasionally inconsistent, either over- or under-sharpening shots and requiring post-photo editing. Similarly, it uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, which will handle most everyday tasks pretty well but won’t offer the same high-level performance as other flagships.

These qualifications aside, the LG Velvet is a very good Android smartphone overall. It’s almost certainly the best smartphone LG has produced to date, and hopefully, it’s something LG can build on in the future.

Read more in our full LG Velvet review

Runner-up: LG V60 ThinQ

lg-v60-thinq
Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

To put it as reductively as possible, the LG V60 ThinQ is basically a version of the LG Velvet that doesn’t look quite as good, but that still offers pretty much the same performance and the same features. It supports 5G, has a very beefy Snapdragon 865 chip and a highly-enduring 5,000mAh battery, and you can use it with a dual-screen case (purchased separately). It’s almost a great phone, save for an inconsistent camera that struggles in low light and some software niggles (such as bloatware and intrusive reminders). Still, if you can find it for less than the LG Velvet, it may be preferable to the newer model.

Read more in our full LG V60 ThinQ review

Best dual-screen LG smartphone: LG G8X ThinQ

LG G8X ThinQ
Corey Gaskin / Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: You get another great all-round LG smartphone, but with a dual-screen case bundled in for good measure

Who it’s for: Anybody who wants to multitask on a high-powered and reliable flagship smartphone.

Why we picked the LG G8X ThinQ:

While a number of recent LG flagships are compatible with dual-screen cases, only the G8X ThinQ comes with such a case as standard. This makes it the LG of choice for anyone who likes to multitask on their phone or who uses their device for work. The case slots easily onto the phone using a USB Type-C connection, providing a second 6.4-inch OLED display with 2340 x 1080 pixels, just like the G8X ThinQ’s main screen. You can use both screens separately to look at two different apps at the same time, or you can use them in combination as a kind of super-screen. They’re particularly useful for gamers, and the LG Gamepad feature lets you use a virtual video game controller on the bottom screen.

Besides the usefulness of the extra screen, the G8X ThinQ flaunts a number of other desirable features. It runs on a Snapdragon 855 chip and uses 6GB of RAM, making it fairly agile as a computing device, although its own software can be a touch sluggish at times. Its 4,000mAh battery is also generous enough when it comes to keeping you going until the next day, although if you use the dual-screen case regularly, you’ll most likely find that you need to charge before bedtime.

Also, as with other recent LG phones, the audio experience offered by the LG G8X ThinQ is surprisingly excellent, surpassing even that offered by iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. Support for hi-res files and Hi-Fi Quad DAC (which processes the audio signal four times in parallel) means noise is kept to a minimum, so you can simply enjoy your favorite music or the soundtrack of whatever movie you’re watching.

The G8X ThinQ was released in late 2019 for only $700, so you’ll almost certainly find it online for noticeably less at the moment. Its lack of a face unlock feature — and its occasionally unresponsive fingerprint sensor — is a minor negative, but it doesn’t take away from what is a well-priced and feature-rich Android.

Read more in our full LG G8X ThinQ review

Best budget LG smartphone: LG G7 ThinQ

LG G7 ThinQ
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s a fantastic midrange phone with a captivating display, versatile camera, and solid battery life.

Who it’s for: Anybody who wants high power at a discount, particularly if they’re prepared to shop around for the best price.

Why we picked the LG G7 ThinQ:

When it was launched in 2018, the LG G7 ThinQ certainly wasn’t pitched as a “budget” smartphone. However, now that it’s over two years old, you can find it for very affordable prices online, and it’s still more than worth a look.

It houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, meaning that it can still outperform certain Android phones released today. The phone also features a 6.1-inch IPS LCD screen with a 3120 x 1440 pixel resolution, making for an impressively sharp 564 pixels per inch. It supports HDR10, so together with the high resolution, the screen displays pleasingly rich colors and contrasts. All in all, it certainly won’t look out of place if you take it to a party with your Apple- and Samsung-owning friends.

With a second, ultrawide lens, the G7’s camera is highly versatile. You can take 107-degree panorama shots with this lens, while the standard 16-megapixel lens captures pictures with a satisfying level of detail while also providing a useful portrait mode. It may not be as high-powered as recent flagships, but compared to other LG devices, it’s one of the best camera phones of the bunch.

The battery is also dependable — even though it advertises only a 3,000mAh capacity, it will comfortably last a full day of heavy use. Combined with the excellent audio quality we also find on other recent LGs, this makes the G7 ThinQ a great budget Android if you can find it at a discounted price. It may not include 5G support, but with 5G still being somewhat underused, you probably won’t notice.

Read more in our full LG G7 ThinQ review

Most unique LG smartphone: LG Wing

LG Wing Video Open
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: If you want to impress your friends with your taste in innovative and unusual smartphones, then the LG Wing is the rotating dual-screen smartphone for you.

Who it’s for: Buyers who think single-screen smartphones are just a little too passé.

Why we picked the LG Wing:

In a world where we’ve now seen foldable phones and dual-screen cases, the LG Wing is still capable of turning more than a few heads. It’s also capable of turning itself, with its main 6.8-inch P-OLED screen able to swivel to a horizontal position to reveal a second, 3.9-inch screen underneath. Once in this position, the smartphone assumes a T-shaped outline where you can watch a video or take landscape pictures.

To be brutally honest, the LG Wing’s software doesn’t let you do much else beyond this, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless, and the phone really does look great. More importantly, the idea has been well-executed, with the swivel screen having been tested to 200,000 rotations, meaning it should outlast the length of time you’re likely to use it. It also feels satisfying and effortless to turn and turn back.

Basically, you can use the swivel feature to use various controls on the smaller screen while watching videos in landscape, while a number of video games have been adapted for the Wing (such as Asphalt 9 Legends). That said, other app integrations leave much to be desired, with Twitter (for example) not displaying anything on the lower screen while watching embedded videos in landscape.

These quibbles aside, the LG Wing is a solid phone in its own right. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 765G, which means it supports 5G. It also carries 8GB of RAM, so it’s more than capable of coping with most of the latest games and apps. Its camera is also pretty good, with a dual-lens setup in normal mode and a third lens that opens up when you swivel the main screen. The camera also incorporates a very effective gimbal system, which digitally stabilizes shots when you have the phone swiveled open.

Finally, the phone houses a 4,000mAh battery, which generally ends a single day with nearly a third of its juice left. Combined with a crisp display that boasts a resolution of 2460 x 1080 pixels, it’s a good phone overall, even if its headline feature ends up being underused.

Read more in our full LG Wing review

How we test

Why should you pay attention to our recommendations? We have reviewed pretty much every major Android smartphone since they first appeared on the scene to rival the iPhone. This includes every major LG smartphone, stretching at least as far back as the LG G2.

Because we’ve been following LG devices since the start, we know how new models stack up against predecessors and similar devices from other manufacturers. We thoroughly test each phone we cover before writing about it, living with it every day as our main smartphone. This way, we get a strong handle on its strengths and weaknesses and how it performs under various everyday conditions.

Once we’ve done this, we then report back to you with our findings. We know that most people don’t buy a new phone lightly, so we pay attention to what most people are looking for when on the hunt for a new device. We focus on the important aspects of each phone while trying to make each of our articles as accessible and fun to read as possible.

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