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LG G8 ThinQ: Overlooked Powerhouse!

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Hey everyone! Even as a long-time Android user, I’ve typically stuck with Samsung or Nexus/Pixel devices, with the odd Motorola thrown in.  I’ve never really used anything from LG besides my Television.  I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone to give the LG G8 ThinQ a whirl and see what sets it apart from similar devices from Samsung and Google.

 

Let’s check out the LG G8 together!

 

First impressions: Packaging is nice and solid, which is to be expected from a premium device from LG. It’s on par with Samsung and Google in terms of feeling like some time and a few designers were involved in creating it.

 

Included: 128GB LG G8 in Gray, fingerprint removing cloth(very necessary.  This thing is a smudge magnet), USB-C Charging/Data cable, Fast Charge Power adapter, SIM tool and boring documentation stuff.  I’m actually surprised it didn’t come with a wired headset, as comparable phones in the Galaxy S10, Pixel 3, and iPhone do.  Step it up, LG!

 

Walkaround:
It doesn’t feel overly big in the hand, similar in size to the Galaxy S10. Just a tad longer than the Pixel 3.  Feels solid and well built.  USB-C, headphone jack, microphone, and speaker at the bottom.  Right side has the power button, SIM/MicroSD slot. Along the top, you’ve got another microphone (I’m assuming for Google Assistant, which is well integrated into this phone. More on that later.) The left side gives you the volume up/down buttons, earpiece, and the dedicated Google Assistant button.  The back has your dual cameras, LED flash, and fingerprint sensor.  This “gray” looks really good, and has a mirror finish.  Flip it over to the front, and you’ve got the OLED screen which takes up almost the entire panel, save for a small notch, which houses the front facing camera and other sensors. 

 

Test drive:
It boots up very quickly, and once I’ve got it activated, I’m able to quickly jump into it and get up and running.  Normally, I install a 3rd party launcher such as Nova Launcher so I can customize my Android experience even further.  I’m also not the biggest fan of Samsung’s ham-fisted customization of Android and their UI.  I’m not finding the need to do that with the G8 so far.  The default setting is for all of your apps to be dropped across multiple home screens ala iPhone.  I’m not a fan of this, so I quickly found the settings enabling the traditional home button and keep my most used apps along the launcher row where I like them. 

 

To wake up the screen, there is a handy KnockOn feature, which will awaken the screen by tapping it twice.  Pretty nice if you need to just quickly wake the phone up.  You also get the “always on” display, which will show your notifications, clock, calendar, battery life, etc.  You can even create a custom message if you like.  In addition to using your face, fingerprint, or the traditional PIN/Password/Pattern we’re seeing on other devices, The G8 has a new Hand ID feature.  The setup is kind of tricky, but it’s a pretty neat feature.  I’m not sure how secure it is compared to PIN or fingerprint, but it’s the world we live in now.   

 

Some of the UI tweaks are pretty neat.  Context awareness will automatically enable/disable some features and apps based on where you’re located or other situations. Parking Assistant will remember your car’s location if connected to your vehicle via Bluetooth or Android Auto. At Home/Work, Away from Home, and Off Work let you enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and sound profiles based on these locations.  You can also set what app opens when you plug in wired headphones or connect via Bluetooth.

 

There are also some “Air Motion” gestures where you can control media volume, calls and alarms, create a screen capture, or open an app.  Not sure if I’d ever use this as I never used the similar feature on my Samsung devices that have this, but it’s still a cool feature.  

Another feature with some potential, but limited use for myself is the “Dual App” capability.  This will let you install a second copy of an app to use with a second account on said app.  The only available Apps I’ve got installed on the phone that take advantage of this are Facebook and Facebook messenger.  Since I’ve got just the one Facebook account, this really doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but I can see how others could take advantage of it.

 

Overall Impressions:

I was skeptical at first since I’m used to Samsung being the kings of the ring when it comes to Android, and the simplicity of the Pixel devices, but LG has a winner here.  The battery life, screen, speakers/audio features are some of the best I’ve ever used.  The speed, specs, and build quality of this phone are on par with the Galaxy S10. The UI is very familiar to stock android, with a few tweaks.  Overall, I’m a fan.  If you’re looking to upgrade and you’re an Android user, the G8 is worth a look!

The good: Premium feel and performance, excellent cameras and screen resolution, great battery life, 3.5mm headphone jack,

 

The not so good: Gimmicky features like Air Gestures and the Hand Scan, very slippery feel (BUY A CASE IMMEDIATELY), wired headphones not included.

 

Specs:

  • Operating System: Android 9
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Octa Core up to 2.84GHz
  • Browser: Chrome S Browser
  • Dimensions: 5.98 x 2.83 x 0.32 inches (151.99 x 71.89 x 8.19 mm)
  • Weight: 5.89 oz. (167 grams)
  • Battery: Non-Removable 3500 mAh Lithium Ion battery
  • Adaptive Fast Charging Quick Charge 3.0
  • Display: 6.1" FullVision™ OLED Touch Screen (3120x1440)
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Connector Type: USB  Type-C
  • Cameras:
  • 12MP rear facing (main) + 16MP rear facing (wide angle)-AI Camera, Google Lens, Telephoto Lens, Portrait Modes, Cinegraph, Slo-mo, and Triple shot.
  • 8MP front facing camera-Auto shot, Gesture shot, Portrait mode, Cinegraph and Stickers
  • Memory: 128GB internal memory (ROM), 6GB RAM.
  • Expandable memory up to 2TB
  • Headset: 3.5MM Stereo headset jack
About the Author
  • In addition to being a Sprint Employee and Product Ambassador, GeekGeoff is an unabashed Star Wars fan, Tech Junkie and Father to a precocious 9 year old. When he’s not writing blogs, he can be found playing video games, searching for the best donut shop or debating which Doctor is the best (for the record, it’s number 10).
  • SeaWolf makes port here on Sprint's Community after running a somewhat popular blog, a mildly successful Twitter account and serving as the most-hated fandom Message Board Manager EVAR. Current Phone: Samsung S8 Areas of Expertise: Care topics and corny jokes