You shouldn’t purchase a 5G cellphone this 12 months. Protection is just too spotty, with quite a lot of caveats, and it doesn’t assist that 5G telephones are overpriced. It’s enjoyable to look at a virtually 2GB recreation obtain in 25 seconds, however the next-gen community know-how just isn’t definitely worth the value of admission. But.
The LG V50 ThinQ doesn’t change that. It doesn’t supply a lot new over final 12 months’s LG V40 ThinQ, which makes it uninteresting, and the competitors affords higher options for much less. It’s the primary cellphone from LG to assist 5G, which is why its $1,152 value (on Dash) is so excessive. That’s why you need to skip it.
5G on the V50
Okay. Let’s discuss 5G.
The V50 ThinQ is a 5G cellphone, nevertheless it’s solely obtainable by means of Dash and Verizon proper now. There’s no unlocked model. It’s additionally not interoperable, so should you purchase the V50 ThinQ from Dash, it won’t work on Verizon’s 5G community (and vice versa). That’s as a result of Dash’s V50 makes use of mid-band spectrum whereas Verizon’s mannequin opts for millimeter wave (mmWave). Take a look at our information explaining the completely different spectrum variants for 5G for extra, and our in-depth explainer on 5G is price a glance.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Traits
You possibly can solely purchase the V50 ThinQ in cities the place 5G is out there. That’s for the very best, as there’s no cause to shell out over $1,000 for the V50 should you can’t entry 5G. It really works on 4G LTE, however 5G assist is the cellphone’s killer function.
I’ve examined the V50 ThinQ on Dash’s 5G community in Dallas and noticed obtain speeds hovering round 350Mbps. That’s not the quickest round. Nevertheless, Dash’s mid-band spectrum 5G works in a broader space. I haven’t examined the V50 on Verizon’s 5G community, however you need to anticipate increased speeds due to mmWave (500Mbps-1Gbps), which ought to resemble my checks with the Galaxy S10 5G (additionally mmWave). Nevertheless, mmWave has restricted vary. Once I examined the Galaxy S10 5G, I famous that 5G dropped again to 4G LTE once I entered buildings, and even went greater than a block away from the 5G node.
I’ll replace this overview when Dash’s 5G involves New York Metropolis, which can let me take a look at 5G connectivity for extended use. This overview is predicated on the V50 ThinQ linked to 4G LTE.
Identical ol’ design
If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it. That’s what I presume LG’s design group thought when designing the V50, because it has (nearly) the identical look because the LG V40. What’s new? There’s a gaudy 5G brand on the prime of the rear that lights up yellow when the cellphone is linked to 5G (or when it feels prefer it). It’s cheesy.
I do love the flush digicam design. It rests underneath the Gorilla Glass 6 again, and the casing that surrounds it has been eliminated, which makes the triple-lens setup elegant and clear. A straightforward-to-access fingerprint sensor sits beneath.
Watching films and taking part in video games is a pleasure, and the display is brilliant sufficient to see in sunny situations. It’s glorious.
The V50 isn’t unwieldy for its measurement. The curved edges on the front and back make it really feel comfy to carry. You will have to regulate the way you maintain the cellphone to achieve the highest corners of the display. It’s gentle, however that may make it really feel much less substantial than the Galaxy S10 5G.
The entrance is protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, and also you’d be hard-pressed to discover a distinction with the design subsequent to the V40. That’s disappointing, as different phone-makers like Samsung and OnePlus have managed to supply the most recent types on new telephones as a substitute of recycling the identical look. There’s no hole-punch or pop-up digicam right here, only a notch — which is so 2018.
A button on the left fringe of the cellphone accesses Google Assistant. I take advantage of Assistant quite a bit, however I didn’t use the button a lot — your mileage could range. Sadly, you may’t remap it.
Glorious show and a give attention to hi-res audio
The display is a spotlight. It’s an unlimited 6.Four-inch OLED with sharp three,120 x 1,440 decision. It’s detailed, colourful, and delivers deep blacks. Watching films and taking part in video games is a pleasure, and the display is brilliant sufficient to see in sunny situations. It’s glorious.
