LG shows off the Q8 — a waterproof V20 in a slightly more manageable package

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LG has two flagship smartphones currently on the market — the G6, which released in the spring, and the V20, which has been kicking around since last fall. They are both powerful, capable devices, but feel very different to use. On Thursday, in a surprise announcement, the company unveiled a third top-tier option — the LG Q8.

The Q8, in essence, appears to be a smaller version of the V20. That phone had a 5.7-inch display with a secondary “ticker” panel at the top, beside the front-facing camera. The Q8 sports a similar layout, though its main display measures just 5.2 inches, while featuring the same QHD resolution. In terms of the design, it also borrows the V20’s metallic, dark silver enclosure and even its Quad DAC audio tech. The dual cameras have been carried over as well — though the Q8’s main shooter is 13 megapixels, compared to the 16-megapixel one found in the V20.

Surprisingly, the Q8 goes even a step further in one very significant respect. It is rated IP67 water-resistant, which is more than can be said for the V20. Despite the smaller size, the phone contains the same processor as its larger sibling — Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 — along with the same 4GB of RAM and a battery that is comparable in capacity at 3,000mAh. That is a hair smaller than the 3,200mAh unit in the V20 but the more compact frame had to shave off some bulk from something.

That sounds like a winning package in a much more accessible form factor, though LG is remaining tight-lipped on whether most consumers around the world will be able to get their hands on one. Currently, the Q8 has only been announced in Italy and is scheduled to release sometime before the end of July. At an asking price of 600 euros (about $698), it is still quite expensive considering the age of the V20’s hardware, which is almost a year out of date at this point. We have reached out to LG about expanded availability and will update this article as we receive more information.

We liked the V20 when we reviewed it in 2016, though we admitted that the lack of waterproofing and large size may be deal-breakers for some users. Fortunately, the Q8 looks to solve those issues, if they kept you from snagging a V20 before.