Unlike previous years when it strived to show off its new devices earlier than its biggest rivals, LG is currently taking its sweet time to develop the 7th iteration of its flagship smartphone, which might not be a member of the popular G-series at all.
Although the device is still shrouded in secrecy, there's a modest amount of leaks and gossip that paint LG's next device in a rather exposing paint of colors. As we usually do with such high-profile devices, we took it upon ourselves to disseminate most of the rumors and summarize what we expect from the alleged LG G7 ThinQ in this very article.
LG G7 ThinQ leaked render giving us an early look at all the official colors
The LG G6 was among the very first devices with a tall 18:9 display and streamlined look that we now refer to as "bezel-less design". The V30 built upon that spectacularly, too. Naturally, we widely expect that the G7 will continue the trend and the leaks out there so far seem to corroborate this notion. While no credible leaked pictures and insider info have given us a sneak peek at the upcoming device just yet, assuming that the G7 will be closely styled after the G6 and even the V30 is a safe assumption.
And that's exactly what we heard: LG could be heavily borrowing from the LG V30's under-appreciated design which somewhat flew under the radars but was as exquisite as it goes. This means that, unsurprisingly, we could be facing a fullscreen design with small bezels on the sides.
And it seems that a notch could be making an appearance. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that an OLED display will be wrapped around it, but we will explore that in further detail below.
As far as build materials are considered, it's also safe to assume that glass and metal will be used a lot, with glass making up not only the front but the rear of the phone as well. The reason for this is the wireless charging that LG would most definitely throw inside the US version of the device. As you might imagine, a metal frame would be keeping everything neatly tucked together.
Water-resistance and quite possibly military-grade shatter-resistance are two other rather possible features of the LG G7. Of course, we say that because the G6 had those two in its feature list.
When it comes to audio and ports (oh, you know we are talking about 3.5mm audio jacks, don't you), there's not enough info yet. Taking LG's love for Hi-Fi audio into account, it would make a ton of sense for the G7 ThinQ to also come with some sort of high-quality DAC for superb Hi-Fi audio functionality on board. However, this doesn't imply that a 3.5mm audio jack would definitely be making an appearance - it really is up to LG to decide whether the traditional output would be present or not. LG hasn't gone the USB Type-C-only way so far, but this doesn't mean things can't change with the G7. Leaked renders do show a 3.5mm jack, but you can never trust these 100%.
Dedicated Google Assistant button
According to Cnet and people familiar with the matter, one of LG G7 ThinQ's side buttons (located on the left) is a dedicated Google Assistant button. This means the G7 ThinQ should become the world's first phone to offer a physical way to call up Google's digital assistant. As you may know, the latest Samsung flagship handsets have dedicated assistant buttons, too, but these are made for Samsung's own Bixby service.
LG G7 ThinQ's Google Assistant button should sit next to a volume rocker. On the other side of the phone (right), we'll find a power button - as illustrated in the renders above. Reportedly, the Google Assistant button is not customizable, so you'll either use it for its original purpose, or not at all.
LG revealed that the device will carry a display capable of hitting upwards of 1,000 nits of peak brightness in certain scenarios. This is similar to what Samsung's more recent top flagship devices have been capable of - phones like the S9, S9+, Note 8, and others can also reach similar peak brightness in certain super-bright daylight conditions. It was also revealed the display will use 30 less power than the display panels found on the G6 and the V30, and that's great - a big chunk of your battery's juice is used to light up the display.
Aside from being super-bright, the display will also have the very large footprint of 6.1-inches and have a physical resolution of 3120 by 1440 pixels, which works out an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, a step up from last year's 18:9 FullVision display of the LG G6. The panel also covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and... will have a customizable notch: users will be able to hide this one by applying a black background to the display horns to the side of the notch, which would give a more traditional appearance for all of you notch-haters.
One of the leitmotifs of the LG G7 will be the smart AI capabilities of the device. Similarly to th LG V30s ThinQ, which was introduced two months ago, the G7 ThinQ will likely feature the same set of smart scene recognition features for the camera app, which will intelligently pick the correct camera mode in accordance with what you're trying to capture This is an educated guess of our own that would most certainly become reality as LG will certainly further invest in the AI trend that's so hot right now.
Additionally, leaked renders suggest that the phone will also feature a dedicated button that will be used to launch the Google Assistant. That's a not-so-subtle jab at Samsung, which has been equipping its flagship devices with dedicated hardware buttons that launch the company's own Bixby virtual butler. Hopefully, LG wouldn't prevent this button from being remapped.
