LG G8X ThinQ Twin Display screen hands-on evaluation: Double the enjoyable
“The LG G8X ThinQ remains to be quirky, however the enhancements imply it is now a severe multi-tasking machine with a enjoyable gaming aspect, too.”
Improved design over first-generation Twin Display screen case
Real multi-tasking advantages
Enjoyable for gaming
New UI is far improved
Area of interest enchantment
With the case on, it is heavy and fairly thick
Understated cellphone design will not enchantment to everybody
Let’s get one thing straight straight away: Don’t name the LG G8X ThinQ a folding smartphone, because it’s not a wildly costly, hyper-futuristic cellphone just like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate X. Truly, we don’t wish to name it a dual-screen cellphone both, as technically it has three screens. What’s it, then?
The G8X ThinQ Twin Display screen is sort of like a contemporary tackle a PDA, in that it’s for severe multi-tasking and getting issues finished. Besides it’s additionally a lot, far more helpful and enjoyable than a type of clunky previous relics.
In case you’re getting some deja-vu from the G8X ThinQ, it’s as a result of LG introduced a dual-screen case for the LG V50 ThinQ again at Cellular World Congress earlier this yr. That is the second technology model, with essential tweaks that make it far more compelling, and a product that LG now plans to promote globally. The V50 ThinQ Twin Display screen mannequin bought nicely in South Korea — a powerful 500,000 items, LG informed me — but it surely positively had its quirks. What has LG finished to resolve them right here?
First, the 2 screens at the moment are the identical measurement, so it balances out the design. Second, the hinge rotates the second display all the best way across the cellphone, which affords extra flexibility. Third, there’s a small display on the skin of the case. Fourth, it has a USB Sort-C connection linking the screens collectively as a substitute of Bluetooth, which implies much less delay between the 2 screens. And eventually, it’s lighter, harder, and extra compact.
It’s vital to grasp the G8X ThinQ is 2 separate merchandise bought as a bundle.
The cellphone suits contained in the Twin Display screen case which provides the second display, and the general design has been suitably refined. It’s comparatively slim at 15mm, however the full bundle is sort of heavy. It’s not constructed for one-handed use both, because it tends to lean over to at least one aspect with the case open. Utilizing it like this isn’t actually the purpose although. As a result of the case is removable, you merely don’t take it with you when it’s unlikely for use. Solely 30% of homeowners with the primary model have it continually hooked up, in line with LG’s knowledge.
The 2 OLED screens at the moment are the identical measurement, 6.Four-inches a bit, and have the identical specification. The mannequin I noticed was a prototype, and the second display had a special plastic-like end excessive, however this may change to match the principle cellphone display on the ultimate mannequin. Whereas the primary model used Bluetooth to hyperlink between case and cellphone, the second technology mannequin abandons this for a USB Sort-C connection, and the distinction is profound.
Gone is the lag that blighted the primary one. Swapping between screens was on the spot, throughout my brief check. At first it was troublesome to work out find out how to shift content material to the opposite display. There’s a button on the principle display to do it, but it surely didn’t at all times appear to point out up. Ultimately, after some frustration and confusion, I used to be proven a gesture that made issues a lot simpler. A 3-fingered swipe is all that’s wanted to flick content material from one display to the opposite, and it’s so seamless you’d by no means know the 2 screens aren’t one.
Solely 30% of homeowners with the primary model have it continually hooked up, in line with LG’s knowledge.
However earlier than this got here some frustration. Figuring out find out how to use all of the totally different features — there are numerous, from a customized gamepad to taking display grabs — is sophisticated and never at all times logical. There’s a studying curve hooked up, so it’s a good suggestion to take a while to grasp the features in case you’re going to shell out for the non-obligatory dual-screen case.
Multi-tasking, gaming, and extra
The G8X is the primary cellphone to have gamma changes, which makes darker scenes in video and video games brighter than on different screens. I didn’t have the possibility to do that in my demo, however some instance movies (taken from the usually insanely dim Recreation of Thrones, naturally) confirmed appreciable promise.
The gaming options are fascinating, too. Holding the G8X ThinQ like a Nintendo 3DS is snug, and since the viewing angle of the case might be altered, it’s versatile. The decrease display has quite a lot of configurable buttons which are mapped to the sport’s controls, with out the necessity for the developer to incorporate particular help for the Twin Display screen case. The cellphone was responsive — aided by the Snapdragon 855 processor inside, little question — plus the bodily connection between the 2 screens minimize out any issues with latency and lag.
