The LG V50 is official: the company’s first 5G smartphone is ready to flex its muscles
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.
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
Display case for dual-screen experience
Price and release date
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.