back to article LG G7 ThinkQ: Ropey AI, but a feast for sore eyes and ears

Samsung's giant rival for 50 years, LG, has gone toe-to-toe with the bigger chaebol throughout the smartphone era. Three years ago, LG was firing all cylinders. Its 2014 flagship had introduced the first QHD+ panel; and its successor offered great design (custom leatherbacks) while retaining the removable battery Samsung …

  1. ArrZarr Silver badge

    LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

    It comes in PinQ, here, I have a LinQ.

    Better not BlinQ or you will miss your chance.

    Use all the toys to get that vendor LoQ.

    They just want you on their HooQ.

    Even if you just want to WorQ.

    That's just MusiQ to their ears.

    What do you mean, I sound like a PilloQ?

    1. gskr

      Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

      Just don't expect more than 1 android version update (about a year after it appears on a pixel phone)

      1. gv

        Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

        Ay, there's the rub. If only LG provided software updates on a regular basis...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

          Ay, there's the rub. If only LG provided software updates on a regular basis...

          Like most Android vendors then...?

          When will we see the same sort of update policy as Apple does. Apparently even the iPhone 5S will get the next release of IOs from them. how old is that phone?

          I'm sure that a good number of us would not mind paying a little (not Apple gouging prices mind you) more for a phone that was going to get updates for 3 or 4 years.

      2. Badvok

        Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

        On past experience I wouldn't expect the phone to last long enough to require any updates after a year.

        1. ~chrisw

          Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

          Once upon a time I had the 4G LTE variant of the Galaxy S3. Great phone, except one day I saw a burst of static on the display then it never functioned again. Sad times.

          So, I bought the LG G3. Good phone in general, though I was frustrated by its undefeatable screen sharpening (unless you rooted and ROMmed). Then the SIM slot stopped working properly, I gave up and along came a G4.

          Hurray! On the G4, no more screen sharpening. Nice screen, albeit a bit dim in daylight. Power button and volume rocker buttons on the rear of the phone were SUCH a good UX choice. Seriously, class-leading ergonomic design there. Who cares about a fingerprint reader when those buttons were so well placed. It gave the phone a nice profile, too.

          Camera was pretty good for photos (tip: always leave HDR enabled) but video had that weird 'drunk'-style OIS where it can't figure out what you're doing with moderate speed pans or tilts. The S9 also has it, though not as noticeably in certain frame rate modes (seems to be the slower fps, higher resolution ones).

          Sadly just before a year of ownership it started to bootloop, so was sent off for repair. Upon return, it worked again, but not long after that it started to get really hot almost all the time - and excessively chomped through its battery - which caused excessive 'screen burn' image persistence.

          When you're able to read text displayed for less than 3 minutes for over an hour afterwards, frankly that's terrible.

          I got so hacked off with the phone and its less-than-stellar cellular performance that I've just moved back to the dark side (Samsung S9). Thus far, the Samsung camera app is slightly 'quirky', but the phone is loaded up with all my software and so on and it's still pretty rapid, no obvious slowdowns yet.

          No OLED problems as of yet either, and the S9's WiFi, 3G & 4G performance in marginal signal areas completely outstrips the LG. I can get moderate, usable signal where I previously had none at all.

          And best of all - the S9 already received the June software security OTA patch after first boot. Impressive given the G4 still hadn't received an LG patch to fix all of the 2017 Android vulnerabilities by the time I bought its successor, it was stuck on a mid-2017 patch.

          The LG G4 was effectively abandoned by LG outside of Korea after its release, despite earlier press releases from them stating to the contrary that all G4s would get Android 7. Only Korean G4s ever got Android 7, never mind Android 8.

          I've read some less than glowing reports of the G7's camera - not enough progress, and marred by some of the same problems which dogged its predecessors. I have to say the S9's camera has generally impressed me so far, although it tends to expose slightly brighter than the LG (not always good) and its choice of white balance is sometimes a bit too cool for me (visually bluer than I'd like). The Pro camera mode is good enough though to counter-act this and there's lots of camera apps on the market.

          The S9's audio quality is pretty decent, given it's nothing they specifically tout in the marketing. GSMArena seemed suitably impressed from their lab testing. It can drive my HD25s deafeningly loud, though I bet it would struggle with my 300 ohm 650s.

          The S9 does interestingly include the AptX (believe to also include AptX HD) plus the very high quality and low latency Sony LDAC Bluetooth codec, so it'll be ideal to pair with premium headphones like the Audeze Mobius planars.

          The S9 in Developer Options also has an impressive array of customisation options to fine-tune the Bluetooth audio settings (codec preference, bit rate, sample rate and even AVRCP version!) -- much more testing to be done soon with those... Finally I can bin off the horrible SBC codec.

