LG V40 ThinQ review

GSMArena team, 16 November 2018.

LG's OLED is not bad, but other OLEDs are better

The V40 has the largest display LG's put on a V-series phone. It's got a 6.4-inch diagonal and a 1,440x3,120px resolution in a taller-than-most 19.5:9 aspect ratio, while pixel density works out to 537ppi.

The display has rounded corners, like LG did first on the G6 beating everyone to it. There's a notch up top cutting into the pixels too and if you're the glass-half-full type of person you could adopt LG's interpretation by calling the horns the phone's Second screen and appreciate the extra screen estate. When it comes to notches though, being the bitter reviewers that we are, our glass might just be half empty.

LG V40 ThinQ review

The V40 pumped out 323nits in manual brightness mode, but the number shot up to almost precisely twice that in auto mode - so, one of the dimmer OLEDs when you're in control, but as bright as the other big-name rivals if you rely on the ambient light sensor. The G7 can shine even brighter, but it's packing an LCD and conventional wisdom says LCDs are brighter than OLEDs.

As we've come to expect from non-Samsung OLEDs, the one on the V40 does produce some very minor illumination in blacks, ruining what should theoretically be infinite contrast. In other words, the pixels showing black are never really completely turned off and emit some light. While it's safe to say you won't be noticing it, it does raise a couple of questions along the lines of 'if Samsung can do it, why can't LG?' and also 'are those slightly lit up black pixels consuming any meaningful amounts of energy?'.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
LG V30 0.002 414 207000
LG V30 (Max Auto) 0.032 616 19250
LG V40 ThinQ 0.002 323 161500
LG V40 ThinQ (Max Auto) 0.008 638 79750
LG G7 ThinQ 0.225 460 2044
LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor) 0.499 920 1844
Apple iPhone XS Max 0 653
Apple iPhone XR 0.425 700 1647
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0 376
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Max Auto) 0 631
Samsung Galaxy Note9 0 367
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Max Auto) 0 658
Google Pixel 3 0 426
HTC U12+ 0.2 366 1830
HTC U12+ (Max Auto) 0.214 389 1818
Sony Xperia XZ3 0 442
Sony Xperia XZ3 (Max Auto) 0 620
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 0.002 508 254000
Huawei Mate 20 Pro (Max Auto) 0.003 657 219000
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto) 0.002 624 312000

Once we got past those musings, we took the V40 out in the sun (or rather, inside the lab, under our test lighting). It achieves very good contrast levels, though it's still that little bit behind the industry leaders. It is a step up from the V30 though, so that is nice.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone XS
    5.171
  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
    4.965
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    4.531
  • Apple iPhone XS Max
    4.516
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    4.502
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • Google Pixel 3
    4.35
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • LG V40 ThinQ
    4.256
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • OnePlus 6T
    4.138
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • vivo V11
    4.113
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Meizu 15
    4.082
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor)
    3.978
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Oppo Find X
    3.954
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    3.901
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)
    3.834
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    3.39
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor Play
    3.349
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Oppo Realme 2 Pro
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Honor 8X
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
    3.087
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Oppo F9
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3
    3.061
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3.059
  • Huawei Mate 20
    3.052
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
    3.051
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Oppo Realme 2
    3.006
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    2.966
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Razer Phone 2
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
    2.867
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Nokia 3.1
    2.837
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Nokia 7.1
    2.804
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228

The V40 has lot of customization options when it comes to color reproduction - so many, in fact, that they are too many. There's an Automatic mode, and then there are presets named Game, Sports, Cinema, Photo, and Web, and then there's an Expert setting where you can fool around with hue, saturation and sharpness. Meanwhile, in both the Automatic and Expert modes, you can additionally adjust the color temperature and then separately the amount of red, green and blue with sliders.

We couldn't get a particularly accurate rendition of any color space no matter which preset we picked, though things aren't that bad. The Web preset got us an average DeltaE of 3.7 against an sRGB target, where Automatic couldn't go below 4.8. We expected Photo to be tuned for AdobeRGB, but we measured a 5.6 average DeltaE, whereas we got 4.4 in the same mode against a DCI-P3 target. Which we figured would be best rendered in the Cinema mode, only we got an average DeltaE of 5.0 there.

Perhaps, if you have your hands on a colorimeter and you're so inclined, you could play around with the sliders and get better results. In our book, however, the display presets should be factory tuned for color accuracy and the sliders are only there for you to mess with the settings if you wish - not the other way around.

LG V40 ThinQ battery life

The V40 ThinQ is equipped with a 3,300mAh battery, which is on the small side for the class and screen size. The Galaxy S9+ has a 3,500mAh cell, while the Mate 20 Pro packs in a whopping 4,200mAh. Then again, the V30 had the same 3,300mAh and the G7's battery is only rated at 3,000mAh, so it's just that LG doesn't like big batteries, and that's that.

