LG is betting heavily on AI optimisations to make its latest flagship smartphone stand out.
When does the LG G7 ThinQ come out? Launches on 2 May 2018, Australian availability to be confirmed.
What’s new about the LG G7 ThinQ? Snapdragon 845 processor, AI-assisted camera, water resistance
How much will the LG G7 ThinQ cost? Expected $1,000+
What is the LG G7 ThinQ?
LG's G series phones have long been the South Korean manufacturer's flagship phone family, but recent years have not entirely been kind to the brand.
The LG G5 rather disastrously flirted with modular accessories that never quite worked as well as it might have hoped, while the LG G6 was a solid phone held back somewhat by using an older processor in order to beat Samsung to market, giving it less of a prestige feel.
LG appears to have very much gone back to the drawing board with the LG G7 ThinQ. LG has delayed a once-supposed MWC 2018 launch and instead opted to release its latest premium smartphone at dual launches in New York on 2 May 2018 and Seoul on 3 May 2018.
It's expected that the delay has given LG time to fine-tune the details, and while officially LG hasn't done much more than confirm the name and the launch date, a number of leaks have given us a very solid picture of what to expect from the LG G7 ThinQ.
LG got the LG G6 to market quickly by using the Snapdragon 821 processor, which meant it was already behind the pack when it launched, but it seems all but confirmed that the LG G7 ThinQ will feature Qualcomm's latest processor, the Snapdragon 845 when it launches. It's expected to pair that up with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and an expected 64GB or 128GB of storage, although some rumours do suggest that LG might go down the route of not supporting expanded storage via microSD.
In screen terms, the big story for the LG G7 ThinQ is the appearance of a "notch" display, a la the iPhone X, although LG may have a trick to play here if you're not a fan of that type of display.
Leaks suggest that users can hide the notch on the LG G7 ThinQ with a black bar at the top of the screen, accessed through settings, so you can either have it present or mostly hide the front-facing camera.
The LG G7 ThinQ is expected to have a screen size of around 5.7 inches, which is a little smaller than the screen on the LG V30, but it still comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Previous G-series phones have used LCD displays, but with both the LG V30 and the LG-built Google Pixel 2 XL using Plastic OLED displays, and LG's general strength in the OLED space, it's possible the LG G7 ThinQ may also opt to go down the OLED path.
Like Samsung's Galaxy S9, the LG G7 ThinQ is expected to have a dedicated AI assistant button on the side, although there's no sign of LG producing its own AI software. The most likely scenario is that it will allow fast access to Google Assistant, possibly pumped with some LG-specific optimisations.
If you're pondering the whole "ThinQ" suffix business, it's LG's branding for any of its consumer electronics with inbuilt artificial intelligence features. For the LG V30s ThinQ, that extended to additional Google Assistant commands as well as AI photography modes, both of which are expected to play a role on the LG G7 ThinQ.
Will the LG G7 ThinQ have a good camera?
There isn't a lot of early data on LG's camera ambitions with the LG G7 ThinQ, but leaks of the design, along with LG's previous history, point to dual rear-mounted cameras, most likely combining a standard and wide-angle lens. It's been suggested that LG might up the ante in aperture terms with one lens going as wide as f/1.5, which would give the LG G7 ThinQ something of an advantage.
Given that ThinQ branding, we expect that LG will make use of predictive AI to improve the LG G7 ThinQ's camera performance, with a lot of focus on scene detection and image manipulation through the camera lenses.
Will the LG G7 ThinQ be water resistant?
While exact specification sheets haven't leaked as yet, LG's previous G6 featured water resistance, and there's very little reason to expect that the LG G7 ThinQ wouldn't follow suit. As a reminder, though, water resistance is always measured in clean lab water, so it's not an open invitation to deliberately drown your phone down the toilet and expect it to always operate afterwards.
When will the LG G7 ThinQ be available in Australia?
LG will formally launch the LG G7 ThinQ at dual events in New York on 2 May 2018 and Seoul on 3 May 2018, and it's expected that it won't waste much time getting handsets to market.
Australia has typically been among the first wave of countries to see new LG handsets, especially from the G series. However, we've not seen the LG V30s ThinQ, so that leaves the question of precisely when we might see the LG G7 ThinQ rather open. Speculatively, we'd expect it to launch in Australia before the middle of the year.
How much will the LG G7 ThinQ cost?
LG's pricing for its premium handsets hasn't quite reached the peaks raised by the likes of Apple, Google or Samsung. However, at the same time, competition from Chinese brands such as Huawei has meant that its positioning as a "value" brand hasn't quite been there yet either. Based on the LG G6's asking price, we'd expect to see the LG G7 ThinQ to retail in Australia for at least $1,000-$1,200, but it could sell at even higher prices.
LG's premium flagships have tended to land well with Australian carriers, so if you're keen on the brand but don't want to buy a handset outright, we'd expect it to be available on contract terms as well. As yet, whether that's with just one carrier as an exclusive or across multiple providers is yet to be seen.
LG G7 ThinQ Specifications
- Product Name
- LG G7 ThinQ
- Display Size
- 5.7-6.0 inches
- Snapdragon 845
- Operating System
- Android 8.0
- Front camera
- Rear camera
- Dual 16 MP f/1.5
- 153.2 x 71.9 x 8.2 mm
- Expected $1200+
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