REVIEW I LG V40 ThinQ Smart

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LG’s latest flagship was released late in South Africa, but sometimes good things come to those that wait. The LG V40 may be the smartphone bargain for which you have been waiting.

The LG V40 is a complete package and a real flagship device in the 2018 collection as we are now entering the 2019 smartphone cycle with Huawei, Samsung, Apple, and even LG themselves offering new devices that promise to be faster better and smarter.

Is there a place for a slightly older model such as the LG V40? In my opinion, there is, and the LG V40 ThinQ may represent the best deal in smartphones for 2019.

LG has a long history in mobile, and even though their fortunes have waned a little of late with the dominance of other brands. LG has soldiered on and produce a range of quality smart devices. LG phones have been a bit understated in both design and marketing but have never skimped on quality and genuine innovation.

LG are leaders in battery technology, screen technology, and other areas that count, many of the innovations are in-house and developed explicitly by LG. This quiet innovation shows both in the performance longevity and overall quality of their products.

The hardware

The LG V40 offers all the latest technology inside and a clean, modern look with a Gorilla Glass 5 front and back all wrapped around a sturdy aluminium frame.

The screen is a 6.4” POLED screen which is as good as any screen available on any current flagship devices. The high resolution and excellent colour balance, as well as its ability to be seen in bright light, are excellent.

The screen takes up the entire front with little or no bezels. There is the ubiquitous notch on top which can be removed via software if you want. I found the notch unobtrusive and left it as it comes. The display is HDR 10 capable, and this makes compatible videos stand out.

The LG V40 ThinQ uses the Qualcomm 845 processor along with 6 GB Ram and 128 Gb of storage in the South African version. In true flagship style, this results in fast, slick operation with instant app switching and overall fluid performance. Only extremely difficult games showed a little stutter. In real-world use, the LG V40 is a great performer. Memory is also expandable via a standard Micro SD slot.

The battery is an in-house LG Chem unit and is small by current flagship standards at 3300mAh. The side benefit is the battery is small and light, and this makes the LG V40 ThinQ one of the lightest of the flagship phones.

I found that in regular use I got through a full day of emails, pictures, social media, and some light gaming with no effort. Heavier usage such as watching a video and taking photographs resulted in a top-up being required after about 10 hours of use.

Audio

The LG V40 ThinQ features high definition Quad Audio DAC’s, which have been a key feature of the V series. In my opinion, this setup results in the best audio quality via the include headphone jack of any mobile device currently available.

Using a good quality wired set of headphones or plugged into a decent audio system, the LG V40 ThinQ quality of sound is notably crisper deeper and more transparent than what we have come to expect from mobile audio. The source used is critical, using Tidal uncompressed streaming audio or FLAC (uncompressed) files downloaded onto the LG V40, the sound quality was often breathtaking.

The camera

The audio quality is almost enough on its own to recommend the LG V40, but LG did not stop there. The LG V40 includes no less than five cameras, three on the back and two on the front.

The three rear cameras on the LG V40 ThinQ consist of a standard 12 MP unit with an F1.5 aperture as well as a 16 MP wide-angle lens and an extra 12 MP 2X Telephoto lens.

All these cameras offer excellent quality, and there is a host of unique trick modes and AI-assisted functions that can make even an average photographer look good. There are numerous functions with some special effects, a few are a little gimmicky, such as the mode that takes pictures with all three cameras simultaneously.

The overall picture quality along with the assisted AI adjustments offer pictures that are as good as any other flagship from Huawei, Samsung, and Apple, in most cases. Night mode from Huawei is slightly better, and overall consistency of quality and ease of use from Apple devices always impresses. The LG V40 ThinQ more than held its own and will not disappoint.

The two front-facing selfie cameras also offer all sorts of modes and can add lipstick and eyeliner for hilarious selfies. Snapchat and other programs do this better, but the wide selfie mode and overall selfie quality will not leave you wanting.

Google lens is a standard app, and its ability to identify and search for objects you point the camera at and then look up information is often a little freaky.

The software

The LG V40 ThinQ currently comes out with Android 8.1 with a reasonably light LG skin. Android 9 with its battery optimisations and gesture control has been promised very shortly as an upgrade. Overall the LG implementation of Android is robust if a little complicated. A few key functions like turning on facial recognition for unlocking, which works well, is hidden under too many menus and takes an effort to find.

In the main, the software on the LG V 40 ThinQ is a clean and smooth implementation of Android. The ThinQ moniker also denotes that the LG V40 is part of the connected LG ecosystem. If you have bought into the LG ecosystem of compatible TV’s fridges and other appliances, the LG V40 becomes an integral part.

All the standard Android apps are available along with a large selection of LG specific tuning and other apps. There is some duplication, but this seems to be a common Android feature for most many manufacturers. Mostly they are ignored and once set up the LG V40 ThinQ is easy to use.

Conclusion

If a top-quality device along with all the latest specifications are what you are looking for in a new smartphone, then the LG V40 ThinQ is a competitive choice. The LG V40 ThinQ has two standout features; the first is the outstanding Audio subsystem and a headphone jack which many flagships have dropped.

The second standout feature is the camera setup which offers tremendous creative control and many modes and functions. The cameras are not the very best in all aspects. Other devices beat the LG V40 ThinQ in low light performance and AI optimisation for some modes, but for most users, the results will not disappoint.

The builds quality is excellent, though a case is highly recommended, as the all-glass construction can be a little fragile. The LG V40 ThinQ is also very slim, light, and easy to handle for a phone with such a big screen. The low weight, balance, and size make this one of the nicest large screen top-end smartphones to use all day.

The one feature that stands out way ahead of other competition is the price. LG has managed to price the V40 ThinQ at R12,999.00 which is significantly below the competitive smart devices from Huawei, Samsung, and Apple. This places the LG V40 ThinQ price at the top end of other midrange devices that cannot compete on specifications or quality. The LG V40 ThinQ trounces other light versions of current flagship devices.

If you are in the market for a new phone, then the LG V40 ThinQ is very hard to ignore, For the price you get flagship performance for bargain pricing.


Steven Ambrose | Techhuman | @ambio mail me |

More information | LG |


 

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