LG V40 ThinQ Review: The Five-Camera Phone


How many cameras does your telephone have? Mine’s bought 5.

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Fancy telephones usually include three cameras lately—one within the entrance, two within the again. For LG, three simply ain’t sufficient. Its new high-end V40 ThinQ (pronounced Thin-Queue) has two selfie cams and three rear cameras. At first, I gawked at that variety of cameras, particularly after seeing LG’s gimmick-heavy promoting slogan: “What’s It Gonna Take? Switch to the 5 Camera Phone.” Every week later, I’m a five-camera convert.

Five Camera Shuffle

Maybe you are asking your self: How did we get right here? What might LG probably do with three rear cameras? Turns out, it’s simply attempting to do what LG does finest: stuff all the pieces into its telephone. LG hates to let any aggressive characteristic go unnoticed, and on this case that’s not a foul factor.

On the again, an ordinary 12-megapixel lens takes odd photographs, like each smartphone you’ve ever owned. Flanking it’s a 12-megapixel telephoto lens that offers you 2x optical zoom—similar to an iPhone—and a wide-angle lens for these moments whenever you carved three full jack-o’-lanterns and actually need all of them in body. On the entrance, there’s an ordinary 8-megapixel selfie shooter and a wide-angle 5-megapixel lens for group photographs. Both are sufficient.

LG

You can swap between zoom, customary, and extensive angle lenses by tapping on any of the three easy icons within the digital camera app. It typically takes a cut up second, nevertheless it works effectively.

Sometimes I need to zoom in, and typically I need to zoom out. For as soon as, I can do each of these issues on a telephone with out destroying the standard of my picture. The flexibility, mixed with pretty aggressive efficiency, makes the V40 a deal with to shoot with—for probably the most half.

There are just a few hiccups. For one, LG added a brand new digital camera app mode known as Triple Shot that permits you to shoot a photograph with all three cameras without delay. It sounds neat, proper? In principle it’s, however I’ve but to discover a use for it. It takes a second or so to take the three photographs, so it requires a nonetheless hand, and a stiller topic. When it’s carried out processing, it spits out a shifting .mp4 video of the three photographs stitched collectively, which appears to be like like an fast cease movement gif or a fast zoom-in gif on an object with some unusual generic background music. You additionally get a duplicate of every image, however you are higher off simply selecting your lens and avoiding this mode. At least one of many three pictures was blurry each time I used it. Sometimes the lighting is off, too.

Below are some nighttime photographs taken on all three rear cameras. Low-light photographs problem each smartphone digital camera. The V40 tends to magnify colours and blur extra in low mild, however its photographs are normally first rate.

LG’s AI Cam characteristic, which I hated a lot on the LG G7, returns on this telephone. It doesn’t show random phrases like “Infinity Pool” and “Flip Flops” whenever you’re pointing it at a tree anymore, and now that it doesn’t, I ponder, is it doing something in any respect? If LG is tremendous assured in its artificially clever digital camera, it ought to have made it the default cam. You’re higher off ignoring this mode, together with Portrait mode, which tries to blur the background round your face, but nonetheless has hassle detecting stated face, or determining the place your hair ends and the precise background begins.

To be clear, these are minor gripes. LG’s digital camera takes higher photographs than most smartphones that aren’t the Galaxy S9, iPhone XR/XS, or Pixel 3. And with each wide-angle and 2x optical zoom, it’s extra versatile than any one of many three.

Big & Tall

Put all 5 of these cameras in a metaphorical drawer, and also you’re left with a really massive, fashionable flagship Android telephone. Standing a bit over 6 inches lengthy and three inches extensive, the V40 ThinQ is a couple of massive as an enormous Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Like a Note 9, and nearly every other well-liked telephone this yr, it additionally appears to be like like a slab of metallic sandwiched between two sheets of fragile glass (purchase a case for this one). And like the most recent iPhones and Galaxies, it additionally has a fantastic OLED display screen (6.4-inch) that stretches from prime to backside, with a petite notch reduce out on prime for the selfie cams.

LG’s digital camera takes higher photographs than most smartphones that aren’t the Galaxy S9, iPhone XS, or Pixel 3.

The quantity and energy buttons are of their regular spots, they usually’re joined by a brand new further Google Assistant button on the best. This button always will get in the best way. Like the newer Bixby button on Samsung telephones, I simply don’t want a button to open my voice assistant. Instead, I find yourself clicking it by accident after I need to flip the telephone display screen on or off, making it much less of an help and extra of a problem. Luckily, there is a setting to disable it.

It’s additionally robust to succeed in the tippy prime of that tall display screen to faucet icons or pull down the Android notifications menu, which made me surprise why LG didn’t included some reachability options. Phones just like the OnePlus 6T allow you to yank the menus up or down from wherever on the homescreen, and several other telephones allow you to swipe your finger down on the fingerprint sensor (normally on the again) to tug down menus. Fumbling across the overstuffed Settings menu was additionally irritating. LG has 4 prolonged pages of toggles you possibly can activate and off.

Courtesy of Jeffrey Van Camp

Courtesy of Jeffrey Van Camp

LG’s interface is suitable sufficient. My V40 has much less bloatware than earlier fashions (no telephone wants two calculators), runs Android 8 Oreo, and has month-to-month safety patch dated September 1. With LG’s new Upgrade Center now in operation, hopefully V40 house owners received’t have to attend lengthy to obtain Android Pie.

Overall, V40 is speedy and fast. It matches among the prime Android telephones in lots of benchmark exams, because of a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of reminiscence for storing all these apps and pictures. LG can also be up on all of the hip secondary options. The V40 is IP68 waterproof, has a MicroSD slot for further storage, works with wi-fi/USB-C chargers, and has a headphone jack. Actually, it is greater than a headphone jack: With an onboard Hi-Fi Quad DAC for wired headphones and DTS:X for Bluetooth buds, the V40 and LG G7 are my favourite telephones for listening to music.

Battery life is extremely common. You’ll make it via a day, and your mileage will range. I’ve ended most days with 30 to 40 p.c battery left, which isn’t dangerous, however much less spectacular than telephones like the brand new BlackBerry Key2.

ThinQ About It

The LG V40 prices $950 unlocked and can work on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. That’s some huge cash, but sadly it’s proper in step with most high-end telephones this vacation season. If you’re counting your {dollars}, there are lots of cheaper Android telephones that may stare down the V40, just like the LG G7 or Galaxy S9. Of course, none of them include 5 cameras.

Your buck will stretch a bit additional this yr, too. LG telephones now include a two-year guarantee. The V40 might price you a paycheck, however not less than LG is placing its cash the place its mouth is.

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