REVIEW | LG G8X THINQ – two screens on a budget

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Foldable screens and new form factors are the trends with mobile devices. LG has come up with a novel solution to much more screen on your mobile phone without breaking the bank. The new LG G8X THINQ offers two screens at the price of many flagship phones. Dual screens double the available screen area and adds real value to productivity and gaming.

Steven Ambrose unfolds the G8X THINQ and reports back.

LG has a long history of making unusual and innovative mobile devices, from the LG Chocolate mobile phone to the G5 with many interesting modules. The new LG G8X THINQ offers a dual-screen accessory that effectively doubles the screen real estate simply and effectively.

The hardware

The LG G8X THINQ is an iteration of the G8 series from earlier in 2019. On its own it is a standard looking candy bar style phone that offers a 6.4-inch Full HD+ OLED display (2,340 x 1,080) with a tall 19.5:9 ratio. The overall construction is a standard-look phone with a solid aluminium frame and a glass front and back.

The G8X uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset inside, as well as 6GB of memory and 128GB of main storage. There is both a MicroSD slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack – these are becoming increasingly rare in this segment of devices.

The LG G8 notch on the front is a small teardrop cut-out for the 32-megapixel selfie camera that produces 8-megapixel shots by combining clusters of four pixels into 1 in the final image for more accurate photos. On the back, there is a 12-megapixel standard camera and a 13-megapixel super-wide camera.

The G8X offers an under-screen fingerprint reader, which I found easy to use even though it tended to need more than one touch to unlock. Face recognition is also available to assist. The LG G8X ThinQ also offers the Quad DAC audio system – which is still the best audio experience on a mobile phone. Audiophiles need not look any further than this for an outstanding audio experience – especially with wired headphones.

The G8X can be used as a standard phone and is well specified for a 2019 model. The magic happens when the G8X is slipped into the carrying case which houses the dual OLED screen.

The LG G8X ThinQ case features a second 6.4” screen identical to the unit in the G8X, as well as a shiny notification screen on the front that shows essential information when the case is folded. Once unfolded, there are two identical screens with the ability to multitask and operate and view two different apps on each screen.

The LG G8X ThinQ uses a 4,000 mAh battery, which is a big unit for any mobile device. Quick Charge 4.0 from Qualcomm is available for USB-C chargers, and there is wireless charging support. I had no problems getting through a full day with enough power left for at least another half day.



The dual screen experience

As an alternative to the current first-generation foldable screen from Huawei and Samsung, the LG G8X THINQ offers similar screen real estate with a simpler and more cost-effective solution.

The dual-screen case does make the overall package bulky and hard to handle with one hand, so operating the G8X in its dual-screen case is firmly a two-handed affair. Opening the case and looking at the excellent screens is always an event and it makes productivity apps, such as email and typing on a document or spreadsheet, easy and effective. Once you get used to the virtual keyboard and the dual landscape screen, it’s hard to go back to a more normal device with everything crammed onto one screen in either landscape or portrait mode.

The LG G8X ThinQ dual screen is also fantastic for gaming and having a gamepad on one screen, and the actual game on another, is brilliant and again it is hard to go back to a single screen once you have spent some time gaming with the G8X. The experience is hard to replace with any other standard mobile device.

For day-to-day use the LG G8X THINQ is a great productivity booster with spreadsheets on one screen and emails on the other or WhatsApp running on the left with another app running on the right.

The LG G8X THINQ offers all the benefits of a foldable expanding device with few of the drawbacks.

The software

The LG G8X THINQ runs Android 9 with a light LG customised touch. I found that LG’s version of Android is easy to use and well-optimised with useful additional apps and customisations and very little clutter or bloat.

The dual-screen option is accessed via a little tab on the right screen, which is a little hard to use and can be overlooked, but once noticed, is effective. This floating bar allows you to switch screens about and switch the second screen on and off.

There are a few rough edges in the dual-screen implementation which will be smoothed out in time. LG has done an excellent job with the keyboard gamepad and ease of use of having two screens integrated into the Android experience. You may not be able to leave your laptop at home just yet, but the LG G8X THINQ gets close for most purposes.

Conclusion

Dual-screen phones are a novelty for the most part and it is early days in their evolution. Adapting to a 6” screen for all your everyday computing needs is for the most part, not fully possible and carrying a phone tablet and computer around is a lot of equipment.

Foldable screens promise the benefit of smaller devices and screen real estate of a larger tablet. The foldable revolution has barely started but shows real promise. LG’s G8X THINQ is a clever solution using standard components available at a reasonable cost. LG has done a great job in integrating a second screen into the mobile experience and, despite the bulk and ease of use, offers a compelling productivity and gaming device

The main LG G8X THINQ  phone pops out of its dual-screen case for those days when a single screen will do, but the real value is when it is in it’s case. The LG G8X THINQ is very good up-to-date Android device with screen real estate that is hard to beat.

If you need more screen that a mobile device can offer or spend a lot of time gaming, then there is no better device than the LG G8X THINQ. It is surprisingly more useful than it seems, and it is hard to go back to a cramped single screen after a few weeks of use.

Available from networks and dealers countrywide from R14,999.00.

For more information https://www.lg.com/za/mobile-phones/lg-LMG850EM.


Steven Ambrose | Techhuman | @ambio | mail me |


 



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