LG Takes a Crack at 5G With V50 ThinQ and G8 ThinQ Phones

LG has revealed two flagship phones at MWC 2019: their 5G-capable V50 ThinQ phone and their new G8 ThinQ. The coolest new

LG has so many phones coming out over the next few months that it already announced its entire mid-range lineup a few days ahead of MWC 2019. But, it went on to reveal two even more impressive flagship phones at the Mobile World Congress event itself: namely, the 5G-capable V50 ThinQ phone and the new G8 ThinQ.

The coolest new features both come from the V50 ThinQ. The first is that long-awaited 5G support, and the second is LG’s new spin on the folding screen concept that’s sweeping MWC this year.

Here’s all the information to know, with one big exception: LG hasn’t yet confirmed the price for either phone.

  • V50 ThinQ — same design as the V40 predecessor, but now with 5G and a new second screen add-on
  • G8 ThinQ — solid specs, great sound, and weird new biometrics that read your palm veins

LG V50 ThinQ 5G Phone

The LG V50 ThinQLG’s first 5G phone is the V50 ThinQ: It’s a revamped V40 that doesn’t change a whole lot but looks like a solid option if you’re a 5G early adaptor.

In addition to the 5G ability, the V50 improves on the V40 in a couple of the areas where manufacturers need to constantly keep up with the industry: Battery capacity and processing power. But, aside from these updates and a few cosmetic tweaks, the V50 offers the same design and similar specs as the V40.

No price has been announced yet.

  • 5G capability
  • Dimensions: 159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 183g
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
  • 6.4-inch POLED FullVision display
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage, up to 2TB MicroSD expansion
  • Three rear cameras: 16MP super-wide lens, 12MP standard lens, 12MP telephoto lens
  • Two front cameras: 8MP standard, 5MP wide
  • Face recognition
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Available: Spring 2019, exclusive to Sprint
  • No price confirmed

The V50’s Dual Screen Accessory

LG V50 ThinQ with dual screenThe LG V50 ThinQ also comes with a weird spin on the “double the screen” trend that other MWC 2019 vendors have started with foldable phones. The V50 doesn’t fold seamlessly, but does let you add a second screen as an attachment.

The “Dual Screen” accessory can click onto the side of your V50 phone. It powers up via the phone’s own battery and can function in tandem with the phone’s apps to give you twice the screen you’d normally see. Honestly, it feels like a bit of a stop-gap between a normal screen and seamlessly folding one, and compared to what Samsung is up to at the booth next door, it’s seriously underwhelming.

The big catch? The dual screen is not available in the U.S.

The company will likely double down on this second-screen tech for future devices, however. Hopefully LG will work out the kinks, as at present, it doesn’t look nearly as smooth as the foldable phone screens that Samsung and Huawei have cooked up.

LG G8 ThinQ Phone

LG G8 ThinQUnlike the V50, the G8 adds quite a few interesting upgrades from its predecessor. First up, the new Hand ID biometrics, which uses a front-facing sensor, the Z camera, to read your palm veins.

Yes, this phone is basically a carnival booth, but for opening your phone instead of telling your fortune. Face and fingerprint ID is still available to those who might find palm vein recognition a little weird.

Also worth mentioning is the G8’s nifty 6.1-inch Quad HD+ OLED display, which can vibrate to create sound. It can replace the front-facing speaker while improving on the sound quality at the same time.

There’s no 5G capability to see here, although the Snapdragon 855 processor and 3,500mAh battery are worth mentioning.

  • 6.1-inch HD+ OLED display
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Dimensions: 151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4mm
  • Weight: 167g
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage, up to 2TB MicroSD expansion
  • Rear cameras: 16MP wide-angle lens, 12MP standard lens
  • Front cameras: 8MP standard lens, Z camera
  • 3,500mAh battery
  • Hand ID
  • Face unlock
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 3G and 4G capability
  • Available: Spring 2019
  • No price confirmed

…And a Big Voice Recognition Push to Boot

Products aren’t the only big business move LG has announced in the past few days. They’re planning to break into over two dozen markets with their voice recognition-enabled smart home appliances.

“We look forward to giving our valued customers around the world the chance to experience next-level ease and convenience when using their LG appliances,” LG President Song Dae-Hyun said in a release on the subject. “Our aggressive strategy and drive for excellence will bring voice-enabled AI to more homes this year than any other manufacturer and this is something we are immensely proud of.”

It’s a push that signals LG’s big investment in audio interfaces, and in AI in general. LG is partnering with the usual suspects – Google Home and Amazon Alexa – to expand into 21 countries by April.

In other words, LG is betting that the public awareness of voice tech will only continue to rise, along with its interest in 5G.

Should You Buy Them?

LG’s two new flagship phones are both perfectly okay. If you love the V series or the G series, you’ll likely be happy with these ones. But, the standout features (5G, Dual Screen, and vein recognition) are few and far between, particularly given caveats like the fact that the Dual Screen accessory won’t be available in the US in the foreseeable future.

In the end, LG might once again fail to nab the spotlight amid MWC’s buzzier device debuts.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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