LG V35 ThinQ Review


Review index


In recent years, LG’s V series has played second fiddle to the company’s G series, typically following major G releases and carrying many of the same marquee features introduced by the G. Recently, though, it seems the V series is starting to cloister the G series with its multiple refreshes and releases. This year the V30S – a slightly ramped up version of the 2017 LG V30 – held the mantle as LG’s first flagship to feature ThinQ AI technology, but only for a brief moment before the LG G7 ThinQ was released. Well here we are at the beginning of summer and yet another V device has been released – this time the V35 ThinQ, yet another refresh as we await the proper V30 successor, the rumored LG V40. While we wait patiently for the V40, we figured we’d give you a full assessment of LG’s latest in the V35 ThinQ to see just where the bar is right now for LG and its current high-end, flagship competition.

In the box:

  • LG V35 ThinQ
  • USB-C cable and Fast Charge adapter
  • Quick-start guide and warranty booklets
  • SIM tool

Design



The LG V35 ThinQ predictably looks identical to the V30 and V30S, save for the inscription on the back branding it as the V35 ThinQ. We didn’t expect much in the way of design changes, nor were we longing for them; the V35 ThinQ is a light, sleek, solid-feeling device, and the notch-less display is an aesthetic for which we’re still grateful. Offered in either Aurora Black or Platinum Grey, color selection isn’t as wide-ranging as the G7 ThinQ, for instance, but for a mid-level upgrade, we certainly won’t be complaining. The colors look good and the V35 ThinQ, even as a near-clone of 2017’s V30, still holds its own as one of the better-looking, high-end devices with its slim bezels and notch-less face.

LG V35 ThinQ

LG V35 ThinQ

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches

151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

LG V30

LG V30

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches

151.7 x 75.4 x 7.39 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Dimensions

6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches

158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.67 oz (189 g)

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Dimensions

6.24 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm

Weight

7.13 oz (202 g)

LG V35 ThinQ

LG V35 ThinQ

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches

151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

LG V30

LG V30

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches

151.7 x 75.4 x 7.39 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Dimensions

6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches

158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.67 oz (189 g)

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Dimensions

6.24 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5 mm

Weight

7.13 oz (202 g)

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



Display


Speaking of that face, the V35 ThinQ fits a gorgeous 6-inch, OLED display which produces vivid, accurate colors and sharp detail at a resolution of 2880 x 1440. This HDR10-capable display is a bit warmer than the V30’s, which helps to mitigate OLED display’s tendencies to come off cold, and overall makes this display very accurate in its portrayal of colors – viewing angles are solid, as well.

In the bright of the day or shadows of the night you’ll be able to see this display in all of its might. Making 537 ppi with a minimum brightness of 4 nits and maximum reaching 445, you’ll not want for much when looking at this phone.

Interface and Functionality


LG’s take on Android has typically been a slightly more fun, yet still efficient one. This continues to be the case with the Android 8.0-flavored interface on the LG V35 ThinQ. In terms of aesthetics, the UI utilizes pastel colors and rounded box iconography which has become more uniform and LG UX-specific. All looks good on this front, as the UI avoids an appearance that comes off too cartoon-ish and retains some bit of style.

Functionality doesn’t disappoint either. Swiping left on the homescreen brings you to Google’s news feed, swiping up opens the app drawer, and swiping down enters all device search with some recent app shortcuts you can utilize, as well. All of this is as intuitive as can be and avoids confusing extra gestures and menus.

Tapping into the settings does let you tweak a few things, though. Features like the always-on display and floating bar can be enabled for some more functionality. The floating bar is as useful as ever, enabling shortcuts to apps, contacts, music playback, and even actions like creating a new calendar event – all from the tap of an unobtrusive little floating arrow.

The settings app has been further refined to include an “extensions” menu where you’ll find features like the floating bar, as well as Context Awareness, which can set up functions like turning off Wi-Fi when you leave the house, or opening a specific app when headphones are plugged in; shortcut keys, which enables functions like launching the camera app from the lockscreen but double clicking the volume down button; and our personal favorite, KnockON, which sets the screen to be turned off or on by double tapping anywhere on the homescreen – a particularly convenient feature for large-screen phones such as this one.

