LG was often using the previous Snapdragon model chipset as Samsung or other makers would deplete the whole stock of those. Well, that's no more. The LG G7 is powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset with an octa-core Kryo processor, Adreno 630 GPU, and 6 gigs of RAM. While that's not an achievement, it's a welcome improvement and we are glad LG managed to strike a deal with Qualcomm.
The latest chip means the G7 will benefit from all the latest innovations when it comes to graphics, modem and LTE speeds, battery charging, and, of course, AI.
The LG G7 ThinQ runs on the latest Android v.8.1 Oreo. LG's own UX is the default launcher and it comes with its own take on the skin, settings, and default apps. The AI Pack 2.0 is onboard powered by Google's Assistant.
There is a dedicated hardware key to summon the Assistant. The G7 won't have the option to assign a different functionality to this key at launch, but LG is considering to allow this with an update.
And speaking of updates, LG G7 will get Android P but an exact date will be announced later on.
The G7 features a notch, but LG calls it a second screen and claims this is an enhanced version of the second screen from the V10 and V20. But no matter the name, the notch is there and thus it splits the top of the screen. It fits the usual - notification icons, status items, the clock and network bars.
LG offers two options for the notch - the same Huawei has - show and hide. If you choose to hide it, it will become black, but all the icons will remain there.
One major addition since the G6 is the AI to the camera. While technically the camera's hardware hasn't changed in a major way, the software is different.
The difference between Auto on the G6 and AI Cam on the new one is that in Auto, the G6 will adjust shooting parameters for a correct exposure, while the G7 ThinQ will be able to recognize the scene and change more, like saturation for instance, if it decides you're capturing food.
The LG G7 ThinQ has a similar setup to the LG V30S ThinQ - a 16MP main camera f/1.6 lens and a 16MP f/1.9 fixed-focus camera with a 120-degree super wide-angle snapper. The front camera is an 8MP unit with f/2.0 aperture and two field of view modes - a regular 82-degree and a wider 90-degree.
The G7's main camera is capable of rich scene recognition thanks to the power of AI. LG says there is no need for internet connection like other implementations. LG is using the feedback from its focus groups to continuously improve the camera AI algorithms.
The camera app has a dedicated night mode called Super Bright Camera, which produces well exposed photos in pitch dark conditions. This is done by pixel binning - the light gathered by four pixels is combined into one when trying to take a photo in 2 lux or less lit environments. The end result is a brighter, 4MP photo.
The mode doesn't kick in automatically (for now) but a notification tells you to switch if it detects suitable conditions. We hope to try this mode when we get the retail unit.
There is portrait mode available and it uses the wide-angle camera as a depth sensor. The effect preview is happening in real-time, and you can edit the photo after it's taken.
The front camera also allows for a simulated portrait mode, as this feature is pretty much a standard nowadays.
The LG G7 ThinQ is shaping as a powerful and beautiful smartphone, on par with the current flagship crop. The latest Snapdragon surely helps the G7's case, the notched screen as well, and the inclusion of AI, gimmick or not, is appreciated.
It's just the LG G7 doesn't have a standout feature. Not that the G5's modular design helped its sales despite the stunning camera, but today every flagship has something to brag with. The iPhone has Face ID, the Galaxy has the variable camera aperture, the P20 Pro has a triple camera, the Xperia shoots 4K HDR video, the Mi Mix 2 has a borderless display.
The G7 has, well, what the others have, but nothing unique to be remembered with. And while we are huge fans of the wide-angle camera, apparently that's not a crowd winner third-generation in a row.
Hopefully, LG will do the smart thing and price the G7 below those Galaxies, P20s, Pixels, Xperias, iPhones, and make that the killer feature. It will be nice to see a well selling LG phone for a change. The company certainly deserves a winner.