          You can get the S9 for £619 from Amazon or John Lewis; the G7 is a shade under £600. And in that respect, not considering the fact they will actually regularly receive future Android updates, I'd still have to pick Samsung. LG have lost me due to their incompetence with after-sales support and platform updates, which is a damn shame as I was rooting for them.

        2. Badvok

          Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

          Oh dear looks like I upset a couple of LG fans who haven't heard of the bootloop problems with the LG Nexus 5X, and the LG G4, and the LG G5, and the LG V10, and the LG V20. All caused by the same issue. LG is definitely one to avoid if you want something that lasts longer than a year.

          1. Konk

            Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

            I owned four LG phones (G2, G3, G4, V10), of which the G3 had a faulty case which was replaced twice, G4 had a bootloop and V10 got the green screen of death, both after one year. In both cases, they died just out of warranty and LG refused to repair. Based on the fact when I went into their customer support centre there were 100 customers queuing with dead V10s, it's pretty safe to say they have an issue.

            No matter how much I want to like LG it's impossible to throw several hundred pounds down the drain every year because they can't build a quality product.

      3. deive

        Re: LG G7 ThinQ: Raising a StinQ.

        Hopefully this will be project treble enabled, so we will have to see how that goes.

  2. Duncan Macdonald

    Still far too expensive

    Unless you are playing a lot of games there is no need to pay more than £200 for a good phone. Ask yourself what features this phone has over a typical £150 high midrange phone - then ask yourself do they justify the extra cost. (So far I have not found any real reason to update from my 2013 THL W8S which cost £200 !!)

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Still far too expensive

      Unless you are playing a lot of games there is no need to pay more than £200 for a good phone

      I'd like to know how to avoid Android for £200 or less?

      Apart from the used phone market.

      1. K

        Re: Still far too expensive

        Don't think you can, but there are some amazing phones in the £150-£250 market!

        I just purchased my wife a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 which cost me £220, an incredible bit of kit (6GB RAM, 64GB storage, amazing dual cameras and massive battery etc).. But even if Xiaomi stop releasing updates, their is a massive community on XDA who release their own (and often better ROMS).

        Actually, on paper its very close to the specs of my OnePlus 5T (yeah I'm a hypocrit, I tell her there is no need to spend over £250)!

    2. Chz

      Re: Still far too expensive

      Also, the article claims "Leave that to one side and you've got a strong phone, checking in at £599, considerably below rivals from Huawei, HTC and Samsung."

      I would consider Huawei's regular P20 to be suitably competitive and while it may have started at the same price, it's now available for £480 most places.

      That being said, Xiaomi's Android One offerings clock in around £200 and are more than enough for most uses.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    much larger resonance chamber

    I'm sorry, but for an "audiophile" - and I presume you refer to the sound coming out of the phone's internal speakers - no phone will sound even remotely "audiophilish", unless sound's fed through proper external speakers or proper earphones / headphones.

    1. 0laf

      Re: much larger resonance chamber

      Yep I don't know why they bother with promoting this. People who use their phones for playing music in public are usually arseholes. If I want to play music at home via a phone I'll use one of innumerable decent cheap bluetooth speakers or my not cheap bluetooth soundbar and sub.

      Just make it play good through headphones and knock £50 off the phone

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: much larger resonance chamber

      Exactly. Which is why I wrote:

      "For the superior audio you'll need accessories, and in the case of HiRes audio, decent accessories."

      The perils of skim reading, eh?

      1. Sgt_Oddball

        Re: much larger resonance chamber

        I actually get pretty good results with a Bluetooth dongle attached directly to my amp for this sort of thing. A damn sight cheaper than replacing and surprises alot of folks when I start flicking through tracks on a 1970's pioneer.

      2. Uffish

        Re: "budget (£50) earphones"

        Sorry, I lost interest at that point.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "budget (£50) earphones"

          The audiophile bit is that it has an ESS Sabre DAC in it for output through the 3.5mm socket, powered by a better amp than normal ( for use with a wider range of headphones). LG have been leading this for a while, starting with their G2.

          The 3.5mm output has nothing to do with LG's efforts to make the phone's speaker louder - though as someone who might start listening to a podcast in one room and carry his phone into the kitchen to make a cuppa is no bad thing (though my S8 is just about loud enough for this use case).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: much larger resonance chamber

        This is what you wrote:

        The V-series’ audio capabilities are finally unleashed here, and there’s a lot to get through. An enlarged space inside the phone allows for much larger resonance chamber, giving a much beefier sound.

  4. Milton

    May we please stop calling them phones?