All of this is simple to use and easy to find, especially with the comprehensive search function found within the settings menu which finds matching results for your query within not just the functions but the descriptions of them, as well – another small, but important aspect for which we’re quite grateful. LG doesn’t provide a “related settings” section of results like Samsung’s do, though, which contextually catches on well to queries, usually offering just what you’re looking for without forcing you to get the name exactly right.

Processor, Memory, and Performance


Just as the V30S ramped things up a bit from the V30 by jumping from four gigs of RAM to six, the LG V35 ThinQ one-ups the V30S by swapping out last year’s Snapdragon 835 for the latest SD845. We never had any complaints on either of these previous V iterations, and six gigs of RAM paired with a Snapdragon 845 does nothing but melt our hearts further with its blazing performance.

Apps launch instantly and transitions through the OS flow like water; this is one buttery smooth operator. Intensive tasks like gaming, GPS navigation, flipping through videos, and all the back-and-forth in between prove this phone to be up to any task and on par or above with any high-end Android flagship out.

In terms of storage you’ll find only a 64 GB option, but the microSD card slot does allow for a considerable expansion.

AnTuTu Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 195293
LG V30 174456
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 247630
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 220618
JetStream Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 85
LG V30 55.338
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 60.189
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 224.62
GFXBench Car Chase on-screen Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 17
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 26
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 24
LG V30 19
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 43
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 59.3
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 2406
LG V30 1903
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 3781.66
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 4243
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 9001
LG V30 6495
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 8940
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 10330

Connectivity


Linking up the V35 ThinQ with the major U.S. carriers (Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon) will be no issue for the unlocked device – you can even get one hooked up with Google’s Project Fi service – which is music to ears across the country, including ours. Otherwise you have your standard dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.0 on the V35 ThinQ.

Camera



The LG V35 ThinQ sticks with pairing a regular lens with a secondary wide-angle for its dual-camera setup, but this time around both sensors are 16 megapixels, as opposed to the 16 + 13 configuration on V30 and V30S.

Images taken on the V35 ThinQ are quite impressive. Colors are mostly very accurate but, in some instances, can lack a bit of contrast when compared to cameras on other high-end phones. Still, images produced will be very pleasing and well-detailed. Exposure also seems to do a commendable job in bright light and in low, though areas in some brighter sceneries can err on the side of over-exposure.

The “AI Camera” is where LG’s ThinQ technology makes its biggest effort, however, the actual impact of this image processing is rather subjective. Tapping the AI button within the camera interface immediately puts the camera into a mode where it attempts to detect scenery, and the objects within, in an attempt to recognize and apply tailored adjustments in color and exposure to the shot.


Once an object or scene is recognized, the V35 ThinQ automatically attempts to process the picture so it looks as good as possible. It's not 'realistic', but may sometimes yield likable results. Bundled with this AI processing are three additional color effects, which can further change the look and feel of your photo by altering colors in a more significant way. These can be considered more 'artistic' type effects that will mostly serve to enhance images in more niche scenarios.

Regardless, we can see good use for these filter options, as in a fair amount of cases having these options could truly aid in capturing a shot more to your liking in terms of color, exposure, and overall composition. Generally, though, we’d say that the majority of photos captured without any AI effect, but rather with just some good, old-fashioned auto-HDR, had the best image compositions with the most accurate colors.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 1.34
1.4
312
No data
LG V30 1.6
2.15
641
649
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 1
1.1
No data
No data
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 0.95
1.58
No data
No data

Selfies look good on the V35 ThinQ, and it’s not just because of our beautiful subject. Exposure predictably isn’t as adept on this 8-MP shooter, but details looks good and beauty modes do a nice job of smoothing over imperfections. Portrait mode on the front-facer actually pulls of some decent results too, even without the use of a secondary camera. For the most part, the bokeh background keeps to itself without troubling the handsome subject, and a decent blur is achieved, even in tougher, more dynamic lighting situations.

Video


Videos shot on the V35 ThinQ are well detailed and motion is generally well-mitigated – OIS and EIS make their presence known here, especially when zooming and moving slowly. Colors are slightly more punched-up than we’d like, but not to the point of being jarring to look at.

