From this spring, the LG G8 ThinQ is in stores, a device that is bursting with eye-catching features. We tried out the palm recognition, sweeping control and triple cameras.
Read our LG G8 ThinQ preview
LG has had a few tough years behind it. The Korean company still brings good smartphones, but with the smartphone violence of Huawei, Samsung, and other major manufacturers, LG is a bit snowed under. The hardware of the company often just does not reach the competition, while the prices are a bit too high.
With the G8 ThinQ, LG is, therefore, taking a different approach. The device is still equipped with the best hardware of the moment, but also offers some remarkable features. We will go through our first impression of the four most striking features.
1. Palm recognition: a bit awkward
Above the screen of the LG G8 is a notch with a dual camera. Next to a ‘normal’ 8-megapixel camera for selfies is LG’s new Z Camera. It has a so-called Time of Flight sensor that measures depth. You can use such a 3D camera for augmented reality apps and improved security.
LG has devised a very striking application: palm recognition. The G8 ThinQ has a fingerprint scanner and faces recognition, but you can also unlock the device by holding your hand in front of the selfie camera. According to LG, the palm is much more unique and therefore safer than a fingerprint. Moreover, you can unlock the device hands-free in the car or during cooking.
I have been able to test the function briefly, but am far from convinced yet. You have to keep your hand at a distance of about ten to twenty centimeters from the screen, but the exact placement is fairly accurate. You might get used to it after a longer period of use, but I had to move my hand several times before I found the right spot.
If your hand is in the right place, it will soon take a full second until the device is unlocked. It is noticeably slower than a fingerprint scanner. The technology is perhaps impressive, but still far from good enough to actually use day in and day out. You unlock your device more than a hundred times a day, and then speed and convenience are the most important thing.
2. Air Gestures: prefer with hands
The Z Camera is also used for so-called ‘Air Gestures’. This allows you to control the G8 ThinQ without touching the touch screen. You pinch your fingers together, and then hold them in front of the Z Camera. By swiping on the home screen to the left or right in the air you open various apps.
In some LG apps, you can also navigate by swiping. By turning your hand left or right, you turn the volume up or down. As if you were holding an imaginary volume button.
The idea is that you can also control the LG G8 ThinQ if you can not or do not want to touch the screen, for example when you are cooking or sitting behind the wheel. Judging from my first impression, I doubt whether that was a good idea. Here, too, you have to be pretty precise about where your hand is and how you sweep and turn.
On the demo model, I have been able to try the Air Gestures for more than fifteen minutes, but I did not get really handy. A friendly LG employee who tried to do it several times regularly went wrong. Hands-free control should work flawlessly, and that does not really look like it. Opening an app with voice control or just pressing the volume button works more error-free, smoother and better.
3. The vibrating screen makes sound
The third improvement at the front is, fortunately, a lot better. Because the 6.1-inch screen of the G8 ThinQ almost fills the entire front, there was no more room for the speaker at the top of the screen. Instead, the device has a screen that vibrates with the sound. Very small vibrations of the image cause sound that according to LG just as good sound as a regular speaker.
I like that, even if it takes some getting used to. If you turn up the volume, the screen of the G8 ThinQ will vibrate. If you want to listen to ABBA, then the sound is crystal clear and good, but the screen feels a bit like receiving an avalanche of text messages. If the device is flat on the table, then you will not be bothered by it. An interesting approach that seems to work well for now.
4. Three cameras for every situation
There are three cameras on the back of the LG G8 ThinQ. There is a primary camera of 12 megapixels, with an aperture of f / 1.5. This means that you can shoot sharp photos even in low-light situations.
You will also find a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens with a viewing angle of 107 degrees. With that you shoot broader photos, so you shoot a panorama without turning the device. There is also a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, which gives you a 2x optical zoom. You zoom in without loss of quality.
I have only been able to test the cameras for a short time and in a rather dark, busy room. Yet the first photos looked very good. Also impressive is the Live Bokeh mode, with which you add a bokeh effect to videos as you film them. In our full review, we tell you how the cameras perform under different conditions.
And a strong foundation
We have not yet mentioned the basis of the LG G8 ThinQ, but it is very strong. The device has an OLED screen with beautiful, vibrant colors. The brand new Snapdragon 855 chip with 6GB RAM ensures excellent performance. Apps open quickly, even if you switch smoothly between applications.
At the time of writing, the recommended price and release date of the LG G8 ThinQ is still unknown. The price is probably in line with previous LG top devices. A spokesperson told us that the device will appear in the United States before the summer, but a precise date is not yet fixed.