The LG V40 ThinQ is more than just a larger LG G7. In addition to a big, sharp 6.4-inch OLED screen and the latest hardware, the V40 has a total of five cameras—three sensors on the back and two on the front—allowing it to take pictures from multiple angles. You can take close-ups, standard shots, and the super-wide-angle shots LG phones are known for. It can even snap all of them simultaneously and stitch together a GIF afterward. LG hasn’t announced pricing or availability yet, but we got to take an early look at the phone.
(Mostly) Keeping What Works
The V40 keeps most of the things we like about the LG G7, like a sleek glass front and back, polished metal sides, and a thin, lightweight body. At 5.96 ounces, it weighs considerably less than similarly sized phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (7.09 ounces) and the iPhone XS Max (7.34 ounces).
The phone has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, but it’s wider than the G7 to accommodate the 6.4-inch panel. That makes it a little bit harder to reach across with your thumb, though you can use Split Screen mode to run two apps on the top and bottom of the screen at once, or One Handed mode to shrink the screen and make things easier to reach.
Like the V35, the fingerprint sensor is on the back, under the camera sensors and easy to reach with your index finger. The SIM/microSD card slot has been moved from the top to the right side, under the power button. The volume buttons and the Google Assistant button are both on the left. You can’t remap the Google Assistant button, but at least it’s more useful than Samsung’s Bixby button.
On the bottom, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack with a Quad DAC that really comes alive with audiophile-quality headphones like the Meze 99 Classics I listened on. There’s also support for 32-bit hi-res audio and the ability to customize equalizer settings, sound profiles, and enable software-based surround sound. The surround is a little forced, but
The bottom-ported speaker seems to have the same internal resonance chamber as the G7, giving it the “boombox” effect, which ramps up
Like previous generations, the V40 is IP68 waterproof, letting it withstand complete immersion in up to six feet of water for 30 minutes. It’s also
The Latest Specs
Like the new iPhone XS and XS Max, the LG V40 has an OLED display. It measures in at 6.4 inches, with 3,120 by 1,440 pixels for a super-crisp 636 pixels per inch. Colors look rich and saturated, with the dense, inky blacks OLED is known for. Viewing angles are great and visibility is good in direct sunlight. Generally speaking, it looks just as good as the Note 9 when placed next to it, though colors are a bit on the colder side. In Display Settings, you can tweak white balance and screen temperature to better suit your preferences.
Shifting to an OLED panel means that always-on notifications look better when the rest of the screen is off, and the notch blends in more with the rest of the phone. That’s particularly handy when you use “second screen” mode to turn the notch area into a dedicated status bar, as you won’t see a distracting seam between the screen and bezel.
Under the hood, the V40 has everything you expect from a flagship phone launching in late 2018. There’s a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor clocked at 2.7GHz, 6 GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Because we handled a phone with pre-release software, we’re not publishing any benchmarks, but performance should be just as good as other high-end phones like the G7 and Note 9.
From left: Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V40
The phone has a 3,300mAh battery, which is slightly more capacious than the 3,000mAh cell in the G7. For reference, the G7 clocked a solid 6 hours, 28 minutes of streaming video over LTE at maximum screen brightness. It’s smaller than the 4,000mAh Note 9 battery, however, which lasted 14 hours. We’ll put it through our own intensive rundown to see how it fares. The V40 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging with the included adapter, as well as wireless charging.
In terms of software, the V40 is running Android 8.1 Oreo, which puts it behind newer phones that will start coming out with Android 9.0 Pie, not to mention Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which have already gotten the update. LG has assured us the V40 will receive an
The V40 has the same custom UI as the G7. The appearance of app icons and settings menus are different from stock Android, apps are splashed across the home screen by default (this is easy to change), and there are some extras features here and there. We’ll look at the software more closely when we receive a final review unit.
LG’s V series has always pushed the limit of phone cameras and the V40 is no exception. It has five camera sensors—three on the back, two on the front—all of which are AI-powered and with different fields of view.
Let’s start with the back. Of the three sensors, one is the 12MP primary sensor for standard photos. It has a 78-degree field of view and a 40-percent larger pixel sensor than the G7, which should allow for better low-light photos. The real test will be how it fares against the Note 9, which has one of the best cameras on an Android device.
For wide-angle shots, you get a 16MP sensor with a 107-degree field of view. This is the same wide lens we’ve seen (and enjoyed using) on the G7. It lets you snap more scenery and background, albeit at the cost of some minor barrel distortion.
The third sensor is where things get interesting. It’s a 12MP telephoto lens with
One of the coolest new features is Triple Shot. With it enabled you can snap a picture using all three of the rear cameras one after the other. Once the photos have been captured, the phone can process them into a six-second video—it can even automatically add music.
The front of the phone has a dual-sensor setup. There’s a standard 8MP lens with an 80-degree field of view and a 5MP wide-angle lens with a 90-degree field of view. The difference between the two is fairly marginal. Switching between them lets you capture a little bit more of what’s around you when snapping selfies, but the tradeoff is a lower-resolution shot.
All the other camera features from the G7 have been ported over. The V40 has AI scene recognition capabilities for all of its sensors, both front
The V40 can record 4K video at 60fps, has Google Lens built into the camera app, and can shoot in Portrait mode on both front and rear sensors. Of course, you also have manual controls to let you tweak things like ISO, focus, and shutter speed.
Pricing and Availability
LG will be offering the V40 bundled with various accessories when you preorder, including a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 or a 256GB SanDisk microSD card and adapter. We’ll be putting the phone through lab tests as soon as we get a production model in for review, so check back soon for more details.