As is the case with photography, LG’s focused on delivering the user as much creative control as possible with the V35’s video capture. Offering manual controls for video recording is already a solid step above the rest, but Cine Video improves on this further. When recording in this mode, a suite of filters is available to add a pastiche to your footage. These include filters for a horror film effect (bleak and dreary), romantic (bright and punched up), black and white, and more. These can be fun to create with and add a playful or even professional-esque quality to your films.

You also have LG’s Point and Zoom function, which bolsters this creativity by enabling users to tap on a part of the screen and initiate a zoom directly into the area which was tapped. You even have the ability to adjust the left and right balance of audio recording within the manual controls. These features work well, and Cine Effects combined with manual controls altogether make video capture a fun, intuitive, and creative process on this unit which is unparalleled in terms of its feature set.


Call Quality


Calls on the V35 ThinQ come through well; earpiece and speakerphone volume are both more than sufficient. Callers heard us without issue on the other end, as well, which, although expected, is always a relief.

Media


Media consumption with the V35 ThinQ is another fun, feature-rich area. Here you’ll find options like the HDR video effect, which ups the vibrancy on regular videos in most apps, as well as tools to tweak music on the device with pitch and speed controls – something we had quite some fun with. Speaking of which, the on-board quad-DAC adds more customizability with an in-depth equalizer, among a few other settings, to tailor your listening experience when headphones are plugged in.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 0.775
LG V30 0.769
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0.75
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 0.995
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 76.2
LG V30 74.1
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 78
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 76.4

Battery Life


Handing in a decent seven hours in our custom battery drain test, the LG V35 ThinQ performs pretty much right on par with our real-world use; it’s not going to last two full days, but should easily last through one, even with heavy usage. Recharge times with LG’s Fast Charger were also pleasing, taking exactly an hour and 40 minutes to recharge from 0 – 100.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
LG V35 ThinQ 7h 10 min (Good)
LG V30 9h 34 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 8h 5 min (Excellent)
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 10h 35 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
LG V35 ThinQ 100
LG V30 108
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 105
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 178

Conclusion



The LG V35 ThinQ is a very good phone, but it doesn’t move the needle much in terms of ground-breaking features. Improving incrementally on areas like the display, UI, and camera the V35 ThinQ progresses an already solid software formula a bit further and adds the latest and greatest in processing – it’s really a recipe that’s hard to mess up. While the AI camera, in the end, proves to be little more than a tool for artistic expression, it’s still a cool one to have, on a device that makes this aspect of phones paramount.

The question now becomes: Is this refresh worth the $900 price tag? Well, that’s complicated, but Google Fi’s offer for a $300 bill credit certainly sweetens the deal. With market-watchers anticipating the release of the LG V40 just around the corner, though, it’s hard to recommend pulling the trigger on this device if you’re a fan, considering that a better version is anticipated before the fall. Still, for all that the V35 ThinQ gets right, this could be a phone you’ll be happy to have for quite some time – yes, even past the launch of an LG V40.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, no notch display
  • Buttery smooth, swift performance
  • Feature-rich camera and video-recording – even AI can sometimes be useful

Cons

  • AI Camera is often little more than a filter for style
  • High price for a phone anticipating its proper successor in a matter of weeks

PhoneArena Rating:

8.8

User Rating:

9.0
3 Reviews

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32 Comments

1. Takeharu

Posts: 285; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

What the G7 should've been really...

2. eli577

Posts: 142; Member since: Jun 29, 2010

And probably the V40 or something similar is coming in 1-2 months.

3. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Weaker battery life than v30s even using better cpu. Minimum brightness and Delta are too high for oled, many LCD devices have better numbers. 8 would be good enough.. Iphone 8+ is 202g ? I wonder why it is not attacked like xz2 which is lighter.

4. macawmatt

Posts: 134; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

At $900, I don't think its worth it. If you do the contract thing, the deal AT&T was running for a BOGO offer, $450 is a steal for what it offers, IMO.

5. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

how is the battery life worse than the v30???

8. rsiders

Posts: 1931; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

It seems to me the SD845 is not as battery efficient as the 835 despite the usual Qualcomm claims of more battery and power efficient with the new chipset.

