LG G8 ThinQ vs. LG G7 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ vs. LG G7 ThinQ: Time to ThinQ about your next phone

LG may not be one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world right now, but it’s never let that slow down the pace of its research and development. Each new LG flagship has brought in a new special feature, and LG took to MWC 2019 to show off the LG G8 ThinQ — a flagship with a control system that channels Star Wars, a magical sound-producing display, and the latest raw processing power in the form of the Snapdragon 855.

But if you’re already rocking an LG G7 ThinQ, should you feel the need to upgrade? Or, if you’re torn between these two phones, is a reduced price on the G7 worth passing over the new G8? Read on to find out as we compare these two LG flagships.

Specs

LG G8 ThinQ
LG G7 ThinQ
Size 151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4 mm (5.98 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches) 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm (6.03 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 167 grams (5.89 ounces) 162 grams (5.71 ounces)
Screen size 6.1-inch OLED 6.1-inch IPS LCD
Screen resolution 3120 x 1440 pixels (564 pixels per inch) 3120 x 1440 pixels (564 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 8.0 Oreo
Storage space 128GB 64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slot Yes Yes
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM 6GB 4GB, 6GB
Camera Dual-lens 12MP (with OIS) and 16MP wide-angle rear, 8MP and TOF front camera Dual-lens 16MP (with OIS) and 16MP wide-angle rear, 8MP front camera
Video 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 240 fps 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 240 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor Yes (rear) Yes (rear)
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 3,500mAh

Fast charging (Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0)

Qi wireless charging

3,000mAh

Fast charging (Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0)

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Colors Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue, Carmine Red Aurora Black, Platinum Gray, Raspberry Rose, and Moroccan Blue
Price Expected around $800 $650+
Buy from LG LG, Amazon, Best Buy
Review score Hands-on review 3.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

lg g7 thinq hands on precarious 2
LG G7 ThinQ Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll find last year’s Snapdragon 845 processor in the LG G7 ThinQ, and it can still handle the latest games and apps without issue. It’s definitely less powerful than this year’s Snapdragon 855, which is the chip you’ll find in the LG G8 ThinQ. It’s clear the G8 is the more powerful phone.

But what of the battery life? Despite being on the lower end of flagship battery sizes these days, the G7 ThinQ’s 3,000mAh battery generally lasted well over a day in our testing, and that’s why we’re excited to try out the G8’s 3,500mAh battery. If it’s as well optimized as the G7’s, you can expect great performance from this larger battery. You’ll also find QuickCharge 3.0 and Qi wireless charging on both phones.

While we haven’t had much chance to test the LG G8 ThinQ, it’s a safe bet that it will beat the G7 in this category, thanks to a bigger battery and faster processor.

Winner: LG G8 ThinQ

Design and durability

There’s no doubt LG borrowed a lot from the G7 to craft the G8. They both have the same all-glass body, a notched display, a small chin at the bottom of the device, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. There have been some changes, though — the G8’s sides feel rounder, and you’ll notice the position of the rear-facing camera is more akin to the LG V40 ThinQ‘s horizontal layout than the G7’s vertical cameras. There’s also no earpiece on the G8, but we’ll get to that later.

Both phones are rated at IP68 for water-resistance, so both can survive an unexpected dip in the pool, however, you’ll probably want a case, as they have relatively fragile glass bodies that may chip or crack if they take a tumble.

It’s another tough decision to make. The phones are extremely similar, and the small changes made to the G8 come down to personal preference. It’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Display

lg g7 thinq hands on sound screen
LG G7 ThinQ Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The G7 ThinQ sports a 6.1-inch IPS LCD display running a 3120 x 1440-pixel resolution with HDR10 support. It’s an excellent example of LCD panels done right, and it shows super-deep blacks and vibrant, rich colors. The G8 runs the same size of display and the same resolution, but the underpinning tech has been upgraded to one of LG’s OLED panels, so the quality of colors and the depth of those blacks is even better.

