LG G8X and Dual Screen Review

LG G8X and Dual Screen Review
Foldable phones may be the future, but they're certainly not the present. Sure, they do look awesome, but a $2000 smartphone with questionable durability is hard to recommend at this point in time.

The LG G8X, on the other hand, costs just $700, and with its DualScreen accessory, it provides more screen space than you've ever been able to put in your pocket. You get two 6.4-inch screens for next-level multitasking, driven by the powerful Snapdragon 855 chip and a long-lasting 4000mAh battery.

But after several weeks with the LG G8X, I feel like the best feature of LG's Dual Screen case is that it can be taken off.

In the box:
  • LG G8X phone
  • Wall adapter (16W)
  • USB to USB-C cable
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • SIM card ejector tool
  • Quick start guide and warranty information
  • LG DualScreen case
  • Proprietary magnetic adapter (for charging the phone while in the DualScreen case)

Design


On its own, the LG G8X looks like a typical 2019 smartphone. It is made of glass and metal, a small notch at the top houses the single selfie camera, and a fingerprint reader is built into the display. You also get conveniences like a headphone jack and a dedicated Google Assistant button on the side.

What's not so typical is that there is no camera bump sticking out. Instead, the camera lenses at the rear are protected by the same piece of glass covering the entire back of the phone. While this results in a cleaner look that some people might prefer, having no bump means that the glass over the lenses is super easy to scratch as it comes in full contact with any surface the phone is resting on.

The in-display fingerprint reader is of the optical variety. Unfortunately, it is one of the slowest readers of this kind I've tested and reliability isn't great either. Alternatives include the old-school PIN, pattern or password. There's no face recognition of any kind which is a shame when the G8's face recognition worked really well. 



LG DualScreen case


The key selling point of the LG G8X is the DualScreen accessory it comes bundled with. Think of it as a folio case with a second display on the inside, and when you lift the cover, you're greeted by two 6.4-inch screens for some serious multitasking action. A tiny monochrome screen on the outside shows you status information like the time and battery level. It also lights up when you get a notification. But it's not a touchscreen, and you can't read those notifications until you actually lift the cover.

The hinge on the DualScreen case feels robust and allows the cover to be fixed at any angle. It can even act as an improvised tripod or kickstand. But it leaves a gap between the two screens of about 16 millimeters (5/8 of an inch) and it doesn't look particularly pretty.


Fundamentally, the purpose of the LG G8X with DualScreen is to let you use two apps side by side. For example, you can have a YouTube video playing on the left screen while scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram on the right. Or you can have Google Maps on one screen and a messaging app or your email on the other. You can "throw" an app from one screen to the other with a 3-finger swipe gesture.


But when you don't need to do any multitasking – which, let's be honest, would be most of the time – you're left lugging around a bulky case while a second screen is draining your battery. Thankfully, you can take the DualScreen off if you know that you won't need it anytime soon.

There's a mode called Wide View that allows you to use one app across both screens – and the only app I found that works is Google Chrome. I must agree that some websites do look great when shown across both displays. Pinterest, for example, shows me pictures of dinner ideas across four columns instead of the usual two. But other pages just look bad when they're split down the middle by the case's hinge. Making matters worse, the home on-screen button gets obscured by the hinge – a flaw LG has yet to fix.


For those that do a lot of typing on the go, LG's keyboard has a split landscape mode. You can have a notes app on one screen and the keyboard on the other – pretty cool, in my opinion.

LG GamePad is another feature taking advantage of the DualScreen case. Basically, you can have a game running on one of the displays while the other is occupied by a virtual gamepad. All of this sounds great in theory, but in practice, not all games work with LG GamePad and even fewer work well. With racing games, for example, the analog stick is too sensitive while the dedicated steering wheel is too big and uncomfortable to use. You can design your own gamepad layout, but it's a slow, frustrating process.


Display


The 6.4-inch OLED display on the LG G8X is really good. It produces vibrant colors and accuracy is commendable. It gets plenty bright and its low minimum brightness allows comfortable reading at night. I must note that the resolution of the screen has been lowered from 1440x3120 on the LG G8 to 1080 by 2340 pixels. But in practice, 99% of people wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Overall, this is one good-looking screen!