    Given that this review—it's interesting and informative and I have no particular beef with it—says not a word about the telephony (call reliability, dialling, contacts, dropouts, sound quality, networks) perhaps it really is time to find a new word for these versatile hand-held personal computing and communication devices we're all carting about in our pockets? When you can review a "phone" without feeling the need to mention its phon-i-ness, we are surely in need of a new label.

    El Reg is the ideal place to start brainstorming ideas: it prides itself on a certain ironic and irreverent outlook, not to mention abysmally juvenile humour, and is read by one of the more informed and even sometimes intelligent audiences around here.

    Let's invite submissions, which must consist of an easily pronounceable single word of no more than three syllables, preferably able to be vocalised by speakers of any language, acronyms allowed if they adhere to those criteria. Submitters may offer a single sentence <35 word justification/explanation for their suggestion. Then build up a list, and get some votes (making sure you don't allow anon multi-submissions).

    How about it? Should be fun at least, and might even start something interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

      I like the German word "Handy", which in English at least has many of the right connotations, but the H is a problem for many speakers. Perhaps we should call it a "Gandy" (small, innocent looking and very powerful.)

      1. AndyMulhearn

        Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

        I like the German word "Handy"...

        I loved the episode of QI where Stephen Fry mentioned this. His slightly camp pronunciation of "Wo ist mein handy" had the audience, and me, in stitches.

        That said, when I typed that into the Safari search bar, google proceeded to tell me where my phone is, which was slightly disconcerting.

        1. Ralph the Wonder Llama

          Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

          Wasp T12 Speechtool. Well weapon.

    2. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

      Telephony Incapable Tablet Sitting U(?) Pockets






      No, I can do better - Commnis/Commni. A combination of Communication and the latin word Omnis, meaning everything.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

        Phone. Just as long as it needs a SIM that is assigned a phone number.

        It's a normal sort of semantic evolution that an iron for pressing clothes is still an iron even though it is made of ceramic, plastic and steel.

    3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

      I always mention telephony - it's a golden rule. And I did right here. Every phone is tested on 2+ networks in the nastiest notspots I can find.

      (And given more time and resources, I'd devote pages to signal and audio quality and do proper testing. It's what many of you want. )

    4. Uffish

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

      But, but, my phone is a phone not a fondleslab.

    5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

      How about "mobile"? Or is that already taken for something?

      1. borkbork

        Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

        How about Mobe? People around here love that shit...

      2. Uffish

        Re: Mobile

        The word, used as a noun, belongs to Alexander Calder.

    6. Robert D Bank

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?


    7. Tikimon

      Re: May we please stop calling them phones?

      In an interesting coincidence, Dinosaur Comics addressed this last week. Check it out.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    perhaps they meant it as a (fake Korean-accent) "thankyou!"?! :D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thin-queue

      That would be a Kiwi.

  6. Stuclark

    Any chance of a screenshot of the About Phone > Software page, as I can't make my G7 (UK model) pick up *any* VoLTE or VoWiFi settings; and hacking the firmware seems currently un-doable

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      That sounds like a provisioning issue on the carrier's side, because it should be automatic, especially VoLTE.

      You might want to have a chat with them, because it sounds like you're not provisioned for it if its not showing up at all.

      1. Stuclark

        LG seem to leave vital settings out of the UK firmwares for VoLTE & VoWiFi; and the phone isn't on the officially supported list from O2 for either of those functions. (and as EE, Voda etc. don't sell the phone as a branded handset, neither officially support it either)

        This was the same with the LG V30 before hand; and is proved to be a handset issue as my SIM allows both VoLTE and VoWiFi when used in a different handset.

    2. Stuclark

      Andrew; could you please tell me which networks you used the phone on; as I want to check whether the lack of VoLTE and VoWiFi I'm seeing is network dependent?

  7. brakepad


    The closing comment: "The G6 is the most competitive offering at its price point, and should it fall further, will be quite a steal. "

    I'm guessing that's a typo, but actually fairly accurate I would say. The G6 Plus, which features the improved DAC & 128GB storage can be found for under £350 if you look for it. As mentioned not an exciting phone by any means, but massively good value given the features.

  8. tiesx150

    'kin notch. No thanks

    No idea why everyone feels the need to add a notch 'feature' these days and pretend to be 'apple-esque'. Looks retarded.

  9. Shadow Systems

    They should make a new phone...

    Call it the LG BTQ phone & market it to the world as the first "Happy phone for happy people!"

