LG G7 ThinQ test: A boom-box in your pocket – Tech News


Artificial intelligence is currently the big thing with smartphone manufacturers and LG is no exception, bringing out the G7 ThinQ, a top-of-the-range Android smartphone that is supposed to recognise objects when taking pictures of them.

Compared to other LG models, the G7 looks downright plain. The front and back are glass surrounded by a black metal frame that encloses the 6.1-inch, 1440 by 3120 pixel display.

Following the current trend, the front camera, speakers and sensors are enclosed in a notch at the top of the display. Inside there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 64 gigabytes of storage space and four gigabytes of RAM.

The operating system is Android 8 as adapted by LG – unfortunately it also includes a lot of bloatware that the user can disable but can’t delete.

While in the case of LG’s G6 and V30, the cameras could not quite keep up with the competition, things should be quite different with the G7.

It has a dual camera with two 16-megapixel sensors and shooting angles of 71 and 107 degrees. The wide-angle lens leads to less distortion at the edges of a photo, LG says. For photos in low light, there is “Super Bright Camera” mode.

There’s also an artificial intelligence (AI) camera mode. This analyzes the content of an image and adjusts settings such as contrast and colour saturation accordingly. Keywords for the detected objects appear on the display – although these can sometimes be rather absurd.

On the plus side, AI mode means that photos are automatically tagged and categorised. But on the downside, it doesn’t automatically trigger portrait mode when it recognises that a person is in the frame.

The combination of normal and wide-angle cameras delivers appealing photos – at least during the day. In low light, image quality and lighting level don’t quite match that of competitor models. Also, the AI corrections are not always necessary – something also seen among some of the competition.

When it comes to audio, this phone has real oomph. It’s equipped with a boom-box speaker and the DTS-X codec for a multi-dimensional sound and the bass it puts out can actually be felt.

If you’re using headphones, the G7 still has an audio jack, unlike some of its competitors, and a high-quality digital-to-analog converter means you get crystal-clear sound over headphones.

All in all, the phone scores with its good camera and excellent sound. Certainly anyone who really values using their smartphone as a music player should take a look at the G7.

On the other hand, the price tag is hefty at around US$985 (RM3,981) – the Huawei P20 Pro with its superior camera can be had for the same price. Or there’s the Honor 10 which costs half as much but also has an AI camera.

Samsung, OnePlus and Nokia also have interesting new offerings out at the moment, providing stiff competition for the G7. — dpa

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