The LG G8 ThinQ lets you unlock your phone with the vein pattern in your hand

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 over the 5G-ready phone. Here’s everything you need to know about the LG G8 ThinQ, and check out our hands-on review for more in-depth impressions.

Design

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.

Specs

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). At the moment we know T-Mobile and Verizon will be carrying it, with pre-orders starting “very soon.”

Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how much the G8 will cost, but we’ll update this article when we hear more.

Updated on February 24: The LG G8 ThinQ has been officially announced.

Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Wearables

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.
Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Mobile

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.
Mobile

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.