16. DFranch

Posts: 531; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

This seems to be the trend on all 845 based phones. Disappointing to say the least. I'm going to have to think long and hard before "upgrading" 845 over the 835 in my V30. I regularly go 2 days between charges, I don't really want to backtrack on battery life.

9. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

that 845 sucks battery, i dont care what anyone says... also phonearena has some suspicious battery testing... iphones suspiciously are better than every damn phone basically

11. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 191; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

Everyone I work with had their iPhones plugged in all the time as the battery life was terrible. May as well have a landline. Most have now dumped them for Samsung phones.

29. deleon629

Posts: 449; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

I’d raised an eyebrow to that as well. I blame the SD845/next-gen exynos. There hasn’t been a lot of good feedback on the performance of either SoC.

6. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

In my country price will probably same of S9+ or bit higher.

7. rsiders

Posts: 1931; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

So basically the SD845 is crap in terms of efficiency and all that other crap. So far just about every phone tested from previous generations like the S8 and V30 last longer than the SD845 variants. A little disappointing actually. I expected the V35 to easily score in 10 hour mark.

12. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

I bet it has to do with the 'AI' core stuff... check how every phone is coming out with this 'AI' stuff, it's basically enhancements from utilizing that DSP more

18. deleon629

Posts: 449; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

Either it’s crap, or the OEM’s aren’t making devices with ample specs to compliment the chip’s potential raw power. Too busy recycling parts, I guess...

10. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 191; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

None of these review sites test the headphone output on the V3x properly. Certainly, the output is similar to its rivals when using a set of crappy earbuds, but plug in a proper set of headphones and the V3x ups the output, completely destroying every other phone currently available.

13. aquatimer

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 19, 2018

I have to question your battery test or maybe the unit you have. I have this phone and the battery life has been amazing. I would say it's on par with Huawei Mate 9. With my typical usage, I would have about 30-40% left after 16 hours on Mate 9. With the V35, I still have 35-45% left with 16 hours of usage. Other than that, the review was on point. Also, I purchased mine on At&t's BOGO, plus $400 credit on phone trade in. Two V35s for $500 is an insane deal. Since I have a family plan on At&t, being on their Next plan wasn't an issue for me.

14. PostmanLV

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

I'm sure the 845 is more efficient than the 835 no?

22. rsiders

Posts: 1931; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Nope. At least not so far. Every new phone using the 845 compared to last year's 835 fared worse in battery life and not just here but on other sites as well.

15. lovemac209

Posts: 32; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

nothing’s worth for everythings...especially the price...

17. deleon629

Posts: 449; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

Anyone who has the option to buy this phone, yet resides in any country that is NOT South Korea should not at all be overly critical about it. Samsung and LG have always created a ridiculously beefed-up version of their global flagships, yet kept them in the domestic market for the past decade. Now that they’re making an effort to rebrand and push the various models to the global market, I’m seeing more complaints than compliments. I’m sure those who complain right now would be highly pissed if these companies decided to keep the specialized phones within the domestic market to avoid bad press smh

19. Foxgabanna

Posts: 587; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Im using this phone to type this comment and it's a pretty sweet phone. Love the DAC and the overall feel and force touch like motor vibrations it has. Really surprised about it coming from an S9

20. SyCo87

Posts: 297; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Why release this AND the V30s when you plan to release the V40?

23. rsiders

Posts: 1931; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Because they're only going to release new flagships when needed.lol And of course they do the exact opposite.

34. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 191; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

Because the V40 was a backward leap

21. Sparkxster

Posts: 1212; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Great job LG but the v40 will be out in a few months...

24. cocoy

Posts: 455; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

Possible reason for battery drain is the increase in GPU performance.

25. plasteek

Posts: 265; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

Who need V35 when V45 will come after V40 ? LOL

26. Technicalsain

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 20, 2018

Great review

28. Poptart2828

Posts: 356; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I would own this

31. cajun_Injun

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 01, 2011

Well after my V20 taking a dive my motorcycle at 75mph. I purchased this on Amazon for 699. I love it, battery is better than you think. I get to work at 8am and get home around 830pm after an average day of texting and calling, web browsing and streaming music for about 6 hours i still have 50% battery life at 10pm can't complain. There are a lot of things that make this phone great. Get one and dig into it you wont be disappointed!
V35 ThinQ
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(20.5h talk time)

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