What else? LG has packed in a raft of various dual-screen options. You possibly can run two totally different apps alongside one another, take screenshots from one display utilizing a button on the keyboard after which connect it to your messaging app on the opposite, and in Chrome the browser window might be unfold over each screens in panorama for a big viewing space. The case additionally works with the digital camera so the topic can see the framing of the shot on the skin display, and the second display turns white to brighten selfies; the digital camera app can sit alongside one other app of your selection, too. You possibly can even configure the second display to launch a selected app whenever you open it.
As I used to be first listening to about all these options, I needed to strive each out. Utilizing them afterwards was rewarding and enjoyable. LG understands it has a difficult product, in that it’s providing one thing distinctive and never everybody will perceive find out how to get the most effective from it immediately, but it surely’s going out of its means to ensure there’s a lot to do with it.
How in regards to the new display on the skin of the case? The prototype G8X ThinQ I noticed had a hyper-reflective mirror-finish cowl, with a 2.1-inch OLED display set beneath it, and it was nearly inconceivable to see. I noticed my reflection, reasonably than any info. LG informed me the end wouldn’t be fairly so mirrored on the ultimate model, which hopefully stays true. The show can’t be personalized, so it reveals the time and notification icons similar to an always-on show, however you do must push the facility button to wake it up.
An ASMR-enabling smartphone
I like how robust the G8X ThinQ feels, and in addition the brand new 360-degree hinge. The case is reassuringly strong — the cellphone and case meet navy requirements of toughness — and I wouldn’t robotically assume it might break within the occasion of a brief drop. Open the case and the resistance within the hinge is well-judged, plus it’s robust sufficient to face up, tent-like, to look at a video.
The Air Movement gestures on the G8 that we disliked a lot haven’t been added on the G8X, which is a reduction. As a substitute of all of the 3D-capturing elements on the entrance, the notch is now smaller, and appears like a teardrop. That doesn’t imply there aren’t some other quirky options. The G8X ThinQ has an ASMR mode (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), the place the high-power microphones have been tuned to select up even the quietest sounds, so you may stroke rabbits and squeeze slime by your fingers to your coronary heart’s content material, and successfully seize the audio prepared for YouTube. Weird.
You possibly can stroke rabbits and squeeze slime by your fingers to your coronary heart’s content material.
On the software program entrance, I’m impressed with LG UX 9.zero, a revised model of LG’s person interface over Android 9.zero Pie. The design is extra trendy than earlier than, with much less litter and extra open house within the settings menu and in customary LG apps. There’s a system-wide darkish mode, and the fonts have been modified for an up-to-date type. It was slick, clean, and easy.
I solely had an opportunity to snap just a few footage with the rear digital camera. The primary lens has 12-megapixels and the wide-angle lens has 13 megapixels. The digital camera app is similar because the one on the G8, and operated with out a drawback. The photographs look colourful and enticing on the cellphone’s display. The entrance digital camera is extra severe when it comes to specification, with an f/1.Four, 32-megapixel sensor. Why? It makes use of pixel binning to extend the dimensions of the pixel and let in additional gentle. The selfies I took seemed good, however as I used to be in a brilliant surroundings, it was troublesome to see any distinction presently.
Whereas the gaming side is intriguing, and the multi-tasking will enchantment to some, the G8X ThinQ remains to be a distinct segment cellphone, and so is the dual-screen accent. By promoting this mannequin globally, LG stated it’s making an effort to regain a number of the premium market share it has misplaced over the previous couple of years. However premium gadgets want broad enchantment, and the G8X ThinQ doesn’t have that. It’s in the identical vein as gaming telephones from Asus and Razer in addition to keyboard telephones just like the BlackBerry KeyTwo.
There might be individuals who see the worth, but it surely’s unlikely to be introduced up in the identical dialog because the OnePlus 7 Professional or Galaxy S10. Arguably although, anybody contemplating the common Galaxy Observe 10 ought to check out the LG G8X ThinQ Twin Display screen, because the second display might enhance workflow in an equally significant means because the Observe 10’s stylus. It’s as quirky and succesful as we count on from LG, and the refined Twin Display screen case makes it much more fascinating than the primary try with the V50 ThinQ.
LG hasn’t shared availability or pricing simply but, however we’ll replace this story as quickly as we hear it.