Back in November, I reviewed the LG G8X, and while I did have some issues with it, it was the first phone from LG in a while that I found to be really compelling. There seems to be an obvious trend on the market today for devices that offer you additional screen real estate without increasing the size of the smartphone itself. Companies like Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola are all going the route of foldable screens.
Companies like LG and Microsoft are taking a different approach. Rather than a foldable screen, which is going to wear down over time (there's no way around this, at least with today's technology), these companies are going for dual-screen devices. Not only is it stronger and will last longer, but it's cheaper as well.
LG is going to package the V60 ThinQ 5G and a Dual Screen into a bundle and sell it for less than the cost of a Samsung Galaxy S20. It's hard to complain about that.
I got to spend some time with a V60 ThinQ, which was announced today, and I'm really pleased to see some improvements over the G8X in some key areas. For one thing, you can finally use a third-party launcher on the second screen. This was a real pain point for me on the G8X, which let you install a launcher, but it would only work on the main screen.
It's still not perfect though. It doesn't seem to actually support a dual-screen launcher; rather, you can run the same launcher twice, on each screen. You could actually run two third-party launchers side-by-side if you hate yourself like that.
The image above is running Microsoft Launcher (Preview), the exact same launcher that will run on Microsoft's Surface Duo. Swiping right on the right screen will just swipe things across that screen, rather than having both displays act as one unit.
There are a bunch of apps that can span both displays though, such as Chrome. Moreover, LG says that all of Google's suite of apps are getting dual-screen support, so the feature will continue to get more useful.
On top of that, the Dual Screen accessory can be used for a variety of things. You can use one screen as a larger keyboard, as a gamepad, and more. You can use it to check email while browsing Facebook, or you can prop up the phone like a tent to stand it up while you watch Netflix.
Now, on to the rest of the device, because it's a phone too. In fact, the phone itself is pretty normal. It's only a dual-screen device if you use the Dual Screen accessory.
LG was proud to say that the V60 ThinQ 5G does not come in black, and I commend that decision. Now, there's a white one, and there's a blue one that comes with a gold frame. Honestly, I think the blue one is the real winner; this thing is beautiful. The only problem is, of course, that it will probably be covered up in the Dual Screen, which now has a textured back.
LG used a dual-camera configuration on the V60 ThinQ 5G, with a standard 78-degree lens and a 117-degree ultra-wide lens. There's no telephoto lens, as LG didn't think it was necessary given the 64MP resolution of the main sensor, which should get you 2x lossless digital zoom.
For a smartphone camera that doesn't have a zoom lens, I have to say, it does pretty well. I also took a couple of selfies with the 10MP front camera, and that's fine.
Keep in mind that this is meant to be a very light impression of the camera. I'm told that review units should be in around mid-March, so I'll be able to do a much deeper dive then. I'll also get to do a deep dive on the 5G connectivity, which is also a big selling point.
In my book, LG also gets a lot of credit for keeping the headphone jack for so long. I do believe that the Korean firm is the last one to use it, at least on a premium device. Naturally, it uses LG's 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, so it's a really good headphone jack. In fact, it used to be the best headphone jack on the smartphone market, back before it was the only headphone jack in the premium smartphone market. Seriously, you'll be able to hear the difference on this thing, even with cheap headphones.
I'm really looking forward to reviewing the V60 ThinQ 5G. I did enjoy the G8X, and it looks like LG fixed some of my pain points.