We're 24 hours away from finding out what LG has in store for its next smartphone and whether it can break out of the big shadow Samsung's flagships cast over the Android market.
Last year's LG G6 was a giant step forward for the electronics giant. Unfortunately for the company, the phone's extra-wide display was quickly overshadowed by similar-looking phones with more cutting-edge features, such as Samsung's Galaxy S8.
LG learned its lesson. The company's long-rumored G7 didn't take center stage at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this past February, avoiding direct comparisons with Samsung's Galaxy S9. Instead, LG seems to be moving away from a strategy of annual phone updates in favor of introducing new models when there are enough noteworthy changes.
So, what's new with LG's next phone? We'll find out tomorrow (May 2), when LG unveils the LG G7 ThinQ. Rumor has it that the G7 will take design cues from Apple's iPhone X.
Read on to see what else is in store for LG's upcoming flagship.
Latest update: May 1
- About That Speaker: In advance of the May 2 launch event, LG is talking up the phone's audio features, which include a boombox speaker that could make the G7 10 times louder than your typical smartphone.
- Display Information: That's not all LG has announced.The company has also revealed details about the 6.1-inch LCD panel. Among the highlights are Super Bright Display technology, which will let the G7 hit a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, and a 19:9 aspect ratio with QHD+ resolution (3120 x 1440).
What does "ThinQ" stand for?
LG is staying true to its smartphone naming system, so the G6's successor will appropriately be called the G7. But LG is also bringing its ThinQ label to the phone, making its full name the LG G7 ThinQ. (That's pronounced "think," not "thin Q," despite the questionable capitalization.)
LG uses the ThinQ brand across a range of devices, specifically its line of SmartThinQ appliances, such as washing machines, dryers and dishwashers. Those appliances are app-controlled and work with digital assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
In a statement, LG said it promises to deliver new AI features in the G7, including voice-activated tools and new camera features designed to make this flagship easier to use. The company says the LG G7 ThinQ will also work with other devices, including its own appliances and TVs.
In addition to confirming the name of its new phone via a statement, LG revealed when you can expect to see the G7 ThinQ. The company plans to take the wraps off the G7 ThinQ on May 2 at an event in New York. That's just a day away, and Tom's Guide will be on hand to report on all the details.
The announcement is light on details about the device, but it does allude to the G7's artificial-intelligence features. According to a translated version of the statement, the company will bring both the ThinQ branding and the AI features of the V30S ThinQ to the G7. (Announced at MWC, the LG V30S ThinQ is a variation of last year's LG V30, with AI-powered cameras added to the mix.)
The actual release date of the LG G7 is not yet known, but we would imagine that it could launch later in May or early June.
If you want to be surprised when LG takes the wraps off the G7 ThinQ on May 2, look away now. Because here's a good look at what the G7 is expected to look like from all angles, courtesy of Evan Blass's Twitter feed.
That leak follows on the heels of another promotional image — again, posted by Blass — that reportedly shows off the G7's new design.
Those leaked images are widely thought to be genuine, not just because of Blass's track record on phone leaks, but also because they match rumors surrounding LG's new phone, which is all but certain to take a cue from Apple's iPhone X and add a bezel-free display with a notch cutout for the front-facing camera and speaker. Not a fan of notches? LG will reportedly include a software feature to disguise the notch in an effort to appeal to both fans and haters of the look.
The G7 will look similar to the iPhone X, if leaked photos published on TechRadar prove accurate. The device will reportedly feature a 6.1-inch display, which is larger than the iPhone X's 5.8-inch panel.
According to renderings acquired by Android Headlines, the G7 will come in five colors: Aurora Black, Platinum Grey, a glossy Moroccan Blue, a matte Moroccan Blue and Raspberry Rose. The ultrathin bezels surrounding the display will be black.
Dual-lens AI camera
Like LG's G5 and G6, the G7 will sport a dual-lens camera. According to leaked specs obtained by Android Headlines, the G7 will feature a regular 16-megapixel lens and a secondary wide-angle 16-MP camera. A software-based portrait mode, which you can toggle on after taking a photo to blur the background and bring the subject into focus, will apply to both rear-facing photos and selfies.
LG is also putting artificial intelligence in the G7's camera. The phone's camera app will feature four enhanced filters that optimize the color, saturation and contrast depending on the scene you're shooting. According to Android Headlines, the camera will also detect the brightness outside and either adjust the exposure automatically or advise a user to tweak the settings.
The G7's camera smarts will extend to a "bright mode," which will identify when a room is dark and combine pixels to form what LG calls a "superpixel." According to the leaked specs published by Android Headlines, the G7 will shoot images that are four times brighter than the G6.
The G7 will also be able to shoot live photos similar to later-model iPhones. This feature captures the action both before and after you tap the shutter button.
LG is putting a powerful speaker in the G7. The company calls it a "boombox speaker" in leaked specs first obtained by Android Headlines and confirmed by Engadget. Essentially, the phone will be loud and heavy on the bass — twice the bass of other smartphones, LG says. Potentially, the G7 speakers will be 10 times louder than other phones.
LG's upcoming phone also has far-field voice recognition for detecting voice commands from 17 feet away, according to rumors.
Google Assistant button
LG is emphasizing artificial intelligence in its 2018 lineup, starting with the V30S ThinQ, which has a voice-activated assistant and a smart camera that can detect what the subject of the photo is. Those features are expected to carry over to the G7 ThinQ.
Leaked photos of the device obtained by TechRadar clearly show a button on the left that may be dedicated to the new assistant, similar to Samsung's Bixby button on its recent Galaxy phones; you can see the button on the latest leaks from Evan Blass, too. And Cnet has reported that the dedicated button will launch the Google Assistant, according to people familiar with the phone.
LG G7 ThinQ Specs
The G7 ThinQ is expected to take aim at Samsung's Galaxy S9 with competitive performance, matching the smaller S9 spec for spec: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (which is expected to be expandable with a microSD card) and a 3,000-mAh battery.
Those solid internals might not impress buyers who want more power, as the OnePlus 6, slated to arrive before June, will feature up to 8GB of RAM, according to OnePlus. The Galaxy Note 9 and Google's Pixel 3 are also on the horizon for later this year, and both devices will presumably pack in cutting-edge components.
LG has confirmed details about the G7's screen. It'll be a 6.1-inch LCD panel (as opposed to OLED technology which the V30 uses), and a Super Bright Display feature has the phone maker promising a bright, vibrant display. How bright? Try 1,000 nits at peak brightness, which would easily top any smartphone we've tested. The display will feature multiple display modes for tweaking the color to your liking, and the display should consume 30 percent less power than the LG G6. There's a modest change to the aspect ratio at 19:9 for the G7, and the new phone will offer QHD+ resolution of 3120 x 1440.
Leaked renderings of the G7 show a device with glass on both the front and the back, indicating that LG will support wireless charging.
It's unclear whether LG's new phone will rival the Galaxy S9 or iPhone X with a price closer to $1,000 than LG's past G-series phones. The G6 was $729 at launch. Rumor has it that the G7 will cost more.