All of a sudden smartphone companies seem to think there is a use case for multiple screens, or a larger screen on the phone. This is why almost everyone seems to be working on a foldable phone, which while offering a larger screen also ends up having a second one in the process. I am still not sold on the idea, and this is why I was keen to try out the LG G8X ThinQ smartphone with dual screens.
LG G8X ThinQ specs: Two 6.4-inch 19.5:9 FHD + OLED FullVision (2,340 x 1,080 / 403ppi) screens | Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform | 6GB RAM | 128GB ROM / microSD (up to 2TB) | 12MP standard (f/1.8 / 1.4μm / 78-degree) + 13MP Super Wide (f/2.4 / 1.0μm / 136-degree) rear cameras | 32MP standard (f/1.9 / 0.8μm / 79-degree) front camera | 4,000mAh | In-display fingerprint sensor | 192g + 134g weight
LG G8X ThinQ price in India: Rs 49,999
LG G8X ThinQ review
The LG G8X ThinQ packed a lot of surprises for me. If fact, this was the most exciting unboxing I have had in ages especially since we tend to know what most companies have in store in their boxes.
The surprise started with the fact that there were two boxes, the second a thinner one like you get for smartphone covers. I went for the larger box and was disappointed to see a very regular looking Android smartphone inside. There was no dual screen or anything new. Then I opened the smaller box to find a plastic smartphone cover with a flap, and of course a thin screen.
This was not what I was expecting from the LG G8X ThinQ. So LG’s concept of a dual screen is actually a flap cover with a second screen. Certainly not what I was expecting. Anyway, I set up the second screen and it powers on along with the phone, all of that is done seamlessly.
This was when I realised that there was no way to charge the phone with the cover on. The USB-C port was now hidden inside and the cover did not give access to it. There was a different port at the bottom, but I did not have the accessory to charge it. After a few calls, I realised that the box of the cover also hides this magnetic accessory in its packaging. This is actually a cool adapter that goes on the USB-C and magnetically connects to the cover to charge it. Easy, but easy to loose too.
After all these surprises, I finally had a hone with two good screen. Hold on. The LG G8X ThinQ actually has three screens. The two stunningly crisp 6.4-inch Full Vision displays that face each other, plus an always on displays that shows time and alerts on the back of the second screen. Not a bad bargain at all.
Plus, the 360 Freestop Hinge means you can rotate the second screen all the way back if that is what you want.
This is where the question arises: what do I do with the second screen? Of course, it is a vanity and something people will want to take a second look at. Yes, I could do a bit of multi-tasking, like taking notes on one screen while watching a video on the other. You can game on both screens, but you cannot control with the lower screen when in horizontal mode. Even in the camera there is a dual mode where you can preview and click with either screen. But are these things I want to do? Well, not really.
The one thing I actually loved was with the keyboard coming in the display below which made it much easier compose mails and even work on spreadsheets, something I hate doing on a phone. And I am sure, with time you will figure out more ways to use these two screens and hopefully you will have more apps that lets you use the two gainfully.
Now, this is also one of the best sounding smartphones I have used. Given that you can prop this up like a laptop with the second screen playing a YouTube or Netflix video, the audio quality makes it a great consumption device.
The LG G8X ThinQ has a pretty decent camera and LG has been good at this for a while now. At 32MP, this has one of the most powerful selfie cameras I have seen and the pictures come out good even in low light. The rear has a 12MP standard cameras with a 13MP supersede 136-degree camera. Both perform really well in all conditions, even low light. But there is a lag when you change the lenses. The camera has an AI layer that can activate Google Lens, but also pick up the subject you are shooting and adjust settings accordingly. It works very well especially with action shots.
The dual screen too comes into play with the camera with one mode that use the second screen to throw more light on your face while clicking a selfie and the other — when you have the dual screen folded back — letting the subject too see the framing.
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, the LG G8X ThinQ is clearly capable enough to run two screens simultaneously. So I think all talk about whether this is a powerful phone can stop there. At no point while using the two screens together did I feel the phone was slowing and this is a testament to the power of this device.
The one aspect you need to be mindful of while buying the phone is its combined weight. With both screens and the cover the phone weights around 350 grams. So do keep that in mind. But then don’t think of the second screen as something you need to use all the time and that might be the best way to use this phone. Also, the 4,000 mAh battery does come under pressure because of two good displays and it might be a good idea to at least switch off the second one when not needed.
Overall, the LG G8X ThinQ is a very interesting and extremely capable smartphone that deserves more than a second look. The two screens might appear as a gimmick, but they can grow on you and you can find ways to use these screens well. After all who doesn’t want something extra.
And the best aspect of the phone is its price. At Rs 49,999, this phone certainly packs a punch for those who want to stand out in a crowd. Remember, you are actually getting two from the price of one (smartphone).