Not only that, but LG has also removed the need for an earpiece by turning the panel itself into a speaker. LG calls this the “Crystal Sound OLED,” and it’s the same technology you’ll find in some high-end TV sets.

Winner: LG G8 ThinQ

Camera

LG G8 ThinQ
LG G8 ThinQ Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll find similar camera suites here, and both phones come with a dual-lens setup on the back. The G7 comes with two 16-megapixel lenses — one standard, and one wide-angle. The G8 has a similar setup, only with the standard lens being downgraded to 12-megapixels. There doesn’t seem to have been much of an impact from this downgrade, as most of the test images we’ve taken so far put the two cameras on a similar footing. It’s worth noting that the G8 ThinQ will come with a triple-lens main camera in some markets, adding a third 12-megapixel telephoto lens into the mix that enables 2x optical zoom.

A new Night View feature on the G8 promises to boost low-light photos — something LG has traditionally struggled with — but we’ll need more time with the G8 before we’re able to judge it properly.

There’s also been a big change around the front of the G8. While it shares an 8-megapixel lens with the G7, LG has added a Time-of-Flight sensor, which allows the G8 to more accurately judge distance. While this is mostly used in the phone’s other features, it may boost portrait mode shots, too.

Winner: LG G8 ThinQ

Software and updates

lg g7 thinq hands on smart bulletin
LG G7 ThinQ Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll find Android overlaid with LG’s UI on both of these phones, but there are some differences beyond that. While the G8 is running Google’s latest Android 9.0 Pie, the G7 is still running Android 8.0 Oreo at the time of writing. With Android Pie having been out for over half a year now, it’s unfortunate that LG still hasn’t updated last year’s flagship.

Otherwise, you’ll find much the same experience on both. LG’s Android skin isn’t our favorite, but it offers a lot of customization, and not too much bloatware. In terms of the prize though, the G8 has to get it, simply because the G7 hasn’t caught up yet. As the newer phone, the G8 is also likely to get updates for longer.

Winner: LG G8 ThinQ

Special features

LG G8 ThinQ
LG G8 ThinQ Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The LG G7 introduced some interesting new special features, the most interesting of which was undoubtedly the Boombox speaker. By using the inside of the phone as a resonance chamber, LG was able to boost the volume of music coming from the device. That feature is back in the G8, but LG has not stopped there, and has taught its new flagship some new parlor tricks.

The most interesting are the features tied to the Time-of-Flight sensor and the selfie camera, which LG calls the “Z Camera.” The G8 uses this sensor in its Air Power feature — essentially, you’ll be able to perform specific gestures to control your phone without touching it. It’s an interesting little trick, even if you don’t use it often. The Z Camera also means the G8 gets secure face-unlocking like Apple’s Face ID, and it can even unlock your phone by recognizing your hand. We’re not joking — Hand ID is genuinely a thing now.

Simply put, the G8 does everything the G7 does, and more besides.

Winner: LG G8 ThinQ

Price

You can pick up the LG G7 ThinQ right now from a variety of carriers, from around $650. The LG G8 ThinQ’s release date hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we’re expecting it will cost around $800 when it launches. It’s likely to work on all major U.S. carriers.

Overall winner: LG G8 ThinQ

The LG G8 ThinQ is a straight upgrade to the LG G7 ThinQ, with a more powerful processor, a more advanced screen, and some intriguing new features. It’s the stronger of the two phones without any doubt.

But the upgrades it offers are ones you can easily live without. If your LG G7 ThinQ is still working fine, there’s no reason to upgrade at this time. Equally, if you’re looking to save a little money and stay within LG’s ecosystem, then choosing the LG G7 ThinQ still gives you plenty of flagship power, capable cameras, and an excellent screen for several hundred dollars less. But if you’re simply looking for the best LG G-series phone, it’s the G8 ThinQ for sure.

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