LG V35 ThinQ hands-on: say hello to portrait mode
When it launched last fall, the LG V30 was the perfect ending to a successful path of completion for the Korean company – who only a year before faced harsh criticism for the debacle with its flagship in the G5. Undeniably one of its most promising smartphones released, the V30 was highly regarded as the most versatile video cameras around in a smartphone, but for photos, it was lacking some of its rivals' key features. While it's not a direct successor, the LG V35 ThinQ brings forth enhancements to give it a more well-rounded package.
Looking at the display presented to us here with the V35 ThinQ, it's largely unchanged from its sibling. Sporting a 6-inch 2880 x 1440 FullVision HDR OLED Display, it doesn't fail to impress with its rich details, exquisite colors, superb wide-viewing angles, and near bezel-less looks. And unlike the new LG G7 ThinQ, the V35 ThinQ opts to retain the notch-less appearance of its sibling.
As far as the software is concerned, there's nothing out of the ordinary here with LG's custom skin running on top of Android 8.0 Oreo. The layout and native apps all appear unchanged from what we've seen previously with the V30, but since this is an AT&T issued version, it's accompanied by the carrier's usual set of bloatware out of the box.
One of the phone's notable changes is related to its processor, which makes the jump to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC coupled with an even more generous 6GB of RAM. That's a bump over the V30's Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM, but the internal storage capacity remains the same at 64GB – with expansion courtesy of its microSD slot. Naturally, the phone exhibits the fluid finesse you'd expect from any high-end smartphone.
Recording video was one of the strengths of the V30, but LG tweaks the cameras here with the V35 ThinQ to include a few new tricks that its sibling lacks. Now, the V35 ThinQ is accompanied with dual 16MP cameras – one standard, the other being the wide-angle one. In terms of features, it's packing the same tools and modes that made the V30 so powerful. From its true manual video controls, to its various Cine Effects, there's a ton available here for content creators.
Expanding its functionality, the V35 ThinQ's cameras now support portrait mode – both with the front and rear cameras, which was something that the V30 lacked. Additionally, the same AI camera features seen in other ThinQ devices makes its presence here as well, as the AI-powered camera can detect scenes and produce the best results.
There's no change with the battery capacity here, it still sizes up at a capacity of 3300 mAh. Then again, we're crossing our fingers that the optimizations with the software and newer Snapdragon 845 will propel it to offer better longevity than the V30. Adding to the premium nature of the phone, wireless charging is along for the ride yet again, offering users just another way of charging the phone.
Based on what we find new and different here with the LG V35 ThinQ, it's no wonder that it's not classified as a direct successor to the V30. There are certainly many similarities between the two, but there's still enough changes to warrant a new model name. With the addition of the newer Snapdragon 845 chip, more RAM, and newer cameras, the V35 improves upon what LG has done previously with the V30 last fall.
At the same time, though, the LG G7 ThinQ is another similarly spec'd phone – with all the same video recording assets that we get with LG's V-line. The toughest thing to swallow about the V35 ThinQ is its price, which at $899.99 outright even through AT&T, is a tough sell considering that the G7 ThinQ is selling for less. Indeed, it's a pricey investment, which for a slightly tweaked phone, will make it a difficult sell to convince consumers to pick it up over the G7 ThinQ.