Every year, since LG G2, greatly undervalued in 2013, I've gone through the same emotional cycle with LG's flagship phones: anticipation in creation, excitement during the launch and the final disappointment with the final product. This was the case with the LG G3, G4, G5 and G6, but not the latest G7 ThinQ. After my first encounter with the LG G7, I got over it. This is the least challenging and least inspiring G series phone that LG has released in a long time, maybe never.
A quick summary of the G7, for those who have not yet heard about today's announcement or exhaustive leaks: it's a 6.1-inch phone with a notch on the top of its LCD screen, powered by a Snapdragon processor 845 and one comparatively means 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The G7 has a dual camera system, like almost all the others, it has IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, like most rivals, and it supports wireless charging, like many, but not all. In addition to a quad DAC system for stunning headphone audio, there is a great shortage of reasons for you to worry or want the G7. And if you want that great sound quality, you can already get it from the G30 or V30 / V30S smartphone last year.
When I picked up the G7 for the first time, I was surprised at how anonymous and uninspiring it felt. The notch at the top of the screen lacks the basic decency to even have a distinctive shape or size. LG will tell you that your choice of an LCD screen instead of an OLED screen is worth it in "super" brightness (up to 1,000 nits) for sunny days outside, but I used it on a rare sunny day in London, and it was not much more readable than my Google Pixel 2 XL. What LG loses with the LCD is the perfect OLED black, which allows competitors like Huawei to successfully mask their notch by simply filling the sides with black. On the LG G7, if the screen is on, the whole is illuminated, so you will always see a dark gray tone around the notch instead of black.
More than anything, however, the G7 simply feels less premium than its rivals. That's not because it uses Gorilla Glass in the front and back. (The iPhone X, the Galaxy S9, the P20 Pro and the LG V30 have glass backs, and I still consider them the best designed and the most premium phone on the market today.) What the LG G7 lacks is the same density of density inside the glass, the same notion of a design so optimized that it is about to explode with all the technology of the interior. And we know for sure that the G7 has some extra room inside because LG is using it to convert the entire housing into an amplification camera for the speakerphone. You might think it's a clever little touch-up, but I listened to the speaker at his best, and I was not impressed by it. The P20 Pro from Huawei does a superior job with its loudspeaker, which is currently my favorite among a strong group in 2018.
Maybe what I'm reacting to is simply the height at which Huawei has raised the bar for the new flagship of Android phones. LG promises an AI-assisted camera, but Huawei already does it better. More specifically, Huawei acquired a much larger sensor for its main cameras in the P20 and the P20 Pro, while LG is staying with the same sensor size as last year (which was already behind leaders such as Google Pixel and HTC). U11). Huawei's flagship has a bigger battery, a lovelier screen, more RAM, more storage and a more sophisticated design than the LG with the G7.
This series of small disappointments adds to a demonstrated lack of ambition on LG's part.
If a redemption is found for LG's latest flagship, it could be the fact that the Huawei alternative is being actively expelled from the US market by the US authorities, leaving a gap for LG to fill. In addition, we still do not know the specific price with which LG will sell the G7, which could be proportionally lower than the phones that LG does not seem to want to compete face to face. It is difficult to know exactly what a change of strategy means the LG G7: is LG turning its V-series phones into the new top level of its range? Is the company reconsidering the position of its entire portfolio in the market? Or is the G7 simply a victim of unfulfilled ambitions for a more aggressively innovative device?
The only thing I know for sure is that the LG that used to thrill us with extravagant ideas, sometimes overly optimistic, has not appeared yet in 2018. After reissuing the V30 under the V30S brand in February, the company has now returned with a G series phone that is the very definition of a running version. The G7 could still be a good phone, but in the highly competitive field of Android smartphones, being simply good is not good enough.