LG G8X ThinQ Twin Display screen hands-on evaluate: Double the enjoyable
“The LG G8X ThinQ remains to be quirky, however the enhancements imply it is now a critical 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 immediately: 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. Really, we don’t need 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 critical multi-tasking and getting issues accomplished. Besides it’s additionally a lot, way more helpful and enjoyable than a type of clunky previous relics.
For those who’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 12 months. That is the second era model, with essential tweaks that make it way more compelling, and a product that LG now plans to promote globally. The V50 ThinQ Twin Display screen mannequin bought effectively in South Korea — a formidable 500,000 models, LG instructed me — however it undoubtedly had its quirks. What has LG accomplished to unravel them right here?
First, the 2 screens at the moment are the identical dimension, so it balances out the design. Second, the hinge rotates the second display all the way in which 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 an alternative of Bluetooth, which implies much less delay between the 2 screens. And at last, it’s lighter, harder, and extra compact.
It’s essential to know the G8X ThinQ is 2 separate merchandise bought as a bundle.
The cellphone matches 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 accordance with LG’s knowledge.
The 2 OLED screens at the moment are the identical dimension, 6.Four-inches a chunk, and have the identical specification. The mannequin I noticed was a prototype, and the second display had a distinct plastic-like end excessive, however it will 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 era 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 tough to work out the right way to shift content material to the opposite display. There’s a button on the principle display to do it, however it didn’t all the time appear to point out up. Finally, 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 accordance with LG’s knowledge.
However earlier than this got here some frustration. Figuring out the right way to use all of the totally different features — there are lots of, from a customized gamepad to taking display grabs — is difficult and never all the time logical. There’s a studying curve hooked up, so it’s a good suggestion to take a while to know the features when you’re going to shell out for the optionally available 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 this in my demo, however some instance movies (taken from the usually insanely dim Sport of Thrones, naturally) confirmed appreciable promise.
The gaming options are attention-grabbing, too. Holding the G8X ThinQ like a Nintendo 3DS is comfy, and since the viewing angle of the case could be altered, it’s versatile. The decrease display has a wide range of configurable buttons which are mapped to the sport’s controls, with out the necessity for the developer to incorporate particular assist 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 lower out any issues with latency and lag.
What else? LG has packed in a raft of various dual-screen options. You may 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 could be unfold over each screens in panorama for a big viewing space. The case additionally works with the digicam so the topic can see the framing of the shot on the skin display, and the second display turns white to brighten selfies; the digicam app can sit alongside one other app of your alternative, too. You may even configure the second display to launch a selected app if you open it.
As I used to be first listening to about all these options, I wished to strive every one 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 the right way to get one of the best from it immediately, however it’s going out of its method to verify there may be loads 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, slightly than any info. LG instructed me the end wouldn’t be fairly so mirrored on the ultimate model, which hopefully stays true. The show can’t be custom-made, so it exhibits the time and notification icons identical to an always-on show, however you do must push the ability button to wake it up.
An ASMR-enabling smartphone
I like how sturdy the G8X ThinQ feels, and in addition the brand new 360-degree hinge. The case is reassuringly stable — the cellphone and case meet army requirements of toughness — and I wouldn’t mechanically assume it could break within the occasion of a brief drop. Open the case and the resistance within the hinge is well-judged, plus it’s sturdy sufficient to face up, tent-like, to observe 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 choose up even the quietest sounds, so you’ll be able to stroke rabbits and squeeze slime by way of your fingers to your coronary heart’s content material, and successfully seize the audio prepared for YouTube. Weird.
You may stroke rabbits and squeeze slime by way of 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 fashionable than earlier than, with much less muddle and extra open area 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 fashion. It was slick, easy, and easy.
I solely had an opportunity to snap a number of footage with the rear digicam. The primary lens has 12-megapixels and the wide-angle lens has 13 megapixels. The digicam app is similar because the one on the G8, and operated with no drawback. The pictures look colourful and engaging on the cellphone’s display. The entrance digicam is extra critical 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 regarded good, however as I used to be in a vivid setting, it was tough 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 few of the premium market share it has misplaced over the previous couple of years. However premium units want vast 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 will likely be individuals who see the worth, however it’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 Notice 10 ought to check out the LG G8X ThinQ Twin Display screen, because the second display might enhance workflow in an equally significant method because the Notice 10’s stylus. It’s as quirky and succesful as we count on from LG, and the refined Twin Display screen case makes it way more attention-grabbing 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.