Netflix’s Jessica Jones taking part in on each the Samsung Galaxy S10 (prime) and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G (backside). Julian Chokkattu/Digital Traits
The audio setup is nice, too. You get stereo audio system, and LG’s “Boombox” function from final 12 months’s LG G7 makes a return. If you happen to place the cellphone on sure surfaces (like a hole field or a wooden desk), audio is amplified and room-filling. It doesn’t beat the Razer Cellphone 2, nevertheless it’s a great various should you don’t have a Bluetooth speaker.
The V50 additionally helps DTS:X 3D encompass sound, has a 32-bit Quad DAC, helps hi-res audio recordsdata, and has a headphone jack to tie all of it collectively. You’ll have a good time listening to music with this cellphone.
Like most Android flagship telephones of 2019, the V50 ThinQ is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of RAM. It’s a strong chip, and I’ve but to run into any points.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Traits
Listed below are just a few benchmark outcomes:
AnTuTu 3DBench: 338,438
Geekbench Four CPU: three,326 single-core; 10,392 multi-core
3DMark Sling Shot Excessive: Four,469 (Vulkan)
[infogram id=”72f839ea-5d2f-4524-a0d4-d44f5a6e0b44″ prefix=”fdV” format=”interactive” title=”LG V50 ThinQ 5G Smartphone Performance”]
It could’t match the OnePlus 7 Professional, a frontrunner in our checks in the mean time, nevertheless it comes near different Snapdragon 855 chips just like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.
Video games like Alto’s Odyssey, PUBG: Cellular, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Pako: Eternally ran with out a hitch on the V50. You gained’t have any issues operating the most recent apps on this cellphone for years to come back.
The software program might use some work
The V50 ThinQ runs Android 9 Pie, and whereas LG’s pores and skin over it appears alright, it’s not my favourite.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Traits
Rapidly switching between apps is at all times a hit-or-miss expertise. It tends to skip over just a few apps and opens one other app utterly. It’s the one cellphone the place I’ve ever seen this challenge. The App Drawer can also be irritating. Anytime I put in an app, I needed to manually kind it “Alphabetically,” as a result of it will preserve including new apps to the very finish of the record. Simply…why?
I can’t neglect to say that I needed to manually customise the digicam app interface for it to make sense. By default, you should swipe varied modes all the way in which to the left to get to the Extra menu, all simply to faucet on options like Night time View. I noticed later you may customise the interface to make your most-used options extra accessible, however the overflow menu shouldn’t be so distant by default. It’s unintuitive.
I wasn’t a fan of the 5 cameras on the LG V40 ThinQ, so I anticipated little from the LG V50, which has the identical digicam setup. Nevertheless, LG has improved picture processing, so outcomes have improved.
The V50 has a triple-camera lens system on the again comprised of a 12-megapixel f/1.5 commonplace lens (with optical picture stabilization), a 16-megapixel f/1.9 wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel f/2.Four telephoto lens. One of the best a part of this cellphone’s digicam is its versatility. Need a close-up? The telephoto lens affords a 2x optical zoom. Wish to take all of it in? Swap to the wide-angle lens for a 107-degree area of view.
Pictures from all three lenses are detailed in good lighting. Colours veer towards oversaturation, however they’re in any other case near correct. It’s low-light conditions the place the wide-angle and telephoto lens begin to falter. The usual does higher, however grain pops in and pictures could be blurry.
Night time view pattern images shot on the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.
That’s why LG has added Night time View mode, which captures a number of photos collectively and stacks them to provide one sturdy picture. It really works nicely, although you must stand nonetheless when capturing images on this mode. It’s inferior to the Google Pixel 3a’s Night time Sight, however comes shut.
Portrait Mode on the V50 does an awesome job of creating the blur define round a topic look pure, however I’ve discovered it wildly overexposes the picture in high-contrast situations. The bokeh impact doesn’t look as interesting as those on different telephones.
A brand new function known as Portrait Video works whenever you’re in Portrait Mode on the digicam — faucet the video file button, and it’ll add a bokeh impact round a topic whereas filming. The identical function is on telephones just like the Galaxy S10 5G and the Huawei Mate 20, and I’ve but to see it work completely. Errors are frequent and apparent.
