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About LG G8S ThinQ - Review, Specs + more

LG presents its latest model that sits well within the the premium-price segment - the G8S ThinQ - at least, that is what it's called in the UK (elsewhere in Europe just the "G8S"). 

And with it there are a number of new features, i.e. for the first time you can take selfies, portraits and videos with the popular bokeh effect as standard... In addition, this premium-tier smartphone boasts a number of clever security features and superquick  performance.

So is it worth getting an G8S ThinQ on pay monthly/contract? Let's find out...

Selfie cameras with depth sensor

The fact that main cameras are equipped with a time-of-flight sensor is nothing new in the world of premium smartphones. In the LG G8S, however, not only does the triple main camera work great, but also you now have the 8 megapixel front camera with a ToF sensor too. By creating a depth profile of the entire image field, you can now take selfies with that much-vaulted bokeh effect popular on Instragram (and arguably close to being done to death).

A practical side effect of the so-called Z-Camera setup as LG are calling it, is thanks to the depth measurement, the smartphone can be unlocked both by face recognition OR by your palm - to do this you simply hold the open palm at a distance of about 10 cm in front of the front camera. If you prefer to unlock your phone conventionally, don't worry you can still use the fingerprint sensor on the back as well as the usual code/pin methods. 

So back to teh camera:  in other words the front camera also makes something practically impossible until now - important smartphone functions can now be controlled by hand gestures without touching the screen. Privacy concerns aside, it's a great feature and I'm sure we'll see it rolled out onto other models by other brands.

Triple cameras for bokeh videos

The main camera on the back consists of 3 camera modules and a ToF sensor, as mentioned above... The super wide-angle boasts 13 megapixels and captures an angle of view of 136 °. The 12-megapixel standard optics are 78 °. Added to this is a 2-fold optical telephoto zoom, which also resolves 12 megapixels and captures an angle of 48 ° with the longest focal length.

What else is new?  Well, it's not just your selfies that benefit from the integrated ToF sensor: for the first time you can also film Hollywood-style movies with a blurred background effect. According to this review, the main camera has several weaknesses, as noticeable most at twilight and even sometimes in daylight there is quite visible noise. The front camera performs better in comparison we found.

The G8S ThinQ can also record videos in up to 4K at 60 FPS, although the device cannot use its optical image stabilisation (OIS) at these settings. Unfortunately, you must drop the frame rate to 30 FPS if you want to shoot in 4K. The image quality of videos is just as good as photos, and we like that the default camera app can switch between focal lengths while recording. Unfortunately, this looks rather abrupt in recordings, with there being no smooth transition between cameras.

When we did our review testing, selfies clearly showed a "natural" colour reproduction and low noise, although the images could have been a little sharper. Note that LG have launched this as a "premium" smartphone but with a fairly cheap price - comparitively the Galaxy S10e is the nearest thing we can think of, and that model costs about £100 more.

Waterproof housing, modern design

The 15.5 × 7.6 cm large, waterproof housing is quite standard in today's market - LG aren't trying to break new ground here in terms of design, but that's okay. The back is protected by solid 2.5D gorilla glass.

You do not get trendy colour gradients or iridescent surfaces here, as LG  instead have decided that the G8S phone is available in plain gloss white or black. Perhaps more colours will launch later.

The aluminum side frame is rounded and pleasant in the hand, however, it is not particularly slim compared to other premium devices like the iPhone Xr (nearest Apple equivalent device) - the LG has a total depth of 8 mm. The flat, 6.21-inch display offers you with its 18.9: 9 aspect ratio good conditions for a pleasant video streaming experience.

Our review unit is well-built, with it withstanding all attempts at bending or twisting. The device is IP68-certified too, meaning that it is dust-tight and water-resistant. It is also MIL-STD-810 compliant, which means it must have successfully passed 14 environmental and climatic tests. However, no independent organisation or agency certifies MIL-STD-810 compliance, so the conditions under which LG tested it are unclear.

With a resolution of 2248 × 1080 pixels, the display does not offer the QHD-Plus image quality of other premium smartphones. Nevertheless, the Full HD Plus display is sufficient to provide most reviewers with a sufficiently sharp, high-contrast and rather bright image.

Great processor and battery

The G8S ThinQ comes with Android 9.0 Pie, and high-performance Snapdragon 855 processor with a generous 6 GB of RAM. The internal memory is 128 GB in size and can be expanded by a Micro SD card by up to 2 TB.

The G8S ThinQ comes with the standard set of Google apps along with several in-house ones like Smart Doctor and Games Launcher. Unfortunately, you can only disable and not uninstall the preinstalled Amazon Assistant app. LG had pushed out the May 2019 security patch to our review unit at the time of testing, which was relatively up to date. However, we hope that the company rolls out a new one soon.

A Nano-SIM slot is also available to use a second network provider if you want to. 

Power is provided by a 3550 mAh fast-charging battery, which also charges wirelessly.

LG G8S ThinQ price in the UK?

The LG G8S ThinQ costs £599 to buy, and the price is dropping already. You can alternatively buy it on contract for £30 a month.

The G8S - oneCompare verdict:

The G8S ThinQ is a worthy replacement of the G7 ThinQ  (which is still available to buy on contract). It isn't trying to re-invent the wheel here, and there are some slight negatives, but at this price it's hard to complain. If you're looking for something a little different from the norm then the G8S ThinQ is definitely one to consider.

Other models to consider:

LG G8S ThinQ: Specifications

  • Case
  • Dimensions: 155.3 x 76.6 x 8 mm
  • Weight: 181 g
  • Operating System
  • Platform: Android
  • Operating System: Android 9.0 Pie
  • Display
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2248
  • Performance
  • Memory Card:
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Autonomy
  • Battery Capacity: 3550
  • Camera
  • Front Camera: 8 MP
  • Back Camera: 13 MP
  • Connection
  • Connection Type: LTE
  • GPS:
  • SIM Capacity: 2
  • Network
  • WIFI:
  • WIFI Hotspot:
  • Bluetooth:
  • USB: