The LG V50 is official: the company’s first 5G smartphone is ready to flex its muscles

The LG V50 is official: the company’s first 5G smartphone is ready to flex its muscles
Once again, leaks and rumors that sounded suspicious at first proved to be true! It seemed unusual at first but here we are: LG actually did just announce its two flagships! The first one was, of course, the next model from the G line, the LG G8 ThinQ. However, in its latest attempt to shake things up, LG also announced the LG V50 ThinQ 5G (yes, sadly, that is the full official name).

There will be plenty of time to compare the two LG flagships and ponder if the company really needed to release both of them at the same time, but for now, let’s just focus on what the LG V50 (we’ll spare you the ThinQ from now on) has to offer. As usual, let’s talk looks first.

Design


We were really hoping there will be something unusual and exciting about this device we can talk about here, but from the looks of it, there aren’t many differences between the design of the V50 and that of the V40.

On the front, you get a familiar look: a 6.4-inch OLED display with QHD+ resolution yet again. Nothing wrong with that, really. However, unlike other companies that moved from regular notches to the more sleek-looking teardrop ones, LG is keeping the same one it had on the V40. To be fair, the wider notch does include two front-facing cameras: a standard 8MP one and a 5MP wide-angle one. The bottom bezel also seems to be about the same thickness, no surprises there either.

On the back of the device, we do get a pleasant surprise! It’s not the triple-camera setup we’ve seen on the V40 already, but it does have something to do with it. LG’s engineers managed to fit the three sensors fully inside the body of the phone, making the back completely flat, no camera bump! We hope more manufacturers start doing that, camera bumps have been ruining smartphone designs for years now, it’s time to put an end to it!
 

The trio of rear-facing cameras is as follows: 12MP Standard F1.5 camera, 12MP Telephoto one with F2.4 and a 16MP wide-angle one with F1.9. One new feature LG is adding in the camera department is the option to take portrait-mode videos with both the front-facing cameras and the main ones. Sounds good, but we’ll have to see those videos for ourselves before we can say how useful this feature will be.

As expected, the sleek body of the V50 comes with IP68 water resistance rating and on top of that the phone is also compatible with the US military MIL-STD 810G standards, which means increased durability (not comparable to a proper rugged phone, but still). Colorwise, the choice is sparse, the V50 will only be available in Astro Black at launch.
Now let’s get to the interesting part, the internals!

Hardware & Software


As we should expect from almost any flagship phone in 2019, the LG V50 is powered by the Snapdragon 855 mobile platform. What would likely make the V50 stand out from the crowd at least for a while is its Snapdragon X50 5G modem. This is also the biggest differentiator between the V50 and the G8.

5G promises speeds of multiple gigabits per second, but the catch is that for now, the coverage of the 5G network is very limited. Still, it’s expected that carriers will expand their networks rapidly, so if you’re planning to hold on to your next phone for a few years, it will be a nice feature to have. To combat the 5G modem’s increased heat output, LG has added to the V50 a new Vapor Chamber heat-dissipation system, similar to the ones we’ve seen other brands implement.

To go along with the Snapdragon bad boys the LG V50 has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (glad to see LG is also ditching 64GB from its flagships). Feeding the power-hungry chips is an impressive 4000mAh battery. The increased battery does add a bit of bulk to the V50, but even with it, the phone is only 8.2mm thick and mere 14g heavier, compared to the V40.

Beyond that, the smartphone features a few extras that we’ve come to expect from LG phones: Boombox Speaker, AI camera; Bluetooth 5.0; Quick Charge 3.0; Google Lens and 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC. Speaking of Hi-Fi, the V50 keeps the 3.5mm headphone jack on board!

Nothing shocking on the software side of the LG V50 as well, it will come with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, of course with LG’s own Android skin on top of it.

LG V50 ThinQ 5G size compared to its competitors


The LG V50 is a big boy, so let's see how it compares size-wise to some of the other phones in its segment. For more options, check our size comparison tool

LG V50 ThinQ

LG V50 ThinQ

Dimensions

6.27 x 3 x 0.33 inches

159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3 mm

Weight

6.46 oz (183 g)

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Dimensions

6.2 x 2.92 x 0.31 inches

157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm

Weight

6.17 oz (175 g)

Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone XS Max

Dimensions

6.2 x 3.05 x 0.3 inches

157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ

Dimensions

6.25 x 2.98 x 0.3 inches

158.8 x 75.7 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

LG V50 ThinQ

LG V50 ThinQ

Dimensions

6.27 x 3 x 0.33 inches

159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3 mm

Weight

6.46 oz (183 g)

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Dimensions

6.2 x 2.92 x 0.31 inches

157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm

Weight

6.17 oz (175 g)

Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone XS Max

Dimensions

6.2 x 3.05 x 0.3 inches

157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

LG V40 ThinQ

LG V40 ThinQ

Dimensions

6.25 x 2.98 x 0.3 inches

158.8 x 75.7 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


As we mentioned before, LG's V phone has gained a bit of weight over the last year and it shows in its overall dimensions as well. Besides the added thickness, the V50 is also just a tad taller than its predecessor and all the other phones of this lineup, for that matter. It's definitely a device you'll notice when carrying around, even without the new case. Speaking of which...

Display case for dual-screen experience


What is somewhat shocking (it was hinted in leaks after all) is the special display case that will be available for the LG V50.  The case has its own display which works in tandem with the one on the phone itself, providing a unique dual-display experience similar to that you can find on a Nintendo DS handheld console. The screens can be used either for separate tasks or together to provide additional screen real-estate for gaming, for example.


Price and release date


This category is still up in the air. There’s currently no set release date and pricing for the V50. Although it’s being announced alongside the LG G8, it will likely come a few months later than its flagship brother. LG isn't giving a price for the display case for now either. What we do know, however, is that initially, the G8 will be exclusive to Sprint customers, with other carriers receiving the device a few months later.

Will LG’s new strategy finally bring the success that’s been missing from LG releases for a while now? The LG V50 ThinQ 5G is packing a lot of features and premium components, it’s definitely a proper flagship smartphone. However, as we’ve seen in the past couple of years, that alone is not enough for LG’s phones to succeed. As usual, the price will be a deciding factor, so hopefully, the company has taken notice and doesn’t go too wild with the 5G premium pricing.

If you want to check what our first impressions of LG's latest flagship, take a look at our hands-on of the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.

FEATURED VIDEO

24 Comments

1. OneLove123

Posts: 1257; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Looks exactly like my V40

2. highwaysnobbery

Posts: 57; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

But this is two of them. :)

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 31594; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Who remembers the old LG Voyager. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Voyager

4. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Finally looks good

5. CEDEOTB

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

At least ditch the rear fingerprint scanner for an optical one. This is almost the same phone from last year.

6. HumbleJ06

Posts: 101; Member since: Aug 10, 2015

Sounds good so far, but holding off any praise till reviews on battery life, features and the cameras. But definitely looks like it has the potential to be a good device.

7. drifter77

Posts: 402; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

The dual separate screens don't seem very attractive. I would wait to see the upcoming folding phones competition. So far Galaxy Fold and Huawei X, but throughout 2019 we'll see what other OEMs have to offer.

8. MuddyCow

Posts: 90; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Headphone jack, OLED display, water and dust protection, no display hole, classic fingerprint scanner, big battery and Snapdragon 855, I think it's good enough.

9. OneLove123

Posts: 1257; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

But, it has a big notch

10. master-mkk

Posts: 214; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

" no display hole " hahahahahahhahaahahahahahah go f**k your self it has an ugly notch and a thick bezel which is definitely not as good locking as the s10

11. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Well I think I found my upgrade for my G7. I'm loving my G7 but I kinda want something wider. I was thinking of going with a V35 or V40 but I'll just go with the newest.

12. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 928; Member since: May 07, 2014

LG has lost it.. They don't know how to make a decent phone now..

13. odachek

Posts: 131; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Have they solve the bootloop problem yet?

14. ECPirate37

Posts: 347; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY! haha brilliant!

18. smacsteve

Posts: 87; Member since: May 16, 2012

Yeah, Like over 2 versions ago! They haven't had bootloop issues since the G5! The only V series that had any notable issues with bootloops was the V10 due to the Snapdragon 808 processor.

15. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Two things will keep me from buying one (and I had 3 huawei phones in the past 4 years) 1. The price! 2. I live in the USA...won't be one that works here, without having to root & customize. Well, 3 actually... 3. Getting one in the USA will probably make you a target for a drone strike from the CIA/FBI/NSA LOL.

16. Foxgabanna unregistered

What?

17. Foxgabanna unregistered

Really digging the G8. LG has been increasing their quality ever since they got a big revenue boost from Apple in their OLED production. LG does really well with their other products especially their OLED TVs and the G8 looks like it’s going to be good. I think of it as a Pixel 3 XL but it’s actual “Features”.

19. Babert

Posts: 165; Member since: May 08, 2013

Is this the worlds' ugliest phone or i'm missing something?!

20. Vogue1985 unregistered

The flat camera effect looks very nice, it looks good, not much change but rather an upgrade. That screen case thing I like,not rushing to to a flex screen the funny thing is that LG has had the flex screen tech like Samsung. But I think LG really needs stronger mid range phones, currently it's mostly lower end. Nice upgrade

21. japkoslav

Posts: 1552; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

The second screen for "gamepad" looks like a good joke. On the other hand - if you can connect the second screen why wouldn't LG release its own gamepad using the same pogo pins?

22. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Who remembers the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY that had a slide out joypad and physical buttons?

23. darktranquillity

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

LG is probably going to price it close to s10 and another failure.

24. Greenmule

Posts: 130; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

Waiting 2 or 3 months to release the V50 is a mistake. By then, the next big thing will be here and the V50 will be a memory. Then, the G8 on Sprint...who decides these things??

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