The LG G8 ThinQ lets you unlock your phone with your hand’s vein pattern

The LG G8 ThinQ smartphone is now available for purchase unlocked

LG’s bringing not just one, but two phones to Mobile World Congress 2019. Just a few months after releasing the LG V40 ThinQ comes the V50 ThinQ, which brings 5G connectivity, and then there’s the new LG G8 ThinQ, which uses strange air gestures to control the phone.

While the V50 ThinQ has a lot to offer, the G8 ThinQ is the phone many people will consider buying in the near future — and for good reason. It boasts excellent specs, an improved camera, and will likely be cheaper than the 5G-ready phone. Here’s everything you need to know about the LG G8 ThinQ, and check out our full review for more in-depth impressions.


It’s true that 2018 was the year of the notch, but it looks like that trend will continue well into 2019. The LG G8 ThinQ has one, and it closely resembles last year’s G7 ThinQ. There’s a similar 6.1-inch edge-to-edge screen, with the notch cutout at the top for what’s known as the Z Camera (more on that later), along with a small chin bezel at the bottom. Apart from that, however, there seems to be slim bezels all around, and it overall looks elegant.

Interestingly enough, the notch at the top isn’t for a speaker — it’s only for the camera. The phone instead uses LG’s new Crystal Sound OLED, or CSO, technology, in which a piezoelectric vibrator behind the display replaces the earpiece. Thankfully, there is still a Boombox speaker on the bottom, allowing you to get loud stereo sound. Not only that, but because the screen vibrates on higher volumes when using CSO, it’s almost like bone-conduction technology — which is helpful in a loud environment — when you press the device to your ear.

The back of the phone looks pretty sleek, too. It features a glass build with a dual-lens camera and the G8 ThinQ logo. That glass is actually slightly different on the back compared to the front (Gorilla Glass 6 over Gorilla Glass 5), and the cameras are set under it, rather than sitting in a separate module. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the back, so LG isn’t following the in-display fingerprint sensor trend just yet. On the bottom, there’s a USB-C port and a headphone jack.

The display on the phone supports HDR10 and has a resolution of 3,120 x 1,440, which equates to an impressive pixel density of 564 pixels-per-inch.


Perhaps more important than the design of the phone is what’s under the hood, and the G8 ThinQ is no slouch. The phone offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though if that’s not enough storage for you, there’s also a MicroSD card slot.

Powering everything is a 3,500mAh battery, which isn’t bad at all. Considering recent innovations in conserving battery, the 3,500mAh battery should get you through the day. To charge that battery, you can use Quick Charge 3.0 through the USB-C port, or use Fast Wireless Charging, which is supported on this phone.

Z Camera

Let’s move on to the cameras, which have a lot to offer. On the back of the phone, you’ll get two camera sensors, including one standard 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.5 and one 16-megapixel wide-angle sensor with an aperture of f/1.9.

Perhaps more interesting, however, is the front-facing camera. LG calls the front-facing camera on the device the Z Camera, and it’s an 8-megapixel sensor paired with an infrared sensor (also being called a Time of Flight sensor). According to LG, the Z Camera can be used for a range of different things — including facial recognition akin to Apple’s Face ID. It can also be used for things like air gesture input, which is called Air Motion on the G8 ThinQ. With Air Motion, you can interact with the phone without ever touching it. For convenience, LG has added a few gesture-based shortcuts — like the ability to open two apps quickly, accept or reject calls, turn off alarms, play and pause music, and so on. LG notes that the feature isn’t meant to be used all the time — but it is a nice way to interact with your phone if your hands are dirty, like when you’re cooking, for example.

The Z Camera also enables what LG calls “Hand ID.” Using infrared technology, the phone basically remembers the vein pattern in your hand — and according to LG, it’s extremely hard to hack. To use it, you can simply hold your hand above the sensor, slowly lift it up, and the phone will unlock.

LG G8s ThinQ

LG will also release another phone, called the LG G8s ThinQ, which won’t come to the U.S. as it’s meant for developing markets. It still maintains a Snapdragon 855 processor, but has a 6.2-inch OLED screen with a 3,350mAh battery. There are three cameras on the back, with a dedicated “night shot mode and low-light HDR technology,” along with the same Z Camera set up. It will be a lower-cost device, but LG hasn’t mentioned price.

Price and availability

The LG G8 ThinQ will be available in Black, Silver, and Red. There will be a slightly different variant of the G8 sold internationally (it has three cameras like the V40). It will cost $840.

Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T all carry the LG G8 ThinQ, and you can also now get the phone unlocked. Prices vary from around $650 to $850 depending on the carrier or outlet you buy the phone from. Check out our full guide on the LG G8 ThinQ’s pricing and availability for more.

Updated on April 11, 2019: The LG G8 ThinQ is now available unlocked.


5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.

The best bezel-less phones cut all the right corners without losing space

As the smartphone industry marches toward a bezel-less future, we compare the shrinking bezels on the latest and greatest devices. Find out which manufacturers have the smallest bezels on their smartphone as we compare them side by side.

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to get your Android phone into recovery mode.

LG's 5G-capable V50 ThinQ smartphone is now available for pre-order

LG has a habit of releasing too many phones. Following on the heels of the V40 ThinQ, the company has now unveiled the LG V50 ThinQ. There's 5G support, as well as an accessory that turns it into a foldable phone.

Cardinal red Galaxy S10 doesn't appear destined for the U.S.

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.

Sony not giving up on smartphones, but will only focus on 4 regions

Sony says it will not give up on phones, and still considers them indispensable to its business, but will focus on only four regions around the world — Japan, Europe, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

REI cuts prices on Garmin Fenix 5 and Suunto 3 fitness smartwatches

REI is currently dropping prices on Garmin Fenix and Suunto smartwatches for its anniversary sale. With fitness tracking, GPS, and smartphone connectivity, a solid wearable is one of the best companions outdoorsmen could wish for.

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: The top deals from Walmart, Dell, and Home Depot

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.

Chip architecture firm ARM ceases business with Huawei, claims latest leak

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.

Keep your gadgets fully powered with the best Micro USB cables

A lot of older gadgets and Android smartphones still rely on Micro USB cables to charge or transfer data. Check out our picks of the best Micro USB cables, whether you want something reliable, tough, feature-packed, or simple.

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.

Embattled Huawei preps its own backup operating system that runs Android apps

According to a new report, Huawei is developing its own mobile operating system, just in case it loses its access to Android -- something that could happen to ZTE in the near future.

Apple sends out invites for WWDC 2019, and unicorns are involved

Apple developers and fans alike look forward every year to the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, better known as WWDC. Apple has confirmed the conference will take place on June 3-7, and the company just sent out invites.