No surprises here - just as the G6 and the G5 before it, the G7 is most certainly inheriting a dual-camera setup at the back as this signature hardware element has been a staple and a hallmark for the South Korean maker's flagships. A regular and a wide-lens cameras have been the default setup for generations of LG devices, spanning to the V-series as well. It's also worth noting that LG remains the only high-profile device manufacturer that keeps using wide-angle cameras, as just about anyone else has already moved to longer telephoto solutions for advanced portraiture.
There's a pretty good possibility that the G7 might take a ton of cues from the LG V30, which had the widest aperture at the time - f/1.6. It was collecting light towards a 16MP sensor, whereas the 13MP wide-angle camera had an f/1.9 aperture. Of course, hardware makes up merely half the equation as software is equally important, and LG had done a commendable job at eking the most out of the sensors.
UPDATE: New rumors claim the rear camera is expected to come with a dual 16MP sensor config in a vertical positioning, with all the AI camera shenanigans from the V30S present on the G7 as well.
Now, there's no proof or indication that the G7 would employ the very same setup, but we have a hunch that could be the case given how well-rounded the V30 setup is. Of course, there's always the case with of getting outside one's zone of comfort, meaning that LG could theoretically come up with something new and a lot more exciting in less than two month or so.
One thing is for sure - we are eager to see what LG is prepping!
Last year, LG had the misfortune of suffering from Samsung's ambition, which had it hoard the initial batch of Snapdragon 835 chips, forcing LG to put the nimble, but morally-old Snapdragon 821 inside the G6. Fortunately for LG, this might not be the case for 2018 as numerous reports claim that Samsung hasn't been able to secure exclusivity over the new Snapdragon 845.
Of course, that one is the prime candidate for making the LG G7 tick and click.
Comprising four cores running at 2.85GHz and another four efficient ones clocked at 1.8GHz, the Snapdragon 845 is built on a 10nm manufacturing process and is supposed to be way faster and more power-efficient than its predecessor, which is always welcome. LG's top-tier phones are not exactly known for their battery endurance, so a more efficient chipset will most certainly help the G7 last longer on a single charge while offering unprecedented performance.
Snapdragon 845 vs Snapdragon 835 comparison
RAM & storage
There are no rumors yet how much RAM the G7 will boast, but it's safe to say that 4GB of the stuff is the bare minimum. Word on the street is LG would go with 6GB of RAM for the regular model and 8GB in a probable G7+. Same goes for storage - 64GB is already the standard for flagship phones, and it's a safe bet to assume the G7 will come with at least that much native storage inside.
The G7 could be gunning for a 3,000mAh battery which is pretty much the standard for smaller flagship devices out there. Case in point, the Galaxy S9 has a 3,000mAh battery and we are find it quite likely (and sad) that LG won't try to outgun its big-named local rival in this regard. Hopefully, the G7 would also score some quick- and wireless-charging capabilities.
Price and release date
As you might have heard, LG has revealed that it won't be necessarily releasing its next flagship in the same timeframe as its contemporary rivals like the Galaxy S9. This sudden change of heart is mostly likely due to the internal company revamps that took place in late 2017: LG's new VP and CEO Jo Seong-jin has reportedly ordered the company's mobile division to start work on its upcoming flagship device from scratch. Citing an anonymous LG official, following CES 2018 the team responsible for the development of the upcoming flagship device which might not be called the G7 after all has been instructed to cease the development and review the project from the ground up.
The company's new laidback philosophy under the new leadership is to take its time and announce a new device when the time is right.. Although this seems like a pretty dire decision, it could very well be what's necessary to stop LG's mobile division from spilling red ink. This was corroborated by recent leaks, which claim that the successor to the LG G6 is well on its way but will be postponed and revealed just "when the time is right".
From what we know so far, the LG G7 ThinQ will be announced May 2 in New York, which happens to be May 3 in South Korea. Timezones, you know.
As far as pricing goes, we expect to see the LG G7 priced anywhere between $700 - $800. The LG G6 had a $699 price tag at launch but quickly lost a ton of its value due to one reason or another, so the absolute bare minimum that the LG G7 is going to be priced is, logically, $699. There's no way LG is pricing its next flagship any lower given that that, and yet it could still command a rather stomachable price tag for the hardware you will get.