LG G7 ThinQ review

GSMArena team, 03 July 2018.

Android Oreo with LG UX

The LG G7 runs on Android 8.0 Oreo. LG's own UX is the default launcher and it comes with its own take on the skin, settings, and default apps. The AI Pack 2.0 is onboard powered by Google's Assistant, while some regions could also benefit from Q Voice. LG promises that Android P is coming soon, as the firmware update is already in development.

LG G7 ThinQ review

The G7 has an always-on display, just like the V30, even though the screen is not an OLED one. You can have one out six designs in total, notifications from all apps can be shown, and you can also set up a period when the feature will be turned off - pretty much the usual AOD stuff.

Always on display - LG G7 ThinQ review Always on display - LG G7 ThinQ review Always on display - LG G7 ThinQ review Always on display - LG G7 ThinQ review Always on display - LG G7 ThinQ review
Always on display

The G7 features a notch, but LG calls it a New Second Screen and claims this is an enhanced version of the second screen from the V10 and V20. But no matter the name, the notch is there and thus it splits the top of the screen. It still fits the usual stuff - notification icons, status items, the clock and network bars. You can assign custom colors to the horns, or just use black to make it less, well, irritating.

New Second Screen - LG G7 ThinQ review New Second Screen - LG G7 ThinQ review New Second Screen - LG G7 ThinQ review New Second Screen - LG G7 ThinQ review
New Second Screen

The G7 ThinQ lockscreen stays true to recent LG designs. You get two shortcuts in the bottom corners by default - to the dialer and the camera. You can, however, have up to 5 shortcuts there, to apps of your own choosing.

You have multiple options for a secure unlock - the usual PIN, pattern or password, fingerprint (the sensor is always on), face (fast but less secure, or slow but more secure), and even voice. For the latter you can pick a phrase of your own - you don't have to use a pre-set one. You say it out loud to the phone 4 times, so it can learn the specifics of your voice, and you're all set. The phone is constantly listening too, you don't need to wake it up. It works most of the time, but seems less secure than fingerprints.

The nice tghing is that these work simultaneously, and the phone will unlock with the first successful option.

Lockscreen - LG G7 ThinQ review ...and its settings - LG G7 ThinQ review Fingerprint setup - LG G7 ThinQ review
Lockscreen • ...and its settings • Fingerprint setup

Past the lockscreen is the homescreen which LG insists should be done the Apple way - without an app drawer. That's the default setting though, but you do get an option to switch back to the stock Android way.

Smart Bulletin is your leftmost pane with various widgets to help you organize your day.

Homescreen - LG G7 ThinQ review Homescreen - LG G7 ThinQ review Smart Bulletin - LG G7 ThinQ review Smart Bulletin - LG G7 ThinQ review Types of Homes - LG G7 ThinQ review
Homescreen • Homescreen • Smart Bulletin • Smart Bulletin• Types of Homes

The task switcher has a 'clear all' button, plus a pin you can tap on each app if you want it to remain after you've killed the rest. That's different from screen pinning (needs to be enabled in settings), where you can, um, pin a single app to stay on the display regardless of the user's attempts to tap away from it. You go out of this with a simple press-and-hold of the back button, but you can also set it up to require unlocking so it could be used as a privacy measure or a kid's mode of sorts.

Task switcher - LG G7 ThinQ review Screen pinning - LG G7 ThinQ review
Task switcher • Screen pinning

There's, of course, split-screen multitasking, though not all apps support it. You can use it in either portrait and landscape. You can change this from the Developers options - there you can force Android to enable split-screen multitasking for all apps. There are no guarantees they will work properly, though. Also from here, you can make all apps movable to the microSD card.

In split screen view, the Home button shows your homescreen but does not dismiss the apps - the app switcher button shows the split screen icon and double tapping it brings back the two. This is great since normally you can only pick apps from the app switcher rolodex for split screen use, but in this state, any app you launch from the homescreen goes straight into split screen mode.

QSlide, LG's floating app implementation, is still available in some places - the Phone, and the video player. But those are the exception rather than the rule.

Split screen - LG G7 ThinQ review Split Screen - LG G7 ThinQ review Split Screen - LG G7 ThinQ review QSlide - LG G7 ThinQ review QSlite - LG G7 ThinQ review
Split screen • Split Screen • Split Screen • QSlide • QSlite

The notification area followed what custom skins have been doing for ages and put some quick toggles on the top row. LG added to that a brightness slider with an Auto checkbox.

The notification area - LG G7 ThinQ review Quick toggles galore - LG G7 ThinQ review Quick toggles galore - LG G7 ThinQ review
The notification area • Quick toggles galore • Quick toggles galore

The search (swipe down anywhere on your homescreen) does what it says - sifts through your apps, contacts, and settings for the search term you input. You can specify where exactly it looks into, so it doesn't have access to sensitive apps like instant messengers (or whatever it is that you prefer to stay private).