    Give it a headphone jack, an SD card slot, 32GiB RAM, 1TiB storeage, & a 4000MAh removeable battery, then price it as affordibly as possible. Make it with an open bootloader & fully listed specs so the hardware hacking folks can easily customize the hell out of it, including creating new ROMs for others to use. Give it software updates in lockstep with Google's releases of the OS, that way nobody winds up in a security shitehole because their phone is the Adobe Flash of the telecom world.

    Last but not least, if you give it a notch then let us come beat the ever lovin' !FEK! out of you for being a bunch of cockwombles.

  10. Timmy B

    "The proof is in the pudding..."

    Stop it! Stop it NOW!. The proof is not in the pudding, it is in the EATING! Gah!

  11. eldel

    LG? Never again

    The fact that the G4 is praised makes me discount the rest of the article. I have one. Biggest purchase mistake I ever made (given the cost). Crappy battery life and a network stack that was written by an intern after a heavy might out. Totally incapable of maintaining bluetooth connection when moving between cells. Sometimes requiring you to re-pair with the phone (for reference the car and the headphones work just fine with every other phone in the household).

    In 3 years I had 3 security updates. I've had that many from Motorola already for my G5s in 9 months.

    I would ding it on call performance but given that we're on Verizon that would be unfair on the phone. The only thing worse than Verizon is the GSM coverage around here. Still, the Moto is better. If you listen very hard.

    1. Dave K

      Re: LG? Never again

      I have a G4 still and love it. Battery life is ok for me, and I love that the battery is changeable. However what I like most is that after 3 years of use, it's still slick and speedy. I've grown tired of Samsung phones that work great for a year or so before becoming stuttery and sluggish, the G4 is lovely at maintaining its performance over time. Updates could be better, but seeing as every Samsung update in the past drove my phone to slower and slower performance levels, I'd gladly take an older OS that remains fast.

  12. BigAndos

    I had a G3 a few years ago. Got fed up waiting for non existent Android updates, and LG's interface was really laggy. In the end the phone slowed down a lot and despite factory resets I had to give up on it. I think these days you might as well either go Pixel or iPhone to ensure regular software updates, or buy some no name handset from China that's easy to flash with your ROM of choice.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Project Treble. This LG is an Oreo phone.

  13. Barry Rueger

    G4+3 = better?

    The G7 includes a dedicated key for the Google Assistant

    I've yet to find a way to kill off this idiotic feature on my G4. I have no interest in yelling commands at my phone, and resent Google Assistant taking over my screen over and over again nagging me to use it.

    I'm pleased to see that LG has continued the tradition of placing essential things like the power button (or fingerprint sensor?) directly below the camera lens so that every photo can be artistically smeared.

    My G4 has any number of endlessly irritating "features" that will discourage me from ever buying another.

    Does the G7 still have the idiotic "Your battery is charged. Please unplug your charger" notification? The one that can't be disabled, no matter how annoying or pointless it is? Ten times a day, and more as the battery slows down after two years?

    (Just to be fair, some of these might be stupid Android tricks and not LG's ideas.)

  14. juice

    The V range was available in the UK

    I bought my V30 from Carphone warehouse!

    One question about the G7: from what I saw in the initial reviews, the wideangle lens has a narrower FOV than the V30 (which in turn has a narrower FOV than the G6). Is this definitely the case? And what's the FOV on the standard lens?

    Perhaps ironically (or even deliberately, to make the wideangle look better), the V30's standard lens has a FOV which is perceptibly narrower than on my previous phone, the Samsung S7. I have to keep either taking a step back or switching to the lower-resolution wideangle lens to get the shots I want.

    Suppose I can go down to CW to try and compare them, but barring any highly unfortunate accidents, I'll be sticking with the V30 for the foreseeable future; if anything does happen, I might even pick up a G6!

  15. Baldrickk

    My G3 was fantastic. It still runs fine, though only if I use a USB-OTG and screen mirroring to my smart TV - I smashed the screen just before my 2 year contract ran out. I had no problems with the phone itself, and would have gladly gone LG again...

    ...but the S7 was on a very steeply discounted contract so I picked one up instead.

    Now the question is, when my contract is up in a few months, should I actually look at upgrading to this, or any other new phone from this year, or stick with my S7 which is still going strong (and put LineageOS on it to get updates)?

    It doesn't feel like I'm really missing out on anything except the bokeh effects from dual lenses. I'd prefer to buy a decent camera instead tbh.

  16. riclh

    It's a piece of glass with a moving picture under it. You have learned some gestures, movements and tappity-taps that mostly get it to do what you want. It is pretty too.

    Get over it :)

    Oh, and it does phone things too

  17. SealTeam6

    think it's a ThinQ

    Isn't it a ThinQ and not a ThinKQ ? No 'K'.

    I "ThinQ" so.

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