At a time (and at a show) where foldable phones are popping up all over the place, leave it to LG Electronics to essentially thumb its nose at the trend in the cleverest and most LG way possible. Here at IFA 2019, LG showed their G8X ThinQ smartphone, which is an iterative update over the G8 introduced back in February.
The G8X ThinQ is a 6.4-inch FHD and OLED FullVision device that sports a Snapdragon 855 chipset alongside 6 gigs of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that’s expandable up to 2TB via microSD. The screen is slightly larger than the model rolled out earlier this year, and so too is the 4,000mAh battery. The phone will run Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.
The phone also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a built-in 32-bit HiFi Quad DAC, providing plenty of power for one of the best audio experience on a smartphone.
From the camera side of things, the G8X ThinQ features a dual camera system on the back that includes a 12MP standard lens alongside a 13MP Super Wide lens. The front facing lens can shoot up to 32MP for some of the clearest selfies in the game, though it will default to 8MP picture quality unless otherwise adjusted.
But now that we’ve thoroughly buried the lede here—the feature of note with this LG phone is that users will have the option to order the device with an LG Dual Display. That display is the same 6.40inch FHD and OLED FullVision display, and even features a second notch—which LG opted for for symmetrical reasons as there’s no actual camera inside the notch on the second display.
Essentially a case for the G8X ThinQ, the Dual Screen is an improved and more polished version of a similar device developed last year for the LG V50 ThinQ. This latest model features an improved hinge that can open the whole way around, a USB-C connection as opposed to pogo pins, and a 2.1-inch LCD display on the front that displays notifications, the time, and not much else.
Boiled down, the second screen really is what the name says—a second screen. It’s a space for the user to extend their home screen apps, launch a second program, and that’s really about it. You can’t extend video viewing experiences across both screens—nor would you want to with the hinge serving as a rather large bezel between the two sides. However, you could have a video running on one side while sending emails on the other. And, in supported gaming apps, you’ll be able to run the game on one screen and have access to a digital controller on the other.
In reality, this style of folding device seems a bit more practical at the moment, given both the early (i.e. ugly) designs we’ve seen from the folding display devices, and the fact that it’s going to cost you far less for a product like the LG Dual Screen. Honestly, at the moment, that’s pure speculation because pricing details weren’t readily available. But it’s hard to imagine LG would place a $2,000 price tag on this thing.
The G8X ThinQ does pop out of the Dual Screen display, meaning you can take the phone out on its own when you don’t feel like having it tethered to another bulky display.
One thing that was noticeable under the bright lights of a trade show hall is that the front display was difficult to see at times. The mirror coating on the front is a nice touch aesthetically, but it adds to the difficulty of being able to see the content of that front display.
Though I’m not certain I can buy into the foldable phone hype in any shape or form, LG’s take on the space is one that feels both a bit sarcastic, but more effective from a productivity standpoint. And that, at the very least, I can get behind.