You’ll discover two selfie cameras on the V50. One is an Eight-megapixel lens with an f/1.9 aperture, and the opposite a wide-angle 5-megapixel lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The latter allows you to seize extra in a shot, which is nice for group selfies.
Selfie mode pattern images shot on the LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Selfies look good in good lighting however could be overexposed. Selfies may also look a bit of mushy and never solely in focus. The sharpness points turn out to be extra apparent in poor lighting.
The LG V50 ThinQ takes respectable images, nevertheless it doesn’t match telephones just like the Google Pixel three and Pixel 3a (that are cheaper).
The V50’s Achilles’ heel is battery life. With common use, I ended work days with round 30 p.c by 7 p.m. If I took the cellphone out for longer, it will be dangerously near dying by the tip of the day. Heavier utilization noticed it drop a lot sooner, and I’d must plug it in earlier than the day ended.
It’s a Four,000mAh battery, however take into account I’ve maxed out the decision and toggled a lot of the options on. If you happen to go away it on the default decision, your battery life might be higher.
In our battery take a look at taking part in a 1080p YouTube video on max brightness over Wi-Fi, the LG V50 managed to final 10 hours and 30 minutes earlier than dying. That’s an honest outcome, nevertheless it’s inferior to different telephones with equally sized batteries. The Galaxy S10 Plus (Four,100mAh) lasted 12 hours and 40 minutes; the Huawei P30 Professional (Four,200mAh) lasted 16 hours and Four minutes; and the Google Pixel 3a XL (three,700mAh) lasted 10 hours and 45 minutes.
Whereas testing Dash’s 5G community in Dallas, the cellphone’s battery dipped to round 50 p.c after three to Four hours of intensive testing. It’s tough to gauge what battery life might be like on 5G with out extended testing.
When it comes time to recharge, you’ll discover assist for Qi wi-fi charging and Qualcomm’s Fast Cost three.zero for sooner wired charging.
Worth, availability, and guarantee info
The LG V50 ThinQ is out there from Dash for $1,152, and $1,000 from Verizon, or $41.66 for 24 months. It’s unavailable unlocked, and the system just isn’t interoperable, so 5G will solely work on the service you acquire the system from. You possibly can solely purchase the cellphone within the cities the place 5G is out there on Dash.
LG affords a two-year guarantee on its gadgets, although you’ll must register your system on-line to make sure protection for the second 12 months inside 90 days of buy.
LG’s V50 ThinQ just isn’t thrilling, nevertheless it’s a great cellphone that satisfies in nearly each division. Its highlight function is 5G, nevertheless it’s not but time to purchase a 5G cellphone, and that sadly makes the cellphone overpriced.
Is there a greater various?
If you happen to’re in search of a 5G cellphone, your choices are restricted. There’s the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which is equally overpriced, however there’s additionally the cheaper Moto Z4 or Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod. These are restricted to simply Verizon’s community, although, and so they’re not as sturdy choices.
If you happen to’re in search of a great flagship cellphone, I like to recommend the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, iPhone XS, or Google’s Pixel three. If you happen to don’t want all of the bells and whistles and simply desire a good cellphone with out breaking the financial institution, the Google Pixel 3a is your only option at simply $400. The OnePlus 7 Professional and Asus ZenFone 6 are highly effective and good decisions to think about, however their cameras aren’t nearly as good.
Take a look at our greatest smartphones information for extra.
How lengthy will it final?
The LG V50 ThinQ is roofed in glass, so a case is a necessity if you wish to stop scratches and cracks within the occasion of an unintended drop. Fortunately, it’s IP68 waterproof, so it should survive a dip within the pool.
LG’s observe file with Android model updates is spotty. The V50 ThinQ will get Android Q, however the query is when? The LG V40 ThinQ solely simply received Android 9 Pie on the unlocked mannequin, so it’s seemingly you’ll have to attend greater than six months for the subsequent Android model after Google releases it.
Must you purchase it?
No. It’s a great cellphone, however the V50 ThinQ is overpriced for what it affords. 5G networks could also be reside, however the speeds and protection usually are not price shelling out greater than $1,000 for a cellphone in the mean time.