LG is really coming strong at the flagship smartphone market in 2018. They have already released three new flagship caliber smartphones this year: the V30S ThinQ, V35 ThinQ, and the G7 ThinQ. But LG isn't done with flagship phones yet — they've just announced the V40 ThinQ.
The only V series we expected for 2018 was a follow-up to the well-received V30. With two additional releases, including a mid-cycle upgrade, the V40 ThinQ has a lot of pressure this year. LG has to provide a noticeable upgrade over not only the V30 but the V35 ThinQ as well, which will likely share some of its hardware components. As a result, LG is going to have to get creative with this upgrade, and it appears that's precisely what they've done.
- OS: Android 9.0 Pie
- Skin: LG UX 7.0
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM: 6 or 8 GB
- Display: 6.4-inch 3120 x 1440 19:5.9 POLED
- Storage: 64 or 128 GB (expandable via microSD)
- Rear Cameras: 12 MP (f/1.5), 16 MP (f/1.9), and 12 MP (f/2.4)
- Front Cameras: 8 MP and 5 MP
- Audio: 3.5 mm headphone jack with quad DAC, Stereo Speaker Boombox
- Water Resistance: IP68 and MIL-STD 810G
- Battery: 3,300 mAh
LG has positioned the V series as a multimedia powerhouse, and they're continuing this trend by getting a little crazy with the cameras in the V40 ThinQ. The phone will have five total cameras: three rear shooters and two front-facing.
LG's triple-lens setup is different from Huawei's implementation. The main camera is a 12 MP sensor with f/1.5 aperture and 1.4 µm pixel size. This is a standard lens. The second is LG's famous super-wide lens. This lens is 16 MP, has an aperture of f/1.9, with 1.0 µm pixels. And finally to round it out is the 12 MP telephoto. It has an aperture of f/2.4 with 1.0 µm pixels. As with every other phone released by LG, ThinQ enhancements will also be present, similar to the G7 ThinQ.
That leaves dual front cameras, a returning feature from the LG V10. Just like the V10, LG is using a standard lens and wide-angle lens for group selfies. The standard lens will be 8 MP, while the wide-angle will use a 5 MP sensor.
Despite a loud outcry from the community, LG will, for the first time in the V series, use a display notch in the V40 ThinQ. With the notch, LG plans to maximize the screen-to-body ratio. With a body not much larger than the V30, LG was able to put an even larger screen thanks in part to the display notch. The 6.4" screen is one of the largest they've ever included in a phone, and with minimal bezels all around, will provide a truly immersive experience. If it is any solace, LG is including a built-in option to hide the notch with LG UX skin.
The POLED display is returning, the next iteration making its debut with LG V40. Despite the issues of last year's V30 and Pixel 2 XL displays, LG has brought back the controversial screen and has improved it based on the criticism it received.
As with every other top-tier smartphone released by LG, the V40 includes the ThinQ branding. Aside from being a clunky name, ThinQ consists of a number of machine learning enhancements like an improved camera and a better assistant. Check out the link below for some examples of the improvements.
- Don't Miss: What the ThinQ Branding Brings to LG Devices
LG is also doubling down in their support for Google Assistant, carrying over the dedicated Google Assistant button first introduced in the G7 ThinQ. The button will quickly bring up Google Assistant, which is once again enhanced with exclusive voice commands. Additionally, Super Far-Field Voice Recognition is also being carried over. Super Far-Field Voice Recognition uses the dual microphones to detect your voice up to 16 feet away when trying to speak with your Google Assistant.
Despite companies like OnePlus removing the headphone jack, LG is once again staying loyal to the popular port. Just like the G7 ThinQ and V35 ThinQ released this year, LG is once again including the headphone jack. And just like the V30, it is enhanced with a Quad DAC, allowing it to deliver incredible sound and drive even the most demanding headphones.
Sticking with the audio department, the LG V40 ThinQ will have a much-improved speaker. Borrowing from the G7 ThinQ, the V40 will use the new Boombox technology to leverage a resonance chamber for a much louder sound. The V40 also supports DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, which simulates surround sound through the two speakers in your headphones. It is by no means perfect, but does help provide a more immersive sound for movies.
Just like every other LG V-series phone (and most G-series devices), the V40 will be IP68 water resistant. This is the highest rating any mainstream smartphones have achieved, translating to full protection against harmful dust and the ability to remain submerged in two meters of water for at least 30 minutes. Additionally, it's also MIL-STD 810G compliant, a certification created by the military and awarded to devices that survive the harshest of environments.
Unfortunately, LG is shipping the V40 ThinQ with the second-newest version of Android, 8.1 Oreo. While 8.1 is nice, as it adds support for a Bluetooth headphone battery indicator and Netflix's PiP mode, it isn't 9.0 Pie. There are so many changes that come with the latest version of Android that tweak Android's UI and improve security.
However, since it is Oreo, check out our comparison between LG UX running on the G7 ThinQ compared to stock Android to get an idea of how the LG skin looks on top of Android Oreo. Hopefully, you will see that the skin isn't that heavy. And with the help of ADB, you can get most of the bloatware off.
- Don't Miss: LG UX vs Stock Android — a Visual Comparison
The V40 ThinQ will go on sale starting October 18, and will be available at major retailers and all five US carriers. The price will vary depending on who you buy it through, with US Cellular being the cheapest at $900 and Verizon being the most expensive at $980. It will come in three colors: Aurora Black, Platinum Gray, and the Verizon-exclusive Moroccan Blue. The Moroccan BluePreorders start on October 12 for AT&T and T-Mobile.
Verizon customers will get be able to pre-order a day early on October 11th. And for those who preorder before 17th on Verizon, the wireless carrier will throw in a free 256 GB SanDisk Ultra microSD card and DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal. This is a $288.94 (based on MSRP of both products) for free and an easy way to increase your 64 GB LG V40 ThinQ to 320 GB. We will post the preorder link when they become live.
2018 has been a strange year for LG, at least for their flagship lineups. It appears LG is prioritizing quantity, a strategy HTC used in 2017 with no success. What do you think about the V40 ThinQ? Interested in five cameras, or is that too gimmicky? Let us know in the comments below.
It’s Black Friday week in the Gadget Hacks shop! Huge sales on Bluetooth speakers, phone mounts, online courses, and more. The biggest discounts are on online classes, and we’ve hand-picked our 10 favorites for you. Check them out!