So far we've learned that the upcoming LG G7 ThinQ will have one of the brightest displays ever and that its Boombox speakers will reportedly get up to 10 times louder than other phones. And, yes, it looks damn sexy in leaked renders.
But features like these will be meaningless unless LG addresses the biggest pain point with its phones.
There's a reason why last year's otherwise great LG G6 didn't earn our Editors' Choice award. Its 3,300 mAh battery lasted only 8 hours and 39 minutes on the Tom's Guide Battery Life test, which involves web surfing over 4G LTE. At the time, the G6's endurance was more than 30 minutes below the smartphone category average.
The battery life average today is now 9 hours and 50 minutes, and that's because we've tested a lot of phones over the past year that yielded well over 10 hours on our test. This includes the iPhone X (10:49), Galaxy S9 (10:52) and Galaxy S9+ (10:59). The Google Pixel 2 XL endured for a very impressive 12 hours and 9 minutes.
To be fair, the LG G6 sported an older Snapdragon 821 chip at a time other Android flagships had moved on to the newer Snapdragon 835. But LG didn't have much luck with that processor either. The LG V30, a phone aimed at media creators, lasted a woeful 6 hours and 30 minutes on our test with a Snapdragon 835 CPU.
LG has a history of cranking out flagships with subpar battery life. There were a lot of other things wrong with the LG G5--including its half-baked modular design--but its runtime of 7:57 didn't help either. The average back then in 2016 was 8:28.
Because LG uses similar components to its competitors, it's hard to say why it continues to fall behind on battery life. It could be a software-related issue or the battery supplier. Or maybe the company simply needs to work on power management in its testing.
Based on LG G7 ThinQ rumors, the latest phone will pack a 3,000 mAh battery, which would be the same as the Galaxy S9. But it's not really about the capacity at this point. It's what LG does with it that will determine whether this phone is worth buying.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.