LG V40 ThinQ Review: The Five-Camera Phone

How many cameras does your telephone have? Mine’s received 5.

Fancy telephones usually include three cameras as of late—one within the entrance, two within the again. For LG, three simply ain’t sufficient. Its new high-end V40 ThinQ (pronounced Thin-Queue) has two selfie cams and three rear cameras. At first, I gawked at that variety of cameras, particularly after seeing LG’s gimmick-heavy promoting slogan: “What’s It Gonna Take? Switch to the 5 Camera Phone.” Per week later, I’m a five-camera convert.

Five Camera Shuffle

Maybe you are asking your self: How did we get right here? What may LG probably do with three rear cameras? Turns out, it’s simply making an attempt to do what LG does finest: stuff every little thing into its telephone. LG hates to let any aggressive characteristic go unnoticed, and on this case that’s not a nasty factor.

On the again, a normal 12-megapixel lens takes peculiar pictures, like each smartphone you’ve ever owned. Flanking it’s a 12-megapixel telephoto lens that provides you 2x optical zoom—identical to an iPhone—and a wide-angle lens for these moments whenever you carved three full jack-o’-lanterns and actually need all of them in body. On the entrance, there’s a normal 8-megapixel selfie shooter and a wide-angle 5-megapixel lens for group pictures. Both are satisfactory.


You can swap between zoom, customary, and huge angle lenses by tapping on any of the three easy icons within the digital camera app. It generally takes a break up second, however it works nicely.

Sometimes I need to zoom in, and generally I need to zoom out. For as soon as, I can do each of these issues on a telephone with out destroying the standard of my picture. The flexibility, mixed with pretty aggressive efficiency, makes the V40 a deal with to shoot with—for essentially the most half.

There are just a few hiccups. For one, LG added a brand new digital camera app mode known as Triple Shot that allows you to shoot a photograph with all three cameras without delay. It sounds neat, proper? In principle it’s, however I’ve but to discover a use for it. It takes a second or so to take the three pictures, so it requires a nonetheless hand, and a stiller topic. When it’s accomplished processing, it spits out a shifting .mp4 video of the three pictures stitched collectively, which appears to be like like an fast cease movement gif or a fast zoom-in gif on an object with some unusual generic background music. You additionally get a replica of every image, however you are higher off simply selecting your lens and avoiding this mode. At least one of many three pictures was blurry each time I used it. Sometimes the lighting is off, too.

Below are some nighttime pictures taken on all three rear cameras. Low-light pictures problem each smartphone digital camera. The V40 tends to magnify colours and blur extra in low gentle, however its pictures are often respectable.

LG’s AI Cam characteristic, which I hated a lot on the LG G7, returns on this telephone. It doesn’t show random phrases like “Infinity Pool” and “Flip Flops” whenever you’re pointing it at a tree anymore, and now that it doesn’t, I’m wondering, is it doing something in any respect? If LG is tremendous assured in its artificially clever digital camera, it ought to have made it the default cam. You’re higher off ignoring this mode, together with Portrait mode, which tries to blur the background round your face, but nonetheless has hassle detecting mentioned face, or determining the place your hair ends and the precise background begins.

To be clear, these are minor gripes. LG’s digital camera takes higher pictures than most smartphones that aren’t the Galaxy S9, iPhone XR/XS, or Pixel 3. And with each wide-angle and 2x optical zoom, it’s extra versatile than any one of many three.

Big & Tall

Put all 5 of these cameras in a metaphorical drawer, and also you’re left with a really giant, trendy flagship Android telephone. Standing somewhat over 6 inches lengthy and three inches huge, the V40 ThinQ is a couple of huge as a large Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Like a Note 9, and virtually another well-liked telephone this 12 months, it additionally appears to be like like a slab of metallic sandwiched between two sheets of fragile glass (purchase a case for this one). And like the most recent iPhones and Galaxies, it additionally has a ravishing OLED display screen (6.4-inch) that stretches from high to backside, with a petite notch lower out on high for the selfie cams.

LG’s digital camera takes higher pictures than most smartphones that aren’t the Galaxy S9, iPhone XS, or Pixel 3.

The quantity and energy buttons are of their regular spots, they usually’re joined by a brand new additional Google Assistant button on the fitting. This button continuously will get in the way in which. Like the newer Bixby button on Samsung telephones, I simply don’t want a button to open my voice assistant. Instead, I find yourself clicking it unintentionally after I need to flip the telephone display screen on or off, making it much less of an help and extra of a problem. Luckily, there is a setting to disable it.

It’s additionally powerful to succeed in the tippy high of that tall display screen to faucet icons or pull down the Android notifications menu, which made me marvel why LG didn’t included some reachability options. Phones just like the OnePlus 6T allow you to yank the menus up or down from anyplace on the homescreen, and several other telephones allow you to swipe your finger down on the fingerprint sensor (often on the again) to tug down menus. Fumbling across the overstuffed Settings menu was additionally irritating. LG has 4 prolonged pages of toggles you possibly can activate and off.

Courtesy of Jeffrey Van Camp

Courtesy of Jeffrey Van Camp

LG’s interface is appropriate sufficient. My V40 has much less bloatware than earlier fashions (no telephone wants two calculators), runs Android 8 Oreo, and has month-to-month safety patch dated September 1. With LG’s new Upgrade Center now in operation, hopefully V40 house owners received’t have to attend lengthy to obtain Android Pie.

Overall, V40 is speedy and fast. It matches among the high Android telephones in lots of benchmark assessments, because of a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of reminiscence for storing all these apps and pictures. LG can be up on all of the hip secondary options. The V40 is IP68 waterproof, has a MicroSD slot for additional storage, works with wi-fi/USB-C chargers, and has a headphone jack. Actually, it is greater than a headphone jack: With an onboard Hi-Fi Quad DAC for wired headphones and DTS:X for Bluetooth buds, the V40 and LG G7 are my favourite telephones for listening to music.

Battery life is extremely common. You’ll make it by way of a day, and your mileage will range. I’ve ended most days with 30 to 40 % battery left, which isn’t unhealthy, however much less spectacular than telephones like the brand new BlackBerry Key2.

ThinQ About It

The LG V40 prices $950 unlocked and can work on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. That’s some huge cash, but sadly it’s proper in step with most high-end telephones this vacation season. If you’re counting your {dollars}, there are lots of cheaper Android telephones that may stare down the V40, just like the LG G7 or Galaxy S9. Of course, none of them include 5 cameras.

Your buck will stretch somewhat additional this 12 months, too. LG telephones now include a two-year guarantee. The V40 might value you a paycheck, however not less than LG is placing its cash the place its mouth is.

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