Well it doesn't like excessively long battery life either, as it turns out. The V40 managed an unimpressive 8 hours on our Wi-Fi browsing test and a decent 10+ hours of looping videos, but the S9+'s respective numbers were 11:15h and 16:45, while the Mate 20 Pro clocked in at 13:57 and 15:22, so... The V40 did also last us a little short of 22 hours on a 3G call, where the other two could still do a few extra hours.

In the end, the V40 ThinQ posted an overall Endurance rating of 64 hours - far from stellar.

LG V40 ThinQ

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the LG V40 ThinQ for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Going the other way around, the V40 takes 1:53h for a full charge from flat with the bundled charger, while a 30-minute stint will leave you with 40%. Pretty standard QuickCharge numbers then. It is also compatible with the Power Delivery standard where you can expect practically the same speed. Fast wireless charging is also supported, including the 15W extended protocol, but we didn't have a compatible pad to test it with.

Loudspeaker

The V40 ThinQ has a weird loudspeaker setup. There's a primary loudspeaker on the bottom, but the earpiece also gives off some sound although it's not strictly another channel. In any case its contribution is minor, at best.

The bottom one on the other hand uses the empty space inside the phone as a chamber to achieve a deeper and supposedly louder sound. The first we can confirm, the second was sort of proven by our sound meter, which placed the V40 in the 'Very Good' bracket - similar to the V30, but quieter than the G7.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
OnePlus 6 70.2 74.7 70.0 Good
Honor Play 68.3 73.8 75.8 Good
BlackBerry KEY2 66.5 72.0 79.8 Good
LG V40 ThinQ 68.2 74.1 77.4 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 68.4 74.0 80.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 8 68.1 72.3 82.2 Very Good
LG V30 66.9 72.3 84.5 Very Good
OnePlus 6T 67.2 72.5 84.5 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 70.3 73.4 83.8 Very Good
Apple iPhone XS Max 70.5 74.0 84.7 Excellent
Sony Xperia XZ3 71.0 75.4 82.9 Excellent
Google Pixel 3 77.5 71.7 81.1 Excellent
Apple iPhone XR 76.9 74.8 79.3 Excellent
LG G7 ThinQ 78.3 76.4 82.3 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Music) 76.0 73.6 88.5 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Theatre) 77.0 73.8 91.1 Excellent

Audio quality

The LG V40 ThinQ really impressed us with its audio output. We've only seen a handful of phones through all those years that can deliver volume levels so high and the accuracy is top notch too. The scores were perfect with an active external amplifier and there was hardly any degradation caused by the headphones.

Enabling the Quad DAC option makes the output even louder, while retaining the flawless output. Great job, LG, the V40 ThinQ is certainly among the best musicians of the year..

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
LG V40 ThinQ+0.01, -0.05-93.392.70.00190.0072-94.1
LG V40 ThinQ (headphones)+0.04, -0.04-93.192.40.00660.073-68.4
LG V40 ThinQ (headphones, Quad DAC)+0.03, -0.03-92.391.40.00610.056-69.8
Huawei Mate 20 +0.02, -0.16-92.192.00.00170.013-85.6
Huawei Mate 20 (headphones)+0.07, -0.07-92.192.40.00210.106-66.5
OnePlus 6T+0.03, -0.05-93.493.30.00100.0070-93.8
OnePlus 6T (headphones)+0.17, -0.15-93.293.10.00560.245-61.1
Sony Xperia XZ3+0.01, -0.02-91.293.20.00240.0080-88.7
Sony Xperia XZ3 (headphones)+0.38, -0.21-93.192.50.00490.233-61.7
Samsung Galaxy Note9+0.01, -0.03-93.793.70.00170.0074-94.1
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-93.693.50.00330.046-93.2
HTC U12++0.02, -0.15-94.394.30.00210.0069-94.3
HTC U12+ (headphones)+0.18, -0.13-93.793.60.00240.104-52.7

LG V40 ThinQ frequency response
LG V40 ThinQ frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Tellucas

It's called follow the follower, they are all caught in a design loop. That's how we ended up with sealed batteries, camera notches, headphone jack delete, hdmi delete. Ect.. What we really want is a second port so we can connect these phones to scre...

  • Medstar1

As with most LG devices the V40 is underrated. I purchased mine from a seller on Offer Up for a great discount 10 months ago. During this time this Snapdragon model has made the transition from Oreo to Pie and has performed flawlessly. The camera/aud...

  • Everist

I pray I get LG v40.People are pleased with it really.