The DualScreen case uses the exact same display panel as the LG G8X. This explains the notch at the top of the case's screen, even though there's no actual need for it. Theoretically, image quality should be identical on the two screens, but on my review unit, colors on the case's screen look colder. There is no fingerprint reader in the case's display, in case you're wondering.



Software and performance


The LG G8X comes running Android 9 Pie, which is sad to see when Android 10 has been out for several months. On top we have LG's custom interface which has been tweaked for easier single-handed use: for example, the toggle buttons in the pull-down menu are now positioned at the bottom. But overall, the entire experience feels rough at this time. Minor glitches have spoiled the experience for me: things like the phone freezing on the lock screen for about 20 seconds or the screenshot button combo simply refusing to work. A future software update might fix things, but the software my review unit is running feels a bit rushed. 



Moreover, I notice lags and choppy transitions more often than I do with other phones, and the keyboard often takes a second to pop up. The LG G8X is supposed to be a powerful phone with its Snapdragon 855 and 6GB of RAM, but in reality, it doesn't feel fast. On the other hand, the 128GB of storage space are plentiful for my needs, and there's a microSD card slot for those who may need it.

AnTuTu is a multi-layered, comprehensive mobile benchmark app that assesses various aspects of a device, including CPU, GPU, RAM, I/O, and UX performance. A higher score means an overall faster device.

Higher is better
LG G8X ThinQ
409433
Samsung Galaxy S10
329546
Apple iPhone 11
435295
OnePlus 7T
378797

Camera


The LG G8X has a familiar set of cameras: a main camera for every-day use and a super wide-angle camera for fitting more in the frame. The 32MP camera at the front combines four pixels into one and promises to produce brighter, clearer 8MP pictures.

LG G8X ThinQ

Camera

Rear

Dual camera

Main camera

Features

Optical image stabilization, Laser and Phase detection autofocus

Specifications

Aperture size: F1.8; Focal length: 25 mm; Sensor size: 1/2.55"; Pixel size: 1.4 μm

Second camera

13 megapixels

Features

Ultra-wide

Specifications

Aperture size: F2.4; Focal Length: 16 mm; Sensor size: 1/2.8"; Pixel size: 1 μm

Video recording

3840x2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD)

Features

Optical image stabilization, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Time-lapse video, Object tracking, Digital image stabilization

Front

32 megapixels


Image Quality


Overall, the LG G8X takes good photos with its main camera. Photos are not perfect – the boost in contrast and saturation can be a bit too aggressive at times – but they're certainly good enough for most people. The super wide-angle camera is as useful as always: images are less detailed and you have no autofocus, but the ability to fit so much more in the frame is invaluable in tricky situations.



In low light, the LG G8X lags behind the competition. Photos are usable, but the lack of a good night mode is evident. There is a mode called Night View, but in most cases, the difference isn't all that big. This is one of the few instances where LG's night mode made an easily noticeable difference.



The front-facing camera is a disappointment. Despite the high number of megapixels, selfies lack detail and look as if the focus is somewhere on the background, not on my face. Moreover, images often come out blurry, especially in low light.



LG has thrown in a couple of new features for shooting video. One is the awesome ability to switch between the main and the rear cameras while shooting. Why haven't we had this before? Another new video feature is the ASMR mode which boosts the sensitivity of the already-good microphones to let them capture faint sounds. It's a bit gimmicky, but it's fun to try.


Speakers and audio quality


One of the pleasant surprises with the LG G8X was the quality of its speakers. The phone has a pair of stereo speakers, 1.2W each – a bottom-firing one and another in the earpiece. The sound is loud, well balanced, and even has a good amount of bass for a phone. An iPhone 11 still sound better, but the G8X definitely has the best speakers on an LG phone so far.

For die-hard wired earphone users, the LG G8X offers a classic headphone jack. It is powered by the familiar Quad DAC we've seen on previous LG phones, producing clear, powerful sound and capable of driving high-impedance, audiophile-grade headphones.

Battery life


The LG G8X comes with a big, 4000mAh battery, and as you would expect, battery life is really good. Even with the DualScreen case on, it easily lasts through a day and a half of use. Without it, you'd be able to get through two days of use without much effort. My positive real-life impressions are backed by our in-house testing, which indicates that the G8X can outlast rivals like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 10+ in areas like gaming and video streaming.

The 16W charger in the box is far from the fastest we've seen, but given the capacity of the battery, it is good enough. A full charge from zero to full takes about 2 hours.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
LG G8X ThinQ
13h 13 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S10
6h 45 min (Average)
Apple iPhone 11
13h 29 min (Excellent)
OnePlus 7T
10h 52 min (Excellent)

Conclusion


The LG G8X is a strange phone – and one showing that LG's mobile division is in dire need of a better strategy. LG's G series is supposed to be represented by quality phones with mass appeal. Instead, the G8X's key feature is a DualScreen case that few people need and fewer people will use. LG's energy and resources would have been much, much better spent had they been invested in a reliable fingerprint reader, a quality selfie camera, and a better software experience.

Of course, there are things to like about the LG G8X. It has a good-looking screen, excellent battery life, and a quality pair of speakers. Most importantly, it costs just $600 right now at Best Buy – considerably less than a Galaxy S10. But again, the underwhelming day-to-day performance of the G8X makes it difficult to recommend, especially when a OnePlus 7T costs the same and gives you much more bang for your buck.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Loud stereo speakers
  • Good-looking display
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Dual Screen case is frustrating to use and mostly unnecessary
  • Slow fingerprint reader with no biometric alternative
  • Software still a bit buggy (as reviewed, build number PKQ1.190522.001)

PhoneArena Rating:

6.0

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28 Comments

1. User123456789

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

7.2 would be fair. Even Pixel got more than 6.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7570; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Nick writes for a Con: Dual screen case is frustrating to use, and mostly unnecessary. Really? So if the dual screen didn't come with the G8X for that $700, then it would have got a higher score then? Come on Nick. We all know PhoneArena is biased, but this takes you to a new low. You compare the POS iPhone 11 display which has the lowest resolution display around, and can't display HDR content, because it's really low contrast ratio is so bad that it can't support HDR on the iPhone 11 display. Yet you give that iPhone an excellent rating. How can it get an excellent rating if all the others can play and show things that have HDR content from stuff like Netflix, but the iPhone 11 can't show Netflix HDR content. But you say the contrast is excellent. Not to mention the absolutely stupid minimum brightness crap.

29. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 930; Member since: May 07, 2014

True, I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that as a con. The Dual screen doesn't cost an extra $300 something Apple would have done. Then Phonearena would have counted as a Plus point, disgusting.

30. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 930; Member since: May 07, 2014

Check this one out. LG G8 ThinQ reviewed by the same person. Score: 8.0https://www.phonearena.com/reviews/LG-G8-ThinQ-Review_id4343 Looks like he doesn't know how to operate that dual screen..

16. manzer

Posts: 61; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

8. This score is ridiculous.

2. shield

Posts: 868; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Lol Very bad test!! Look on other test!

3. Elvis358

Posts: 260; Member since: Mar 25, 2018

This con made me laugh "Slow fingerprint reader with no biometric alternative". So what you wanted that LG would use the single selfie camera to for fake face ID. I can't understand why people say that it is a good alternative. WTF. 6.0 is too low. And not fair score. There are places were you can get the case with second screen + LG8x costs 700$. The spec's are good and big battery. And there are more nice things about smartphones!

4. User123456789

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

That 3D scan software from Sony can be used as face ID according to them. LG could do same.

15. foreverNOOB

Posts: 179; Member since: Jul 07, 2017

That is not the real 3d scan, Sony just use simple camera trick and AI to determine and replicate you face. That's why it's required you to turn your head almost 360 degree.

5. aquatimer

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 19, 2018

At least try to be consistent. You gave LG G8 a 8.0 score. This is the same phone, but with bigger screen and bigger battery. If you want to deduct some points for still having Android 9.0, fine, but no way this warrants a 6.0. Also, how is Oneplus a better value? No waterproofing, no expandable storage, no headphone jack and worse camera than the G8x. To be honest, android os updates are overrated. But if you're having a laggy issues, maybe you got a defective phone. My G8x runs fantastic. Yes, the in display fingerprint sensor is on the slower side, but it still works. "Reasonable price"? Seriously? This is a great/excellent priced phone.

6. s_boy

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 30, 2013

I believe the GSMarena review more than this, there are lots of uses for dual screen for multi taskers and there are plenty of takers out there like me. If this is available in Europe for a competitive price I'll snap it up. The first two and nonsensical cons, the whole point of the getting this phone is for the dual screen!

11. MrMalignance

Posts: 325; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

@Mr. Todorov: I applaud your review for pointing out highs and lows. I also appreciate that this is your own personal experience. I am quite frustrated with your end ranking. 6? That is absolute garbage of a score, especially when met with the fact that you only have 3 cons (1 of which being the optional 2nd screen). I encourage you and others to see Flossy Carter's review on YouTube for a more accurate review.

13. s_boy

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 30, 2013

And multiple other YouTubers

14. R1ftt

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 19, 2019

This is a really.....bad review, you contradict yourself, list cons for things you didn't mention in other phones that are worse. This shouldn't have got past the editor

19. inFla

Posts: 178; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Funny, this gets a 6 and the inferior Pixel 4 gets a 9.

20. tyson3

Posts: 65; Member since: May 15, 2012

I'm not going beat a dead horse but this score really doesn't make sense. One person said if you give the g8 an 8.0 then it makes no sense to review this one any lower than that. iPhone has always received the highest scores when they haven't put out the best product. The note 10 only got a 9 when it is an absolute productivity beast! I don't agree with this review and from the YouTube reviews the 2nd screen works great!

21. OneLove123

Posts: 1257; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Love my g8x. It's a 9.5 to me.

22. shafayatsohail

Posts: 43; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

What a lousy review!!! This review gets nothing on 10. Even no full size images, no details on battery life. You got a big FUGK!!

23. ike301

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

I own this phone with the second screen and it's a very good device. This is what the G8 should have been even without the second screen. I can't find a single con. The camera is not on the Pixel or iPhone level, but it sure isn't far off. The hardware can compete with Samsung hands down. I registered the same finger twice and the scanner works very well. You get the usual outstanding quad dac, wireless charging, IP 68, SD 855 and expandable storage. Add in a the second screen for $699, this is a steal. The unlocked version has almost no bloatware. Just the LG apps.

24. hazard1

Posts: 239; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

When I decided to read this review, the one thing I did NOT expect: a fair and impartial review. PhoneArena did not disappoint. Check out You Tube video reviews for fairer assessments of the phone. It is not the best phone out there. It may not be the phone for me. However, it is not a 6.0.

25. Techzalot

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 19, 2018

I find this review very unprofessional. He didn't review the product for its intended use. Do you review a vacuum cleaner and say ," oh i hate it coz it comes with extra attachments like a height adjuster coz I am already tall. I don't need." The extra screen is there for people who want to multitask and who want a second screen for gaming. The review reeks of ignorance and contempt which misses the point of this niche market. If you don't want the screen, don't use it. Making the extra added value of a screen as a con is ridiculous because it is there for people who would want to use that feature. It is not locked on to the phone.

26. GAME_HL

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 11, 2018

Dear phonearena i have been following you since 2012 and i think this time you need to check your ratings just read the comments this LG G8X deserve more then a 8.0 if it was me a will give this phone 9.0 everything is good about this phone the front and the back and the inside hardware the lack is the higher resolution you know that iphone is like console .. ps4 and xbox compared to android is like a pc ps4 you can get that 60fps in some games with no lag but the quality in not perfect like on pc and the fps is not that high like 120fps that you can get on norml pc gamer i got a lot of phones with deffrent brand but i never liked a phone like LG flagship when it comes to gaming and taking pictures

27. MrMalignance

Posts: 325; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

This is my follow-up comment: I was really hoping Nick would try to justify his score and bring some real reasons to the comment section. Apparently, most of us here feel this phone deserves a better rating. I am rather appalled that after writing this hit piece, Nick hasn't even bothered to look back. I am asking for some perspective. Nick should follow up and explain how he arrived at such a low score. The review didn't bring the proof required. P.s. this comment is directed to Nick about his review of the phone, and meets requirements. If this comment is deleted, it will be due to censorship or petty retribution. I'm not calling Nick a liar, I just want him to answer the questions (see comment section) that he failed to answer in his review.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

G8X ThinQ
  • Display 6.4" 1080 x 2340 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 32 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(20h talk time)

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