LG v40 ThinQ review: This 5 camera phone is the future

The LG V40 is an even better deal in 2019 than it was in 2018

The LG V50 ThinQ 5G is practically identical to the V40 ThinQ pictured here
4.4
Bottom Line

With 5 stand-alone cameras packed into a single body, the V40 packs in great optics that is complimented by overall excellent performance and specs. The LG V40 ThinQ is an even better deal in 2019 than it was in 2018

 
Pros
5 dedicated cameras with tons of features
Brilliant large / wide display
Excellent performance
Headphone jack
Water resistant
Hideable notch
Built-in DAC
Cons
Average battery life
Uninspiring fingerprint-prone design
Where to Buy

Being the first smartphone to pack in 5 cameras, the LG V40 ThinQ made headlines when it was announced back in October. Since then Huawei has come out with the Mate 20 Pro with 4 cameras, and other manufacturers are following suit. We received the LG V40 quite sometime after its release, so instead of rushing through a review, we decided to spend some quality time with the device.

There has been a lot of focus on the LG V40 ThinQ’s 5 dedicated cameras, but one of the things we appreciate about it the most is its large vibrant OLED 6.4-inch phablet-sized display. Colors are vibrant and blacks are truly black, making the display excellent for watching movies. And despite its large display size, the phone doesn’t feel unwieldy to hold. We consider the V40 to have one of the best displays and form factors out there. That said, we’re not crazy about its all-glass design since it’s quite fingerprint prone, however that’s a gripe we’ve had with so many phones that have come out over the past 12 months.

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But there are other aspects of the LG V40 ThinQ’s design that we really appreciate – like its headphone jack. Yes, we can live without a headphone jack pretty easily in 2019, but we certainly appreciate the convenience of having one. Audiophiles will especially appreciate its built-in DAC which makes audio sound better through headphones. Its memory is also expandable via microSD, which is a trend that has been going in the direction of the dinosaurs.

Back to the optics. With its 5 cameras, comes a slew of camera settings that are sometimes overwhelming to navigate. That said, a prosumer or anyone who is passionate about photography, is really going to appreciate all the options. Some of those options include neat lighting effects for portrait photos, just like the studio lighting effects you get with the newer iPhone models.

There are also AI features, Google Lens support, animated emoji, face filters, Cine shot for making cinemagraphs, and a neat triple shot feature. Triple shot lets you simultaneously take a photo using all 3 rear lenses. Those three photos get stitched together into an animated gif. The result is sometimes quirky and sometimes awkward looking.

The 5 lenses included in the LG V40 ThinQ body includes the standard lens with OIS, a telephoto lens with 2X zoom, and a wide-angle lens and two front-facing cameras. Overall, photos on the V40 are brilliant. Portrait photos are very good, with the bokeh effect looking more natural than it does on many other flagships. Low-light scenes, in particular, come out impressively bright. Macro shots also tend to come out great, and we’ve been impressed with the V40’s white balance performance.

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But in particular, it’s the V40’s two front-facing cameras that really impressed us. For starters, not many phones are offering two front-facing cameras. In the case of the V40, those two cameras help pull off some really good, above average portraits selfies.

Unsurprisingly, the V40 offers excellent day-to-day performance thanks to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset. Performance is comparable to the speedy OnePlus 6T and Pixel 3 XL. When it comes to battery life, the 3,300mAh battery is solid but not great, and it will get you through most the day.

Bottom Line

The LG V40 ThinQ might not offer the best smartphone optics on the market, but it does offer overall excellent performance in pretty much every area – including photography. We especially appreciate its beautiful large display and have found the device to be a pleasure to use. It’s worth noting, that since its initial release, the LG V40 has dropped to $769- $800 unlocked, making it a better deal now in 2019 than it was in 2018.

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