In-app search - LG G7 ThinQ review In-app search - LG G7 ThinQ review
In-app search

LG acknowledges that not all apps may be willing to play nice with the 19.5:9 display, so it's included a compatibility mode for those that don't. This makes the navigation bar taller (2:9, instead of the usual 1.3:9), so the apps can treat the screen like a 16:9 one with no navigation bar.

Finally, there is a dedicated hardware key to summon the Google Assistant. The G7 doesn't have the option to assign a different functionality to this key at launch, but LG is considering allowing this with an update. If you are keen on using the Assistant, you'll be happy with this key. Otherwise, let's hope an update will allow for customization.

Q Voice is available in some regions, and while it's not among the well-established AI helpers, it may be worth giving it a try.

Google Assistant - LG G7 ThinQ review QVoice - LG G7 ThinQ review
Google Assistant • QVoice

Performance and benchmarks

The LG G7 ThinQ is powered by the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset. It's the same SoC found in many flagships - the US Galaxy S9, HTC U12, OnePlus 6, or the Xiaomi Mi 8. It's a been a while since LG managed to secure the most current Qualcomm chip for its G series.

So, the Snapdragon 845 should be quite familiar to our regular readers - it has an octa-core Kryo CPU, and a powerful Adreno 630 GPU. The G7 is available with either 4 or 6 GB of RAM, depending on the storage capacity - 64 or 128 GB. Ours has 4 gigs.

Now let's run some benchmarks.

LG G7 ThinQ review

Geekbench is what we usually fire up first. Samsung's and Apple's custom cores have more oomph per unit as evidenced by the results in single-core GeekBench. Here, the LG G7 posts numbers virtually identical to the other Snapdragon 845 phones we've tested, except the Snapdragon Galaxy S9+, which underdelivers a bit.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X
    4256
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    3771
  • HTC U12+
    2456
  • OnePlus 6
    2450
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    2431
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    2395
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    2199
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    1915
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    1907
  • LG V30
    1901
  • LG G6
    1767

In the multi-core test, the LG G7 turned as powerful as the Exynos S9+, but the top spot is still ruled by Apple.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone X
    10215
  • OnePlus 6
    9011
  • HTC U12+
    9001
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    8883
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    8865
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    8494
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    8349
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    6679
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    6428
  • LG V30
    6365
  • LG G6
    4175

The Adreno 630 in the S845 is a proven performer and in the LG G7 it pumps out similar theoretical frame rates to the Galaxy S9+, OnePlus 6 and HTC U12+.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    61
  • HTC U12+
    60
  • OnePlus 6
    58
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    57
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    53
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    47
  • Apple iPhone X
    44
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    42
  • LG V30
    41
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    40
  • LG G6
    26

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • LG G7 ThinQ
    35
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    35
  • HTC U12+
    35
  • OnePlus 6
    35
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    33
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    28
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    25
  • LG V30
    24
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    23
  • LG G6
    16

The QHD resolution screen inevitably leads to a much lower score than the 1080p phones - the iPhone X, OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi Mi 8. But the posted frames still translate as flagship-grade scores.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 6
    55
  • Apple iPhone X
    51
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    50
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    37
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    34
  • HTC U12+
    33
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    30
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    24
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    21
  • LG V30
    19
  • LG G6
    12

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    33
  • OnePlus 6
    33
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    20
  • HTC U12+
    20
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    14
  • LG V30
    13
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    13
  • LG G6
    8.5

Antutu is the most popular test as a single tell-all number, and in our testing the LG G7 inches ahead of the Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 and has the same power as the HTC U12+. The G7 score is very close to all leaders in the chart, so we'd call it a win for this all-round test.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 6
    264200
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ (S845)
    264044
  • HTC U12+
    263696
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    259393
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    246660
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    217298
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    209884
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
    203119
  • LG V30
    182374
  • LG G6
    158785

We can only praise the LG G7 performance. The LG UX is well optimized and doesn't bog down Android since it is lean and snappy. Running a benchmark repeatedly slows the phone a bit. But the difference in the scores was minor, while the glass body didn't heat up to worrisome levels. And if it weren't for the minor difference in the tests' scores, we wouldn't have noticed the throttling at all.

So, the LG G7 has the fastest chip available to an Android smartphone, runs smooth and lag-free, the LG UX is greatly optimized, and no one will be able to notice throttling. That's a win by our books.

Reader comments

  • redarajesh

Android Pie update brings this feature(hdmi out via USB C using suitable adapter)to LG G7 . Just got the update today and tested this function. Soon after connecting, get black bars on all 4 sides. Just pinch out, you get a normal display on TV. Nice...

  • redarajesh

Android Pie update brings this feature(hdmi out via USB C using suitable adapter)to LG G7 . Just got the update today and tested this function. Soon after connecting, get black bars on all 4 sides. Just pinch out, you get a normal display on TV. Nice...

  • Jay

Ha ha ha .. Pixel user does not use iPhone..