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 got plans for one more V-series device later this year, 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 plan to do.
While rumors of the V40's specs are limited at this time, based on the V35 ThinQ's specs and some educated guesses, we have a good idea of what to expect.
- OS: Android 9.0 Pie
- Skin: LG UX 7.0
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM: 6 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. According to AndroidPolice, the phone will have not three, not four, but five cameras total. This was also confirmed in a press render leaked by MySmartPrice.
Following in the footsteps of Huawei's P20 Pro, LG is using three rear cameras. While we here in the US weren't able to enjoy Huawei's P20 Pro due to issues with the US government, it appears we will get our first taste of the triple rear camera array with the LG V40 (or the Huawei Mate 20, whichever comes out way first).
LG's triple-lens setup will be different from Huawei's implementation. Thanks to leaks provided by AndroidPIT, we know one camera will be a 12 MP sensor with f/1.5 aperture and 1.4 µm pixel size. The second lens will be 16 MP, have an aperture of f/1.9, with 1.0 µm pixels. And the third lens will be 12 MP, f/2.4 aperture with 1.0 µm pixels. It will use a combination of telephoto lens and wide-angle, although the leaks didn't specify which one is which (we speculate the 16 MP lens is the same wide-angle lenses from the V30, and the f/2.4 is the telephoto lens). ThinQ enhancements will also be present, similar to other recently released LG flagships.
That leaves dual front cameras, a returning feature from the LG V10. While we were hoping early rumors of an infrared sensor being true, it turns out LG is sticking with selfies. The V40 ThinQ will have one 8 MP sensor and one 5 MP sensor.
Despite a poorly-received Reddit post by LG asking for community feedback about the feature, LG will include a display notch in the V40 ThinQ. This will be the first time a V-series device will utilize the controversial feature, something that will surely anger many fans.
With the notch, LG plans to push the V40's display into the upper echelon of screen-to-body ratio. According to ETNews, the V40 ThinQ will have a screen-to-body ratio greater than 90%, an improvement of at least 8.8% from last year's V30 (and this year's V35 ThinQ).
However, LG does plan to bring the G7 ThinQ's feature of hiding the notch through software, and if you want to be pedantic, the LG V10's second display was technically one of the first notches in a mainstream phone. We got our first look at the notch (and dual front cameras) thanks to MySmartPrice (see the image below), which also shows how the software can hide the notch.
If it's any solace, LG does plan to bring back OLED. According to AndroidHeadlines, LG is reserving its POLED for the V-series and Super Bright Display LCD panels for the G-series. According to AndroidPIT, the display will be 6.4 inches, an increase of 0.4 inches from last year's V30. It will have a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a QHD+ resolution.
As with every other top-tier smartphone released by LG, the V40 will include the ThinQ branding. Aside from being a clunky name, ThinQ does includes 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
With Android 9.0 Pie already out and LG promising to do a better job of upgrading their devices, there are no reasons to believe the V40 ThinQ won't run Android 9.0 Pie out the box. Based on LG's track record, they could opt for 8.0 Oreo, but honestly, they can't afford to mess this phone up. With a struggling mobile division, LG needs a grand slam, and their best bet is the V40 ThinQ.
However, if they do opt for Android 8.0 Oreo, we already know how the software will look. Check out the visual guide we created comparing LG UX to stock Android. This will also give us some clues as to the look of an updated LG UX based on 9.0 Pie.
- Don't Miss: LG UX vs Stock Android — A Visual Comparison
It's a safe bet that the ESS SABRE quad DAC will also return, which has been a staple for LG flagships for years. This component should help once again drive powerful wired headphones for better sound and Hi-Fi audio. Speaking of wired headphones, the leaks from MySmartPrice also showed a headphone jack. LG has been differentiating themselves from the competition by including this port, and there was little reason for them to stop.
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. However, unlike the G7 ThinQ (and most LG flagships), it will have stereo speakers. That means it will be much louder, with left and right channels outputted separately for audio playback closer to what the creator intended.
Just like every other LG V-series phone (and most G-series devices), the V40 should be IP68 water resistant. Additionally, it should also be MIL-STD 810G compliant, a certification created by the military and awarded to devices that survive the harshest of environments.
MySmartPrice's leak also revealed the return of a dedicated Google Assistant button. The button, which we first saw in the G7 ThinQ, was already likely to be there as LG continues its push towards AI enhancements. Additionally, expect a return of the Super Far-Field Voice Recognition, a new feature which uses the dual microphones to detect your voice up to 16 feet away when trying to speak with your Google Assistant.
Thanks to AndroidPIT, we also know the dimensions of the phone will have some positive and negative aspects. Starting with the positive, it isn't as long as its predecessor, reducing its length by 0.28 inches. It is also slightly more narrow and less thick. The negative is its weight has gone up, increasing by 0.39 oz.
While no rumors have come out regarding the V40 ThinQ's pricing, we can make a guess based on its predecessor. With the V35 ThinQ retailing for $899, expect the V40 ThinQ to be at least $949. However, my money is on $999, putting it right in line with Apple's 2017 iPhone X.
LG just announced that the LG V40 ThinQ will be unveiled on October 4th. That puts it five days before the Pixel 3 and twelve days before the Huawei Mate 20, allowing it to steal some of their shine and hype. In the video (below), they also hinted at the three rear cameras with varying degrees of optical zoom. The event is in South Korea at LG Science Park.
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.