Packaging and accessories
LG G8s ThinQ is packed in an inconspicuous, black box. Inside, next to the phone, we will find a USB cable and a charger (9V-1,8A/5V-1,8A), earphones and a needle for opening the tray for SIM/microSD cards. In the set there is a silicone etui as well, which is solid and fits tightly and protects the smartphone efficiently. Though I must add that it influences the usage in some way – the upper part of the plastic is so thick that we need to put more force into pressing buttons.
Housing and display
LG spent no expenses on the quality of assembly of its smartphones. Here both the design and the quality of used materials are of the highest class. The whole is profiled great, but the ergonomics of this smartphone was not thought through to some degree. First of all, the device is rather wide and it influences both the comfort of usage and how the phone lies in hand (especially when we will put the etui on). Second of all – physical buttons. LG placed the power/lock button a bit too high – on the right edge of the device, but around 2 cm above where our thumb rests while holding the phone. I can complain about keeping G8s clean. The smartphone catches fingerprints both on the front and on the back, and the back panel is simply a mirror.
When it comes to looks, we can only complain about the fact that LG G8s is far from contemporary trends that are among the highest shelf smartphones. Next to a model like OnePlus 7 Pro, LG G8s ThinQ looks a bit old. The display is surrounded by a visible bezel, at the backs there is a round fingerprint scanner (in flagships this is a passé solution) and the wide notch only makes it worse. From positive sides we need to draw our attention to the solidness. The glass backs of LG G8s are protected by Gorilla Glass 6, and the display – Gorilla Glass 5. In addition the phone is resistant to falls (MIL-STD-810G) and has the IP68 certificate of dust- and waterproofness.
I have no major concerns towards the display – it is big, bright, readable, with great colours and view ability angles. This is an OLED panel with 6.21-inch diagonal and 18.7:9 ratio, which supports HDR10 and Always-On-Display. The display resolution is 2248x1080 pixels, which gives 401 ppi – you cannot see single pixels with your naked eye. When it comes to LG G8 ThinQ we can only notice that the manufacturer decided not to use a QHD+ display (1440x3120) in favour of a FullHD+ one. The display is surrounded by a not-so-discreet bezel, especially in the bottom part. While in the upper part of the display there is a large and a not too aesthetical notch, which can be hidden thanks to an appropriate function in settings. But the wideness of the notch is justified. LG packed not only the speaker for calls (that works as the secondary speaker) and the selfies camera, but the ToF sensor and the infrared camera as well.
They are responsible for the heightened security of the biometric authorization access to the device: 3D face scanning and Hand ID. The ToF module provides an additional novelty – controlling the device using gestures above the display (AirMotion). 3D face scan, which is now conducted not only by the front camera, but with the ToF sensor as well, is much quicker, safer and more comfortable than a typical facial recognition, in addition it works at night as well.
Hand ID is unlocking the smartphone using veins scanning. What is more, we can wake and unlock the screen without touching it – we just need to hold the hand above the phone for a moment. It requires getting used to this and some precision, it works slower than the rest of biometrical security, but it remains a cool, unconventional alternative for the fingerprint scanner and facial recognition – and it is supposedly much safer. In total, LG G8s offers four security methods: a traditional pattern, PIN or password, fingerprint scan, facial recognition and veins scanning.
AirMotion are gestures made by the user above the display, which are supposed to provide a touch-less control. Appropriate motions control the music, changing the volume or taking screenshots. How does it work? We need to hold our hand around 20 cm above the notch and wait for the Z Camera to detect it. After that we need to arrange our hand into a shape of a claw and move appropriately to selected functions. However, this is an innovation that looks better in theory than in practice, in my opinion it is not too intuitive and requires too much time and precision. I cannot imagine that someone could choose this gymnastics above the display instead of a quicker and more natural pressing of buttons or touching the display.
At the back panel, our attention is mostly drawn by the triple camera module with a LED flash, which is placed horizontally. It stands slightly above the panel, however if we will put on the etui from the set, the level difference is compensated. At the back we can find the fingerprint scanner as well – a round element can be found under the camera module and our index finger can reach it without any problems. There is a printed manufacturer’s logo and the name of the model, and in the lower part we can notice barely visible markings and certificates.
Two glass panels are connected by a metal frame, intersected with antennas’ bars, on which there is an enhanced set of elements. On the left we have buttons for volume control and a button for waking up the Google Assistant (we can turn it off in settings), while on the right there is a power/lock button, placed too high in order to easily reach it with our thumb. Below this button there is a tray for SIM cards in the nano size and a microSD card. This is a hybrid solution, in which one socket is used for placing either a SIM or a memory drive cards. On the upper edge we can only find the hole of the microphone for the noise reduction, while the lower edge is packed the most – we can find here a universal jack, the hole of the main microphone, USB-C socket and the external speaker.